We have put the boat back into the water. It is a 3 hour drive to the harbour in Uitwellingerga, near Sneek, Friesland, so we took the RV there and stayed a few nights. Actually, having both the boat and the camper is an ideal combination. We can hook up to our own electricity socket and enjoy the electrical floor heating in the camper during cold nights...
The boat needs a new layer of anti-fouling every year. The weather was gorgeous. Blue sky, mid-day temperatures of over 20 degrees C. So this time it was a really relaxed working session. We even had enough paint left from last year, so the usual bike ride to the paint shop in Sneek was unnecessary. Which was good, because my electrical bike (a Sparta ION M) refused to support my efforts. Again. During the 3 years I have it now the computerized electrical system broke down 4 times.
Some neighbours helped with putting the mast up. All in all we had a nice time with lots of opportunity to test the European pskmail system.
PSKmail operation from the Friesland lake area.
The harbour does have wifi, but only in the restaurant which is 200 meters from our boat. The owner of the harbour does not want to extend the system to cover the whole harbour area, so pskmail is the only way to connect to the internet. I use an inverted L consisting of 10 meters of wire, a fishing rod, and a tuner inside the camper. This works on all pskmail frequencies from 80-12 meters.
On 80 meters I could work DK4XI-8 easily with 50 Watts. Getting the mail was easy, and the wx broadcasts were received without error. DA5UWG, who is only some 100 km away was not heard at all. Even the twitter updates were relayed without problem (DK4XI-8 has server version 0.8.3).
On 30 meters S54FAA-0 was very strong during the whole day. Unfortunately S54FAA-0 only relays APRS messages, so to get full service I contacted IS0GRB-3. This station could be worked with solid signals also during the whole day. During the morning hours I could also use SM0RWO with nice signals until 9:00 UTC. After that the signal from Sweden disappeared completely. PI4TUE, 200 km away, was not heard.
In the evening of the 24th I could hear C56DL directly from the middle of the atlantic, trying to get a position beacon through. The signal was strong enough, but hardly decodeable throuhg heavy doppler and multipath. The phase of the signal on the digiscope was all over the place. Fo0r this time of the evening THOR22 would be the better mode I guess.
Summing it up, pskmail lived up to its promises. I could get and send my emails whenever I wanted, and my twitter updates and position beacons all made it into the internet. The only thing I really missed was a twitter reader for pskmail, so I could follow the updates.
I have already found the perl code to put it onto the server....
Saturday, 9:30 local.
We are at the Chaos Computer Camp, some 50 km north of Berlin, Germany.
And we are surrounded by hackers, some 3000 of them. That also means some 5000 computers and 10.000 network cables, also in the wireless::village where I live.
The atmosphere in the camp is completely different from what we are seeing at the Ham Radio camp in Friedrichshafen. The average age of a hacker seems to be around 22, and you know you are talking to a ham when the person is over 50. 50% of the hackers wear their long hair in a tail, and the standard dress is baggy shorts and T-shirts with interesting messages on them. And from most of the big tents you can hear the onk-onk-onk of 2kW audio woofers, all asynchronously outputing the same type of 'music' until 4:00 local. The days of Howling Wolf, John Mayall and Eric clapton seem long gone.... By the way, the equipment is so good you cannot hear the pskmail beacons on it.
The food you can buy is esoteric at best. No solid hamburgers but indian curry, tomato noodles, crepes and ah... bratwurst (saves the day). All people here feel they are part of an army, and the enemy is the government, the industry, Microsoft(TM), the police, politicians, C++, and the establishment at large. The world is ok here, divided in 85% Linux, 15% windows. And most speakers openly pity the people who have to work for M$ to earn their money. And most campers here have taped off part of the licence plate so if the anti-terror administration comes to video everything they won't be recognized. All in all this gives a warm feeling of togetherness.
We are well prepared. All laptops have a tight firewall, and we have been warned to back up all computers before connecting to the network, and remove all personal information from any hard disk present. After being here for 5 days now pskmail still has not been hacked, so it must be reasonably secure.
10:00 and I am looking at the fldigi screen. No beacons on 30. Since the start of the conference on wednesday the S-meter of the FT897D is at a steady S8-9. Which means that I can send APRS beacons, but I cannot hear the QSL's. I can check on findu that the beacons get through o.k.
PA3DSC is also here. We use pskmail APRS messaging to chat. For that I have hacked the code so that the messages are also displayed when no server can be reached... This works well over a distance of 200 meters as his signal is S9++.
10:10 the first hackers are leaving their tents to have the first sanitary and buy the first coffee. They don't look healthy, must be due to the evening before. But that will change until 11:00 when the first lecture is scheduled ('Hacking WEP in 60 minutes'). Then they will be in one of the big hangars of this former military airport, with their laptop charged so they can read the latest news during the speech.
This is our last day here and I have to hurry. Still have to do the dishes and must be in time for the lecture.
So far the stay here has been quite succesfull. 5 demos, 2 newspaper interviews, 1 radio interview, got more people interested... Somebody interested to start a server in Italy. More than I hoped for.
Looking forward to seeing the S-meter drop to zero when this is all over. But it is good to know pskmail would actually work as soon as the network went down...
I was invited to deliver a 1-hour presentation about pskmail yesterday at the Dutch Ham Convention. About 100 Hams attended the presentation, and it was good to see that nobody left the premises during the speech. Actually people were standing at the back of the room.
From the quality of the questions asked after the presentation it became clear that most of the audiance had understood what it is all about, and the reactions were generally quite positive. We got rid of some 6 Live CD's and we even managed to get some people interested in experimenting with a pskmail server!
One aspect which I had not thought about is that the QRP- and narrow-band nature of pskmail makes it quite useful for countries where digital infrastructure is not as abundant as we take for granted. And where the super-commercial Windows OS is the one which has the widest use in the world we westerners know, this picture may become quite different as soon as the new MIT Linux PC gets its feet on the ground in the rest of the world. You might say that pskmail is the first application software written for a situation where connectivity to the internet is not available for everybody.
We are following the first installation of a pskmail server in South America with interest. If all goes well it will be situated in Quito, Equador. An environment where a lot of hams cannot afford an internet connection in the first place. This will provide us with a reference installation in the developing world which will generate a lot of ideas for making pskmail even more suitable for that kind of environment.
One if these ideas is to extend pskmail with an RTTY FSK mode. That would allow users to use a simple CW TRX for the transmit side, and to use gMFSK + a simple DC receiver for receive. The RTTY_ARQ protocol specification is ready. Unfortunately there is no suitable Linux software which generates a signal for FSK like MMTTY does for windows; all programs are AFSK based.
Could we get an FSK output on gMFSK? Who can spend some time on this?
The alternative is to develop a simple AFSK_to_FSK converter, but the software solution will be less expensive!!
First time I heard from the Montenegro DX festival was during the Ham Radio fair in Friedrichshafen, end of June. The idea was good, bringing a new DXCC country on the air with a 'big bang'. Still we decided we would probably not go. We put the boat into the water early May, and we haven't used it.
By the time we got home from Friedrichshafen the temptation grew bigger, and on the 28th of July I filled in the application form telling we would join the party for the first week (you bet...) and mailed it to YT6A.I did not get a confirmation on the email so I sent it again, this time to Hans, PB2T, who appeared to be somewhere in W4, and told me he had forwarded the application to Martti, OH2BH, who would do the coordination. This sure was going to be an international affair, and apparently it was in good hands.
I got a copy of an email from PB2T to YT6Y saying that he would not be coming by car and that the FT2000 could possibly travel with PA0R, who would be coming by camper.I informed Martti I would indeed come by camper but I would have to leave on the 13th as we would need about a week to manage the 2000 km trip.
It was decided I would pick up the rig at Schiphol and take it to Montenegro.
I drove to Schiphol early morning, a 2 hour affair. Unfortunately the car nav system did not recognize the street name, I probably fed it with the wrong city name or something. It took me three quarters of an hour to find YAESU (or Vertex as they call themselves nowadays). The temperature in the car had meanwhile risen to 42 degrees C (I drive a dark blue audi A4, also called 'fastest greenhouse in town', and in Holland you don't normally need an airco for the 2 days of hot weather per year). The handover of the FT2000 took 5 minutes. They had even provided a paper for customs stating that 'this equipment had no commercial value and was taken to the Montenegro ham festival by Mr. Soandso, a Dutch citizen'.
At three o'clock in the afternoon we had the camper packed and we were heading towards our first stop, Wertheim in Germany. We know that place quite well by now, there is a large parking lot for 40 campers on the bank of the river Tauber. Including all facilities for water, sewage etc., and not too far from the shops and pubs in town.
There were a lot of roadworks in the Frankfurt area, and it took us until 21:30 to get there.About 2 hours before arrival, in the middle of a road block, we got a telephone call from ON5TS, who wanted us to take some more equipment to Montenegro...
I decided to take an early night and not put up the email antenna...
July 14, Murphy is on vacation
I hate the A3 in Germany. It is one steep hill after another, and the camper is under-motorized (3.4 tons with a 2.5 litre diesel engine). It was also obvious that a large part of Germany and Holland was on its way to their holiday locations in the south. It was one of those days German radio calls 'black Friday'. And indeed, the amount of traffic was unbelievable. Thousands of people wanting to reach their holiday destinations NOW!!. Add to that the high temperature outside (29 degrees C) and inside (...), and you get a terrible mess.
We decided to take it easy and set our target to Plattling, a small city between Regensburg and Passau, about 40 kilometers from the Austrian border.
Just after Regensburg we were hit by a stone (or a meteorite, you never know), leaving a nice small crack in our wind shield. By the time we reached our destination, the crack had extended to some 30 cm and it was obvious we had to do something about it. It was Friday afternoon, and 15:30. Time was becoming a leading factor now...
So we parked the camper, took the bikes off and cycled into town, to find a suitable garage. We found a Boschdienst Service within 10 minutes. These people were very friendly and immediately phoned the local car glass service for us who happened to have the proper wind shield in stock. Just that all their people were either on the way home or still working off site and then driving home. But if we could drive the camper down there they would try to arrange something...By 17:30 we were sitting in the camper in front of the car glass service shop waiting for the glue of our new wind shield to dry. The shop was closed now. Murphy must have had an off-day.Half an hour later and it would have cost us two days time!!
In Plattling there is room for some 20 campers behind the swimming facility. There is fresh water, sewage dump, and electricity. One of the sockets was live, and we did not have to pay (Murphy, where are you...). It was time to run the airco (230 V only), as the temperature inside had meanwhile risen to 35 degrees C.
Nicoletta went swimming. I put up the antenna and was in time to get the email via pskmail. The signal on 20 meters was a stable S8, and I could close the session within half an hour.
July 15, Dig the blues?
The Saturday again brought us phantastic travelling weather with 27 degrees C. I had found a camper site in Gamlitz, in South Steyermark. It is just 6 km from the motorway, near the Slovenian border. It is one of the "Wine lovers' sites where you can camp freely and taste wine and have good food.
After driving through the whole of Austria (53 km of tunnel included) we arrived safely in Gamlitz at around 16:00, and parked the camper just beside the full parking lot of 'Schloss Gamlitz'. Only after half an hour we noticed the large signs 'Blues at the Schloss', 14-15 July.
Within an hour we were surrounded by parking cars coming from all over Austria (Graz, Wien, even Innsbruck). The restaurant was closed. The concert started 18:00 and with the windows open we could have made a recording with excellent quality of Willy deVille et al.
Good blues until 00:30....
July 16, Down to the coast
We made an early start on Sunday, as we had planned to drive through Slovenia and Croatia down to Split. There were supposed to be motorways all the way down, so we could easily master the 580 km in one day.
We passed the Slovanian order without problems, actually there was nobody who could have stopped us.
After Maribor the motorway stopped and we were left on a road which clearly has not seen any subsidy from the EU yet. This went on until halfway the Croatian border and Zagreb.
Again, we had no problems entering Croatia. The people looked friendly, and pleased that we would visit their country.
Driving through Croatia brought us stunning views. The motorways are in good shape and it was a real pleasure to drive. The food and the beer ('Pivo') were excellent.
When you come close to Zadar the motorway takes you quite high into the mountains, which was a difficult task for our engine. But it did its duty fine.
Between Zadar and Split the brand new motorway is ready, leading through something they would call a 'desert' in Australia. Endless bushes and some scattered houses on hilltops. But every 30 km there is a gas station with refreshments. Truely a remarkable place...
We passed Split around 16:00, and went looking for a camp site near the sea. We ended up in Monis, some 20 km south. Kamp Galeb is a very large site with its own sandy beach. We found a shadowy place for the camper and did some eating and drinking in the beach bar. Felt a bit like holidays....
I set up the pskmail system and sent the beacon to SM0RWO.
It looks like: PA0R>PSKAPRS,TCPIP*,qAS,SM0RWO:!4326.41N/01640.84E@9A/PA0R/P pskmail
Here is the resulting picture:
You can see clearly why it did not work well, the location is completely screened to the north by a high, steep mountain ridge.
July 17, Through Bosnia to Dubrovnik
The Monday took us to Orasac, some 12 km north of Dubrovnik. The road takes you along the coast and delivers phantastic views of the Adriatic, if you feel like looking that is. The traffic was quite heavy and the average speed was around 50 km, as the road is taking you in serpentines along the side of the mountains from village to village. You have to take your time for this.
We had to cross the Bosnian border twice, which gave no trouble. The road through Bosnia is only 8 km, and there is one town called 'Neun', which is clearly focussing on tourism. Hopefully they will use the money to repair the road...
We arrived in Orasac at 15:00 where we found the camp site 'Rudine' easily. We camped under a large tree as the sun was abundant. Local temperature was in the high 30s (C). We did some shopping and went to the beach which could be reached via 50 meter long stairs.
July 18, Finding Klinsi. Roads, road, roa, ro...
Tuesday, another bright day. We started at 10:00 for our final destination, Klinsi on the Bay of Kotor.
We had instructions how to get there from Dubrovnik, so it would not be a problem. The landscape remained the same, a winding road along the mountains, with phantastic 'scenic outlooks'. We reached the Montenegro border and we were asked to show passports and green insurance card for the camper. We took the ferry at Tivat which got us across the bay quickly. Just after passing the end of the runway of the airport we took the coastal road to Radovici, and took a narrow local road down to the coast, with lots of parked cars on the side. At the bottom of the road there was a small restaurant where I asked if that was the road to Klinsi. Although it was a bit difficult because the people only spoke Serbian, they were quite helpful but could not tell me the way to Klinsi. So we decided to drive back up the hill through the narrow road and follow the wider road.
After some 100 meters we noticed we were in Radovici, which was too far so we turned and went down again. Now we took a deep breath and followed the road past the restaurant, which was apparently not meant for use by campers 2.20 meters wide.
This appeared to be a wrong point of view, as in the next village we were confronted with a water truck coming our way which was at least as wide as our camper and who was apparently quite happy to use this road.
Some people guided us to the entrance to a new house they were building, so we could make room for the truck. It was quite steep and I did not believe we would pursuade the camper to go up there, but it did it without moaning. The truck got past and we returned to the road.
After some 5 km of trees scratching the sides of the camper we got to Krasici. Krasici is a tourist village, and the streets were blocked by tourists, cars of tourists, shops with wares hanging into the street, and a BUS. Meanwhile we were used to the game so we managed to find a spot where the bus could just pass us when we removed the left hand rear mirror.
At the end of the seemingly endless village we asked some men who were sitting in front of a pub, one of them with 'YT7Y Contest team' on his T-shirt if they knew if this was the right way to Klinsi. 'No problem', they said just drive up this steep hill here (12% slope) and go on for 8 km ('11 km' said the other man), 'and you will be there'.
We took the hill in second gear, and after that the road was narrow, but fairly straight. There was no sign of Klinsi. Suddenly, the road stopped. There were 2 ways to proceed, down to 'Zanice beach' and down to 'Rose'.
The paper describing the route had said something about everybody knowing the way to 'the famous Zanice beach', so we decided to go down there.
The road got narrower and narrower, to a point where the wheels of the camper would just fit it, with holes on the side of the road some 50 cm deep beside the concrete. Trees scratching from both sides. We went on for some 8 km and there was nowhere a place to turn. This could not be right.
I stopped at a farm house and managed to turn the camper, overlooking the holes it had to go through.
There were some people coming out of the farm, obviously curious, as they had never seen a vehicle like this.
I asked them the way to Klinsi. 'Yes, yes,' was the answer 'Klinsi 11 km'. '3 km' said the 13 year old girl.
I asked 'on the way to Rose?'. 'Yes, yes,' they said, so we went on up until the split in the road and went down to Rose. And you bet, we did meet the water truck on the way up.
This was 'easy' after the treat we had gotten. A serpentine leading down the hill. We did not get to Klinsi though. At the end of the road was Rose, and the road stopped. All parking places were occupied, so we parked on the harbour mole. There was a sign saying something in Serbian about a 'bus', but we could not read it.
I decided to call for help. Dragan, YT6Y promised to send a rescue squad within 10 minutes, and we were probably only 4 km from Klinsi, if we would look up the hill we could see the antennas. We looked up and saw nothing.
We waited half an hour and the bus came. Fortunately somebody had left his parking lot and with some effort we could manoeuvre the camper into the slot so the bus could use the mole to turn...
We waited another 15 minutes and were picked up by a friendly Serbian soldier and a friendly man named Nicola who guided us up the hill to the military compound where we would stay for a week.
Until then we had not realized we were 1 day earlier than planned. Time looses its meaning when you are adventuring. We could choose our own parking location on the compound, got our electricity cable out for the airco (it was some 38 C outside) and the fridge, and got fed with lots of bread and pivo.
July 18, Up to Obostnik
Around 18:00 Ranko, YT6A called. We would drive up to his contest location on top of the hill, in Obostnik and spend the night there. Obostnik was to be one of the locations for the Dxpedition. We were promised a shower, food and a good night's rest, so Nicoletta gathered some necessities and around 21:00 we were packed into a 4x4 Landrover and got going.
You would not believe the condition of the road leading up to Obostnik. It took the Landrover 45 minutes to span the 300 m of height difference (our German friends DL3DXX and DL7FER did it one day later walking in 1 hour). Huge boulders and deep holes made it a super cake walk.
For contesting Obostnik is the hilltop location you have always dreamed of. A roof full of antennas, a radio room fitted for several stations, accomodation for at least 10 people, kitchen, large bathroom with shower and a view over the Adriatic sea which takes your breath. And internet facilities, so I could kill the spam which had gathered during the week.
We were told that if we took care about the snakes and the scorpions this is one of the safest places on earth. We took a good night's sleep in a large double bed and went down after breakfast the next morning. This was an experience we will not easily forget.
July 19, The Day Before
We spent the day on the commpound, taking a day's rest before the big event. I put the antenna up on the camper and got the station going on pskmail. Signals were excellent and I could work SM0RWO on 20 and 30 meters without problems.
Also the APRS beacon worked quite well. I can check with the 'GET POSITION' function in the client which tells me the last location 'Findu' has got and when it was received. I let the beacon run on 30 meters all day...
There are 4 dogs on the Klinsi site. A german shepherd with 2 pitch black puppys and 'Ugly Dog'. Ugly consists of mainly 4 legs, a head and a tail. The rest of the dog is hidden somehow. When we came he was scared and did not come anywhere near any human. By the time we left 'Ugly' was sleeping underneath the camper and took part in our meals.
2 more cars were supposed to arrive during the evening. One of them, belonging to Marcus DJ7EO actually arrived. By the same procedure, he was picked up somewhere, he already did a complete tour of the peninsula (He went on to Zanice, and from then on back to Tivat by the other side). The others were advised to stay in Tivat and come the next day.
July 20,3-2-1-GO MONTENEGRO
In the afternoon we were invited to a fish restaurant in Tivat, on the side of the bay, to celebrate the start of the event. There were several official speeches (the press releases will tell you the content) and good food and drinks. We also met the other participants there.
We were back at Klinsi around 17:00, and the raising of the antennas, the finding of cables with the right connectors, the installation of the radios and computers could start.
As there was no station operational yet it was decided that I would start working from the camper. Around 17:00 UTC I had configured Tlf for dxpedition mode, tuned the FT897 to 30 meters and called CQ. 2 times. Then the pile-up was there, rapidly growing to 3 kHz, and allowing rates of > 100 per hour. After some time necessary to adapt to the pile-up going was fine, and I enjoyed one of the greatest runs in my life. I was able to work JA, W/K and PY through the Europeans. One of the stations I worked was K1ZZ, who joined our party together with his XYL Linda a few days later. I stopped around 22:50 UTC with 620 qso's in the log.
July 21, Run, run, run
3 stations had been installed in the shack at Klinsi. A CW station from Dietmar, DL3DXX, and SSB station from Marcus, DJ7EO and another SSB station from Robert, SP5XVY (of 3Y0X fame).
Meanwhile also the Titanex vertical and some wire antennas had been erected.
After breakfast I took over the shift from Dietmar, and went on working CW on 30 and 15 meters. The runs just did not stop, and 30 meters remained open all day. I worked for 6 hours and gave the key(board) to Jan, Z35G.
Meanwhile Martti (OH2BH) and Robert (SP5XVY) were helping to set up a Stepp-IR beam for a WARC band station which was located near the sleeping quarters. Bruce, W6OSP was working SSB on 15.
The evening was long and full of talk and beers.
July 22, Run, run, run
I started my shift at 4 UTC, and worked CW on 30 and 20 for 6 hours. Rates were still above 150/hr.
Leena, the XYL of OH2BH visited Nicoletta, and they had great fun together.
The evening was again long, and this time full of talk and white wine.
July 23, Run, run run
Again I started at 4 UTC, finding 20 CW wide open. After that the vertical was tuned to 17 meters, and I started the cw pile-up. I worked 6 hours with just a pause for lunch which was served somewhere between 11:00 and 14:00. Rates were still > 100/hr
We went down to Tivat for dinner (you need some variation...) where we could pay with VIP coupons.
The evening was long, Robert had organized some nice red wine and Dietmar got to 160m just in time for the gray line opening.
July 24, Run, run, run
This time we got up very late, and I took over from Dietmar around 7:00 UTC, I worked CW on 20 and 30 until lunch, which happened to take place at 13:00 local. The pile-ups just would not stop!
In the afternoon I hesitatedly got to do some CW work on the WARC station, which used writelog. It worked o.k., only the repeats sent partials instead of full calls, which I think is no good for dxpeditions. 12 meters was hot! The JA's were not loud but workable and again the pileup did not stop. 2 hours, 240 qso's...
In the evening we had heated discussions with Emir, 9A6AA, about giving other than 599 reports, and we had some beer.
(DL3DXX working them on SSB)
I cannot possibly remember, only that Leena and Nicoletta spend the day together again.
The Stepp-IR, the Titanex and the beam in Klinsi
July 26, Run, run
This was supposed to be our last day.
Felix, DL7FER and Jan, Z35G had returned from their stay in Obostnik, so there were enough CW ops around.
I worked a few hours on the CW station, on 15 and 17 meters. Still pileups, 1 cq was enough to set the alarm of...
Here is Robert, SP5XVY heating up the warc bands
In the late afternoon we went to the restaurant for dinner, as Robert had invited us for a farewell party.
We were joint by Hans, PB2T, and Dave K1ZZ with his XYL Linda.
Meanwhile, we had decided to stay 1 day longer, to be present during the cruise on Kotor bay Thursday evening. The evening was long. There was champaigne and lots of talk.
July 27, Linux/RTTY day
As there had been no RTTY activity yet, and I had the only working digital station, it was decided that I would do some RTTY from the camper on the last day.
I used a combination of tlf and gMFSK, and that worked fine. I first tried 30 meters, but there was nobody listening. Then I went on 20 and the pile-up started. I worked from 7:30 UTC until 16:00 UTC, with a pause for lunch and had to close down because I had to pack the camper for the return trip the next morning.
I made 285 qso's. I prefer to work CW, the computer had problems to dig the calls out of the pile.
During the evenening we had a nice dinner trip on the bay with a large cruise boat. There were official speeches which you will certainly read in the press releases. Dinner was excellent and we had a great time with our German and Polish friends.
After returning to Klinsi we had some more beers and went to bed. Enough is enough.
July 28, Return to Croatia
After breakfast we had the camper packed. Robert had parked his car in front of the camper, as he wanted us to stay one day longer. Nicoletta could pursuade him to remove the vehicle, so we could leave.
We said goodbye to everybody and left. The weather was perfect for travel. 32 degrees C and some clouds.
We had timed our return trip perfectly. Too late for the people driving to work and too early for the tourists to clobber the street. Of course we did meet the bus.
We drove to the camp site at Orasac and stayed there for a long night.
July 29-31, Kamp Galeb, Monis
After driving back to Monis on Saturday we saw that the sky was cloudy for the first time and decided to stay 1 more day to take a rest.
I tried to get the email connection going but the site is no good for a connection to Stockholm. I did get an APRS position through, but could not load the list of email headers (which had grown quite long in the mean time) so I gave up. Too much multi-path which destroyed almost 100% of the shortest packets.
I did work 4O3T on 20 meters CW. And had a qso with DL1EKC on 40 CW, who told me he has repaired my K2 during my absence.
We did some shopping in the tourist area, and Nicoletta swam in the Adriatic sea. Nice days after all.
August 1, Gamlitz, Austria
The return to Austria went smoothly. All borders were wide open. At the border between Croatia and Slovenia we were stopped because the chief of customs wanted to know the price of my electical bike. Not to let me pay taxes, but because he would like to buy one!
By the time we parked the camper in Gamlitz it started to rain. We had a nice dinner with good wine at Schloss Gamlitz (the open air rock festival was next weekend). Some other time I will tell you how we came to drink some 27 year old wines...
August 2, Tunnel views
On wednesday we crossed Austria, which was rainy for most part. Good thing we had to go through 53 km of tunnel again. We landed in Plattling, where electricity was still free, now on socket nr. 3. Amazing. We also cleared the tanks and took fresh water.
August 3, Back home
After we left Plattling to drive up to Worms (there is a nice restaurant in Worms quite near the camper parking) we heard on the radio about 'black friday' on the 4th, as Baden Wuerttemberg would start holidays and Northrhein Westphalen would come back home.
We decided to drive back all the way home, which took us 10 hours, mainly through the rain.
After some emailing we went to sleep. Enough is enough.
Found this, thought you might be interested:
More intense solar storms predicted ahead
A new computer model predicts that the next solar cycle will be up to 50 percent stronger and begin a year later than expected, scientists say.