5B4APL

It occurs to me that I got ahead of myself with my last post about operating on six meters from Cyprus — I forgot to mention that about six weeks ago, I acquired a Cypriot callsign: 5B4APL. Up to this point, I had been operating as 5B/AI4SV, but in February I sat the licensing exam. The new callsign is not that much shorter, but it is much more appropriate since I will be based in Cyprus for at least the next two years. Many thanks to CARS (Cyprus Amateur Radio Society) for guidance on how to prepare for and take the exam. I think there were twelve of us who took the exam that day, and I’ve already met a couple of them on the air.

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Six meters is hopping

I just experienced three days of six meter activity like I have never seen before. I have no idea if it is related, but the weather in Cyprus went from seasonal daytime temperatures in the 20s to three days in a row that peaked over 40C — that’s hot, and not really expected at this time of year. During those days the six meter band was open all afternoon and into the evening with signals from both the Middle East and Europe pouring into my modest station.

I don’t have a dedicated six meter antenna up: just a screwdriver antenna with a mobile whip on my roof, but that has not been as limiting as I would have thought. The antenna base plus the whip are a quarter wave on six meters, so it is probably not that inefficient on that band, and I have strung various ground wires at the base, so there is some reasonable counterpoise. Nonetheless, I did not expect to work the 32 DXCC entities that I did work during those days with this set up.

6-meter CW contacts during a 15 minute window a couple days ago showing contact from 5B4APL to stations in England and Kuwait.
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SOTA 5B/CY-018, Moutti tous Fitillous

The summit.

This one was a bit more off the beaten track than I had expected. Looking at the site from aerial photos, it appears that a road wraps around the summit, however, a look at a topological map makes it clear that between the road and the summit the climb is almost vertical.

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SOTA: 5B/CY-009, Moutti tis Zacharou

Since I will not be heading out to any mountains for a bit thanks for pandemic-related movement restrictions, it’s a good time to catch up on posting my last couple expeditions: 5B/CY-009 and 5B/CY-018, which I managed to activate earlier this month. Both are near the northwest corner of the island, so a significant drive from where I am based in Nicosia.

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SOTA 5B/CY-048: Korfi

The summit, with Limassol to the south in the background.

This is as high as you can go with SOTA peaks in Cyprus, not due to altitude, but just because there are forty-eight peaks here and this is number forty-eight. It is only 382 meters in height and worth a single point, but it is a short ride from Limassol, and once you know how to approach it, getting there is not very complicated.

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SOTA 5B/CY-017

Not sure if this is a fire lookout station, an engineering site for the radio towers, a vacation home?

On this trip, I activated two sites near Limassol, 5B/CY-017 and 5B/CY-048. The latter is only about 15 minutes from Limassol, and the former about a half hour in terms of driving. However, since I was coming from Nicosia, 5B/CY-017 was closer, about 70 minute away, the last half hour on paved by narrow and curvy mountain roads.

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SOTA 5B/CY-036: Pachia Moutti

The summit, looking northward towards Chrysochou Bay.

This was my second activation on a quick trip out towards the east coast of Cyprus above the city of Paphos. The first activation (5B/CY-042) was intentionally quick to allow for some time to explore this peak, which is more isolated.

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SOTA 5B/CY-042

Poor 5B/CY-042, it has no name, just its SOTA designation. However, that’s kind of fitting since it really isn’t much of a “mountain” — it is more somebody’s backyard, adjacent to a water tower. It is the very definition of a drive-up site, though, so if you’re out towards the eastern side of Cyprus, perhaps enjoying the beaches along the coast near Paphos, and want to shoehorn in a quick activation, it might be just the place.

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SOTA 5B/CY-034: Alestos

The water-filled quarry; the activation site is up the hill to the left.

Nearly everything went wrong on this activation, but it was also one of my best SOTA experiences.

This peak is right above a defunct copper mine that was last operated commercially in the 1970s. The blue-green water that fills the pit is visible on aerial photographs.

The road leading by the site is about 45 minutes from Nicosia and I reasoned that at one time trucks had made it up to almost the top of the mountain, so it should be accessible by road. It turns out that is only partially correct.

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SOTA 5B/CY-047: Neon Appidaki

The operating position, looking southwest.

This peak is about a half hour south of Nicosia, mostly along the same roads that I took recently to get to 5B/CY-043, Kreatos, recently. I had thought that I might just eek out two activations today, but it took me longer than I had anticipated to get to this summit and the sun was already too low when I wrapped up this peak to try another.

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