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.

Moutti tis Zacharou is an eight point mount — a bit of a switch for me since most of the ones I have visited lately have been one or two point peaks. Of course, the point value has nothing to do with how hard it is to activate. This is very much a drive up peak. GoogleMaps shows the road up and the building that sits at the very top.

A well-maintened dirt road branches off E740 at 35.0478,32.6214 and winds upwards.

On the drive up, I noticed the building atop the peak from some distance.

(A little advertising for the European Commission, which contributed to this forest fire observation post).

At the top of this road is a nice flat area and this sign. To the right of the sign, a road continues up to the building, but the building is surrounded by a fence, so the actual peak is not accessible. That’s not a problem, the parking area is just a bit lower and a wire in the trees will clear the peak.

If I had been thinking, I wouldn’t have deployed the BuddiPole — there were perfectly good trees for my end-fed halfwave antenna. However, putting it up did give me the opportunity to try 30m as well as 20m. Propagation was good that morning: I ended up with 35 contacts, four of them SSB (for a change.), the rest CW.

I did run into one issue with the BuddiPole — the banana clips on the center feed and the coils have loosened over time. I noticed that SWR was way off after getting the antenna up to operating height and it turned out to be that the clip had popped out from the center feed. I taped it in place for the duration of the operation, but it seems to me there should be a better engineering solution to this.

While I do complain about the BuddiPole, it also has it good points. Tuning can take a while, but sometimes the result is worth it.

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