Oslo, Norway; My first European activation

NPOTA Entity: N/A

SOTA summit: Tryvannshogda LA/OS-003 (2 points)

Activation Date: Sept  6, 2016

Portable operation: Yes

Radio: Elecraft KX2 operating at 10 watts

Antenna: LNR Trail Friendly end fed 40-10m

Bands used: 20m and 40m

Furthest QSO: ~800 miles to DJ2MX (Munich, Germany)

Hike in: Yes, ~0.5 miles round trip and 500 ft ascent from Voksenkollen T Bane train station on Blue number 1 line (20 minute ride from downtown Oslo)

Solo operation: Yes

Recommend: Yes

N Telia Coverage: Great

Photos: Copyright Paul Gacek 2016

The train snakes its way around the mountain gaining altitude as we pass houses, hamlets and people readying themselves for another day. The platforms grow shorter, some are curved like a banana and “mind the gap” announced in English is a useful warning to the unsuspecting.

I pass the stop for the the Ski Museum that had proved to be another gem in this country of surprises. The views south across Oslo and then its fjord flanked with green islands was breathtaking.

Looking into Oslo from the Ski Museum part way up the peak I’m activating

I eagerly watch the next station display for Voksenkollen and now it’s my turn to mind the gap on this Monday morning journey.

Destination is Voksenkollen toward end of Blue 1 line (top right)
My train at Voksenkollen

It’s probably no more than a 1/4 to 1/2 mile walk to the AZ which seems to encompass large amounts of concrete shaped into roads, car parks and structures.

Blue dot is Tryvannshogda (my radio location)
Oslo is quite far north!!


I’m excited as this is my first non US activation but not sure what to expect.

Deploying my SOTA station is rote and it’s up quickly. Spotting yields no chasers for the first 20 or 30 minutes. Maybe everyone is heading to work this Monday morning and unawares of my first non US activation. Scanning the band I hear we are in the midst of a geomagnetic storm. How inconsiderate I think, I’m on vacation and on a tight schedule. Maybe I should have mustered more energy at the weekend and not waited till Monday. I “crash” the geomagnetic storm announcer who is more than willing to help out and be my first QSO as it turns out to be Phil, G4OBK whom I had had a memorable 17m 10 watt SSB contact from a California SOTA activation to his QTH in the UK a few months earlier. I can hear UK accents in the mud and eventually log Terry, G0VWP and John, G4KHM. Having struggled with 40m I try 20m nabbing Mario, DJ2MX and finally the legendary Jan, OK2PDT who had more points than imaginable. 90 minutes after setting up shop and now having 5 contacts breakfast beckons and I retrace my steps back to my hotel in central Oslo feeling chuffed and excited with my first European activation.

On a closing note, my wife and I enjoyed our trip to Oslo immensely. Great people, tons of museums, shops, cafes and restaurants. Unsurprisingly, Norwegians love the mountains and while Britain has a pub on each street corner, the US a Starbucks the Norwegians have a hiking store on each corner and into each I went. One was the Norwegian Trekking Association that had for sale a quintessential Norwegian wooden hiking cup/mug that is now mine.

My first piece of Norwegian hiking gear




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