Wednesday, August 08, 2012


On friday 27th July it looked like I was not going to be playing radio. I had the afternoon off work, and a plan for a leisurely long and spanish-style lunch with some colleagues, to be followed by dinner and drinks at the beach until the wee hours.

As it turned out, I had to be up at 5.15 the following morning to bid my guests goodbye from our holiday house, and so dinner was not a sensible idea. And it turned out that not everyone was available for lunch, so after a nice but short stop at the local Teppanyaki, I was at a loose end.

Knowing I was in for a busy weekend, and since it was hot, I decided on the spot to go pick up the dog from home, and head up to Cerro Salada, an abandonded military base about an hour and a halfs drive from the city and 1581m altitude. A nice place to play radio and walk the dog, in a cooler atmosphere.

I arrived and took a nosey around (this was my third visit) and contacted Victor EA5KV on whatsapp to say that I had completely forgotten there was a trig point there. I had used it last year to support my buddipole, but at that time didnt know about the spanish DVGE award (see my June 13th 2012 entry regarding the contest). He looked it up on his computer and gave me the reference and so I went on to 40m and started calling, to see if I could oblige anyone and make them happy with a new reference.

I managed to get a nice small pileup going, but about half an hour into it, a station called in to say that my operation was "not valid". I was stopped in my tracks and asked what he meant. He explained to me that according to the diploma rules, if a trig point has been activated by someone, then contacts from that trig point will not be accepted for the award until a year has elapsed since that operation. I was dumbfounded, never having come across anything like that in the 24 years since I've been licenced as a ham. It's like if I go on an expedition to say, San Marino, and I get told my contacts don't count because somebody else was there recently! I mean, I was there, they were making a contact with the trig point in question, why shouldn't it count?

So I asked the guys what they wanted to do. Did they want me to continue? A kindly soul gave me a nice solution: I was in a semi-rare town for the DME (spanish towns) diploma, so surely folks would want to contact me for that. However there were several other stations who complained, saying that they needed the trig point for the award and why wasn't it valid? I had to explain that I had just gone there to walk my dog and cool off a bit, any problems with the diploma, they should go contact Radioclub Henares. the sponsor.

I suppose the organisers have a good reason for it, and its their award and they can organise it however they feel best, but for me, it's lost a good deal of the possible fun that I might have had out of it, having people arguing about it, and I don't think I'll be doing it again in a hurry.

At least Golfo had fun!

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