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Thanks VK


In reply to VK3ARR:

I’ll post a full blog post with our walk in once the pictures make it
off the camera.

Blog post now up at: http://vk3arr.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/the-long-way-in/



It would appear my plan to give the VK chasers a new summit, backfired somewhat.

The alarm went off at 0400 local time and I was on the road by 0500 for the simple, mostly motorway and dual carriageway, 65 mile drive to G/SP-010.

When I arrived at the summit, there was a very strong, cold wind and poor visibility. The thermometer was showing 2°c but with the wind chill, it was much colder. In a very short time I came to the conclusion, this was not going to be a very long activation.

The one good thing about this summit is the comms, no problem with the mobile phone and excellent 3g coverage. My self spot appeared at 0639 and Mark G0VOF was first in the log. Always good to have a natter with Mark. My first impression of the 20m band was that it was going to be hard work. After a run of 5 EU chasers, I heard Andrew VK1DA trying for a s2s, however, the band just wasn’t open enough. About 5 minutes later, Mike, VK3XL, called with a much stronger signal. Mike was followed by Tony VK3CAT, Ernie VK3DET and then Andrew VK1DA/P activating VK1/AC-008 making the s2s.

Respect to Colin M0BUU/P who called me at 0659 for a s2s from G/NP-010. A fine effort to be qrv at that time.

This was the first time I’ve activated G/SP-010 Winter Hill and it certainly lived up to its name. Trust me, this ain’t no Shining Tor. Tough 20m conditions on a summit whose HF take-off leaves a lot to be desired IMHO.

Sorry, I missed you Tom, you were on the CW portion of 12m when I came looking for you and after about 1hr 40mins, the cold got the better of me.

45 contacts for the activation just 7 on the 12m band the rest worked on 20m.

8 VK’s worked, with one s2s, on a band that was suffering severe electrical storms in VK, is a fine result. Thanks also to John VK6NU, Matt VK2DAG (20m and 12m) and Matt VK1MA.

As ever, thanks to all the early bird chasers.

73 Mike


In reply to 2E0YYY:

Mike, thanks for the contacts today. My alarm went off at 4.20am, I hit the road at about 4.40. I’m not sure what time I arrived at the honesty box, but in any case I reached Pen Y Ghent summit at 6.20am. I had expected the wind as I’ve been watching the forecast all week, seeing the nice sunny weather slowly ebbing away into fogginess. The wind chill was much worse than I anticipated this morning, I should have opted for the full duvet jacket rather than just the feather vest.

Once my phone had decided which tower it wanted to connect to, I saw a spot for you so I configured for 20m fully expecting not to hear a thing, but actually you were very strong. I was thrilled to manage a contact with VK3XL on SSB. 10,500 miles with 5w to a low dipole!

I tried 12m CW but it seems like I wasn’t picked up by a skimmer. I saw that Tom M1EYP had been spotted so I tuned down 2kHz for an S2S with G/SP-013.

I was very cold by the time I switched to 12m SSB, I was amazed that you found me so fast Mike! I could just about make out odd words from VK2DAG as you worked him on my QRG. I was too cold to hang around for long, so went QRT sometime just after 8am. I was back home enjoying a shower by 10.30, all in all a good mornings work!

73, Colin


I didn’t hear a dickie bird from VK this morning on 12m. Pleased with A9 and the three S2S though.

you were on the CW portion of 12m when I came looking for you

You’ll have to give some thought to adding CW to your armoury Mickey. Both Colin and I are examples of people who have come into the hobby on Class B (no code) licences, and learned morse later. In Colin’s case, I presume he did this much earlier than me in order to get his M0CGH callsign. That licence upgrade had long gone by the time I learned morse; I just did it because of the massive boost it gives you in SOTA.



In reply to M1EYP:


Tom, I always had my class A licence in mind, I passed the RAE in summer 1997 and started with the CW tuition pretty much straight away. I very much struggled to learn Morse, but I just scraped through my test at a radio rally on February 14th 1999. The examiner was lenient! I’ve always been fascinated by Morse but never found it easy.

I agree, being able to use CW increases DX potential enormously.

73, Colin


In reply to M1BUU:

Hello Colin,

"…I was thrilled to manage a contact with VK3XL on SSB. 10,500 miles with 5w to a low dipole! "

Well done.

Worthwhile getting up at 0420 eh? :wink:

Best wishes
Mike G6TUH


In reply to M1BUU:

Hi Colin,

I heard you working Tom on 12m CW & listened around to try to find you calling on your own QRG but by then you must have been setting up for SSB.

I heard your QSO with VK3XL on 20m SSB & he was a massive signal here in Blackburn. I could also hear other VK’s calling you & Andrew VK1DA on his own SSB frequency. Sadly I didn’t work any VK’s this morning as my monitoring of 14.062 for Andrew was before the band had opened up to this part of the UK.

Thanks also to Mike 2E0YYY & Tom M1EYP for the QSO’s before I went for a nap just after 8AM (I had been up since 2AM)

Thanks & 73,

Mark G0VOF


In reply to MIBUU & G0VOF:

The 20m band came up quite bit a short of what it has been recently, so I was absolutely delighted when Colin made his qrp VK contact this morning. To be on G/NP-010 Pen y Ghent at 0620z, meant this contact was thoroughly deserved.

Here’s to plenty more, Colin…

73 Mike


In reply to 2E0YYY:

I think that’s it for me for now Mike. Not sure when I’ll be out activating seriously again, summer time is family time in our household.

I was so fired up about contacting VK that I hauled my FT817 up Pen Y Ghent, normally this rig exists as a lab instrument at M1BUU. I had a lightbulb moment when I woke up this morning, I had been using my FT817 to do some testing and been using the attenuator function - as I seemed to be struggling hearing signals yesterday, I wondered if the attenuator was still switched on, so I powered up the rig this morning and sure enough, I had had the attenuator switched on the whole time yesterday, doh!

I didn’t hear any other VK chasers calling me but the odds were stacked against me anyway not being able to get the dipole up high because of the wind and losing 10dB with the attenuator!

Back to the RockMites! :slight_smile:



In reply to M1BUU:

Quote " I had had the attenuator switched on the whole time yesterday, doh!"

Hi Colin,

That would explain the 559 report you gave me versus the 599 I gave you. At least you know the attenuator works :wink: Hi!

Thanks & best 73,

Mark G0VOF


In reply to M1BUU:

You’ve been bitten by the VK bug Colin, I’m afraid you’re all but doomed :wink:

Agreed, about the antenna. I’m “very” pernickety about how I have mine set-up. I’m a great believer in the motto “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”, although the amount of stuff I’ve left behind in the house or car when arriving at a summit, almost beggars belief. Eg, log book and pens two weeks ago :frowning:

Catch ya from the summits…

73 Mike


Well, it didn’t take much rain to mess up the track of Gun G/SP-013. I noted that Tom M1EYP had managed it in trainers a few days ago, so decided to follow his lead. When I reached the gate which is no more than 50 metres from the parking spot, it was a quick about turn to put some boots on.

Anyhow, I was much earlier than anticipated and was self spotted and QRV by 0618 on the 20m band. My first DX call was Tony VK3CAT, who in the log by 0625. The going was bit slow until Ernie VK3DET showed up at at 0635. Dino SV3IEG/P on Pergari SV/AT-033 was my first s2s followed by Andrew VK1MBE, activating VK1/AC-040 for I think our first contact. Ex-pat Mike ZL2CC called in with a booming signal and a nice rag chew followed. As ever, nice to get Phil G4OBK and Don G0RQL in the log.

Thanks to Andrew VK1NAM/P for VK1/AC/037 my eighth s2s with the VK1/AC association 6 of them unique.

A couple of North Americans and a few more VK’s called in amongst them Paul VK5PAS, who was putting out a belting signal.

At 0826, I noticed a spot for Inky on the 12m band, who was up on EA8/LA-011 and called in for a s2s.

My own attempt at the 12m band was rubbish, with just two contacts logged in about 20 minutes of calling. So, I chucked the towel in.

62 contacts logged
DX worked…
11 VK contacts, two of them s2s.
2 North America contacts
One ZL contact.

As ever, thanks to all the callers…

73 Mike


In reply to 2E0YYY:

You’ve been bitten by the VK bug Colin, I’m afraid you’re all but doomed ;-)<

We are a friendly bunch down under, we don’t bite too often. Speaking of bugs, it’s the VKs that have been bitten by the EU bug. Yesterday’s activation was my 14th DX activation to target chasers in the EU and UK.

I now have the minimum number of unique S2S contacts with DM, G and OE, which count for the Mountain Hunter Award. I need one more each from Wales GW and DL Alpine to complete a set of 10 pairs. The actual DX count is:

DM: 8, G: 4, OE: 3, DL: 1 and GW: 1.

It was good to work Tom M1EYP for the first time on SP-015 and a new unique S2S with Herbert OE9HRV on OE/VB-511.

Mike I will look at activating VK1/AC-038 next week. This could be a new unique summit for many chasers including yourself. Will see how the WX is shaping for an activation next week.


Andrew, VK1NAM


In reply to VK1NAM:

Hello Andrew,

Mike 2E0YYY did well today and so have you!

Never ‘chatted’ with a ZL station more than a few minutes before being kicked into the gutter by big stations! So YYY must have some special RF grease.

"Mike I will look at activating VK1/AC-038 next week. This could be a new unique summit for many chasers including yourself. Will see how the WX is shaping for an activation next week. "

Andrew ears wide open for 038 :sunglasses:

Night night/g day
Mike G6TUH


In reply to VK1NAM:

Thanks for the s2s today, Andrew. VK1/AC-038 would be a unique for me too. I’ll keep an eye on the alerts and see what I can do to give you a s2s unique also.

73 Mike


I’ll also be out this weekend. Still fleshing out plans with an on going battle with NPWS and State Forrest to get access to a 8 pointer.

If not I’ll end the day at Bindo VK2/CT-003 or one of the other closer peaks depending on camping (RF noise) conditions. All 8 pointers too.

Also want to hear NA chasers when I get up next day 20z onwards.

I’ll try to post an alert when I know a bit more.

Matt -VK2DAG-


In reply to VK2DAG:
Matt here at Dave’s. Rain stopped me so I am hiding here for the night and will tray again tomorrow night.

Matt -VK2DAG-


The alarm went off at 0430 local time in order to give me sufficient time to activate G/SP-017 Billinge Hill and hopefully find some dx. Once again, I chose this summit in order to give VK/ZL what would almost certainly be a unique.

The summit is a doddle to find and ascend. I followed G4OBK Phill’s directions from his blog and was at the trig point in under 20 minutes.

This is a very pretty little summit with surprisingly good views for its modest 174 Metres of elevation. There’s a very convenient fence right next to the trig point and getting the A-99 bungeed up was a piece of cake.

A self spot found Vlado OM1AX waiting along with the ever dependable Mark G0VOF. Within five minutes VK5, VK2, VK3, VK8 were in the log. Big, big thanks to Greg VK8GM in Alice Springs, for pulling me out and giving me my first VK8 contact which is a fiendishly difficult SOTA region to find outside of Australia.

As ever, Paul VK5PAS was there with his wicked signal, Nev VK5WG popped in as did Tony VK3CAT. A s2s with Ian VK1DI was turning this into a very special activation. Andrew VK1MBE, wasn’t going to be left out, thanks Andrew.

A delighted John VK2YW, made the trip for his first SOTA DX contact, nice signal John.

Ernie VK3DET and Gerard VK2IO called in for the unique as did John VK6NU with his qrp power.

Calls from Peter VK3PF, Adam VK2YK, Patrick VK5MPJ, Bernard VK3AMB, were also logged.

Thanks to the VK chasers for taking the time to call in, I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone.

In amongst the VK dx there were a couple of North American calls from KY and IL, the advantage of being vertical, I guess.

Plenty of EU callers also making the trip, once again thanks to EU for your patience and allowing me to work the DX in the small window that’s available.

A visit to the 12m band proved to be very disappointing with just 10 contacts logged.

Billinge Hill turned out to be a remarkably good summit for dx, despite my reservations when leaving home this morning. Once again the Antron-99 demonstrating what a remarkably versatile antenna it is.

The 20m band produced 56 contacts, 14 VK’s, one of them a s2s.
VK1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, regions worked.
Two North American contacts also worked.

66 contacts for the activation…

Fine couple of hours radio, many thanks to all the chasers.

73 Mike


In reply to 2E0YYY:

Hello Mike, thanks for the report - good stuff.

I managed to have a contact with Ian VK1DI this morning but there was very high noise levels here and not helped by the fact that I lowered my antenna to 3m as there were high winds here last night and still down so Ian has very good ears.

You also did very well with the NA stations at that time of day - the KT and IL must have been on the ball.

Bye for now
Mike G6TUH


In Reply to 2E0YYY:

Hi Mike, very well done on the DX this morning. I was also up early & toyed with the idea of popping over on the motorbike to say hello, but a look out of the window at 5AM revealed Snow had fallen so I took the easy option of staying home & working you instead :wink:

I had earlier listened to the ARRL centenary operation W1AW/KH2 on Guam on CW further down the band, sadly I didn’t work them before they went QRT but at least it showed the band was open to that part of the world. You were easy to work from Blackburn & it was very nice to hear such good signals from the VK’s that called you, I did record some of your activation but only thought to do this after your initial run of about half a dozen different VK areas in about 5 minutes!

You do extremely well with the Antron A-99 one of which I have had on my chimney for over 20 years. Only 5 metres of wire in a fibreglass case, but very sturdy, which is why I bought one.

Ever dependable?? Hi Hi!

Thanks for the contact & best 73,

Mark G0VOF