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VK JA ZL - EU S2S 10 March 2018 (Part 2)


Just read the other reports, especially Gerald’s, and it does appear that I was too late getting on the air with my mobile chaser station (about 0700z) to take advantage of what propagation there was on 20m. I think in my case, I backed the wrong horse and 30m would have been a better choice at that time. However, the number of CW operators in Oceania on that band using Morse would have reduced my prospects.

I admire the efforts of those who really went out of their way on this event by getting up in the middle of the night, travelling and then setting up in the dark before suffering the horrible wet WX they must have experienced, good on you guys.

73 Phil


I know it was private and well fenced Andy that’s all. We were on the road side of the fence though and not on private land. Summit is now deleted due to lack of prominence.

73 Phil


An interesting event and many thanks to the organisers and to the EU activators going to the extreme lengths required to activate in the weather conditions.

I had arranged with vk1ad to make a few quick contacts on 1296 and 2403 as we had line of sight between our summits. That was supposed to be all done and dusted by 0600 but actually dragged on due to equipment problems at my end. Suddenly Wade vk1mic popped up on 146.5 and announced he had just worked his first S2S into G. At that point I said to Andrew let’s quit messing around with microwaves and get onto hf, which is why we are here.

I then had to set up my 20m vertical so it was another 20+ mins before i was on 20m to hear big signals from VK and ZL and some weaker signals from some Europeans. That delay no doubt cost a few contacts. However it was at that stage still way before sunset and I was expecting condtions to improve in the last hour, as usual. That wasn’t the pattern on this occasion. Reading the comments about conditions being very selective at the European end, expecially the dead band experienced by Phil G4OBK, suggests that the final hop into many European stations was sporadic E occurring in the Atlantic where the sun was already active in the long path. Sporadic E does tend to switch off quickly whereas F layer tends to fade. When the usual time for long path F layer propagation arrived, there wasn’t sufficient F layer ionisation to support the path.

At my activation I had made the decision to run some extra power so was using the IC706 set to power level 4, which probably means somewhere between 30 and 50 watts. On ssb I used the inbuilt compressor at a low level. I made a few ssb contacts but signals sseemed to be fading so I went to CW. I noted several spots from Tom but never heard him but other stations were on his spotted 058 freq. I know I had multiple callers at one stage but only worked 2 of them and on completion of those contacts there were no further calls. We all have to try to get those contacts made quickly as otherwise callers give up and move on, I found the most time consuming was sending and receiving REF data which actually isn’t a required part of a SOTA contact.

When 20m faded out for Europe I put up a dipole for 30m and had some contacts into Europe including two DL4s, HB9DQM (big sig as usual Manuel) and several JAs. And VK2IO, 439 both ways.

On the subject of compression for ssb, I believe Wade VK1MIC and Andrew VK1AD would have been using compressors too. In marginal conditions improving the talk power of ssb is vital.

Including the local contacts made on vhf/uhf, my contact count was 26 with 21 S2S. I guess 5 or 6 of the S2S were on vhf/uhf.

Sorry to those who called but didn’t succeed. I think in many cases you actually did get through but only one contact can be made at a time.

Not bad for the sunspot minimum. Well done everyone, commiserations to those who had dead bands, thanks very much for your efforts.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH


Not the best DX for me, mostly due to poor choice of summit: hard to get antenna up well, even then rock blocking LP to Europe, worry about car being vandalised by the “car enthusiasts” who use the road 15min walk below as a racetrack at night.

Latitude also a possible factor here - was I the southernmost station?

Still, 11 contacts, all with VK and all strong signals, 9 S2S. Heard VKs working EU but the only one I heard was a SV and not well enough to work.

Thanks to the organisers. Will try next time from a different summit.

73 Andrew ZL3CC


Fantastic effort by all who took part, some truly inspiring stories! Very sad I couldn’t make it this time due to family commitments.

Did have a listen on 20m between 0630 and when I had to go out at 0700, heard not a peep above the local noise but the Hack Green Web SDR wasn’t showing much more…

Will definitely book myself for the EU<>NA event in April!

73 de Paul G4MD


The one reviewed there looked more than a bit as if it had been “got at”, or manufactured last thing on a Friday afternoon, what with the blobby solder joints and bits where the wire had just been twisted together. I suspect the one you actually have is in a rather better state, and that if you went out with the one reviewed you’d not do so well.

I’d be curious to see an objective (WSPRlite?) comparison between a good A-99 (with matching unit to make it work on 20 metres) and a well-made vertical for 20 metres mounted at the same height.


I think this gives a much better insight into the antenna.


At the end of the day, it’s an 11m antenna that works 20m thru 10m…Logs don’t lie…

Stick it on summit during E’s and work the 10m band and it’ll simply blow all the competition away…Period.


Hi MIke,
Will you give your Antron99 an afternoon go on the week 12 of 2018, starting March 19th (Monday) and ending on the 25th (Sunday) to explore TEP on 10m?



Thank you for lots of QSOs

De Katsu JP3DGT


Beautiful photo Katsu. A perfect example of a linked Inverted V, a good demo for others to learn from.

73 Andrew VK1AD


Sharing my S2S results on 20m, 23cm and 40m:

Europe: 7 S2S on 20m
2E0YYY at G/CE-002
EA2BD at EA2/NV-092
SV2HJW at SV/MC-077
YO6PIB at YO/EC-426
LZ1GJ at LZ/RO-155
SV2RUJ at SV/MC-075
OE9HRV at OE/VB-488

New Zealand: 4 S2S
ZL2ATH at ZL/WL-153
ZL3CC at ZL3/CB-806
ZL2AJ at ZL1/WK-195
ZL2KGF at ZL/TN-002

Australia: 7 S2S
VK6NU at VK6/SW-039
VK1MIC at VK1/AC-040
VK1DA/2 at VK2/ST-036 (23cm)
VK2HRX at VK2/IL-002
VK1MBE at VK1/AC-037
VK2IO at VK2/IL-017 (40m)
VK1CT at VK1/AC-043 (2m)

The following are new unique chased summits for me:

Chasers on 20m: F5PAU, RA6FN, JH1MXV, ZL3JD, VK6MB, VK6XN, EA2LU, ZL3RIK, VK4SYD, 9A7W, ZL4KD, ZL3QR, ZL1BYZ, 5B4AIX Cyprus first ever, VK6RZ, ZL2JML and ZL2EP both operating portable from a beach :slight_smile:

Chasers on 23cm: VK1MA, VK1ATP, VK1RX and Andrew VK1DA/2.

No VK chasers on 40m.

Thanks to everyone who participated and especially to the folks in Europe who got out of bed early to activate in poor weather or in snow. Look out for the next VK ZL JA - EU S2S extravaganza in October 2018. News on that event to follow after consultation with Mike and Ed. Finding a weekend without a conflicting contests is always fun.

Two photos:

In case you are wondering - Mt Mundoonen summit is host to a former aviation LF non-direction beacon and commercial and emergency services repeaters. The comms infrastructure buildings are fenced off, no access.

All EU contacts were made on the taller of the two Inverted V antennas. The 10m pole Inverted V is broadside east-west for long path propagation.

23cm set up. The signal path to Canberra is 54 km.

73 Andrew VK1AD


A truly fantastic night.

Longggg video now edited and uploaded. Both contacts with the G stations included.

17000km S2S on 5w Ssb.


Another enjoyable S2S event and my tally from VK2/IL-017 was 30 QSOs with 17 S2S. The S2S breakdown was 9 VK, 3 ZL, 4 JA and 1 EU. Chasers worked included 7 VK, 2 ZL, 3 JA and 1 EU. It was a surprise to work 7 JA stations (6x20m, 1x17m). Expect I may have missed some EU callers because the JA were so strong. Had trouble with my paddle too which made life interesting.
Manuel HB9DQM was the only EU S2S for me. Firstly chased him on 20m SSB but could not get through. Then later finally cracked him on 30m CW with much stronger signals. Hats off to the VKs who made the trip into EU with a much better path than I had. I think starting earlier would have been a good idea.
Thanks to all participants!

73, Gerard - VK2IO

Pictures from my activation and copy of my log here:
7 new photos added to shared album


Looks as though this thread is close to wrapping up.

As a final gesture I would like to thank Mike and Ed for their major contribution to advertising this exciting SOTA event via a comprehensive range of communication methods and social media platforms.

Encouraging others to partipate in a global event takes a fair amount of time and effort. Thank you Mike and Ed :smile: :wink:

Lookout for the next VK ZL JA - EU S2S bonanza in October 2018.

73 Andrew VK1AD


I have not flew out of Europe. But the idea is great. I am waiting for the next meetings. I had cool friends at the top for such an early season. two women at the top. There are rather few women in this game - 73’Sylwia
MY dougther LENA, SQ9NOT Wioletta. SQ9MDN Jacek!


Having being a bit disappointed at not getting any Long Path DX contacts on Saturday, I’ve decided to give it another go, this time getting out an hour earlier. This will not be a big organised event like the last one but all are welcome to activate around the same time if you feel like it. “The more the merrier”.


Date 30th. March 2018 (Good Friday) from 05:30 UTC.
Summit (at present) DL/AL-171 Eisenberg


If anyone is interested in Castles On The Air (World Castle Association) it’s details are:
Burgruine Eisenberg

The reason for choosing Good Friday, is that as well as being a public holiday where most people are not working, it is also after we change the clock in Central Europe (and the UK) making it easier to get out at an earlier (UTC) time. It is also the last chance to get Winter Activator Bonus points in DL (and several other European regions). An added benefit is that I don’t think there are any major contests during the day on Good Friday (a couple of NCC RTTY & CW sprints finish by 3am).

73 Ed DD5LP.


Good plan Ed.

Suggest you start a new thread for it, with its own title, date etc. I reckon there’ll be plenty of enthusiasm for it.


Hi Tom as I said, this is purely a quick announcement. My intention is not to start another organised event like on Saturday as I half expect this not to work very well given the current propagation but I wanted to try my gear from another (less noisy - I hope) location at an earlier time.

I’ve alerted so, that’s probably enough for the chasers and as I said if any other activators want to go out at the same time, that’d be great but I’m not organising that.

73 Ed.


Fair enough Ed. I was about to take on promoting it myself, as I think it’s a great idea, and also about to alert myself. Then I checked my Google Calendar and found that I’m gigging the night before - in Cardiff!


Well if your Gig doesn’t run too long (or indeed if it does and you don’t need the sleep), I’m sure there must be some good summits around Cardiff - not sure how easy they will be to access at 6:30am local though. The other question is whether you have other commitments on Good Friday of course.

GW/SW-037 Craig yr allt up from the Rockwood riding centre doesn’t look too bad.

In any case if you feel like it and am able to get to a summit on Good Friday morning, it’ll be good to have a contact (presuming I can hear you - I couldn’t hear Mike on Saturday).

73 for now…

And this closes the second thread for the (now over) EU-VK (and elsewhere) S2S event in March 2018. Hope those taking part had fun. I know despite the lack of contacts, I did have fun.