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VK/ZL/JA <> EU S2S Event 21 Oct 17


Hi Jo

Great to make the S2S contact with you, Sylvia and Peter. Signals from your summit in Austria were strong. My station is a Yaesu FT-857D at 40 watts into a 1/2 wave inverted V dipole at 7 metres, broadside east/west for long path propagation.

I listened for Ed DD5LP/P, Mike 2E0YYY/P and Rob G7LAS/P. I did hear Mike once on 14.337 MHz.

20m turned on a treat for me at Mt Mundoonen VK2/ST-053, best 20m band conditions in 12 months or so. 23 QSOs and 15 S2S contacts :slight_smile:

Summit to Summits stations worked in order:

Warren ZL2AJ/P - ZL1/WK-147
John VK6NU/P - VK6/SW-042
Chris VK1CT - VK1/AC-043 (2m FM)
Csaba YO6PIB/P - YO/MC-136
Sylvia OE5YYN/P - OE/OO-330
Jo OE5JFE/P - OE/OO-330
Peter OE5AUL/P - OE/OO-330
Jany LZ1GJ/P - LZ/RO-144
Christian HB9SOTA/P - HB/AR-004
Ralf HB9GKR/P - HB/BE-048
Herbert OE9HRV/P - OE/VB-488
Stavros LZ/SV2RUJ/P - LZ/RO-012
Aaron VK1LAJ/P - VK1/AC-040
Gerard VK2IO - VK2/SY-002 (80m LSB)
Andrew VK1MBE - VK1/AC-037

Chasers on 20m; RN3QN, IZ5ILF, OK2PDT, R2AGM, 9A7W, EU2MM, ON5SWA. One chaser on 80m Peter VK3PF and no chasers on 40m.

I went QRT at 0820 UTC, 5 minutes before VK1 sunset.

Driving to Mt Mundoonen VK2/ST-053

Setting up on Mt Mundoonen

80m end fed on a separate pole threaded over my linked dipole.

A huge thanks to everyone who participated, I hope you all had similar success. Lookout for the next VK/ZL/JA - EU S2S QSO Party in March 2018.

73, Andrew VK1AD


We don’t seem to be able to upload portrait format pictures… Can anyone help?
73, Sylvia


Hello Andrew,

Thanks for sharing pictures and background info. Weather looks a lot more comfortable.

As my digital mode experiment failed I was very happy that the KX3 mic got passed around. My thanks go to Sylvia and Peter.
So at least for the QSO with you, Andrew, I think it was the KX3 running 10 Watt without any additional amp as far as I can tell. Peter please correct me.

Btw. here is the link to the webcams that are mounted at the summit viewpoint:
especially this one here:
From 7:30 local time (21.10.) you can see a little bit of action. And the wx data embedded in the pictures.

VK/ZL/JA - EU S2S QSO Party March 2018 it is. Will request nice wx !

73 de Joe


Hi Andrew,

Many thanks for trying. I monitored your QRG, for well over 5 minutes, I knew you were there, but no chance of a s2s.



Some photos from today’s Sota Activation from Mt.William VK6/SW-042. Terrible band conditions with constant S7 noise levels made it hard going. 12 Stations worked with 4 S2S contacts. No European Sota stations worked or heard.

Little aerial on the left I think I needed the big one today.

Fire lookout which is manned from November to May, This area was nearly wiped out in the massive Yarloop fires in 2016. Its made a great recovery.

Kangaroo Paw the floral emblem of Western Australia. One of the many beautiful wildflower near the summit.

Thanks to the chasers today and to the other Activators VK1AD/2 ZL2AJ/P VK1CT/P VK1LAJ/P for the for the S2S contacts.


John VK6NU


Arrived at HB/AI-001 on time, however with unfavourable weather conditions: foggy, cold and wet. Wind speed on the summit was so high that I had to find a place in a sheltered position on the hiking path a couple of metres below. My 8m fibreglass mast was bent almost horizontally by the wind, so instead of a dipole I wired my antenna as a kind of “c” shaped ground plane. and that not free-range on the summit but in a corner close to the rocks… :unamused:

Did not manage any VK/ZL/JA S2S although I put hopes on the elevated position compensating for the mediocre antenna. Finalised the activation on 2m FM with a S2S with Tom who activated HB9SOTA on a nearby summit.

In better weather conditions I would have stayed longer until all batteries would have been exhausted. However I didn’t feel trying to optimise the antenna setup even though my daughter was supplying me with hot tea :slight_smile:

Sorry, no photos available, my daughter wanted to take some pictures but she was afraid her camera would get damaged by getting wet.

Vy 73 de Jens, HB9EKO


Hi Sylvia,

I did one earlier and it worked, didn’t want to load first try but worked at my second attempt .

Sorry missed you guys today

John VK6NU


Yeah, sorry we missed you, too. We were listening out for you on the spotted frequencies but couldn’t hear anything… not even in CW.

Well, there is always a next time :slight_smile: !

Just checked your pictures. There is one in portrait format… Will have to look into my “image problem” a little later.

73, Sylvia


Activated Riley’s Mtn VK2/SY-002 today for the S2S party and mainly operating on 20m CW. There were so many activations that it was hard to keep up with the spots as I was chasing on both CW and SSB. Great to see!
I made the following S2S contacts on 20m CW:

HB9AFI/P @ HB/VD-043
HB9CBR/P @ HB/BE-111
LZ2OQ/P @ LZ/KV-021
VK1AD/2 @ VK2/ST-053 (80m SSB)
JI1IHV/1 @ JA/ST-017 (17m CW)

Also made contacts on 20m CW with HA8BJ, OK1DVM, JA1VVH, EU2MM, OK2PDT and JL1NIE. On 80m SSB worked VK3PF/P, VK5CZ, VK3GGG and VK3PMG.
Chased a lot of SSB stations too but was not able to make a contact. I heard and called Jon VK6NU, Herbert OE9HRV and Ralf HB9GKR all on 20m SSB. Warren ZL2AJ, Mike 2E0YYY and Sylvia OE5YYN were not heard at all. I did hear Ed DD5LP but not strong enough for a contact.

Antennas used were an elevated quarter wave ground plane for 20m and also a ZS6BKW inverted-Vee at 9m for all bands. In all cases on the ground plane 20m signals were stronger or as strong as signals on the ZS6BKW and the ground plane was quieter on receive so I stayed with that. Operating location was many km from any development so the noise must have been atmospheric. A 50W linear was used until late in the activation when the battery was found to be exhausted. Quite likely I had been calling with much reduced power without knowing it. I went QRT at sunset 0810z and walked for 30 mins in the twilight back to the car thru the Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041.

Photos from the activation can be found here:
8 new photos added to shared album
A very pleasant activation and I’m looking forward to the next S2S event.
Thanks for all the calls - and well done to Andrew VK1AD for making so many EU contacts!

Gerard - VK2IO


I awoke with my alarm at 0400 UTC. I awoke again with my second alarm at 0405 UTC. I awoke for a third time without an alarm at 0530 UTC - drat.

So I was always going to be late. While checking SOTAwatch in the kitchen over a mug of coffee, I saw that Rob G7LAS had switched his alert from The Cloud G/SP-015 to Bardon Hill G/CE-004 to escape Storm Brian. I took the opportunity to amend my own from Gun G/SP-013 to my favoured The Cloud G/SP-015. I knew the prevailing wind was southerly, so I reasoned I could set up relatively comfortably just below the rocks at the north end of the summit.

So why I didn’t stick to Plan A, goodness knows. Broadcast weather bulletins all day have been reporting that Storm Brian has not materialised in quite as destructive force as predicted, and I certainly felt setting up the 20m GP was viable when I reached Cloud summit. I did, with difficulty, and one running repair needed as a radial snapped away, but then made a few S2S QSOs. All too soon though, the mast was on the ground again, the result of a second radial snapping. I had wondered during the earlier to drive whether to use my SOTAbeams guying kit to take the strain off the radials - how I wished I had!

There was no rain forecast for this part of the day - but it was lashing it down as I made the second repair, and to be honest, I was a bit fed up. As I was making this second radial repair, the third radial snapped - and this was with the system lying on the ground and no part of it under strain or tension!

At last I had some clarity of thought. I quickly completed the second and third radial repairs, but then packed everything down and back into the rucksack. I made the short walk to the sheltered “mini cave” operating spot below the rocks on the north end of the summit, and set up again there. As I set the GP up again, with not a breath of wind to contend with, I gave myself a good mental ticking-off for not doing this to start with - as I had originally envisaged when editing my alerted summit earlier!

The rest of the activation passed without incident! Well there was the usual nonsense when a station on an adjacent hill refused to work me and another who suddenly couldn’t hear me when I enquired on-air about my access to the HEMA Database - http://hema.org.uk/activatorLeague.jsp - but it was only what I was expecting.

20m CW: 7 contacts, including 2 S2S
20m SSB: 13 contacts, including 8 S2S

Total: 20 contacts, including 10 S2S. 3 SOTA SWL logs.

OE5AUL/P on OE/OO-330
OE5YYN/P on OE/OO-330
OE5JFE/P on OE/OO-330
G7LAS/P on G/CE-004
GW0WPO/P on GW/NW-043
2E0HPI/P on G/TW-002
OE9HRV/P on OE/VB-388
LZ2OQ/P on LZ/KV-021
HB9SOTA on HB/AR-004
YO8SSH/P on YO/EC-630

2E0YYY/P on G/SP-004
SV1RHL/P on SV/EP-067
OM/SQ9MDF/P on OM/ZA-021


Not being able to get to a SOTA summit in the time iI had available, I decided to take advantage of the low noise level at the local club’s contest site. I was on between 06:30 and 08:30 UTC and heard many European SOTA stations, including Mike 2E0YYY, Rob G7LAS and Tom M1EYP. The only DX heard was Andrew VK1AD/2, but I must have been listening the same time as Ed as I too discovered the frequency was also being used by a European station. Unfortunately I was working blind as I found the site has a full O2 phone signal, but no internet coverage. Lots of listening and just 6 SOTA stations worked . I didn’t sign /P in order to avoid the question whether I was on a SOTA summit.

Overall an enjoyable event. Thanks to Mike and Andrew for setting it up. Looking forward to the next one subject to when I receive the call for surgery.

73, Gerald G4OIG


Joe OE5JFE helped me solve the problem. Here are some more pictures of our activation on the observation tower on OE/OO-330.

73, Sylvia


I’d prefer it if people didn’t refer to that scheme on here for the simple reason membership/access is discriminatory and non-inclusive.


It’s a good scheme Andy, and complements SOTA well. The crossover in interest between SOTA and HEMA is obvious. It’s originator Mike @G4BLH is a long-time SOTA stalwart who I still work and speak to from time-to-time. Sure it’s unfortunate that myself and possibly some others are currently blocked out from the scheme for no apparent reason, but I’m hopeful that this is temporary situation, and that if and when stewardship gets passed to someone else, then I can resume participation. I’ve got several activator and chaser logs for HEMA that I can’t currently enter, and it looks like my entire past activator and chaser record in this scheme has been deleted - so I’d have to dig all that out again when the situation improves.

But I see your point that while I say “it’s a good scheme” - under the current arrangements, it is anything but. Fingers crossed for a resolution though - or at least an explanation. I should add that Mike G4BLH has kindly offered to maintain a separate record of my HEMA logs and issue awards directly to me while the current situation exists, which is very kind of him. But I’d like to be in the Database and allowed to join in the discussion group like everyone else really!


That’s the key point. It’s a fine complimentary scheme and particpation in one is not detrimental to the other or vice versa. It’s much like how the trig award for WAB enables SOTA activators to take part in two completely different award schemes. Or when Wainright activations were much more common, you could take a nice walk up to a SOTA summit and activate a few Wainrights on the way. Complementary schemes and taking part in one does not preclude taking part in another.

However, as long as people are excluded from HEMA for unpublished reasons and the scheme organisers have insufficient backbone to tell people that they cannot take part in HEMA and why they cannot take part, then it is not something to benefit from recogition on here due to its divisive and discriminatory nature.


Most of the people who can answer your concerns can not reply on this reflector as they aren’t allowed access. Tit for tat springs to mind.


This feud is off topic.


Hardly. I haven’t broken any rules of the HEMA programme.

Hardly. It always comes about on these DX S2S events when one of the organisers refuses to have a QSO with me and his mate refuses to explain my exclusion from the HEMA programme or the SOTA FE Facebook group.


What a bizarre yet revealing reply Steve. If I apply for access to HEMA I expect a reply saying yes or no from either the website or in an email to the email address provided at registration. I certainly wouldn’t expect the information to be placed on a public forum belonging to another award scheme. But apparently I should expect the reply to appear on here. What happens is you don’t get told "Sorry you cannot take part because of ", you get ignored. If the scheme organisers want to restrict access then that’s fine, their ball so their rules. But at least they could man enough to say why and not hide away.

And as long as this discrimination is practiced then the scheme is tarnished by such management decisions.

Time to go, my flight is being called…


Nice location Matt. You came on 14 MHz directly to me. Tnx for S2S contact.
GL es 73