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ZS activations Sep 2015



I’ll be travelling to South Africa next week and hoping to activate a few summits while I’m there. I have posted some alerts to SOTAwatch, but I will preface with the fact that days, times, frequencies and summits may change. The purpose of the trip is to reconnect with family there, not to activate SOTA. Well, partly to activate SOTA. OK, who am I kidding? SOTA will feature prominently.

I will have HF and VHF capabilities, up to 50W and into a Buddistick vertical. With current solar conditions suggesting I’d be highly unlikely to carry the journey up to EU or across to VK, I expect I will be conversing with the locals, but I hope folks will be listening and pointing your monstrous beams south!



Hi Andrew,
Have a great time with family.
I will listen out and hopefully make a contact.
In any event good luck :smile:

PS:Just checked my log - four ZS summits last year but you never know miracles can happen !!


Hi Andrew,

I’d be prepared to look for you at any time. One local VK3 works into South Africa on a regular weekly sked basis almost without fail, mainly on 20 m. The hours are a bit unsociable. 4 ele monobanders and “400” w. Your 50 W sound good, the buddy pole not quite so but hey you have to get in on the plane.

I have heard some humungous SA signals on 10 m in other sunspot cycles. This one is fizzling. 20 m is most likely the best dx band from over there.



Two activations attempted, no success so far. One lack of contacts, one locked gate.

More attempts next week!


Hi Andrew,
Sorry there wasn’t a result.

I had the beam in the right direction and monitored SOTAwatch for 10 minutes before and 2 hours after your nominated activation time but saw no spot or amendment to the Alert. If I had had a frequency on 20 m I could have listened for you on I’d have done that. maybe you had no access from the site. A nominal freq +/- QRM might be worth considering.



Hi Ron,
Andrew was spotted for the GP-001 activation on Tuesday, the alert showed Wednesday, so that’s possibly why you didn’t hear him. Nothing heard from here on Tuesday unfortunately. VOCAP says best option is 12m but with the band conditions as they are it’ll be the luck of the draw. Hopefully propagation will be better next week.
Thanks for trying Andrew.

73 Ed.


Hi Ed,
I guess that would explain why.



Hi Andrew. Been checking VOACAP and 20m would be mostly pretty useless for VK. You’d need the 400W and 4 elements. For eastern VK a couple of hours around 0600z, best to use 17m and to a lesser extent 15m. Much better chance later on from 1400z-2000z where 30m should give greater sigs. Around your sunset 40m would come good too.
For western VK, 0700z on 17m, 1200-1300z on 20m (maybe) and 1300z-2000z on 30m are OK. 40m just before sunset is actually best for the west. All these are via the short path. There may be some long path propagation on 15m from 0600z to 0800z too.
Look forward to chasing you on the next activation - missed the last one.

Cheers, Gerard - VK2IO


Hello Andrew,

I called you about 1209Z on the 15th September. You were 31 on my SteppIR vertical.

Of course it could have been a headphones hallucination !

Thanks for trying.

Best wishes.


For getting a DX signal out of Kenya during daylight I’ve found 15 metres (and up, when conditions allow) more reliable than most. 17 metres has sometimes worked during the day. 20 metres has sometimes worked as an early morning or late afternoon DX band, but not in the middle of the day, and 40 metres has only been good for relatively local contacts until well after dark. I suspect some of that’s down to the intensity of the D layer when the Sun is straight overhead, though, and ZS may not suffer so severely, being well south of the equator, but with HF conditions the way they are it’s going to be hard work to qualify any SOTA summits unless you can drum up some local chasers…


Date:05/Jan/2013 G/SP-013 (Gun) 2E0YYY/P 12:25z 5Z4/M0LEP 21MH SSB
Date:06/Jan/2013 G/WB-003 (Stiperstones) 2E0YYY/P 12:50z 5Z4/M0LEP 21MHz SSB
Date:19/Dec/2013 G/SP-013 (Gun) 2E0YYY/P 13:28z 5Z4/M0LEP 24MHz SSB
Date:06/Jan/2014 G/SP-013 (Gun) 2E0YYY/P 12:20z 5Z4/M0LEP 24MHz SSB
Date:14/Apr/2015 G/SP-013 (Gun) 2E0YYY/P 13:33z 5Z4/M0LEP 21MHz SSB

Indeed Rick, all our G/5Z4 contacts were 15m and above.

73 Mike


Hi Mike, was that on 20 or 40?

I didn’t stay long on 20 due to the antenna support (my father) complaining of a bad back! :smile:


Hi Andrew,
20M.Sorry to hear about your dad. No doubt you rewarded him in some way when you got back :wink:


Hi Rick,
VOCAP indicates at the moment around midday UTC, 12m would be the best band to use to contact either VK or EU. I’m not sure if Andrew has 12m (or 15m) with him though. I was surprised to see the higher frequency bands being better, but that’s what VOCAP was indicating here.



[quote=“DD5LP, post:14, topic:11542”]the higher frequency bands being better[/quote]I’ve noticed that on north-south daytime paths through equatorial regions, and not just on VOACAP, but have a play with its point-to-point tool with one end in Kenya and you’ll see what I mean.

The VK-EU 20 metres opening folk sometimes have success on is a long (mostly night time) path, with one end close to sunset and the other to sunrise.

Sometimes propagation is just plain weird.


I can confirm this all my S2S contacts from DL to VK have been TOO early in the morning about an hour after sunrise, which corresponds to early evening in ACT/NSW. I have not been able to convince any Aussies to get up even earlier (3am local their time) to try short path!! I guess the only chance of that is if someone camps overnight on an Aussie sumit.


Hi Ed,
12m is always above the MUF for both short path and long path for VK. Check the point-to-point predictions.
Yes I did once make a short path EU contact while camped on a summit. Not likely to happen too often though :smile:
Cheers, Gerard - VK2IO


[quote=“VK2IO, post:17, topic:11542”]Not likely to happen too often though[/quote]Guess that probably needs a good number of nice well-behaved sunspots (unlike the temperamental monsters we’ve seen recently)…


Just updated my alert, as I will have to climb tomorrow instead. Same everything, but will try to be early.

The antenna support is trying to catch up with an old friend, dictating the change of plan.



Hi Andrew,

Good luck tomorrow will listen out.

Last year I worked Denis as ZS/VA2IEI/P on ZS/WC-043 but that was on 28.360Mhz/SSB at 1138Z. Not sure what 20M will be like tomorrow. Might be worthwhile hanging around for awhile and if you encounter a non SOTA person ask them to put you on the dx-cluster. I will post on the FB ZS website that you might be around.

Best wishes

Adele has posted on FB/ZS for activation on 23rd September not 22nd…any confirmation? Thanks