20m to VK/ZL to EU open daily to QRP - give 20m a go! (Part 4)

Continuing the discussion from 20m to VK/ZL to EU open daily to QRP - give 20m a go! (Part 3) - #100 by OE5JFE.

Previous discussions:

Everything went to plan until I reached the summit! Even the 0345 (BST) alarm wasn’t too painful. Having arrived at the summit though, it then took me 20 minutes to rig my antenna - I can only blame summit brain :man_facepalming:.

I was inspired to take a couple of photos though, to make up for my usual forgetfulness.

Just below the summit

Nice cloud formation over Pen-y-Ghent G/NP-010

And at the summit.
I took another of of the sun showing a perfect lower half (rather than the upper half you’d expect at sunrise), but it didn’t come out. Not quite sure what caused that effect?
Anyway, the radio bit….
S2S with both my Australian namesakes. Thank you Andrew AD & DA. Great to get you in the log. Also good clear contacts with Paul VK5PAS and Matt ZL4NVW. Also managed 3 S2S with fellow UK activators on 20m before finishing off with a quick 2m S2S with Tomasz M7TLK who was on Pen-y-Ghent just as I started walking off.
I brought my activation to a slightly premature close due to a high SWR warning which will need investigation.

Great fun, thank you all.

PS It’s really annoying when you type a long entry only for the topic to get closed due to the 100 reply limit just before you hit reply!


Cloud/mist close to the horizon?
It was worth the walk this morning for the views and the sunrise.

Thanks for the S2S.


Great to make contact with you, Tom and Pete today.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA


Absolutely!! The mist came down shortly after for about an hour, so sunrise was the best time. I think you’re right about cloud being the cause of that solar effect. Pity the photo didn’t come out. Thanks for the S2S. The first contact is always so reassuring :grin:



I was called on 20m CW, by ZL1TM, Sept 24, around 0745, I was in IS0, using 5 watts, 9.3 m wire vertical, 1 radial 10 m, and ATU. I believe similar setup as the one used by Armin DL6GCA.
Not an antenna optimised for this band, for any band, not a great power output…but so easy to use for Sota

For DX, 2 conditions, propagation, and someone available on the other end …
If at least one of the station has big ears, oh yes, that helps when you are qrp, with limited antenna.

73 de Pierre F5MOG


I assumed that whatever happened today, it would be an improvement in yesterday’s utter ineptness. However, I was nearly very wrong!

Although I’d alerted for this morning, privately I thought there was realistically a less than 50% chance I would actually participate. I was gigging in Liverpool on the Saturday night and wouldn’t be in bed until after 2am.

To my surprise, I woke up before my alarm and feeling relatively refreshed around 5.25am. This time I remember my Bluetooth keyboard and my paddle.

I arrived at my chosen operating spot just as the sun was emerging from behind The Roaches and began to set up. Soon I hit a major snag - the driven element of the 20m vertical with groundplane aerial had broken off from the core of the RG58 feeder. There was no exposed core to play with; it was all cocooned inside the robust plastic sleeping and I had no tools!

I did consider making a token contact on 2m FM with the handie, then abandoning the activation - and returning to my bed! However, some determination arrived out of the blue, and I got to work using just my finger nails and teeth! I managed to get the antenna in a usable state - and I think it worked!

74 QSOs:

20m CW: 25
20m SSB: 34
20m FT8: 8
2m FM: 7

22 S2S:

VK1AD/P on VK1/AC-043
MW0PJE/P on GW/NW-043 x2
VK1DA/P on VK2/ST-053
G6PJZ/P on G/NP-004
M7BIA/P on G/SP-004 x2
VK6NU/P on VK6/SW-031
M7TKL/P on G/NP-010
GW4TQE/P on GW/NW-060
OE4JHW/P on OE/BL-012
CT7ALW/P on CT/DL-011
OE4XBA/P on OE/BL-012
YO6PIB/P on YO/EC-090
MI/EI6FR/P on GI/MM-003
SQ9BQW/P on SP/BZ-049
I/M0YCJ/P on I/CL-002
SP6BIJ/P on SP/BZ-049
LA5WNA/P on LA/OL-351
MW7RJO/P on GW/NW-054
OK/SQ9MDN/P on SP/KR-082
DL5AZZ/P on DM/BM-063

There was also DX from VK5PAS and VY2BM.

What a fabulous session of portable radio!

Now commencing festivities for @M0HGY ’s 30th birthday…


With the weather being better than predicted I set off for my local summit DM/BW-099 at 5:00 utc. It can be really crowded but at this time of the day there is usually no one around.

This is a view to the east where the sun was fighting its way through the clouds.

Setup was done quickly and I was QRV just before 6:00 utc as estimated. Equipment was an Elecraft KX3@ 15w and a J-pole antenna for 20 metres. I had some concerns that the vertical would pick up more noise than my trusty delta loop but the noise level was really low with S1 (PreAmp ON and 400 Hz IF BW).

Band conditions seemed to be good with SFI = 147 and k = 2.
However, Andrew, @VK1AD, was only RST 33 when I tuned to his frequency. It seemed 20 metres was not yet fully open. So I decided to try later and called @OE9HRV on DL/AL-277 on ground wave for the first S2S of the day. Ten minutes later the band was open to down under and the first DX S2S with VK1AD/p on VK1/AC-043 went into the log.
@VK1DA on VK2/ST-053 was next. We exchanged 559 reports in CW and I kept checking Andrew’s signal for the next hour to learn how condx would change.
After a while I was called by @VK6NU on VK6/SW-031. John’s signal was difficult to copy, RST 339 at best, but the path to VK6 is completely different from the one to VK1-3 and I wasn’t even sure whether it was long path.
Finally, I had a QSO with @JG4LCS on JA5/EH-139 on CW. Seiji’s signal was RST 449 here and easy copy. I heard two more JA activators @JS1UEH and @JI3BAP but it seemd they couldn’t copy my tiny signal. My impression was that the path to JA opened at least 30 minutes later than to VK and signals were never that loud.

DX base stations worked (in chronological order) were @ZL1TM, @VK3CAT, @VK4TJ, JH1MXV and R9LM. In total I made 24 QSOs on 20 metres, 9 with DX, thereof 4 S2S. I didn’t try other bands and went QRT after 1h 40 mins in order to avoid the approaching rain.

Thanks to everyone who was QRV today! It’s always a pleasure talking to friends at the “other end” of the world :slight_smile:
Thanks for the QSOs and for your efforts at pulling my signal out of the noise!

73, Roman


I don’t think I can add much more to the conversation other than what a pleasure it was to work all five EU S2S on 20m SSB and congratulate Andy @G6PJZ on your MG award.

The collection of sunrise photos is amazing! Sorry, I don’t have a spectacular sunset photo to add.

20m was barely open at 0600 UTC when I worked Herbert @OE9HRV and within seven minutes next was Roman @DL3TU. John @VK6NU and Andrew @VK1DA follwed in quick sucession. Propagation across the ditch to New Zealand revealed five regular chasers, it was cool to work Warren @ZL2AJ mobile!

Stations in Finland, France and Germany were the main EU LP participants last evening.

LP to the UK appeared to open all at once around 0650 UTC and within a matter of four minutes I worked in order; Pete @MW0PJE, Tom @M1EYP and Andy @G6PJZ. I had to compete with a nasty woodpecker radar did anyone else get clobbered by the OTH radar? Out of interest, my last QSO with Tom was in 2015, what a year for 20m LP propagation!

Early in the 20m opening I heard Terry G0VWP call me however the QSB was fast. As with previous LP activations I have worked Terry on 40m SSB and again last eveing that was the case. I worked Terry at 0635 UTC on 7.140 MHz S5-6 R5-5, I can’t tell if the QSO was LP or SP.

Earlier in my 40m SSB session I worked VK S2S with Brian @VK3BCM and Greg @VK3GRK.

Overall an excellent mini S2S bonanza working two German and three UK summits of which three are new for me. Thanks!

Temperature at Mt Stromlo was 10 degrees C and the wind was NW at 25 km/h, it was very chilly.

1/4 wave GP for the 40,30,20 and 17m bands.

Mt Stromlo former observatory was destroyed in the 2003 wild fires. It’s now an outer-shell only museum piece. Elsewhere on the summit the Australian National University operates a range of optical and laser ranging telescopes. Don’t operate too close to the new infrastrucure, HF QRM S9 plus! At my operating position the noise floor was S1 :slight_smile:

Thank you all, it was loads of fun! I’m looking forward to the next opportunity for a VK/ZL - EU S2S.

73, Andrew VK1AD


Hi Roman san.
Thank you for sending your callsign so many times, I was able to confirm it.
It was my first S2S with a European station.
I’m look forward to QSO with you again.

73, Seiji JG4LCS


Rain is predicted here all this week but Saturday should be overcast but dryish, so despite the OCDX contest, I’m going to head out to a summit and see if I can get any S2S contacts into VK5 whose 10-year anniversary it is this coming Saturday. Might try 17m if the contest traffic on 20m is too bad.



Hi Andrew, what is that antenna you were using.

Geoff vk3sq

Hi Geoff

A 1/4 wave GP for the 40,30,20 and 17m bands with four elevated ground radials.

It’s a hombrew assembled from a collection of parts from different sources. You won’t find this one in a Ham catalogue or a commercial website. The closest commercial antenna would be the M1ECC Slidewinder DX.

73, Andrew VK1AD

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… you’re welcome, Seiji san!
Thanks for the S2S QSO on JA5/EH-139 and the beautiful photos.

This was my view while operating:

I’m looking forward to our next QSO :slight_smile:
73, Roman - DL3TU


The most important part of this setup on that rainy Saturday - beside an umbrella - was probably the cup of coffee expanding the capacity, hi.

73, DIZ


Currently on Walbury Hill G/SE-001. Not too many callers - but one was a VK3 - that interestingly I don’t see in the SOTA Database.


For the third morning running, I’ve worked VK from my summit, with 5w from the 817. SSB again too.

I’ll be QRV for the next hour at least, so would be great to work more VKs (and JAs, ZLs etc). I’ll use 20m SSB, CW and FT8/4.


And now Ron @VK3AFW ITL - amazing 59 signal and great audio! Hope to also get you on the other modes later Ron!


Now six VKs ITL, including the “full set” (SSB, CW , FT4) with Ron @VK3AFW !


Hi Tom,

Thanks for a new summit to chase. Conditions were good on voice SSB, very pleased to have worked you and earlier Ed @DD5LP from my stationary car.

73, Andrew VK1AD/M