Early mornings of late have seen the MUF way below 14MHz. Some people have been suggesting that 30m might be better for EU-VK contacts.
For DX, I am a big fan of the elevated groundplane antenna. I am also a fan of CW and FT8 modes, both of which can be more productive for the QRP portable op on 30m.
I already had dipoles for 30m, but for seeking out DX, I wondered about a GP. The 6.7m SOTA Pole would be too small, but the 10m Travel Mast would be the perfect size to accommodate a 30m quarterwave vertical with elevated groundplane.
I built the aerial last week, and trimmed it on Cyrn-y-Brain GW/NW-043 yesterday. It worked well.
So now, to put it to the test for its intended function. Tomorrow morning I’ll be QRV early morning and seeing what, if anything, I can work into the Far East or Oceania.
So any chasers or activators with FT8 or CW capability on 30m - it would be great to work you in the morning.
I tried 20m CW from Birks Fell G/NP-031 today but the band was swamped with contest traffic. Aha I thought, time for 30m! My radio had other ideas though, after 2 blown fuses (yes, I had deposited a spare 1A fuse in my rucksack years ago, just in case), I figured that there must be a genuine fault with my rig. I’m actually looking forward to the debugging
So to to answer your question - I’m not sure what 30m could do / have done for me!
Not that it helps you Tom, 30m is a GREAT band for Inter-VK SSB communications. When 20m has gone too long (or the MUF is not high enough) and 40m is noisy, I often used 30m SSB in Australia on my SOTA activations. There is however a small disadvantage that only Advanced (full) licensees can use 10MHz, so you immediately rule-out the foundation and standard licence holders.
My similar “elevated radial vertical” is a multi band linked vertical and caters for 30, 20 and 17m. I have not made any dx contacts on 30m since making it, distracted by other bands etc… but I know it will be a better option than a low dipole. On the dipole I have made contacts into EA and I think, DL on 30m cw, but that was 18 months ago. If I can, I will see if I can activate for your alerted time of 0630.
Saw the Alert time Tom that is late afternoon here I think. I have a bottom corner fed delta loop triangle config for 30m been a good antenna to work KX0R on cw a few times so will be looking for you.
have fun vk5cz …
0630Z might be a tiny bit earlier. I was listing to the DL RTTY on 10101 kHz(ish), and it really ramped up around 0730Z. Running 10 kW, it’s not really indicative of what we might do with QRP & low antennas. Like VK2HRX, I’m really only a lurker on 30 mtr FT-8 at present, but will certainly forward an SWL report if I hear you. And, of course, WORK you, if you end up on CW…John, VK4TJ.
Agree, sunset here is around 0900 (0856 according to the database for ST053) so 0630 will still be broad daylight (and incidentally still over 30C) so I suspect prop to EU will start to improve an hour later than your alert, Tom. If you’ll still be on summit later and conditions are still ok, that may be a better time to try.