A Day to Remember

I notice that Karl M3FEH, had expressed an interest in seeing a report on last Fridays activation of GW/NW-070 Gt. Orme. So, there ya go Karl…

Last Friday 13th Feb, I had yet another appointment very close to Llandudno in North Wales, this meant if I left my home QTH early enough, I could make the 90 mile trip and hopefully, find some DX on the 20m band. At around 0755z I was QRV and calling CQ. First contact and indeed DX in the log was Ernie VK3DET with an easy copy, he was followed by Tony VK3CAT and Marc VK3OHM. some Europeans were logged before Peter VK4JD made the trip. Nigel VK6NI was next to find my log, immediately followed by Allen VK3HRA. Six VKs on the 20m band at this time of the year was more than I expected.
There was a good run of Europeans, including Don G0RQL.

It was getting close to the time when I needed to go QRT, in order to make my appointment. However, I just couldn’t resist a look at the 15m band. My first contact was club call 7X2ARA. Three JAs made the log all armchair copies. Chris ZL3LF replied to my CQ and we had a nice rag-chew. Chris was keen to get into the hills once a ZL Association gets up and running. Then a surprise call from Glen VK4FSCC with his QRP power was followed by my final VK contact of the morning, Ron VK3AFW. By now, I was in danger of being late for my appointment, however, I worked a few more EU contacts before being somewhat surprised to receive a call from PY7AHA at 0943z, my last call of the morning on the 15m band.

With my work visit concluded early, I decided to make a return visit to Gt. Orme and have a play on both the 2m and 10m bands. So, up went the 5/8 over 5/8 colinear, followed by a self spot and a CQ. There wasn’t too much VHF interest and in 20 minutes of calling, there were just 13 contacts in the log. Nevertheless, G, GW, EI and GM all made the trip.

It was now back to the real reason why I had made my second visit…The 10m band. So, it was a self spot for 10m SSB. My first contact was with Dow W4DOW and from then on, it was non-stop DX. Calls from, South America, Asia and North America, who were leading the stampede to get into my log book. I decided to try and split the time between 10m SSB and FM. It was bitterly cold at the summit however, the non stop calls, seemed to take my mind off it.

A rather unexpected s2s call from Don M0HCU/P, activating G/WB-004 on 10m was the only one I made all day…Thanks Don.

There were exactly 200 contacts for the activation at which point, the battery didn’t seem too happy, especially after working 10m FM for some time and so, I went qrt at around 1710z

Noteable DX…

VK x 8
PY x 2
ZL x 1
JA X 3
W x 102 (53-10m SSB), (49-10m FM)
Puerto Rica, Honduras, Saudi Arabia and Algeria

US states worked…VA, NY, NH, PA, FL, OK, IN, MA, AL, NJ, SC, KY, CT, OH, WI, MD, TN, WV, AZ, MI, NC, IL, TX, VT, WI, WA.

Continents worked…
North America
South America

All HF contacts courtesy of the Antron-99.

Thanks to all the callers, for making this a very nice days radio.

73 Mike


You’re losing your touch Mickey - there’s hardly any DX there at all :wink:

Amazing, Mike!
It is always good when being chased by a lot of EU friends, of course, but these days make activating shine!

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Hi, that antenna must be pretty battered by now because you missed the remaining continent - Antarctica. I forgive the frozen one as not many people live/work there. Good job though, well done.
Night night

Great work Mike working all that DX from the hill - “Life’s too short for QRP” eh… I like that saying, but QRP has its uses when one needs to climb high and far…

I used QRP myself last week on 13 summits, it’s great fun and you can still make plenty of contacts with a short 5m pole and a lightweight link dipole, especially when using Morse and staying away from 40m SSB where it can on occasion be extremely difficult to find somewhere to operate with a small signal.

So QRP it was for me last week, and I was called several times in SSB and CW by stations illegally signing themselves slash QRP (e.g. G4OBK/QRP). Once again I ignored this part of their “callsign” when I went back to them and didn’t pass comment. But it’s blooming annoying. It’s as though this gives them some priority maybe, or it could be they are proud of their QRP status perhaps? I’m not aware of any activators using the illiegal suffix, yet a great many of use do indeed use QRP.

I wish SOTA chasers would refrain from doing it!

All the best to you, and I’m glad to see you are active again as we’ve missed you… It also appears that you weren’t disturbed on this occasion by any jobsworths during your activation!

73 Phil

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“Life’s too short for QRP” eh… I like that saying, but QRP has its uses when one needs to climb high and far…

And thinking about it the other way, if you were to limit yourself to a small number of very easy or roadside “summits”, then a weighty QRO M.O. might work well for you. Each to their own and all that, we all get our own kicks our own way from this wonderful SOTA business! Personally, I’m with you Phil - QRP enables me to use a very compact and lightweight set-up, affording lots of different summits, strenuous ascents and long walks, but still the opportunity to work fabulous DX, thanks to the wonderful efficiency of CW.

I wish SOTA chasers would refrain from doing it!

Yeah, me too. Perhaps if us activators started consistently ignoring all calls that are appended “/QRP”?

by any jobsworths…

Low impact is they key. On Great Orme, for me, this means set up a little way down the slope away from the summit buildings, so as to be out of sight but still within the AZ, use a lightweight and compact set up, and limit the activation to half-an-hour or so.


I have not found it to be much of an issue recently, surprisingly effective. The chasers usually keep the QRM at bay so that later on the weaker stations have a chance to work you. That said a little QRO can do no harm.

My latest HB PA can fit in the palm of your hand and produces 8 dbW’s of gain from a KX3.

Hi Phil,
It might be a matter of interpretation or lack of knowledge. Do the ops really understand the callsign change they have made? If not your posting should help them be more aware.

Or are they just trying to emphasis that they are not running 100 watts and certainly not “the legal limit” (apparently a reference to the legal limit in some far away place that permits 3kW or more). This is sometimes important as stations unfamiliar with SOTA and Parks operation will pass over a station calling CQ if they aren’t S9 plus. They don’t want the embarrassment of a report less than S9!

Speaking the word “slash” on phone does grate a bit and of course as you say creates a non-standard and probably illegal call sign. However I would not have taken it as part of the callsign but as a particular idiom.

Personally I have no problem identifying as “QRP station VK3AFW” or "VK3AFW QRP when I think it is appropriate. Note there is no slash spoken, merely a normal between words pause. Also as I usually use phonetics in my callsign there is a clear distinction between it and “QRP”.

Hopefully if you do hear me on a summit even if using such language you will give me a call.


It’s been quite a while not reading you, Mike.
Congrats for the great good DX worked.
Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF

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Hi Mike,
200 QSO’s! Before going to work. Blimey. Well done. (Other expressions of awe suppressed to keep G8ADD happy). I used to think it was risque to have a quick CW contact on 2 m with a station 470 km away between breakfast and departing for work. An honor to be in your log sir.


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Good to see an interesting mix of 15 metres activity in your log there, Mike. :smile:

When stuck with having to use the character (say, when operating as 5Z4/M0LEP), I prefer to use “stroke”, with “slash” held in reserve, but “/” probably causes more confusion and repetition on phone than anything else that might appear in a callsign.

73, Rick M0LEP

[quote=“M0LEP, post:11, topic:10245”]
Good to see an interesting mix of 15 metres activity in your log there, Mike. :smile:

[quote=“vk3afw, post:8, topic:10245”]

Yeah, I was really surprised to find such good dx, so early on 15m, Rick.

73 Mike

Hi Ron, thanks for taking my call! It’s a real buzz to work VK on something other than 20m

73 Mike

:confused: Is that 8dB gain from a KX3, i.e. 10W +8dB = 63W approx. or it’s a 6.3W PA?

I always state W or m because its pretty much dimensionless otherwise i.e I could be talking Watts or milliwatts. There is much of argument around decibels to notation, if you are talking about gain it is prudent to state “db” but I have seen cases more recently where you could mean a gain in watts or miliwatts - although now I am going against notation.

Yes that is right 63W is its final OP.

I think you may find using dBW for a gain figure is going to cause some confusion. Gain is a ratio and dimensionless which is why dB is dimensionless. So your PA has a gain of 8dB when driven by a 10dbW input giving 18dBW

All that’s bye the bye, when are we going to see some circuits/pics ?

I try to ignore stations who shout “QRP! QRP! QRP!” - they usually cut through the pileup anyway, so I don`t know what their idea of qrp is. During my activation of GM/SS-133 last week I had one such station shouting QRP! every time I de-keyed the mic. It was very annoying and I managed to ignore him for a while until other chasers thought it would be helpful to alert me to his presence. (rather like relaying signal reports). When I finally worked him, it was a ham who lives 100m from my house transmitting from the local school - no doubt teaching future novice license holders bad habits.

ahh goodie, I hoped someone else was going to ask that. I’m thinking a little optional lightweight amplifier might be nice.

Good man. QRP is choice you make and you have to live with the consequences. One of those is it’s hard to bust pileups. If you choose to be QRP you shouldn’t then use it as a lever when you find the going tougher. I’ve given up asking for QRP stations only to call as most of the replies come back as loud as the QRO stations!

I choose QRP HF activations by choice and don’t expect special treatment.

Yes your right Andy - it is a ratio, I really should say what it is referenced against i.e 10W. I was trying to use the W to refer to a watt power gain instead.

Soon …