Anyone made a S2S DX on SSB?

I’ve seen some discussion in the posts of S2S DX with CW. Has anyone made a S2S DX on SSB? If so, I’m interested to hear the details of the antenna, power, locations, etc. I have a goal this year of a Dx S2S on SSB. I realize that might be little tough, but I’m going to give it a try. I thinking of building a 15 meter wire yagi, and suspending it to some trees. Lets hear your stories!
Aaron KG7AZY

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I watched a video posted here from years back of a QSO between a Swiss summit and New Zealand. It was on SSB and the HB9 antenna was an Elecraft loaded whip antenna, if memory serves.
OE9HRV has a writeup in this thread, VK JA ZL - EU UK S2S 20 Oct 2018 (part 2), quite impressive!

When 10 meters is fully open, hopefully again this year, it will be very possible to make QSOs to Japan and Europe, even on SSB.
12 and 15 meters are also good choices, 12 in particular for lower operator density .
The wire beam will help quite a bit. Orienting your antenna close to a good drop off in the right direction will make a difference, too. Power helps if you are not set on making QSOs at QRP levels.
Good luck and 73,
David N6AN

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Without looking through my logs this one certainly comes to mind. California to Australia and back.



Thanks, For the link and pointers, KG7AZY

Paul, 7750 miles is quite impressive! Thanks for sharing. KG7AZY

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Hi Aaron, I’ve managed a couple using an inverted V dipole on a 7m pole and running 100W. They include Australia and USA. I think if you search for 2E0YYY, you’ll find several reports of some impressive SSB DX using a vertical antenna

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Yes, it’s not rare.

I and a number of VKs have worked S2S with 5 W SSB with the other stations being in the UK and other parts of Europe. 16000- 17000 km.
20 m link dipole. 7 m mast. Mountains were within 100 km of Melbourne. When we had sunspots.

As the SN declined we went to CW to work the local stuff within 3,000 km. Some stuck with SSB.

Hoping for some US S2S stations in a year or two.



Whilst I haven’t managed trans-continental S2S on SSB (JA excepted) - i have managed ZL to chasets in OT, K7, I, LZ, YO, JA and VK operating QRP from parks and peaks.

The only dx S2S I have managed are VK and JA. But the fact that QRP QSOs to Europe and the USA are possible means it can be done, it’s just a matter of timing. 20m has been really promising over the last year, and 17m and 15m now coming into play. Frustratingly so many activations stick to 40m when those bands are open …

And that was all operating QRP, at near the solar minimum. Add 6db-or-so and turn to solar activity up there’s even more hope.

Still trying …!

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Yes. While I mainly use CW and FT8 for HF SOTA activations, I have made S2S contacts with 5 watts SSB from an FT-817 to VK, W7, EA8 etc.


Hi Aaron

You may like to look through my SOTA Dx activations. I have maintained a log of the details.

In most cases I used an Inverted V half-wave dipole mounted on a 7m telescopic pole.

You will find links/dates to each Dx activation post.

Regular Dx contacts were made with Mike 2E0YYY and Herbert OE9HRV. I have had the great pleasure to meet both in person.


Andrew VK1AD
Canberra, Australia


Hi Aaron,

During the Transatlantic S2S parties, many operators, including myself did several S2S DX QSOs using SSB.

My most recent S2S DX happened yesterday. I did a QSO on 15m with @AJ2I who was on W2/GC-076, but it was just above the noise level for both of us.

The antenna I used for all these S2S DX was my home brew 7-band EFHW, configured as inverted-L. The power was between 5W (no speech compressor) and 10W (with speech compressor). The bands I used were 20m, 17m and 15m. Soon 10m should work as well.

If the conditions are right, nearly every antenna will work, even with little power.
Once during Winter time I did a DX contact on 40m with a shortened EFHW, albeit it wasn’t a S2S.

73 Stephan


Life’s too short for SSB. Switch to CW and get instant 18 DB gain, in addition to smaller pile-ups and much more satisfaction.

Elliott, K6EL


Hi Aaron,

Yes, DX is quite possible, even with QRP. I’ve worked transatlantic a few times.

I had several QSOs to VK during one SOTA activation. I stuck stickers on to the bottom of my radio to record the details!

Antenna was inverted V dipole on 20ft pole, power was 4 to 5 watts. Radio is home brew.

You don’t need fancy equipment, you just need to pick the right band at the right time.

73, Colin


S2S DX on SSB is possible. I managed two S2S EU <-> NA so far, but I am a newcomer (licensed only since 2019). I used my usual end-fed wire set-up, but tried to set it up as a steep sloper. You have to bear in mind though, that a DX SOTA activator is the last in the food chain: first are the strong local chasers, second and third the local S2S stations and the DX chasers. You are the last: weak station, non-optimal antenna and far,far away. Your “summit-to-summit” calls are likely to be drowned by the first three categories. You’ll have to be stubborn and shout your “S2S” long enough. Hopefully considerate chasers will step aside and let you have the QSO.
The best chances are during special SOTA events (such as the EU-NA SOTA weekends).

Keep trying!
73 de Martin / HB9GVW


SSB DX is possible … in 2014 I made several S2S QSO’s with VK:

Back then I used an Icom IC-703 with 10 watts into a simple inverted v dipole antenna.

A few months ago (11/2021) I had my first qso with New Zealand and China ever … ZL1TM and BD7MHZ were not on a summit, but these two QSO’s will nevertheless stay in my memory for a long time. Using an Elecraft KX2 and a simple EndFed Antenna.

Propagation is improving, so i hope that in the next months we will have the chance of some DX contacts from S2S.

73 Martin, OE5REO


You mentioned “wire beam”. Did you mean any particular antenna design? I was considering something like fixed-direction wire 3-element yagis, but I haven’t seen anyone do anything for real. (I mean full-size, not spider/hexbeams). Jakub, OM1WS

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With a little bit of luck hopefully ill be one of those stations in your log!

Andrew, Thanks for the log it was interesting to look at, your activation write ups are very well done. Hopefully I can make it into your log someday.
Thanks, KG7AZY

I managed two this past weekend on 15m SSB. HB9EAG and S57MS/P. I was QRP on SSB. Here is my video with HB9EAG. I was using a NY4G 40m EFHW and my Kx2



I have never used a wire beam on my own. The group used one on 40 meters back in 1979 for a CQWW CW contest in 1979.
An inverted vee configuration might be easiest on a mountain top. With two elements and .25 lambda spacing there is close to a 50 Ohm match and the pattern is bidirectional. Or so I recall from a chart in an old ARRL Antenna Handbook.
Aaron mentioned in his post wanting to try a wire beam, so that is what I was responding to.
More gain is good!

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