CW Versus VarAC - CW Wins!

I operated from G/DC-003 this afternoon with the aim of trying the digital chat system VarAC from a SOTA summit. But first I wanted to use CW as I have been neglecting this mode for the last few months and what little skills I have were in danger of being lost.

I only operated on 60m mainly because this is a band I seem to forget about so like my CW skills it needed an airing, which I did and managed the following QSOs.

G8CPZ Andy
GW4YPX Allan edit: should be GW4VPX
G4OOE Nick

Many thanks to all of the above and for your patience. I did get a couple “GA John” and my apologies for not saying much in reply but my brain was usually still trying to check if I had written the callsign down correctly.

I did hear DL3HZZ Lothar come through clearly but he did not respond when I replied, which was a pity. A QSO into Germany on 60m would have been nice.

I then changed over to the digital VarAC and began calling CQ on 20m. I could see there was activity but I got no replies. I tried 15m and 10m but without a response either. Returning to 20m the blank continued. One advantage of the lack of action was I could operate the HT on 2m FM and had a nice long chat with G0RQL Don after having to QSY three times as the first two channels tried were busy - an unheard of level of activity for this region!

Closing down the VarAC I briefly switched to 20m SSB for a S2S with Peter HB9BTI/P who was on HB/ZH-020.

Looking at pskreporter later my 20m VarAC calls were getting out.

On 15m only one station in Europe reported my signal on pskreporter and on 10m again only one station heard me - but it was in the USA!

Psk is showing my callsign above as M0WIV because in the CQ call it cannot handle complex callsigns. Apparently, had I established a link to another station it would have sent M0WIV/P but as I didn’t get that far I can’t confirm this.

So on the basis of today’s brief test the results were:

CW = 5
FM = 1
SSB = 1
VarAC = 0

So the prize goes to CW!

Many thanks to all those who replied to my calls. :slight_smile:

I must try VarAC again but I need to spend more time on my CW first.


Hi John,
If you used a 60m frequency where you can find all rest of Europe like 5.3545 Mhz will be OK ! Lothar was out of his 60m allocation on 5.262 Mhz :no_entry:

73, Éric


Éric, thank you, I didnt know that. I will use 5.354 to 5.538 in future. Many thanks for a valuable lesson. :slight_smile:



Hi John, I was going to suggest you use my favourite 60m frequency in future for CW with WRC15 countries as well as the UK but Éric beat me to it.

Note the frequency is 5354.5 kHz (not 5354.0 which is the lower end of that UK sub-band).

Thanks for the 60m CW QSO today.

73 Andy


Hi John @M0WIV

Thanks for the contact. Slip of the finger above…change the Y to a V😁. Looking forward to the next one.

US Sota summits coming in on 20m CW late afternoons so I’ve picked up a few…bands are looking good.


Allan GW4VPX



Thank you. My paper log does have a V and this was what I checked on QRZ but somehow a Y crept into the log I uploaded. I will correct it tomorrow, I’m watching Autumn Watch at the moment. :slight_smile: But many thanks for the QSO and after a few more years I might improve enough to have a proper QSO! :slight_smile:

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Andy, thank you, its not as if the band is so busy I needed to retreat to a corner of it so I will follow your recommendation.

Today was a nice “weather window” but the forecast then turns wet and I am not sure when I will be able to get out again. I’m hoping to visit D/DC-001 later in the year as its the only summit down here with a winter bonus but if I get there I will try CW again. Until then it will chasing from the shack. :slight_smile: