European and UK activators

Hi all from down here in Australia,

Last night I spoke with Patricio EA2EX who was QRP on the top of a summit in Spain. Patricio took the time out to listen for outside Europe and I was able to make contact with his 5 watt QRP station. Many thanks Patricio.

I have added a short post to my blog which may interest European & UK activators about us keen SOTA Chasers down here in Australia……

Best 73 & a Very Merry Christmas,


Chasing DX SOTA summits is a bit more of a challenge than chasing the relatively local ones. I think it’s easier when activators go to bands other than 40m and 20m. Skip probably has something to do with that. A quick look at my “not in the same continent” SOTA chases shows 1 on 10 metres, 4 on 12 metres, 2 on 15 metres, 1 on 17 metres and 2 on 20 metres. Four (2 each on 15 and 12 metres) have been contacts into Europe from Kenya. The ones on 17 and 20 metres were in CT9 and EA8 from home. CW also helps. Four of those contacts were CW, three of them using 12 watts or less. I expect having a nice beam antenna at home helps too, but have no direct chasing experience that way.

It’d be interesting to know what power the activators were using. I know one contact (with KK4NQQ) was KX3-KX3, so he wasn’t running more than 12 watts, and may have been running less, but I suspect the majority involve activators running nearer 50 watts than 5…

73, Rick M0LEP (who’s been known to try chasing from VK6 and 5Z4)

In reply to VK5PAS:
Interesting Paul. I saw the spot and was beaming via the LP but nothing heard on a relatively clear band. By comparison you were booming through on the back end of the yagi. Conditions and being in the right spot count too! Must say that to break through an EU pile up on a previous occasion took 400 watts plus the tri band yagi.
Hope Santa causes all the qrm/n to go away!
Cheers Tony VK3CAT

In reply to VK3CAT:
Hi Tony,
Sitting here about 10 kg heavier after Christmas lunch. Hope your day went well. I snuck in another European activator on Christmas eve. I managed to work Negro, S55KM, in Slovenia on 20m SSB. He had a really nice signal with his 40 watts and an inverted vee. I have just ordered a 5 el yagi which will replace my little 3 el yagi I use at the moment, so I am hoping that will improve things even more on that top of the tower @ 16 m. You are right about being in the right place at the right time. I am 365 metres ASL here as well which I am sure helps.
Just have to work on the neighbour’s plasma TV now.
Best 73 & Merry Christmas and a Happy 2014.
Paul, VK5PAS.

In reply to VK5PAS:
Hi Paul VK5PAS.

I’m so glad our contact in my expedition Sota Day 23/12/2013 from the summit of Mount Ilso, EA2/BI-050.

Thank you for your insistence on calling, despite the pile up in Europe.

Thanks to Mikel EA2CW who warned me of your call.

And above all, thank you very much to all European AMATEUR RADIO that to my call, VK5, VK5 later, did the great silence so we could complete this magnificent QRP contact.

Really thank you very much for all your education and good work in RADIO.

Best wishes, Merry Christmas and happy 2014.

73 Patricio EA2EX.

Sometimes chasing from some other quarter of the globe is just doomed to be frustrating. According to the spots there were three of activators on 12 metres and one on 15 metres earlier this afternoon, but I couldn’t hear any of them quite well enough to work them. The QRM didn’t help. Here’s a trimmed-down “missed” list:

Thu 13:13 MM0FMF on GM/SS-167 (Posted by MM0FMF) 24.9475 ssb
Thu 13:09 GW0PEB/P on GW/NW-067 (Posted by W4DOW) 21.062 cw
Thu 13:09 M1EYP/P +1] on G/SP-015 (Posted by M1EYP) 24.900 cw
Thu 13:05 MW/HB9CZF/P on GW/SW-014 (Posted by DJ5AV) 24.899 cw
Thu 13:00 GW0PEB/P on GW/NW-067 (Posted by WH6LE) 21.062 cw
Thu 12:54 MM0FMF/P on GM/SS-167 (Posted by KU6J) 24.9034 cw
Thu 12:50 M1EYP/P on G/SP-015 (Posted by W4DOW) 24.903 cw

I listened on all those spots (and one or two others too). Maybe next time. :wink:

73, Rick in 5Z4 (who’s having fun trying, even without much success).

Unlucky Rick, thanks for trying.

My 5 watts did make it down under - I had an easy contact with Ian VK5CZ.


I also made it down under using 5w with VK5CZ on 24Mhz cw. Thanks to Tom M1EYP and MW/HB9CZF/P for the S2S’s. I heard MM0FMF/P working a pileup on 18Mhz but no contact made.

Total of 49 cw QSO’s today from GW/NW-067

18Mhz 20 cw
21Mhz 15 cw
24Mhz 7 including 2x s2s cw
28Mhz 7 cw

Rig :KX3 @5w
Ant : 1/4 vert with 4 elevated radials.

I had a very enjoyable day perched on the cliff edge of Moel Y Gest working DX. Thanks to everyone for the contacts.

Maybe next time Rick. Thanks for looking.

73 & HNY


In reply to M0LEP:
Hi Rick

On GW/SW-012 I logged 41 CW-QSO on 12m between 10:03 and 10:48. DX were 9K2/SP4R and HS0ZIV.

On GW/SW-014 DX were N4EX and N7UN (13:03 - 13:09). Although I was at the trig point the terrain looked rather flattish towards 5Z4.

Sunny but windy wx and in the very early morning I failed to reach the car park for GW/SW-004. Far too much snow and ice (!) on the road and I saw one car off the road with its wheel in the air. I chose 2 “easier” hills instead.

73 de Dominik, MW/HB9CZF

In reply to HB9CZF, M1EYP, G0PEB et al:
A lot’s down to my not being able to get an antenna high enough this time. It’d work better if the trees were 5 metres taller, and I could get the antenna further from the alloy roof… :wink:

Thanks, and 73, Rick in 5Z4…

In reply to M0LEP:
nice contacts with M1EYP and GW0PEB last night both stations on cw were easy to copy.
I have a hustler mobile whip I have made up mounted on a piece of 40m pvc pipe and some radials but never tried it. Maybe next time you guys go out I will see if you can hear me. I am going to the Bluff my Saturday night on my mountain bike and do a night decent after the activation. This time I will take the 24 MHz delta loop I used on Brown hill range and worked some dx with it. The High current shut down on my kx3 I think turns out to be a soft battery rather than a problem with high swr but its still an on going thing with that rig. My pack is 8kg now so I am not climbing up with the ic 703 that’s an extra KG. Its a granny gear climb for 4km from bottom to top so my heart rate should be up . I will spot when ready … 73 de Ian vk5cz …

Propagation’s a weird thing. I got occasional snatches from GW0PEB on 15 metres here, but could only hear a few of the folk working M1EYP on 12 metres. Yesterday I was able to work a friend in England on 15 metres SSB and CW, but signal levels were at the just-above-the-noise level despite us both using 100 watts or so.

Yesterday evening I had a bit of a pile-up on 20 metres between 19:00 and 21:30 UTC, but the callers were very largely North American, with a few South American and South African stations thrown in. I worked exactly one Australian, one English, one Italian, one Spanish and one Portugese station. Propagation (and my antenna) clearly weren’t favouring Europe or Australia…

73, Rick 5Z4/M0LEP

In reply to All:
Hello I have reconsidered the activation today its going to be a fire ban day so I had better stay off the summits just in case . But next cool change I may get time to try again. Last night testing my delta loop I made 1 qso to S59 and OE5 answered with a …–… a couple times but no qso was made.
73 de Ian vk5cz …

During today’s activation on Carn Fadryn GW/NW-058 I managed to work VK2DAG on 21.063Mhz.
I also noticed that I could hear echoes of my cw signal on 21 and 24Mhz.
Had to go QRT earlier than planned due to the weather starting to turn.

Total of 21 QSO’s.

144Mhz x7 SSB including G4ERP/P S2S, GM4OIG/P S2S, G3RMD on cw
18Mhz x6 cw
21Mhz x4 cw including VK2DAG
24Mhz x4 cw


Rig: FT817 @ 3w
Ant: VHF SB3, HF 1/4Wav Vert with 4 elevated radials.

Thanks to everyone for the contacts.

73 & HNY