VK/ZL/JA friends, I’ll be activating W6/CT-016 this Friday evening/Saturday Morning local time, which will be roughly 0000 to 0600Z, hopefully lining up with some of your Saturday activations. I will be running 100W with a Half-Square antenna on 20m, and a dipole on 30 and 40m. CW and SSB will be the preferred options, but I may bring a computer for some FT8 or PSK31 as well.
And for our SOTA friends in EU, we’ll be operating again in the morning from and 1400-1900Z on 2020-02-08 which should give us a shot at some propagation to the East.
I’ll be up there with David, KM3A, and we may end up operating under the SoCal SOTA Club call AB3G.
Domestic contacts, particularly S2S will be appreciated as well. I know David is interested in running 80m for a bit for watch for us on all bands.
FWIW, the last time I did this activation, I netted 17 VK, 7 ZL, 4 JA contacts (including one S2S), and 2 EU. Consider bringing out your QRO setup if you’ve got one to help increase the odds of success.
Will try to catch you on the morning hours Saturday local. Friday night I’m not sure I will be operating that late unless I can get a vehicle on the mountain. Return in the dark would be tricky. I may not have service but will check around 14.062 and will have an alert for RBN. Where do you typically operate on 7 MHz for cw?
Great, thanks. I typically stick around the .060-.065 vicinity for SOTA. I should get picked up by RBN and posted an alert with S+18 so o should get auto-spotted too. I recall that there’s cell reception up there, but it’s not great. Hope to get you in the log!
I will try 10 MHz or 7 MHz FT8 if you will bring computer and will point your antenna to North West. You may work with Japan and other stations from Asia around sunset and with Europe and Asia after sunrise on 20 m band.
SOTA activity in eastern VK is somewhat subdued at the moment because many of our summits are in fire risk areas or have recently been burned out and many forests are closed due to the risk of falling trees.
However you may want to consider that 0000 UTC is 11AM local time (Daylight or summer time) in southeast Australia (VK1/2/3/7) and 10AM in northeastern Australia (VK4). So 0600 is 5pm or 4pm in those two areas respectively. I dare say that 40m and 30m won’t be much use for DX in that time slot as bright sunshine is likely here from 0000 to 0600.
Long path to and from Europe on 20/30/40 tends to start happening after that time but is sometimes very selective and short lived. Sometimes long path from the US is active in the time around 1800-2000 UTC. And my only S2s to the US was with Etienne K7ATN at about 2100 UTC on 17m, about 14 months ago.
I’m sorry that I won’t be likely to be activating any summits during your planned operation. I wish you every success though.
It seems Adam had a fun with VKs on 20 m during the local evening. I did not hear K6ARK on 20 and 40m. However, with low dipole about 2 meters (5 ft) above the ground and 100 w I was able to work Japan, China, Indonesia later on 40 m (5 am- 6 am local time). This proved that FT8 mode is a very efficient mode for SOTA activations.
I chased Adam at 14h17z with solid signals and kept copying him steadily well for a very unusually long time. I even heard him working S2S with EA2GM/P, whom I wasn’t copying on the air, at about 16h26, more than 2 hours later.
The 100W output he was using clearly made a difference.
Well thank you all for your efforts. In all, and logged 124 QSOs with 8 s2s. I had 12 total DX in the log:
3 EA (1 S2S)
That’s less total DX than last time I was up there, but more EU contacts. It was fun hearing EA2LU chasing nearly every NA sota station I tuned in to. EA2IF was booming in. In the evening, propagation to ZL was good, with armchair copy 57 signal reports on one phone QSO.
Many thanks to those on other summits, particularly EA2GM/P who worked with me through a tough contact.
Thanks again for chasing. Hope to do it again soon.
It was a pleasure to make a s2s qso with you. I waited some time to find a gap in the wall of stations that called you. Acting patiently got its results. I hope to copy you again in more s2s qso.
Best 73!! Javier
The peak that I usually ascend walking (10km round and zero carbon footprint !!) from my house is 636m high, it is not very high but it has stunning views over the Cantabrico Sea. The transceiver is a venerable old FT-817 with its 5w, and a pack of 11 Ikea batteries. When I go to the summits in the late afternoon I usually ride a coaxial dipole mounted as vertical as I can with a 6m fishing rod. This configuration usually gives me very good results to cross the pond at that time. From time to time I have used a Half-Square antenna with very good results in EU / NA meetings.