Looking for VK DX

I would also like to try, inspired by the successes you write about in the Reflector. I would start tomorrow (7th Aug) at 6:00z SSB mode (only little experience with SSB, possibly please be patient) and later I plan CW.

I’ll try to send 30W out - if my batteries can handle it - to an inverted vee at 10m positioned exactly on top of the hill, so that could be “electrically” slightly higher.

I will specify the exact frequencies within the 20m band by alert.

73! and CUL (if it accidentally goes well)

Karel OK2BWB

In reply to OK2BWB:
Hi Karel

If you can operate for at least one hour, I will listen for you at 0700 UTC. Please post your SOTA alert. There are other VK chasers who will be listening from 0600 UTC.

On 20m 14.300 MHz and above is normally free of QRM.


In reply to VK1NAM:

Hi Andrew,

thanks! OK, if the battery status allows, I’ll be at 0700 UTC back SSB. I’ll try to keep you updated on selfspot.

Karel OK2BWB

In reply to OK2BWB:

Hello Karel,

There are lot of good ops/chasers in VK land who will read this thread and will listen out.

I think you just have to make sure that the EU not does blank them out, so if you call outside EU don’t respond to the deaf EU chasers 8) Good luck tomorrow.

Best wishes and goodnight from here…

There are those of us in the land of oz whom listen out for Euro SOTA’s although it seems to be very difficult.

Yesterday (the 6th) was listening fairly regulary to spots and only snagged a contact with S52CU in Slovenia at 09:00UTC (7.00pm EST).

Other Euro activators I heard were very faint and despite my efforts with the aerials I have, unworkable.

Think part of the problem is being located in town with high noise level does not help.

Cheers, Nick VK2AOH

In reply to OK2BWB:
Hello Karel,
There are keen chasers in VK who will chase DX summits on CW and SSB. Here are a few words about my situation that may help you - other VKs are in a similar situation to me.

I start looking at alerts between 0500 and 0730 when the long path may be open on 20 m to EU. I will then try to arrange my afternoon to be around at the announced time. This I think is the best time for the VK East coast. If someone is spotted on 20 m I go to the shack and listen.

Yesterday at 0522 I had the pleasure of working MW1EYP/P on CW but when he went to SSB a little later while I could hear him I could only copy maybe 5% of what he said. I think conditions may have gone down between us a little but of course CW always is better for QRP than SSB.

I appreciate ops who send slower CW for me as otherwise I may have to ask for several repeats. I am in a suburban QTH with the usual high base noise and other stuff. A near neighbour radiates raucous noise all across 20 m. Fortunately the long path is away from him so I adjust my beam to reduce his rotten signals but he still pushes the meter well up. I employ digital technology, narrow filters and noise reduction and this improves things a bit. Sometimes QSB and the noise stop me copying a report so again I have to ask for a repeat.

Wen I am in the field I clearly hear stations on a dipole and FT817 that are buried in the noise at home.

0730 - 0800 I am usually not available except for something special. 20 m LP is usually gone here by then anyway. 0800 - 1000 UTC is meal and dish washing time here. No operating Hi.

I will look out for you today.


In reply to AX3AFW:

One thing I have noticed is those cw operators whom send slower, say 15/18 wpm make it a lot easier for decipering a weak, fading signal than someone hammering away with a bug key at 25 wpm.

Keeping in mind that many SOTA activators are only running 1 to 5 watts on probably not the best set up aerial makes it a bit hard for someone on the other side of the planet to work out what is being sent.

A bit of slower morse from activators would help, particulary on the higher dx bands.

Cheers, Nick VK2AOH

In reply
Hi Karel,

Thanks for the nice CW QSO. I’m sure we could have made it on phone too but that might have been greedy.

I also worked OK2PDT/P but he wasn’t doing anything to the S meter (not surprising as I now find he had only 1 watt of rf!) whereas you actually peaked at an indicated S 7 a bit after our QSO.

So your set up is working very well.

Thanks to other chasers for standing by for my QSO.

I hope to work you again on another peak soon.


In reply to AX3AFW:

Hi Ron,

also thanks for the nice QSO and for additional information regarding my signal.

Thanks to all for your efforts in chasing me.

They met me only two small problems: at first I could not find a microphone, because I have not applied it long, and secondly, after finding the necessary accessories and climb the hill I settled down in the anthill, exactly in the middle of the ants swarming. I didn’t notice their protest response due to the initial nervousness caused by SSB operation.

Later it was very interesting and I’d rather not describe exactly where I was pulling ants from. I was almost naked and my original dance directly on the hilltop caught the attention of a pair of cyclists who then laughed wildly.

Nevertheless - or precisely because of this delicate situation - it was a beautiful morning with wonderful far-reaching views and radio contacts…

Karel OK2BWB

In reply to OK2BWB:

Hello Karel,

Thanks very much for the time you put in today and for first time SSB. Sorry to hear about the ants :wink: Very pleased to speak with you today and after we spoke I SWLed for awhile. Big suprise to me to hear Daniel YV4NN chatting to you.

Best wishes

I am still annoyed at the series of events (all my own fault) that meant I missed the chase. I managed to arrive home from work early enough that you were still on SSB, yet as I was setting up an antenna for 20m - something I need to do more permanently - it poured down rain. By the time I had the antenna up, you were on CW.

Your signal was strong and I could hear you working a number of stations. Once you called CQ again, QSB took you down for a bit, and as you came back up, and I went to key, my wife enters the shack and says, “Um, we have to go now, what are you doing?” with that look that means, “Take your fingers off the key if you know what’s good for you”. Turns out the reason I’d come home early wasn’t to work you, but to take the kids to the in-laws for dinner.

So, sadly, I missed the chase :frowning:

In reply to OK2BWB:

In reply to OK2BWB:

Hi Karel,
Thanks for the activation yesterday which was a real CW challenge with such a weak signal.

Although as time went by your signal came up to a good readability 5.

Sorry for my poor keying, it is freezing cold in the middle of winter which makes things a bit difficult with the key at times.

Cheers, Nick VK2AOH

In reply to G6TUH:

Mike, it was my pleasure.

VK3ARR: Also familiar to the situation where it is wiser not to touch the CW key :slight_smile:

VK2AOH: It was a very nice contact, thanks.

Thanks for another nice day with far radio views!

Ants were friendly this time.

Today I used the HB-1B and inv vee (2 x 5 m, 120° apex angle, directly fed by coax, no balun) at a height of 9.6 m and accurately measured rf power (SWR was 1:1.2). I calculated the power value input at the center of an inv vee antenna (relatively long and thin coaxial cable RG-58 and connector adapter SMA to BNC have a loss of 0.8 db @ 14MHz).

Here are rf power levels during today’s contacts to VK:

0549z vk2io/m 2.7W s559 r529
0552z vk3afw 2.5W s579 r559
0603z vk3cat 2.4W s569 r569
0635z vk3we 1.7W s559 r539 (over time, the small internal battery was weaker)

Thanks for the opportunity to have such a pleasant experience before working day!

Karel OK2BWB

In reply to OK2BWB:
Karel, very pleased to work you again on CW today. Conditions between VK3 and EU have been quite reasonable this week. Your signal was stronger and held up for longer yesterday. I was using 100 watts and a tri nand 3 element yagi. I did manage to work Mike 2W0YYY/P from the car just before working you from home.
Looking forward to our next contact, maybe when things warm up a little here & I have the KX3 on a hill top.
Cheers and 73s, Tony VK3CAT

In reply to OK2BWB:
Good work, Karel, it’s always a challenge to reach the other side of the world in such basic condx.
Don’t matter about naked dances on the summits, I usually do it as well! :wink:

73 de Mikel

In reply to OK2BWB:

Ahoj Karle,
děkuji za skvělý zážitek, vydržel jsem tě poslouchat celou dobu co jsi byl na Sklenském vrchu. Bohužel nám v obci vypnuli energetickou síť a před chvílí ji zapnuli, tak jsem jel jenom na malé HM rádio přes desítky metrů koaxu a anténu GAP TITAN. Ale slyšel jsem i všechny tvé protistanice.

S upřímným pozdravem
Honza OK2PDT

In reply to OK2BWB:
Too cold for naked dances in VK2 at the moment. Instead I made contact from my nice warm car using a screwdriver with 1.6m whip. Great contact - thanks Karel!

My blog entry here:

73, Gerard - VK2IO

In reply to OK2PDT:

Ahoj Honzo,

diky. Obdiv si zaslouzís ale Ty a Tvoje nezdolna vytrvalost pri vyrobe dobre fungujiciho HM vicepasmoveho zarizeni.

Clovek si v tyto dny pripada jako rybar - berou, nebo neberou. Je to povznasejici pocit koukat se z kopce do dali a zaroven si uvedomovat, ze tvoje vysilani putuje do jeste daleko vetsich dalav, prestoze pouzity vykon je opravdu minimalni…

Zdravim z NM!
Karel OK2BWB

In reply to VK2IO:

Dear Gerard,

many thanks for the nice and detailed description of the circumstances in which we had the QSO. This always interested me!

From my point of view - I would never have believed that you chased me with such a short whip antenna. Really great contact - thanks again Gerard!

73 from Czech-Moravian Highland

Karel OK2BWB

In reply to VK3CAT:

Hi Tony,

Great contact from your car. You were stronger than some of the VK home base staions I worked this morning! My first activation for ages and to walk into 13 VK chasers on Great Orme, made the 4am alarm call well worth while. Many thanks to the VK chasers.

Plenty of QSB and QRM to contend with on the 20m band, though :frowning:

I’d be interested to know what your mobile working conditions were this morning?

VK1NAM Andrew, many thanks for the contact and spot this morning. If you can drop me an email with your plans, I’ll see if I can sort out an s2s. However, the WX forecast over here ain’t too clever for the next four days.

73 Mike