New to SOTA Reflector

Hi Goaties,
I am 68 yo male, vietnamese of origin and live in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

Last year, had a chance to know VK2GPL, he had successfully lured me back to SOTA, but we failed miserably to ascend the VK2-CT015 Mt Cloud Maker, last September.
My equipment is very simple, mostly home brew antenna and an ex paramilitary HF-90 radio with inexpensive Aldi’s power tool battery (keep only 18250 cells, got rid of plastic case and BMS)
My planning for 2020 is touring Switzerland with my bicycle, at the moment still fiddling with 2m APRS antenna, so far I have tried

  • flower pot dipole
  • my design 5/8 with short vertical radial.
  • waiting for a chinese EF tape antenna.

The short radial is for a “goat’s tail” in compensation to the steel bicycle frame as an effective ground system

My messy workshop

Thanks for let me in, hope will have lots of QSO as chaser and mountaineer.
73 de Vk2ihl


Nice to meet you.
We have a lot of nice SOTA summits here in Switzerland!
Many of them can be Activated by foot or bike without problem.

Feel free to contact me if you have a question releated to HB.
For the tour planning i can recomend the “” in there can see a lot of details and also measure distance and hight difference.

HB3XTZ Sabrina

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Fantastic! That’s a real ham shack, not the tidy beautiful ones we often see in these days…
Welcome on board.You’ll find a great pack of nice people here.
I’ll be looking forward to QSO with you.



Hi Sabrina,
Your link to the “Swiss Topo 1:25000” is above all my expectations, and more to discover from that powerful map site.
Thanks for your support in case I have to rely on someone in HB. Will establish a contact when my bicycle touring (with radio on board) plan is concreted and seeking for your advice.
Cheers and 73 from Pascal

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My old fashion “home brew” ham shack, down here we call it a chuck shed.
Love to do home build project and outdoor QSO, all was infested by the famous Wes Hayward W7ZOI.
Cheers with appreciation of your comment
VK2IHL Pascal

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A proper shack :slight_smile:


Hi Andy,
My bench gives necessity to steal other people’s work, recently an unfinished project to have a VFO knob on a channelised radio.


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for planning cycling tours i mostly use this great tool:

73 de martin, oe5reo

Hi Pascal,

Good to read about your activities and to see your pictures.

If you haven’t already, I suggest you join OZSOTA on, this is the Australia-wide mailing list for SOTA. It contains all the info and comments about planned and past activations, much as this reflector does principally for the UK. There is a mailing list on yahoo groups called sota_vk2 but it sees very little traffic.

I’m in Yass and occasionally visit Sydney for various purposes. I hope we will meet some day at an event, perhaps, or a SOTA activation!

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH
SOTA Association manager for VK2

Hello Martin,
Just had a look at your website, impressive.
Thanks for the “” very handy, I had to refresh my old brain while trying to decipher the Y button on site, turns out to be a 3 vectors in space.
Should rewatching tonight “No Country for Old Man”
Cheers from Pascal

Dear Andrew,
Nice to read your reply, will join the Oz SOTA Io.
So far had done only successfully 1summit and 1 failed, with Sam GPL.
Will lean on you to learn about SOTA, you have to feel pity, an old dog as I am to learn new trick.
Take care

Age doesn’t matter, it’s all in the mind (and the feet). I suggest you make contact with other SOTA tragics in Sydney, such as Gerard VK2IO and Compton VK2HRX, Phil VK2JDL. There are others too! Getting a few simpler summits done will improve your station and your packing list (most of us take far too much stuff at first, it is difficult to know what is important, what’s optional and where to draw the line). Don’t aim to activate only the high points summits, though there are plenty of good candidates in the CT region. Highly recommend joint activations, it lets you chat with others and learn from them, and see how they setup their gear.
73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

Hi Pascal
I’m a year older than you and still going up hills! And I only got my ham licence three years ago!!

Your adventure on your bike sounds like you still have plenty of life in you yet.

Your QRZ page - wow!! Can’t be too many SOTA enthusiasts with your background story!!

David M6GYU

Dear David,
Your CW’s skill pushes me harder in daily training, only 6 months left to my HB adventure or going broke.
Regrettably why I did not used CW mode since I passed the 10wpm exam for my call sign?
Now using a French military Morse training, courtesy from F5IRO on YouTube, as a “Hortator” and “cadence metre “ to my bicycle training.
Hope will be a master of my legs and enough skill to do S2S in CW.
73 de VK2IHL, Pascal

Thanks Pascal, I was lucky in being taught CW by our Royal Navy. Although that was in in 1966 !! Just keep practicing!! I’ll keep an eye and and ear open for you on here.

Welcome to the reflector, Pascal!
Only 68? Nobody could be that young.
Best, Ken

Hi! Welcome to the reflector!. That’s the most scientific bike I saw!

@K6HP, Ken
You sound like my Elmer S.K. VK2JP in the last century when I took excuse to respond to his expectation to do CW 25wpm.
He was right, learning at higher speed is making lower speed enjoyable.

Your country is irresistible, when I have enough of CW training, this is the video I watch in tandem on my exercise bike.

Apple for Apple, to our eyes, my bike is the most scientific one.
It cost me:
Au $30 for the Muirwoods Marin MTB.
Au $85 for an STM32F746G disco to brew up an EU1KY’s AA, RF detector is homebrew, all done last month, due to my inability to lift boat anchors SA outdoor. Happy to be able to read Rx and Jx with relatively fast speed.
However, we should hold our horses, !para el carro!
N4RVE, his “scientific bike” BEHEMOTH is around 1.2 million USd.

Cheers and 73 to both of you