S2S VK-NA possibility: 13 Jan 1900 UTC

Success! Gerard VK2IO and I had an SSB QSO between VK and the east coast of the US. I was using 100W into three phased verticals configured as a bobtail curtain. I heard him 32 and his report was 33.

Cheers & 73,


Thanks Kevin.
Great to make the contact, my first NA S2S. I was using 15W into a ZS6BKW inverted-Vee at 9m. There was one other activator I heard, a YL, but no QSO. Worked a number of home stations as well. Appreciate all the calls!
Tonight I am overnighting on another summit so I will be on again at 1900z looking for more NA contacts. Hopefully there will be some activator on Sunday as well.

Gerard - VK2IO

Gerard thanks to you and others for operating at dawn, that made the contact possible. It really helps having multiple people on each side trying.

I saw on the map that you were west of Sydney near the Blue Mountains. Brings back good memories from a two month vacation that my wife and I spent in Australia in 2012. Too bad I wasn’t into SOTA then, we practically did a hike per day.

Good luck today, let us know if you make more S2S contacts.

Congrats to Gerard VK2IO on making an S2S with North America. (and thanks for the contacts on vhf between Bindo and Ginini)

Some extreme weather in the form of very high winds on Mt Ginini made it simply impossible to put up a squid pole antenna on Friday night or Saturday morning. It would have stayed up several seconds only. So on Saturday I limited my activity to assembling the VHF station for the field day event.

The wind started to die down a bit from 4pm and by 10pm had become a light breeze, finally. On Sunday morning for the 1900 alert I put up the 20m vertical and tuned around only to find mostly contest activity on CW. I heard NS7P working an activator and just in case it could be an S2S I threw in my callsign, and success, an S2S with VK2IO. An unexpected pleasure, Gerard. Then I moved down the band a bit and self spotted, made a contact with NS7P myself, several VK chasers and ZL1BYZ. Then the VHF activity hotted up and I moved to that for a while, later checked 20m again but there were no recent spots for NA activators. A cq netted zero interest, I suspect that the contest was dominating 20m CW. Note to self, check the contest calendar next time.

Seems that around 1900-2000 UTC (6-7AM AEDST) is currently a good time for VK-NA contacts. We have the easy part of the deal, it isn’t hard to activate at that time of day, with a bit of plannning. The NA ops have a much more challenging task to activate in their winter. I read an alert comment today saying someone turned back at 13,500 ft, good decision. I remember walking up Mt Kinabalu in Malaysia in 1989 with my kids, and the air was thin enough there (same alt) but without the decorative white stuff and sub zero temps.

After the vhf event ended on Sunday at midday, I put up a 40m dipole and handed out some points to chasers. Got a few S2S points myself, but missed out on one of them who didn’t hear me too well, 40m was odd, and his signal moved from s8 down to undetectable in the course of 15 minutes. Got back home at 7pm.

73 Andrew VK1DA VK2UH

ps. listening on Gerard’s alert freq as I write this and out of the noise what do I hear - NS7P calling Gerard I guess! Can’t hear any of VK2IO here, too close for 20m I think, about 200km.

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Congratulations Kevin and Gerard on the completion of the 20m VK - NA SSB S2S.

That’s two VK - NA S2S on SSB. :smile:

Who will be the one to crack a CW S2S?

73 Andrew VK1AD

The VK-NA CW S2S contacts should come before too long, especially from the US west coast. On Jan 14, I made chaser QSOs with VK1DA (20m cw, 559/579) and VK2IO (20m cw: 559/559, 20m SSB: 44/55 and 17m CW: 449/339). These were in the 1900 to 2000z time frame. I was in my home station where the quad at 23 meters is a real plus. It is nice to hear VK CW signals.

The problem for some of us here in NA is the winter weather. It is often more challenging to get to some of the good peaks this time of year. Hopefully soon.

Phil, NS7P

And, congratulations to Kevin, AC2KL and Gerard, VK2IO on their S2S. Great job (especially from the US east coast)!

Well it was a very successful weekend of activating - 7 summits in all.
From Mt Bindo VK2/CT-003 made 9 contacts with NA stations - 3 SSB on 20m inc. the S2S with Kevin AC2KL/P and 6 CW on 20m(2)/17m(4). Also notable are the first 160m contacts from a VK summit the previous evening local time - 3 CW and 1 SSB. I used a double-sized ZS6BKW for those contacts. Expect there will be VK S2S attempts on 160m soon…

The following UTC afternoon at VK2/CT-012 tried again to make more NA contacts. This time made 7 CW contacts using 20m(4)/17m(1)/15m(2). No SOTA operators in NA were heard.
Very happy with the outcome.
I shall keep trying for the elusive NA CW S2S so there’ll be more overnighting on summits for those early morning starts :slight_smile:

Thanks Andrew VK1DA for getting the ball rolling and for the S2S and contest contacts. Quite an ordeal with the WX you had setting up. Glad you were able to participate.
Thanks all chasers!

Gerard - VK2IO

Happy to work with you for a VK multi-summit activation. Mt Ginini is on my list for a VK - NA S2S attempt. :slight_smile:

Andrew VK1AD

Interesting, I used to use a normal-sized one at home at 17m high and loved it. The matching section of ladder-line is longer than your mast is high. Do you bend it 90 degrees at the base and try to keep it off the ground?

There were two antennas using separate 10m squid poles. The double-sized was used for 160m contacts. The matching section is over 22m long so I set up the pole about 10m away from the tent and ran the feedline across the thistles and long grass to keep it off the ground.
I used a standard one for our contact, Kevin. Set that up against the trig point a few metres away from the tent. 11m feedline is only just long enough to reach the radio. Have one at home too!

Hi Gerard,

My weather problems were eventually overcome but I would have liked to find more opportunities (matching my alerts) to get onto HF bands that weekend.

It’s a dilemma when VHF is producing such interesting contacts.

We have discussed other aspects of the operation offline from this site.

What you have done is demonstrate to us all how feasible an S2S is in the mornings, so you can be sure there will be others following your example.

A post here and an alert on sotawatch is recommended. Looks like 14 is still the band of choice, but as sunspots decline, 10 mhz and 7 mhz need to be considered too. I made a perfectly good CW contact with a W7 on 40m a month or two ago, around 0900 UTC, 10w to a linked dipole at my end. I was not on a summit, just at a local WWFF park.

The facebook group SOTA Activations does carry some discussion but I always request that SOTA operators treat SOTAWATCH as the source of truth for SOTA ops.

See you on the next one!

73 Andrew VK1DA VK2UH

Do you worry about coupling between the two antennas since they’re probably close to each other? Do you have to have a termination load on the one you’re not using? Anyone who operates with multiple antennas on a peak is welcome to chime in.

Some photos from the five summits I activated on (local) Sunday are now up. The link is also up on the facebook group.
SOTA from Mt Bindo area
Gerard - VK2IO

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Nice photos Gerard, thanks for sharing. All I have from my end is this:

Would prefer to keep the unused antenna feedline unterminated so anything coming down the feedline is reflected fully and will be re-radiated.

The two antennas were pretty much perpendicular to each other and a minimum of a few metres apart. When one antenna was in use the other one was unterminated. In any case they are non-resonant by design.


Have you heard anything about spring VK-NA s2s activity day lately?

Historically the best West Coast to VK conditions are coming in March and April.


W7A Association manager

Hello Pete

I’m not the same Andrew, so I am not answering for Andrew VK1DA. Back in Nov 16 I volunteer as the VK rep for the organisation of a VK - NA S2S event.

I am waiting for Paul W6PNG to get back to me with a proposed date and UTC timings. Paul was planning a broader discussion with W AMs to gauge interest in a VK - NA S2S event. I’m unsure of what’s happening on your side.

I am prepared to stay on Mt Ginini VK1/AC-008 on the evening of 11 March 17, following the VK. - EU S2S activity, to test a propagation path on 14, 18 and 21 MHz.

I will have 1/2 wave J-Pole vertical antennas assembled on each of 20, 17 and 15m bands.

What is your preferred UTC window to attempt a S2S SSB QSO with me on Mt Ginini on Saturday 11 March 17?


Andrew VK1AD

My calendar is open on 11 Mar so far (the xyl might change that), so there’s a chance I could be on a summit. I’d probably use a ZS6BKW and could do 15-17-20m-SSB @ 100W. For UTC pref, your dawn and the NA afternoon worked last time.

Kevin AC2KL