VK JA ZL - EU UK S2S 20 Oct 2018

Hi all

I have liaised with Mike 2E0YYY and Ed DD5LP on options for the next VK JA ZL - EU S2S QSO Party. We have settled on Saturday 20 October 2018 timing 06:30 UTC to 08:30 UTC.

VK east coast sunset is at 08:22 UTC with last light at 08:50 UTC.

Please make a note in your diary.

73 Andrew VK1AD


Done. See you there.


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I’d forgotten about this until Gerald reminded me about it in connection with planning for the Transatlantic event so thought I’d give everyone a reminder :slight_smile:

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Bother! Another one I’ll miss - this time between tour dates in that delightful place Romford…

Might be a busy day, as the worldwide Scouts & Guides Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) is happening over the same weekend.

Hi Col, I believe the Scouts JOTA/JOTI was the same date as this event either last year or the year before - there were no problems as far as I know.

Given that there are only a limited number of weekends in the year without contests happening, it is inevitable that multiple “non-contest” events are squashed into the same weekend.

73 Ed DD5LP/VK2JI.

I’ve got me a shiny new Hyendfed EFHW for 20m now just in case I manage to really botch repairs to my qrpguys vertical.

Can’t wait to try for those DX S2S again :slightly_smiling_face:


JOTA is always the third full weekend in October.

But if you are on a mountain, see if you can talk to a Scout. I think JOTA and SOTA go together naturally. Give a listen on one of the World Scout Calling Frequencies. Most of the activity is SSB, so at least listen on 14.290 MHz.

More frequencies are listed here.



I think one year a Scout troop in VK based themselves on a SOTA summit - can anyone else remeber this. I think the Scouts were running power with a Generator and one of the supporting Hams was running QRP on batteries for SOTA.

In my experience the scouts I hear are often not on the planned frequencies because they are already in use (either by a different scout troop or by someone else).

73 Ed.

Hi I will join this event on 20 Oct. Also I introduced this event in japan radio program “Ham’s Radio” that is local FM radio broadcasting. This program will be on-air this Sunday 2 Sep.



Hi all,
great idea, thanks for planning. I am sure we will participate with 2 or 3 stations around Frankfurt/Germany. Propagation has been really poor during summer. On many mornings not even QRO-signals from ZL and VK made it through to Europe. But that will improve until the end of October, I hope.
Looking forward to contacting you s2s!
Chris DL4FO

Will there be much CW from VK ZL JA? I think the last event was mostly SSB which just makes it too hard.

This is the list of alerts from last time. Mostly SSB, but some CW. I didn’t immediately find a list of actual contacts.


Hi Richard, the majority of activators in Japan use CW, it’s rare that you find an SSB one. In VK/ZL SSB is in the majority, however there is a push to increase the number of CW activators at least in VK.

Lets hope conditions improve over the next month otherwise we wont hear any SSB or CW contacts (FT8 maybe?) - actually short path 40m might be a better bet than long path 20m this time!

73 Ed.

I will be on CW and SSB, depending on the activity on each mode. I expect to also have 40w or more. I am planning a slightly better antenna than my single vertical.

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This event is getting closer, so I decided to comment on it to bring it up the list and to everyones attention.

I am seriously considering putting back together all the cables and adapters so that I can run FT-8 from the summit using the FT-817.
We have had discussion previously on how to get the /P transferred and the SOTA Reference (or at least the 6 char Maidenhead grid that can be converted to the SOTA-Ref), I believe with v 2.00 this is now possible (I need to look at the details again) - in any case these features are ONLY possible when both ends are running v2.00 of WSJT-x with the features enabled by having the 77-bit messages enabled and so as not to cause confusion with those still using v 1.9x on the normal FT8 frequencies Joe Taylor has asked that the JT7 frequencies on 20m & 40m (7.078 & 14.078MHz) be used. As these are effectively “mini-bands”, I propose that anyone taking part in this VK-EU event use these frequencies as well and make sure you are on WSJT-x v2.00rc2 as a minimum level (RC3 if it comes out before the event).

So is anyone else planning to run FT-8 v 2 from a summit on October 20th? If not there’s no point me struggling with all the extra equipment.

Perhaps we can get some shack-to-shack tests in, in the next couple of weeks? Then we can check out the message format capabilities.

73 Ed.

If I get out for this I will only be running CW. Even though the contacts are of the “5nn tu” variety I love the fact I get greeted by name and there is some character to the QSOs. You get none of that with FT8. Just my personal opinion. And I can’t be a***d to carry extra kit up the hill.

Not a big fan of FT-8 myself but even less of a fan of CW ('cos I can’t do it) and unless I was to drag a 500 watt amp up to the summit, I suspect I wont get through on SSB, FT-8 is the last option. If you want FT-8 as a conversational mode FT8CALL (or what it will now be called) could be an option but I think it’s too early for “production use”.

At least with FT-8 a TRUE signal report is given not just 5nn!

73 Ed.

SOTA reports on CW tend to be accurate - on my last activation I got 3 599s out of 26 CW contacts. I also got 229, 519 and 439.

Also, FT8 does not give a true signal report but a signal to noise ratio. So this is heavily affected by the receiving station’s noise level and receiver bandwidth.

As I said, I’m not a big fan of FT-8 but surely a SNR is not a bad way to report a received signal.
I guess any signal report will be dependant upon a local noise level and receiver sensitivity and bandwidth - I very rarely read the S-meter when I give a report, so the generated SNR value from WSJT-x is probably more accurate than my normal signal reports in any case!

Good luck with your CW contacts during this event, that reduuced bandwidth used in CW may just make it possible to get the DX contacts even in the current conditions, that I was fighting to make on SSB yesterday.

73 Ed.