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VK JA ZL - UK EU S2S QSO Party 19 Oct 2019

This event was announced in the latest ARNewsline Broadcast.

I am glad to see the list of intended activators increasing - but there’s always room for more!

Well done to Mike VE7KPM going out at 11:30pm local time on Friday night to try for some S2S contacts into VK/ZL. (or did you get the time wrong Mike?)

73 Ed

See you on the air!

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Heard this morning (14/10) between 0620 and 0630 UTC on 7.173 SSB.
F5PAU in western France working easily
06:20 UTC
ZL4BC - 5-9 reports exchanged
VK4SX - 5-9 reports exchanged
VK2GJC - 5-6 reports exchanged
VK2UXO - 5-8 reports exchanged
VK2MJW - 5-6/7 reports exchanged
06:30 UTC

Frank commented that the low noise level on 40m compared to the last few days was a great help.

If these conditions stay as they are until Saturday (unfortunately not so likely as conditions are changing a lot at the moment) - we may indeed get some UK/EU - VK/ZL contacts - maybe only Chaser to Activator but intercontinental contacts. It looks like our activation times planned are about right. A little earlier for EU-ZL a little later for UK-VK.

Frank was running a 600w PA into a rotatable dipole antenna at 22m AGL.

73 Ed.

That’s a good help, but nothing that a nice summit with a good take-off and a wire antenna in the right orientation can’t do. There’s nothing sure yet, but I may finally find a way to participate in the event. We’ll see…
73,

Guru

Unfortunately I don’t have data on what the stations in VK/ZL were running but the fact that I could actually hear some of them here at home is a good sign. Once I get out to a summit the noise level is 3 S-points lower and that makes a big difference.

It’ll be great if we can get some intercontinental S2S contacts but even Summit to chaser intercontinental contacts are fun. Of course there will be a large number of S2S possibilities within each region.

73 Ed.

I will be active as VK6NU/P not sure about 40 meters but don’t rule out 20 for us in VK6.

Look for spots and have a listen.

73

John VK6NU

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I can’t make it to a summit as I’m operating a JOTA station at Lake Eppalock in Central Victoria, so there may be some scouts/guides as chasers under the scouts callsign VK3SAB.

I can also operate under my own callsign which will be VK3GTV/P.

Will keep an ear out and watch for spots.

Cheers

Col VK3GTV

It’d be great to get some JOTA <–> SOTA contacts !!

73 Ed.

Good to see some more people posting alerts - thanks.

Here’s the current list:

image

I have also heard that Sid ZS5AYC, from South Africa will be on from ZS/GP-014 on Saturday 19 October from 06.30 UTC operating on 7.090 14.300 and 18.130 MHz SSB.

73 Ed DD5LP

Ed,
I don’t know how you do it, but you keep missing my alert.
Was at 0530 with Gerard’s as we plan to be on early, but have now moved it to 0630.
Still plan to be on early to work the locals.

73, Warren vk3byd

Hi Warren,

It’s great that you are taking part.

I’m taking the list from SOTAWatch3 - the new one - at https://sotawatch.sota.org.uk/ I wonder if you are using SOTAWatch2 still and for some reason it isn’t getting across to the new system ??

I wonder if there are others that are also not visible in the new system??

YES! There are ones in SW2 that are not in SW3! - here is the SW2 list:


Currently 30 alerts on SW2 - 19 on SW3.

Thanks for querying this Warren.

73 Ed.

Thanks Ed,
My original and later edit were both on SW3
Are you filtering the displayed Alerts by mode?

73,
Warren.

AARRGH - that could be the problem - I’ve had that issue (unintentionally previously) - let me check…

No it looks OK
image

All bands all modes, no filter.

I’ve sent Jon a note for him to check, but if you are seeing your alert (and the other 29) OK in SW3, then it has to be a problem at my end.

73 Ed.

UPDATE: I just changed “all modes” to AM (no matches of course) then back to “All modes” and now I can see all of the entries including yours:



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I can see Warren in SW3!!

Yes - me too - it was a strange filtering problem in Firefox. I didn’t set any filter for alerts only for spots (Just SSB spots), but I was only seeing Alerts with SSB as one of their modes - Warren is CW and so before I reset all filters, he wasn’t appearing for me.

73 Ed.

P.S. Just heard a Japanese station JH5FIX on 20m (0945 UTC)- about 5-4 - Then I worked a station on Maderia off the African coast (CT9/DF6QV) 5-9 both ways. So it looks like Pre-Auroral-Enhancement ahead of a CME is helping conditions on 20m. Let’s hope it stays that way until tomorrow morning here!

Please excuse my ignorance, I never have been much of an operator, I’m more of a kit constructor :slight_smile: My DX contacts are usually by way of serendipity than by skill or planning.

I’m hoping that someone can give me some info as to the working path from Eu (Northern England) to VK/ZL/JA. Doing the VOACAP predictions etc has just left me confused. Are we talking long path?

Seems as though 20m and 17m are the predicted best bands but I’ve also picked up that folks are saying 40m is working. Anyone care to write me a ‘Dummy’s guide to working VK’?

73, Colin

Dear Colin,
You have got me searching for the meanning of that unusual word “serendipity”, which I had never seen before.
I know what it means now, although I have the feel I’ll never use it myself.
Yes, there is an open window through the LP (Long Path) early in the morning at about our sunrise and the sunset in VK-ZL. The LP from my location is 270º and I guess it will not differ much for you in England. Just a few degrees more to the South, I guess.
260º may be?
Any English reader of the reflector may be able to tell you.
But that’s not so important if you are going to use a wire or vertical antenna, as all you’ll have to do is trying to find a summit with a good slope or drop-off towards the West and setup your antenna at the edge of that drop-off or the top of that slope.
Our sunrise time tomorrow will be 6h24z and I’ll try to be setup and ready by 6h00 or earlier if possible.
I don’t know if we’l be able to make S2S with the other side of the globe, but I’m sure we’ll be chased by some of the good stations over there and that’s always a thrill. The S2S will no doubt be the icing on the cake.
I hope to S2S with you.
Good luck.
73,

Guru

Thank you Guru,

You have confirmed the information that I was unsure about. It seems that the long path is 242° from Ingleborough, my chosen summit. I will set up the directional antenna pointing that way and also have the vertical set up.

73
Colin

Hi Colin,
I guess you’re packing for an early start to get up Ingleborough in the morning!

It’s not a matter of needing an “Idiots guide”. It’s more that currently, despite being at the bottom of the solar cycle, openings can still occur but this varies from day to day. The VOACAP and similar predictions are very much based on expected averages over complete days. They’re predicting based on statistics rather than live data.

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen DX openings of only 15-30 minutes and they have been on 40m rather than 20m, however since yesterday 20m conditions have improved (probably through the PAE effect). Theses short openings to ZL/VK and even JA are so short that they can’t feature in the VOACAP predictions.

It is really a matter of getting out there and “giving it a try” you might be lucky. Then again there might not be any intercontinental DX but you should bag a few UK/EU S2S contacts.

Whether 17m, 20m or 40m works, will depend a lot upon where the MUF (Maximum usable Frequency) for the UK is check http://www.propquest.co.uk/graphs.php ) - this morning the 3000km MUF shot up to 18MHz soon after dawn but previously it hadn’t been getting up to more than 10MHz until later in the morning (by which time it’s too late for long path). So 40m is the most likely band to work at the moment but 20m is going to be easier with stronger signals if it does work (as some stations use gain antennas on 20m but very few do on 40m).

To come back to your first question - yes around UK dawn and for a couple of hours afterwards, we are talking long path rather than short path propagation to contact ZL/VK.

Depending upon how directional your antenna is (what are you using by the way?) - it will need to be in a slightly different position for ZL, Eastern VK states, Western Australia and Japan / Taiwan.

73 Ed.

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Thanks Ed.

Yes, early start! Ingleborough is my nearest summit, about 20 mins in the car to the start point. Whernside is an easier walk but a little further away. There’s not much to choose between the two, except that there’s lots of space on Ingleborough for my antenna farm :slight_smile:
I’m taking a VP2E antenna - blogged by some English guy living abroad…
I’m also taking a 1/4wave 20m vertical, (7m pole, 4 radials) and a SOTAbeams 20/30/40 inverted V dipole. I have a home brew two position antenna switch, so was thinking about switching between the antennas at any given point to see which works best. Heck, if I configure the linked dipole for 20m, I can plug that into the front of the FT817 and the other two antennas via the switch into the back socket. I’m stuck for 17m except for maybe shortening the radiating element on the 20m GP.

Anyway, I always find that I mess around too much switching modes/bands/antennas, maybe it’s best to just stick to one band/mode.

I’m hoping that VP6R will be on the air too, they’ve just arrived on Pitcairn (yesterday?), so may be the pile ups will be a bit large yet. Would be awesome to get a QSO though and 40m seems like it could work.

73, Colin