VK travels

g’day :). I will be in the VK area the next 30 days doing some SOTA and well it would not be an international trip of I was not already having equipment drama!! my dash is dead so I am running straight mode. Also I only have my mtr3, no idea why I decided last minute to pull my qcx (17m out last minute). I do have an HT too, but seems most of the oeaks I am doing are too far out for the whip I am packing.
I will be mostly vk2/vk4 the first two weeks. then we shall see if l have time for something in the other eastern associations

Be patient with my keying (ir hope whatever my issue is goes away) and hope to get some of you OTA!!
73 de vk2/n6jfd/p

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Welcome here and hope your SOTA excursions go well.

Cheers, Wal VK2WP

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Gday Jamie thanks for trying SOTA in vk. I saw your spots on my phone but could not hear you at my QTH. I hope you Qualified. In vk we need to span a long distance between chasing stations usually, unless you are lucky to have several chasers in your skip zone. The MTR rig might not put out enough to make it to vk5 in the current band condx. The last few days stations on 40m cw in 100 to 150km from me are 599+ but interstate stations are very week or unreadable and when the band is short like that its hard work. High noise levels are another problem these days. Keep the Alerts and Spots going and I will check for your next activation enjoy the Aussie bush . Cheers
vk5cz Ian …

Good to get you in the log, Jamie, and welcome to VK. Yes, the 2 mtr HT is dead weight unless you are activating in downtown Canberra or Melbourne, and even then… :slight_smile:
John, VK4TJ

hey Ian. thansk for coming back, yes I did wualify, but as noted kicking myself for leaving my qcxmini at home!! I was mostly getting vk2/vk2 station chasers today!!

Will be on VK2/MW001 tomorrow

Yeh unfortunately most of the skip on 40m during the day is short in stations for what ever reason. But you never know it might be better next time.
I be watching SW3.
vk5cz …

Welcome Jamie and thanks for the QSO this morning.
With 40, 30 and 20m you should reach most of the chasers.
17m is good for VK6, ZL and NA so would have been nice too.
2m is not used for SOTA in VK2 and VK4 (unfortunately).
Hope to work you on many more hills.
Enjoy your stay!
73, Gerard - VK2IO


Sorry to have missed you on Mt Bindo. I got home 10 minutes too late. I think 40m would have worked ok for us, I’m just north of Canberra and only 250 km or so from Bindo. I’ll look out for you on cw on your next activations.

just thinking on the dash problem - that might be due to having the dash shorted to ground just as you turned the rig on. it uses a shorted dash to indicate you are using a hand key and a mono 3.5mm plug, with the ring that normally has the dash signal shorted to ground by the mono plug. In that case the iambic keyer does not start and it assumes you are using a hand key with just the tip and sleeve connections.

You have probably tried restarting the MTR with the paddle plugged in all the way. but if not, I suggest retrying that. I think on mine, it also works if no key is plugged in when you power up.

I will call you from home as VK2DA and will post spots as VK1DA, both callsigns are me.

if your keyer is working ok I am sure we could get a loaner paddle to you.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA

PS thanks for alerting it usually helps a lot. current band conditions are not normal though…

Hi Jamie,
Welcome to VK.
Good to work you this morning on Mt Bindo. 40 m CW was a bit scratchy signal wise. Nothing heard of you on 20 m in southern VK3, but you were okay on 30 m.
Safe travels. Hopefully I can work you again during the trip.
Peter VK3PF / VK3KAI


Thanks all for the chases today from Bithongabel. 20M seemed a bit stronger (picked up a ZL chaser today). VK2IO you were low in the signal (no noise) but I was not getting enough to copy you on 20, I was about to go back to 40 when I saw your alert.
my Straight Key sending is getting better :). Not sure whats up next, depends on how much further N we go. I am hoping to pick up at least one more association here, (VK1 or VK3) just depends on how far we get over the rest of our driving. Tha ks again and hope to get you in the logs at least one more time

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related, but not, are there any SOTAops in Brisbane who also have a soldering iron. OR is there a radio shack type shop maybe where I can maybe get a couple of things that will get my MTR kinda solid again??? (need the threaded nuts on the headphone/key jacks and just need to hit the daughtboard connector with an iron).


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Hi Jamie,

Thanks for the contact today. I noticed your keying sounded a bit “different” as if there was an additional modulation on each element apart from your key. Kind of fluttery sounding.

Your best bet for tools and components for field repairs (if none of the Brisbane hams see your request) is the Jaycar chain of electronics stores. They sell tools, wire, resistors etc and even some SMD components.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA
1000 km to the south of you

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I’m a bit left of Brisbane (figure 100 km), but have a VERY well-stocked junque box. There are even some SOTA Summits not far away :slight_smile: If the XYL needs an incentive to put additional km’s on the rent-a-buggy, have her watch this: Catherine’s 5 Minutes of Fame - Take 2 (vk4tj.blogspot.com)

Happy trails
John, VK4TJ


Oh yeah - the VK4 association manager is Grant, VK4JAZ (email good on QRZ), and he is in Brisbane. He is an avid kit builder, so the slobbering iron is probably already warm, but doubt that his treasure trove of parts is as good as mine :slight_smile:

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TU @VK4TJ for some bench time to solve two different problems. Dash was dead because the wire had snipped at the edge of the base of the keyer, and the parts/solder needed to fix the mtr and better mount the headphone/keyer mount to the case. So back at 100% until the next break (preferably in a few months. Should be on a summit in the near future :slight_smile: