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VK/ZL <> Europe SOTA S2S Party - 22 Oct 16 0630 - 0830 UTC

Just wondering whether there is any mileage in not just a repeat event, but also others that target other paths. EU to the Americas using grey line springs to mind, but there are of course many other possibilities. Arranging such events could encourage more activity in areas where it is generally low.

73, Gerald G4OIG


Hi Gerald,

When we had the SOTA s2s day back in April 2015, band conditions were much more favorable and I did work three North American stations, two of them at 0550z…

73 Mike

Hi Gerald

It starts with a post inviting others to join in.
Please feel free to kick off a S2S activity with NA.

In VK we have activators who are keen to work JA S2S nevermind trying to work North America. In 3 years of SOTA I still haven’t worked NA S2S. I have worked NA chasers on 10 and 15m bands in the window 2000 to 2300 UTC.

Please run with the idea, it’s as simple as a post to this reflector. Don’t worry about VK, we have a different path and timing is generally around (but not exactly) 1900 to 2300 UTC.

Good luck.

73 Andrew VK1AD

Short report
from the ZL bit of the VK/ZL > EU S2S QSO Party (long report will be on our
blog in the next few days)

Upon setting up
at Ranginui I discovered a couple of things

Grabbing a 40m
dipole without checking it first is unwise

My FT847 wasn’t
as fixed as I thought it was (I did run it up in the shack first but didn’t QSO
with it – my bad)

The summit
track was very long and slow going – especially with young passengers that get
car sick

The site had an
S5 noise level on 14 MHz L (however 7 MHz was clean – go figure)

We arrived early due to the fact
that our sunset was first and any chance of DX would likely happen earlier.
Once the bugs were dealt with we had a few QSOs on VHF simplex then tried 20
and 40. I managed a few chasers but sadly no S2S (Although I am told I was
heard on 14 by some summits – blasted noise).

We had to leave
soon after sunset due to the cold setting in very quick and I wasn’t feeling
100% (ended up bouncing my dinner on the way down – ick!).

So I managed to
collect the activator points (which edged me over 100 J ) however no S2S to the log this
time. I am keen on future S2S sessions and believe it should be a regular
event. Maybe one for EU and one for America each year?

The other thing
worth noting is on the first weekend of December ZL has a VHF field day. This
is often from summits – so is worth putting in the diary. Once I find out more
I will encourage a few stations to activate on HF as well for SOTA.

Thanks to the
folks that gave this the push – lets do it again!


Hi Ed and all others who tried to find a clear frequency
I encountered the same problem, asked if the frequency was clear on 14.320, nothing heard, so started calling cq
After some time, someone dropped in saying that 2E0YYY was on that frequency, I did not hear him at all, and seemingly he got no takers, since I also heard nobody call him … so no harm done and I qsy’ed

FYI, next weekend will be a complete nightmare for SOTA phone operators … CQWW SSB contest will certainly fill all phone portions on non-WARC bands
(and I know, because I will be operator on 40m at OT5A, it doesn’t have to be SOTA and QRP all the time , hi … sorry for the QRM guys)
So everyone will have to brush up on the CW skills …
now that I think of it … OT5A is almost an anagram of SOTA haha !

1 Like

Congrat everybody!!
I’reading only now… Next event, I’ll be on air too

Hi Gerald,
One of my reasons for publicising the event on ARNresline was to try to get some (short path) participation from the US or Canada as I know this is possible at this time from previous early morning activations at my side. Of course an S2S from NA would mean the station setting up and operating in darkness, so only easily accessible summits would be possible. As it turned out, no one was spotted from NA, so it appears that was not practical. Did anyone in EU get chased at least from the States (Mike 2E0YYY would be the usual target I guess).

The point that needs to be considered as well as conditions is the clock difference. From Europe in November short path propagation should be best to the East Coast between 1300 and 1900 UTC on 14MHz but for the West Coast the best times appear to be between 1600 and 1800 UTC - This is not grey line, this is just “normal” propagation. So looking to cover the whole of NA, it looks like the best window could be 1600-1800 UTC, which translates to ??? what local time in the NA stations location?

Generally looking at the predictions, it looks like propagation to many places could be possible on bands above 14MHz as well at certain times of day, but 20m remains the most likely.

73 Ed.
Additional suggestions:
1. as it has been pointed out that some EU summits were heard in VK, the VK Summit could not get a contact as other EU summits were calling - Perhaps in the next event we could have a suggested time windows for “local” S2S contacts and a windows for “DX S2S” contacts? These would only be recomendations but could help.
2. With so many summits all looking for their own frequency to call CQ on, it was always going to be difficult and I suppose we should not be surprised that QRO stations simply started using the frequencies we were operating on, or very close by. How about we consider a “Net like” approach where all Summits can gather on one frequency and those who hear each other can make a very breif call with the report exchange and then move off to work the chasers on a different frequency?

Interestingly, this is how some activators worked in the early days of SOTA. A group of chasers would set up a net on (say) 40m around about the time the activator was expected on the summit just to ensure there was a clear frequency. No SOTAwatch alerts or spots in those days, just the reflector (IIRC)
Worked for me!

(Once again my thanks to the LA QRO station who kept the big boys away from my frequency when I activated just before a Nordic contest started - that was most effective!!)

In an ideal world this would be a good suggestion, but there is so much indiscipline - particularly on 20 and 40 - that I’m sure the lids will continue calling as usual. I had a busy day on 20 and 40 yesterday, and frankly it was a jungle. I felt sorry for the activators trying to work the decent chasers through a harpies chorus of non-stop callers that either couldn’t hear the activators or somehow imagined that they could hear whilst talking!


Yes, I should have started a new thread, but was musing over the possibilities, not yet having had the pleasure of an S2S with VK, ZL or indeed W. I have worked several American stations, even on 10MHz and a near contact on 7MHz where I was called, but my QRP didn’t manage to maintain a contact. It was a pity that I had to head up a walking group activity, otherwise I would have been out on this event with the 857 and as many LiPOs as I could muster.

Thanks everyone for the reports and photos. It is great to see what a brilliant effort activators made.

73, Gerald G4OIG

ISTR our US friends already have a weekend when they try to have lots of S2S contacts in the US. Getting in sync with that pre-existing event may help you get some W S2S contacts Gerald. It may need a bit of adjusting to when both sides of the Atlantic are on air to maximise the probability though.

A few (manually worked - so please correct any errors you see), details on who took part - based on who was spotted between 0630 and 0830 UTC. I have excluded stations that were only spotted on VHF/UHF - there were a couple, but included all others.

From I think 51 alerted summits the previous day, we ended up with 73 active - A GREAT EFFORT!!


Thanks for that Ed…

73 Mike

Seems I peaked too early with my visit to Great Orme on Thursday.

This was a joint activation with G7LAS of G/CE-004 Bardon Hill.

Rob G7LAS carried a bag full of aluminium and god knows what else to the summit, When I asked him what antenna was in the bag, he just smiled and didn’t comment.

When we arrived at the trig point, I thought he’d brought something along with at least four elements to try and outgun the Antron-99! When he opened the bag, it turned out to be a picnic table as well as a laptop and keyboard…Oh well :smile:

On the basis of “altitude is attitude” with the Antron-99, I took along 20 feet (6 metres) of swaged poles. With two of us and no wind to speak of, getting it in the air was easy peasy.

My first CQ brought a s2s from Christos SV2OXS and Stavros SY2BIK activating SV/MC-077

Four VK’s worked three of them s2s. VK1RX was first in. Next was Andrew VK3JBL activating VK3/VN-020, Andrew Hill, then Ernie VK3DET and finally, I was really pleased to get John VK6NU in the log. John was activating VK6/SW-042, Mt William. John and myself are no strangers to s2s contacts, however, it was the first time we had worked for some time. Sadly, no S2S with Andrew VK1AD, everything seemed to conspire against it :frowning:

The only other DX in my log was Serge RV9DC from Asiatic Russia.

After about an hour, I handed the rig over to Rob to try some PSK. After getting it all set-up, sods law intervened, it started to rain and we were forced to get the equipment covered up tout suite. Sadly, I was faced with a long drive to Galashiels in the afternoon, and so was unable to hang about on the summit :frowning:

A great mornings radio though. Shame the propagation wasn’t that brilliant, nevertheless, a shed load of fun.

Here’s to the next one…



Thanks for the list, Ed. Certainly impressive!
Strictly speaking not all stations were signing /P. The following either don’t or weren’t using it: VK2AOH, VK2QR, VA3OZI, VK3ARR, VK3YY, ZL2AJ, ZL4TZ. I generally do when activating except during contests.
Gerard - VK2IO

I was on G/SP-015. M0IML was on G/SE-015.

Hi Ed,

I was on DM/NW-206, but not spotted.
73 Lutz

Sorry - my error while checking the data for shared summits. Now corrected, thanks.

Thanks Lutz - now added and we had 74 active Summits. even better.

Ed, it seems that you put HB9DQM/P twice in the list, with the same summit