VK ZL JA - EU S2S 6 April 2019 Part 2

Thank you for always contacting.
See you again in the air.

De Katsu JP3DGT

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There was no chance of me getting out of bed early enough to get to a summit, so I headed up Scald Law GM/SS-125 the night before and camped out on the summit to be ready for the morning.

I got the bus out of Edinburgh to Silverburn, and walked around the hill to the south and up the path from the south west. It was lovely weather for the walk up, bit of cloud but mostly blue skies and warm. I got up to the summit just before sunset, set up camp and headed to bed.

The next morning was quite a contrast. I woke up in the clouds with maybe 25m visibility:

The mist hung around all morning, so I was very happy to have the tent for shelter. I don’t think I would’ve stuck around very long otherwise.

I started out on 40m which seemed to be the best band of the day for me. It was very busy though. I got a few quick contacts on FT8, then started scanning around on SSB. Heard a few other activators but they were working big pileups and I couldn’t get in. I eventually found @DD5LP calling and made my first (ever) S2S contact! :grinning: Many thanks Ed for persisting through the noise.

I eventually found a quiet space on the band to call on, and spotted myself. The first call came in soon after, another S2S from @OE5YYN but right in the middle of it a very loud station started calling CQ over the top of us. :sob:

I swapped out to a new frequency, spotted again, and got the second S2S with @HB9BIN :grinning:. Next up, a nice local contact with @GM0AXY. Then @OE5YYN came back to me again and we finally made the contact - thanks for persevering. :grin:

As 40m was getting pretty busy I switched over to 30m and got another string of FT8 contacts. I knew there was at least one chaser in there as I got a “TNX SOTA” free message back :blush:. Maybe that was @F5LKW? Looking forward to getting my CW skills up to make more use of this band.

I had a look on 20m but it was pretty dead for SSB, but I did make one FT8 contact before packing down.

Overall I got 13 QSOs, 3 of which were S2S. No DX, but I’m still very happy with that for my 2nd activation!

Many thanks to the all organisers & participants - I’m looking forward to the next one!

Equipment used:
SOTABEAMS 20-30-40 linked dipole & 6m compact mast
mcHF radio running 5W
Thinkpad X270 for WSJT-X

Bonus pskreporter results:


@MM0MZW I tried for ages to see if we could work groundwave from the Lake District on 40m as the distance between us was way too short for skywave propagation. Alas, no joy - I could hear the stations you were working in Europe but no copy on your transmissions. Mike @2E0YYY was just about copyable on 40m, much much better on 20m (which is often not the case either and quite ironic in the past when we’ve worked Australia but had to proper shout to talk to each other 100 miles or so away!). I did switch to 80m after the SOTA event had ended and it was working much better than it had of late - not sure if I hit the WAB frequency direct but I had a good pile-up of stations working me SOTA and WAB and Trig.

Cheers, Mark. M0NOM


Yes it was me :wink:

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Hello Andrew,

The amount of QRM on my side wasn’t extraordinary for 40m – some background noise, and one persistent EU chaser calling you, but apparently hearing neither you nor me. However, your signal was pretty close to the noise floor on my end (229 report). While I clearly heard you ask “HB9?” upon my initial call as well as coming back to me after that, the one dB SNR or so that made this possible then vanished, and after that, it was guesswork. At one point (and after having asked for “CFM?”), I was fairly convinced that we had made a QSO, and as I couldn’t tell whether you were still talking to me or had begun a QSO with another station, I decided to let it rest after sending 73. Returning to your QRG a few minutes later, I still couldn’t hear more. Anyway, thanks for trying! :wink:

On 40m SSB, it was the same situation: I’m sure I heard something from many of the spotted VK stations, but it was never enough for a QSO, and most of the QRGs were being splattered upon by nearby kilowatt stations chatting with their pals.

ZL1BYZ made the trip on 40m CW for a 559 report both ways, which made me hope for better conditions on 40m, but of course, John‘s station is in a league of its own :smile:

Like last time, 30m was the best band and produced three VK S2S that, while not quite armchair copy, didn’t require much effort.

Equipment on my side: KX2, JUMA PA-100D, full-size inverted V EFHW for 40m and a separate vertical EFHW with loading coil for 30m, mounted on separate 10m masts.

vy 73,

Manuel HB9DQM


In addition to my first status report now my activation video and some picture in a separete thread:

73 de Joe


I woke up at 3: 30utc I had breakfast with an entire Italian coffee, sipped calmly.
I started to drive to Crezzo but a few kilometers later I noticed that drops appeared on the windshield.
The desire to participate at the event was too great to stop in front of a bit of rain.
I arrived at the parking at 4:45 am, I walked along the path with my dog ​​Zac.

I was rather sleepy, despite of the large advance I went up quickly: “Faster I do arrive, the sooner I start to calling cq!”, I thought. Maybe caffeine had started to work!
Arrived at the top I realized that it wasn’t raining, it was only very humid and foggy.
I fixed a 10mt wire on the telescopic pole and unrolled two 10m wires on the ground.

I started calling cq a few minutes before 06:00 am at 7.037cw I managed some european stations including s2s with Martino @IU2IJW /P from Mt Brianza I / LO-297 and the DX with @ZL1TM rst 339.
After about half an hour I moved to 30cw without receiving any response.
I switched to 20cw , inserting the 1:64 transformer between coaxial and radial.
I heard for a moment @JG1GPY /1 calling at 14.060cw, I tried several times to answer him but I had to give up. it was 06:58. I still made a few calls in 20.
I qsy in 30 meters, at 10.126cw I heard @VK2WP calling from VK2/CT-007, I answered repeating my call several times. incredulous I heard him answer me. fantastic! the signal was affected by strong qsb rts was 229.
Finally I tried to call again in 20 I managed some other qso and s2s but without DX.

I’m sorry with SV and 9 in the call that I wasn’t able to work due to weak signal.
At 08:15utc wet and cold I started the descent.

de iw2obx Roberto


Hi Peter, Many thanks for the s2s. The QRM was bad. I’ve actually got you /p in my log book, so brain freeze my side… I was knocked off my QRG about 4 times. Seems all the refugees from the 20m band are descending onto 40m.

73 Mike

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Ditto - I also had to keep moving frequency when some QRO station simply started up without checking the frequency first!

73 Ed.


Hi Manuel,
I guessed you had qrm but apparently weak signal was the main problem. I was using the ic706 at 40w at that stage. I should have boosted it up another 3db.
My antenna on 40m was the zs6bkw doublet with a ldg tuner.
Thanks for trying.
We will do it next time!

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH


Good stuff everyone. Really gutted I overslept and missed a fantastic event! Looks like the ideas of 10MHz and FT8 are starting to gather pace, as viable options for the DX and/or S2S QSOs.

Therefore I will propose another 30m FT8 / CW event for an upcoming date.

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A short report of my first SOTA S2S party (also my 4th activation).

My initial plan is to go to summit alone and try to concentrate on doing DX SOTA QSOs. However, in the morning on 6th April, the local weather is very good (sunny blue sky), so I decided to invite my wife to come with me with our 8-month-old daughter. Also I changed my activated summit to an easier one.

Unfortunately, I didn’t run my plan very well. I started QRV on 20 meters band first (FT8 and CW). I could manage to work 3 Japan S2S QSOs and some chasers from VK, ZL and U stations.

Then I ended up with having no time to change my antenna to 30 meters and 40 meters band (all my antenna for now are EFHW single band). I need to change my telescopic 10 meters pole mounting position as well which costs more time. So I only QRV on 20 meters band.

This is my activation log

I think I should start QRV on 30 meters band first, the propagation might be better to be able to work with VK/ZL/EU successfully.

This is the BV/NT-029 location photo by my XYL when we left. A national weather radar is in the background.

Thanks for my XYL for taking care of our daughter. :slight_smile:

I hope I could improve my SOTA gears and skills in the future. Thanks for chasers and activators. CU next time.
Best wishes,
73 de BX2AI


I am very sorry that I couldn’t participate this event as planned due to rig failure.

Equipment: 1/4 GP for 20m, Xiegu X5105, Linx 8 tablet with homebrew digi interface and GPS receiver.

I was on the air a few minutes before 06:00 UTC (7:00 AM local time), started with about 15 minutes of CQ on 14.092 FT8, no takers. Moved to 7MHz SSB hunting for other activators, worked OE5JFE/P pretty quickly, heard VK1DA and called him about 10 times to no avail, heard OE5AUL / OE5YYN on other QSOs.

Moved back to 14Mhz, barely managed to work YO6PIB and 2E0YYY (big thanks for the incredible patience of working out my call). Spotted myself and called for quite some time on both SSB and FT8, there was a faint reply on FT8 but couldn’t decode.

Things looked to be opening up after 07:30 UTC but I unfortunately had to take off to pick someone from the airport, so I had the 4th QSO on 7MHz with SP1MVG/P on a WWFF activation.

Lessons learned: 5W is not enough and I need warmer socks. Thank you all for a great event !

Razvan M0HZH / P


He was QRV as M0HZH/P on G/CE-005

73 Joe

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Hi Huawei,

Thank you for the S2S contact by FT8.

I joined the party from JA/HG-052 Ooyasan 753m in Hyogo Japan. PM75pa

It was sunny and warm, lovely day for field operation.

Rig: FT-817 5W
Ant: In Vee 7m high
PC: Raspberry Pi 3 B+

Got on 40m, 30m, 20m and 70cm band. I tried 30m band and it was very
good and busy. But I could not get summits on the band.
I got 9 S2S include my 1st S2S from BV.

Hope to see you again next time.



Log now uploaded.

7 VK summit to summits on an activation is a PB for me. Thanks to Wade VK1MIC for posting the video.

Thanks to all the callers.
73 Mike


That was a very generous 5/6 report !! :grinning:

Nice haul Mike! Many thanks for the S2S and chat :slight_smile:

73 de Paul G4MD (aka G6GGP…)

First of all, many thanks to Mike, Andrew and Ed for setting up this event. Another enjoyable early morning activation for myself and Paul G6GGP (G4MD).

I was up at 01:45 local time for this one… well before the alarm. Keen or what? I left home at 02:36 local and arrived at Paul’s house at 04:02 local. We were on our way to our chosen hill, Brown Clee G/WB-002, 15 minutes later. It was still dark when we arrived at the parking spot and we used headlamps for most of the ascent. We arrived at the summit topograph at 05:15z while it was still half light and rather misty. As the hill is quite popular, we moved away a short distance to find a suitable spot to operate out of the cold wind. Paul used his usual FT-817ND and multi-band antenna, while I opted for my FT-857D and 20 / 17m vertical.

I started on 20m and found the band virtually lifeless and although I self-spotted, I worked no-one. After a while I went to see how Paul was getting on and he told me that the action was on 40m. He was copying both VK and ZL stations. I had a listen on the band and found Andrew VK1AD was a reasonable signal. The problem was I didn’t have a 40m antenna with me. My only option was to change to my 30 / 20m dipole and hope that 30m would come into play. Thankfully it did and at 06:12z I worked Mike VK2WP with signals 559 both ways. A little later I saw a spot for Chris VK1CT/P running QRP and found he was a decent 539 with me. Chris gave 449 which reflected my 30 watt output and perhaps a little more noise at his end. A little later I decided to self-spot and call CQ. This set off a run of contacts with another six S2S contacts coming in a final total of 36 QSOs. Perhaps the most unexpected was a call from Steve VK7CW, a rare one for me and the first with Tasmania from a summit.

The moral of this story is never to expect a particular band to perform. Flexibility is required. In hindsight I should have taken an antenna covering 40m, but I still had a good time on 30m, one of my favourite bands and was pleased with what I managed to achieve. It was also interesting to spend some time listening on 40m and I kept an eye on 20m as well. I did not hear any JA or ZL stations, but Andrew VK1DA was copied at reasonable strength and John VK6NU occasionally popped out of the noise. Many thanks to everyone that I worked. Hopefully the Trans-Atlantic S2S event on 20th April will also produce good results.

73, Gerald G8CXK (G4OIG)

Topograph in the gloom.

Paul operating 40m… my position in the mist in the background.

The vertical before I changed to the dipole.

The mists eventually cleared and the sun came out.