Thanks for the contact from Mt Bulga, Eric.
Broke the drought here for EU contacts. An EA was also worked so those two made my day.
Hopefully there’ll be more VK<->EU contacts from summits coming up.
Good luck to Andrew on Thursday!
Always hunting for VK SOTAs here Gerard as you are well aware. The good days of a higher SFI are a few years away yet, although autumn condx now mean things are improving chances for the DX on 14/18/21 MHz.
You will recall the activations we did together in early 2018. One summit we activated together would make a good SOTA Complete for me - this is VK2/IL-005 Mount Alexandra, Andrew #VK1DA is there now on 14062 - sadly condx are not sufficiently good for me to hear him. As I write this he moved to 18092 - needless to say - nil heard due to the condx.
I’ll make sure I up early enough tomorrow morning Andrew and will listen out.
I know Herbert OE9HRV quite well myself, as we have activated together a few times - a fine chap who puts out a good signal from a summit every time - great attention to detail in putting together his portable station, hence the strong signals from him. Herbert kindly went well out of his way to return my rite in the rain logbook to me on on the OE/VB-509 Hirschberg activation we did together in Austria in 2018. We shared Herbert’s station on Hirschberg, so on meeting up I realised I had needlessly carried my KX2 and pole, aerial etc up there! My mistake was that I left the logbook behind on the summit - and Herbert kindly returned it to me on my next summit where I later went with my XYL to activate. This was OE/VB-511 Eichenberger Hochberg. Pictured below on OE/VB-509 Hirschberg with Herbert’s FB station:
I would have been very pleased to hear a call from you, this evening. I did make one European contact earlier on, at about 0800, with an F4 whose call I don’t recall right now. This was a nice surprise for me, and if conditions remain good for tomorrow evening, Andrew vk1ad has a good chance of making a contact with Herbert.
I went to 18 mhz, having heard a bit of activity, but the main game was the entire world calling 3D2AG or a RU station a bit higher. I got no replies to my calls… so went back to 14, then 7. Arrived back at the car in almost darkness, so I packed up at the right time.
Night and Day Paul, Night and Day and the Grey Line Golden Hour! I will look out for the other Andrew tomorrow. Well done on working the F4, he probably had a far superiior antenna to me, and maybe a little but of goodness in the propagation dept. I saw 3D2AG spotted also - not needed unless he is using DATA, not that I could hear Fiji today either…
I am chasing DATA QSOs/QSLs on any band now and I see the possibility of reaching 300 DXCC confirmed on DATA now that the effective FT8 mode and LoTW is being used extensively. With old school RTTY that would not have been feasible.
We need a vaccine ASAP for Covid so that DXpeditioning and SOTA Touring can recommence. Rates in the UK rising steeply again - 143 more deaths in our country yesterday. The doomsters and the gloomsters were right… It’s getting out of control here again now.
Yes, now I know. The German built Optibeam Chris F4WBN is using is a 16-5 model - that’s 16 elements spread over 5 bands on a 10 metre long boom. I had an 11-5 version at my previous QTH 2010 - 2016. Heavy, over engineered antennas which are much copied, but they are sky burners and for a multiband aerial the best commercially available in my opinion. If my local residents would support a planning application for one I would have the the 11-5 back up tomorrow, but it sold with other hardware in late 2016 to a DXer in North Wales. Trouble is even if I could get an Optibeam in the air the Tennamast I have planning permission for would not support it, so a larger lattice mast and a bigger rotator would be needed! An aerial so big is not needed for normal SOTA Chasing, but as we saw today, if you want to work extreme distances in sunspot minima consistently, that is what you need, at least at one end of the circuit. Meantime I’ll keep plugging away with the Hexbeam and other 5 aerials I use here for the LF bands and VHF… I don’t do so bad considering. I think the 16-5 has around 4 dBd gain on my Hexbeam on 20m band.
The first rule Eric - you have to be there, in front of the radio to stand any chance of working the good ones, and you have to be able to use the activators choice of mode, which of course you are very adept at! 40m long path yes, I must pay attention to the spots on 40m at that time in the future. I don’t imagine Gerard was running 5-10 watts though for him to get through on 40m, maybe he was?
currently negotiating with my will power and alarm clock to get on top of my nearest SOTA to try and get you Andrew. It’s a good 90 mins door to summit, so not an attractive prospect; but a VK S2S followed by a bacon butty might swing it for me!