Hoping to activate Mt.Solus VK6/SW-030 Saturday from 07:00UTC, I will be looking for Europe long path on 20 metres.
This summit is in a mining area and I’m not sure yet if I will be allowed operate. I have to phone tomorrow and see if any blasting is happening in the area. This Summit is a new one and hasn’t been activated before. My back up plan is Mt.Randall VK6/SW-039. I will be active from either Summit just look at Alerts or Spots for updates.
Hopefully conditions allow some contacts to Europe, I will be running 50 watts and a linked dipole antenna.
Will be ready and eager to chase you, John.
73 de Guru - EA2IF
AS always may the propagation gods be kind
I’ll be waiting guys, fingers crossed.
Got the go ahead so should be on from around 07:00 UTC
Got voice back of box calling CQ sota.
Calling a lot but can’t quite make out the call sign,
hmmm Did i get through or not in and out of the noise 2/2 here
did hear my name called. Still tuned in
Thanks for the QSO and the summit, John.
It was very difficult as your signal was weak and covered by a strong splatter from DL stations in QSO just 1Kc down of your frequency.
I managed to hear CQ SOTA and I guessed it was you but was unable to understand due to splatter, so I called you telling about the splatter and asking you to QSY 5Kc up if possible. When I released my PTT, the splatter had gone quiet and you were giving my signal report, which I could copy perfectly.
We’ve got an all day raining Saturday and so will probably be Sunday, so no activations from me this weekend.
I’ll be looking forward to chasing you again, John.
73 de Guru -EA2IF
Put together a video from Saturday VK6/SW-060 Mt.Solus trip. It will give you guys an idea of what signals are like in VK6 with a linked dipole at 7 metres on 20 meters LP around 08:00 UTC. Sorry had no filler video as I only set the camera up next to me and let it run, so I had to put some photos in there to fill it up or you would have been looking at me for 5 mins. I hope people don’t mind their photo on here but if its on QRZ.Com then anyone can find it anyway. First attempt at doing a video, hopefully next one will be better. here is the link to the video on youtube Mt.Solus SOTA VK6/SW-030 - YouTube
73 John VK6NU
It’d be interesting to know what sorts of antennas the folk over in Europe were using. I had a listen on your spotted frequency for a while from a bit after 08:00z, and heard nothing from you. I don’t have a beam here. I suspect I’ll need one to work VK SOTA more…
73, Rick M0LEP
I am using an Optibeam OB 11-5 (German antenna) which was at about 50 feet that day and 150 watts from a Yaesu Transceiver. The beam has a quoted gain of 5.3 db over a dipole on 20m with a 22db front-back ratio. Optibeam (unlike some manufacturers) don’t exagerate their performance figures. John VK6NU was coming in well on the long path that day once the band got going. There was nothing coming from the short path. Logged at 0809z and signals came up after that. I live 25 miles north east of York.
The Optibeam antennas are well made but rather too heavy for my liking and take some keeping in the air. The beam has only come down once and it finished up in my hedgerow, which broke it’s fall slightly (£300 damage). That was because I used thick wall aluminium tubing for the stub mast - now galvanised steel. Alloy is not strong enough to take the winds. It lasted over a year then snapped in the middle of the night like a carrot. Then I had a second close call about two years ago when the boom - mast clamp fractured and left the beam hanging in mid air. Luckily I got it down with little damage done and Optibeam sent me a heavy duty boom - mast clamp free of charge. The boom on the OB 11-5 is 6m long and the antenna weighs in at 45 Kgs… I wish I had bought the smaller OB 9-5 which has a boom of 5.1m and one less active element on two of the bands… 30 Kgs that one weighs. More than enough for SOTA…hihi
I bought the 11-5 when I had DX Fever though, which is now cured, so that explains my rationale at the time.
Picture is of the OB 11-5 with the Optibeam OB1 40-30 above it. This is what I use on 30m and 40m:
PS For John VK6NU - Nice video, well done. Now we know what the mysterious and FB operator Jan OK2PDT looks like and a few more faces can now be put to callsigns. Well resourced I would say John - you could be a private detective!
Thanks. Interesting. I’ll need to move house before I can do more than dream about antennas like that. I’ve just about got room for a hexbeam for 20 metres, maybe…
Hi Phil, that’s a nice antenna setup which probably explains why I hear you giving good reports to stations I can barely hear…oh well maybe someday
73 Victor GI4ONL
Looking at the antenna, so green with envy
Only full sized G5RV at moment.
Just watched your video. Rather likes that, rather cool and clever stuff, was among some of them even heard some of them calling. Oh well may be next time.
Funny you mention detective, that’s what my friends reckon also. We used to go camping when the kids were smaller and after a couple of days I knew everything that was happening in the campsite. Go back the next year and I’d know who was there previous years. :). Think I missed a calling there somewhere and became a TV Tech when I was 16.
I can vouch for Phil’s antenna, In November when I was up on Mt.Dale he just about blew me off the summit with this huge signal that came up out of nowhere on 10 metres. Wish I had that one on video Phil, had my mate with me and we were amazed this huge signal appeared out of nowhere on a seemingly dead band.
Hi Rick and John
I was using Cushcraft R6000 @ 10’ agl. transceiver is a Kenwood TS-590 @ 100W
Nice to work you for the first time, I have looked at many of your photos, trips etc in the past but as I hadn’t worked you the callsign wasn’t embedded yet. Had a bit of QSB on you but wasn’t really that difficult a copy. I’ll be looking for you next time, Good job on the vertical to VK6. FT-817 and Hard rock 50 amp about 40 watts and linked dipole at 7 metres my end.
This is the Aluminum I used to chase John last Saturday via LP, plus 100w of RF from a Kenwood TS-940S.
It’s a Hy-Gain TH5-DX tribander.
Three active elements on 20m.
It’s about 15m above the ground.
I worked John at 7h32 utc in the middle of strong splatter from central Europe.
Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF
Thanks for the antenna photos, Carolyn and Guru. I think I need to start looking for a new place to live, so I can get a decent tower up.
73, Rick M0LEP