Sunday, 31 May 2020

SOTA Mount McDonald VK1/AC-048

After a picnic BBQ lunch at Cassaurina Sands headed to nearby SOTA peak Mount McDonald for an activation. Found the walk car park off Brindabella Rd full, some motor bike meet up in progress, taking photos of motor bikes heading down the road. Managed to squeeze a spot in for the car and started walking. After the initial 700 m climb up to the fire trail its a further 1.4 Km to the summit. View from the road looking North along the Bullen Range, Mount Tennent in the distance.

View down to the Cotter River.

After about 20 minutes reached the top. View to the East and Mt Stromlo

It was cold and windy on the summit. Decided to set up away from the trig, too exposed. Instead used a small sapling near the fire tower remains for squid pole support, hiding behinds the bushes to get out of the cold wind. Used a support cord tied to the fire tower to stop the pole bending in the wind.

Shack on the tarp behind the bushes. The rock is to stop it taking off...

Got on 40 m and spotted myself on 7.090. First contact ZL1BYZ John, so band not too bad...


VK1DA/p just operating portable on an oval

A summit to summit with VK4MGL/p Scott on VK4/SE-101 Mt Dunsinane


VK2IO/p Gerard in VKFF-1881 Agnes Banks Nature Reserve, weak but workable


Also found Adam VK2YK/5 on 7.144 in VKFF-1683 Anstey Hill Recreation Park with a good signal.

Was going to try 20 m, but then started raining lightly, so packed up and headed down.

Friday, 22 May 2020

IARU Region 3 Award

Noticed in the FT8DMC Facebook page someone posted that they had obtained an IARU Region 3 Award. A bit of googling found a reference to this award on the WIA Awards website.
You need 20 Region 3 countries worked for the Gold award. I had done this on 17 m FT8, so applied for the award. Here it is.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Worked 300 FT8DMC Members Award

After checking Ultimate AAC Awards Manager, found I had worked 300 FT8DMC members and eligible for an award. 

Saturday, 2 May 2020


After recently working a new country, J68HZ in St. Lucia recently, checked LOTW and found I had at last reached 100 countries!

Notice how I am 98 countries on Digital, so a couple of countries are on phone only. 17m is my best band with 58, then 20m 49, 40m 48 and 10m 46. 30m is not too bad a band either with 43.

Checking Log4OM log book confirms the same

Note I have worked 129 countries before getting to 100 in LOTW... Some other interesting stats, 1 confirmed country/contact on 40m AM, and 18 countries on 10m FM. This was from some time ago when we had sunspots and 10m was wide open!...

My 1st LOTW contact/country listed is 1/10/1998 with OJ9JD Faroe Island on 10m SSB.
My 100th LOTW country was on 29/04/2020 with J68HZ St. Lucia on 40m FT8

So it took me almost 32 years!... I'm not a big DX chaser, tend to stay away from large pileups and just work what I hear on at the time, not go looking for DXpeditions etc. All done on simple wire dipoles, apart from my 10m 5 element yagi. Digital modes such as FT8 have helped in recent times.

Next goal will be to finish off the 2 remaining countries needed for digital DXCC.

FT8DMC Worked 10 countries Region 2 Award

Region 2, North, Central and especially South America countries are tough to get here in VK, managed to work 10 countries in this region on FT8 and applied for the award.