Thursday, 30 December 2021

Worked 600 United States Stations Award

After working several US stations on 10m before the new year, managed to reach 600 stations and applied for the FT8DMC 600 US stations award.


Sunday, 26 December 2021

10 Hungarian Stations Award

Latest award for me, for contacting 10 Hungarian stations on FT8 mode. 

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

SOTA Isaacs Ridge VK1/AC-041

With a sunny day on Wednesday decided to to a SOTA activation of Isaacs Ridge, VK1/AC-041. There was an alert for Compton VK2HRX to activate Mount Canobolas at 2300z, or 10am local time. Plus needed to finish completing 44 contacts for the WWFF award. The summit is in VKFF-0845, Isaacs Ridge Nature Reserve.

Parked off  Long Gully Road and walked up to the gate entering the reserve.

A short walk and joined up to another track heading up the hill. 

Near the top the track bends to the left, took another minor track that heads straight up the hill, steep but not too bad.

Reached the top. Track log of walk, taken from Garmin Connect off my Garmin watch. A distance of 0.7 Km taking 15 minutes to walk. 

Set up on my usual spot, a concrete post near one of the transmitting towers. Got some shade off an nearby pine tree, which was good as the day heated up. I did lose the shade later on.

Initially set up just 2m, but then found spots on ParksnPeaks for Compton on 40m, he had got on air early... so quickly set up the 40m dipole. Set up my FT857D on a rock

While operating spotted a lizard sunning itself on a nearby rock, type of skink I think.

Got on 40m and worked Compton, VK2HRX/p on Mount Canobolas VK2/CT-001, VKFF-1353 with a good signal. I switched to 2m FM and tried calling, got Andrew VK1AD close by. No other callers so went back to 40m and put up a spot up on SOTAwatch/ParksnPeaks. Got several callers pre UTC rollover


Briefly tried 20m, worked ZL1TM and VK1AD.

After UTC rollover worked Compton, VK2HRX/p on Mount Canobolas VK2/CT-001 VKFF-1353 again for another S2S/P2P contact. Worked a few more chasers.

Briefly tried 2m FM again, working VK1AD and VK1MIC.

VK3PF, who I had worked mobile pre rollover, had reached his summit, so worked him for a S2S/P2P.
He was on VK3/VE-192 Hore Hill in park VKFF-0767.

Starting to get warm as no longer had the tree shade, packed up and headed back down to have lunch in Woden. 

Monday, 20 December 2021

VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 1025 Award

Checking Logsearch recently found I had reached another milestone, 1025 different VKFF parks hunted. Here is the award. 

Saturday, 18 December 2021

700 Japanese stations award

 New award for me, for contacting 700 different Japanese stations on FT8.

Friday, 3 December 2021

10 England Stations Award

 New award from the European Ros Club, for working 10 stations from England on digital modes.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

1000 Asian Stations Award

Latest award from the European Ros Club,, for working 1000 different Asian Stations. Most of these would be with Japan, on 17m and 10m. Thanks for QSOs

Monday, 22 November 2021

SOTA Mt Gillamatong VK2/ST-034

When Andrew VK1AD and Andrew VK1DA announced they were going to activate Big Badja Hill VK2/SM-059, and Bald Mountain VK2/SM-052, thought I would try for an S2S from a close by mountain, Mt Gillamatong VK2/ST-034. This is located near Braidwood and should have a clear line of sight to these 2 mountains to the South.

The drive to Braidwood was uneventful, although did get some spots of rain on the way, so knew could be a damp activation. Approached Mt Gillamatong along Gillamatong Lane.

At the end of Gillamatong Lane a small car park with an unlocked gate.

Up the hill, then headed to the right and up. Walked through the long grass, getting fairly wet feet... 

At the top a small foot gate

Went to the left after the gate for a while, finding a hole in a fallen down fence and then headed up the mountain through the scrub. Lots of thistles... managed to avoid the worst by following the rocks.

Reached the top. Guess should have expected it on a work day, there were a couple of workers near the trig, cutting and clearing away tree branches, probably for improving radio reception up there. I didnt want to get in their way, so set up in the bush just behind one of the compounds. Still well within the activation zone, almost at the same altitude as the trig anyway. Set up just the 2m Jpole on the squid pole.

Shack on the tarp. Running 40w on 2m SSB.

Got on 2m SSB just before UTC rollover at 10:45am. Surprisingly heard Compton VK2HRX/p on VK2/IL-003, Mt Wanganderry. This is around 135 km away to the North... Not real strong but easy copy. Also worked Matt VK1MA.

After rollover worked lots of activators and chasers

VK1MBE Andrew on VK2/ST-001 Mt Cowangerong. Real strong, S9+, although expected as only about 30 Km away to the South.

VK2HRX again post rollover on VK2/IL-003, Mt Wanganderry
VK1RX/p Al on Mt Stromlo, VK1/AC-043 70 Km away. Quite strong.
VK1AD/2 Andrew on VK2/SM-059 Big Badja Hill, Good S9, about 65 Km to the South
VK2DO Chris operating a remote station down at Batemans Bay, around 45 Km away
VK1DA/2 Andrew on VK2/SM-052 Bald Mountain, about 55 Km to the South. A huge 59+ signal.

It looked like the rain was headed my way, so packed up and headed down the hill to Braidwood for lunch at the bakery.


Tuesday, 9 November 2021

SOTA Mt Ainslie VK1/AC-040

VK1AD Andrew was activating Bobarra Mountain, VK2/ST-044 so decided to chase him from a local SOTA summit, Mt Ainslie VK1/AC-040. Plus it was a chance to get out and activate before several days of cold wet weather...

Drove up Mt Ainslie and parked in the car park just below the summit. A short walk and was on top. As per other activations used the round metal thing on top for squid pole support.

Set up the radio at the base, the mouse mat is to make the concrete slab a bit more comfy to sit on... 

First set up the 2m Jpole ribbon to work some of the locals. Started by working VK1AD/p on Bobarra Mountain on 2m SSB 144.200. Low signal but easy copy. After Andrew a surprising contact with Chris VK2DO down the South Coast near Batemans Bay! Weak but easy copy.

Got a few locals calling me, so moved up to 144.210 SSB to work them. VK1PDW, VK1MIC, VK1RF, VK1DD. A S2S with VK1CT/p Chris on nearby Black Mountain, VK1/AC-042. Plus VK1MF/p Mat in a nearby WWFF park, Bruce Ridge Nature Reserve, VKFF-0835.

Andrew VK1AD then spotted on 50.150 Mhz SSB, so set up the 40m dipole to chase him. From the antenna analyser knew it loads up fine on 6m as a multi wavelength antenna. Worked Andrew easily on 6m a good S7. To my surprise worked Chris VK2DO again down the South Coast, not that strong but readable. Also worked VK1DA Andrew on VK2/ST-053 Mt Mundoonen, strong signal. Also VK1MF again, using a loaded up 2m antenna on 6m.

Went to 40m. Worked Andrew VK1AD/p again on Bobarra Mountain, surprising as thought 40 m would not be open so close by, maybe was on ground wave?

After spotting myself on 40m 7.090 Mhz worked VK3PF, ZK3RIK, VK5PAS, VK2VW, VK2HFI, ZL1BQD, VK3ANL, VK2YAK, VK1DA/p Andrew again on Mt Mundoonen VK2/ST-053.

After 11am local time, UTC rollover returned to 2m, this time to 2m FM. Worked Andrew VK1DA on Mt Mundoonen again with a strong signal. Then VK1MF/p, VK1PDW, VK1MIC. Another S2S with Andrew VK1MBE on Isaacs Ridge VK1/AC-041.

Returned to 6m as Andrew VK1AD had spotted, asking for S2S contacts with myself and VK1CT post rollover. Worked Andrew an easy S7 on 6m SSB. Also worked VK1MF/p again, then VK1CT/p Chris on nearby Black mountain. 

Packed up and headed down to nearby Civic for lunch.

Friday, 5 November 2021

5 Hungarian Stations Award

 Latest award for me, from the European Ros Club for working 5 different Hungary stations on FT8.

Monday, 25 October 2021

Sunday, 24 October 2021

SOTA South Black Range VK2/ST-006

SOTA summit South Black Range VK2/ST-006 was one of the summits hit by the 2019-2020 summer bushfires, and access was closed for some time. This was followed by Covid lockdown for VK1, so even if the roads opened up could not leave the ACT anyway until recently. With a sunny Sunday predicted and several other activations planned headed out to check out the summit.

Headed out via Queanbeyan, Hoskinstown, Forbes Creek, enterinng Tallaganda National Park on Forbes Creek Rd. This is WWFF reference VKFF-0474.

Continued on to the junction of North Black Range Fire trail. I was worried that this might have been closed due to fire damage, but it was open.

Continued along North Black Range Fire Trail. A few muddy spots but nothing to worry about. Reached the track on the left up to the summit. I could have driven up this, but looked a bit muddy so just parked near the track junction and walked.

Some muddy spots on the track

After about 10 minutes walking reached the end of the track, after a short walk was on the summit. Good to see the trig on a large rock had survived the fire.

Around the side of the rock found the old ladder for accessing the trig thats been here for years, good to see it not burnt, although not planning to use it...

Set up the squid pole on a burnt stump to the North of the trig, using a rock for a radio table. Initially just the 2m Jpole antenna on top

Radio on the rock.

Spotted myself on 2m FM and called. First contact Peter VK1PDW portable in Melba.

Then several S2S contacts...

VK1MIC/p Wade on VK1/AC-036 Goorooyarroo, strong. Also P2P with VKFF-1932
VK1AD/P Andrew on VK1/AC-026 Booroomba Rocks, also strong. Also P2P with VKFF-0377.
VK1MCW/2 Bill on nearby VK2/ST-034 Mt Gillamatong, strong
VK1DA/2 Andrew on VK2/ST-053 Mt Mundoonen
VK1MA Matt, strong
VK1MF, Mat, in OConnor, a bit weak but he was QRP on 10w

Set up 40m and spotted there. Pre Roll over at 11am worked VK3PF, VK2VW, VK2HFI, VK2YAK, ZL1BQD, VK5IS, VK3BEL

After rollover worked VK2MET, VK5PAS, VK2YAK, VK3PF

Returned to 2m to work

VK1DA/2 Andrew on VK2/ST-053 Mt Mundoonen
VK1MCW/2 Bill on VK2/ST-034 Mt Gillamatong
VK1AD/p  Andrew on VK1/AC-026 Booroomba Rocks
VK1MA Matt

Good to see this summit survived the fire okay. Going by the black looked like the fire passed by quickly at ground level and did not get into the canopy much, so should recover quickly.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

15 Holland stations

 New award from the European ROS Club, worked 15 stations from Holland on FT8.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 1000 Award

After working a few new parks recently managed to get over unique 1000 VKFF parks worked. Here is the award.

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Worked 100 Russian Stations Award

 Another award from the FT8 Digital Mode Club, worked 100 Russian Stations.

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

30 Meters Digital Group 150 Members

Picked up another award from the 30 Meters Digital Group for working 150 of its members, Gold level award.

Saturday, 2 October 2021

800 Asia Stations Award

Latest award for working 800 Asia stations on FT8. Most of these are Japan, with some China, South Korea and Asiatic Russia stations. Nice award.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Worked 10 Romanian Stations Award

Latest award for me for working 10 Romanian (YO) stations. Most worked on 30m. If you are wondering what it is its the rock sculpture of Decebalus on the river Danube.

Sunday, 26 September 2021

25 Korean Stations Award

 Another new award for me, for contacting 25 South Korean stations. 

Sunday, 19 September 2021

600 Japanese Stations Award

Been working a lot of Japanese stations recently, even generating some small pileups of JA stations on 20m, 17m and even the odd 10m opening. Reached 600 Japanese stations worked, here is the award.

Monday, 13 September 2021

500 United States Counties

For something to chase have been looking for United States stations in different counties. Managed to get to the 500 US Counties level, as recorded in QRZ Logbook.

Notice the 500 counties endorsement, There is a paper certificate available, but at $24.94 US not that keen to apply for.. Anyway good to have reached it, and will continue looking for new counties. There are over 3000 counties so can spend years chasing...

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Worked 500 United States Stations Award

Another award from the FT8DMC club, for 500 US stations. Have been actively looking for USA stations for chasing US Counties on 17m, 20m and 40m.


Sunday, 22 August 2021

Worked 10 Alaskan Stations Award

Another FT8DMC award, for working 10 Alaskan Stations. Nice award. Thanks for QSOs and award manager.

Friday, 20 August 2021

Worked All States 40m

Having achieved Worked All States for mixed bands been working on qualifying on individual bands. For some time had 48 States on 40m, missing WY (Wyoming) and  NE (Nebraska). Over the last few evenings managed to work both of these states. Award from FT8DMC

Award from ERC

Checking in my logging program, Log4OM, the next band to work on completing is 17m, needing DE (Delaware) and ND (North Dakota).

Thursday, 19 August 2021

45 JA Grid Squares Award

 Picked up another award from the European Ros Club, for working 45 grid squares across Japan.

Plotted out all the Grid Squares I've worked in Log4OM and see the following coverage

Seem to have most of the popular grids. I have a couple of grids to pick up around the edges of the main islands, suspect will be hard as low populations. There are still several islands between Japan and Taiwan to look out for. 

Monday, 16 August 2021

500 EU Stations Award

 Latest award for me from the FT8 Digital Mode Club, 500 contacts with EU (European) stations.