Sunday, 30 January 2022

10 Croatian stations and 10 English stations

Qualified for a couple more FT8DMC awards recently. 10 Croatian stations award

And 10 English stations award

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Attempted activation of Mt Palerang VK2-ST-009 and activation of South Black Range VK2/ST-006

SOTA summit Mt Palerang VK2/ST-009 had not been activated since 2017, before the 2019/2020 bushfires, so decided to take a look and see what happened to it.

Drove to Queanbeyan, then Captains Flat Rd, turning off for Hoskinstown and Forbes Creek. Continued along the Mulloon Fire Trail until reaching Mulloon Creek.

There was a fair amount of water flowing so got out to take a look. It looked quite deep on the right so crossed staying well to the left, got over okay.

Stopped at the Mulloon Creek camping area on the other side. It looked good for camping. Note you need to book if you want to camp now.

Continued on the Mulloon Fire trail. Seemed a lot rougher than last time I drove it, with a few washed out spots to take slowly. Reached the 4 way junction with Palerang Fire trail and parked.

The track on the right was not obvious, lots of damage and regrowth, so just headed into the scrub roughly where I remembered it was.

I did find remnants of the track, now much overgrown. Lots of small gum saplings covering the ground.

Climbed up the first steep incline. The gum tree saplings were quite thick and tall now... Guess from all the rain we have had lately. Thinned out a bit when getting to the rocky outcrops. The track came and went.

After about an hour I could see had only got about half way up, and could see rain approaching. Decided not the best day to attempt it and aborted, turning back. Track log taken from my Garmin watch on Garmin Connect. I made it to about 1100m, still had over 100m of steep climbing and bush bashing to go to the summit at 1200m.

To make the drive out worth it, drove back along the Mulloon Firetrail and turned off to activate South Black Range summit, VK2/ST-006. Luckily the weather was a bit drier there. Set up near the big rock with the trig on top

Shack on a rock near a stump supporting the squid pole

Got on 40m and worked VK2IO/p Gerard on VK2/SY-001 Canoelands, also VKFF-0307 with a good signal. Then worked VK1AD/p Andrew on VK2/ST-005 Webbs Ridge with a good signal too.

Then worked VK1MA Matt, quite low down. Switched to 2m FM and worked Matt easily... Also worked VK1MCW/p Bill on VK1/AC-043 Mt Stromlo, and VK1AD/p Andrew on VK2/ST-005 Webbs Ridge again.

Tried a few more calls on 40m with no takers, band seemed to have died. Packed up and headed home. 

Thursday, 6 January 2022

QSO Statistics for 2021

At the start of each year I like to go through my logs and pull out various statistics for QSOs for previous years. Gives me an idea of how I am going for various awards, and can see if the bands are improving. Plus I like to dabble in stats :)

A plot of counties worked per band.

Seem to be stuck at around 118 countries for the last 4 months. Now getting harder to work 'new ones'.

Best bands are 30m, closely followed by 17m. Recent openings on 10m have seen some new ones.

A plot of US States worked per band

I have finished WAS, of all 50 US States on 40m now. 17m only need a couple more. A large number of US States recently worked on 10m, a sign that the new Solar Cycle 25 starting to take off'.

QSOs per Continent

Only just started collecting statistics for this for 2021. A big spike in OC mid year, and spikes for NA and AS later in the year. AF and SA continue to be rare for me here in Australia.

QSOs per band

Only collected for 2021. A spike in 40m mid year. 17m a bit later. Good to see a lift in QSOs on 10m, which had been quiet for so long.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

SOTA Black Mountain VK1/AC-042

Each new year gives VK stations a unique opportunity to activate SOTA summits each side of UTC day, which is at 11 am local Eastern Summer Time. Basically an excuse for a S2S SOTA bash fest...

I decided to activate Black Mountain, VK1/AC-042, mainly because it is the closest summit to me and the quickest to get to. I had activated it before in 2021, so before UTC would just be collecting S2S points, but would get a point for it after UTC changeover.

Drove to the car park near the tower. Found the faint track I used previously was now upgraded, and other access tracks down were now closed off, directing walkers onto it. So got quite busy... Instead of setting up on the track, set off to one side just in the scrub, using an old star picket for squid pole support. Black Mountain Telstra tower can be seen in the background

A view down the track. It got quite busy with joggers and walkers.

Shack on the tarp

At 2330z got on 2m FM with the Jpole ribbon antenna, using 30w from the FT857D. Found 146.500 too busy to get on, announced there would be calling on 146.550 and moved there to start working S2S and chasers. Worked prior to UTC rollover

VK1DA/p on VK2/ST-006 South Black Range

VK1RW/p on VK1/AC-048 Mount McDonald


VK1MIC/p on VK2/ST-053 Mt Mundoonen

VK1AD/p on VK1/AC-043 Mt Stromlo

VK1VIC/p on VK1/AC-008 Mt Ginini


VK2XDT/1 on VK1/AC-040 Mt Ainslie


VK1MCW/p on VK1/AC-033 Bullen Range

VK1LF, VK1FELF, VK1FDNK all /p on VK1/AC-023 Mt Coree

VK1DD/p on VK1/AC-037 Mt Taylor

VK1MA/p on VK2/ST-005 Webbs Ridge

After UTC rollover at 1100 am local time

VK1MA/p on VK2/ST-005 Webbs Ridge


VK1LAJ/p on VK2/ST-008 Baldy Range

VK1RW/p on VK1/AC-048 Mount McDonald

VK1AD/p on VK1/AC-043 Mt Stromlo

VK1MIC/p on VK2/ST-053 Mt Mundoonen

VK1DD/p on VK1/AC-037 Mt Taylor

VK1MCW/p on VK1/AC-033 Bullen Range

VK1DA/p on VK2/ST-006 South Black Range

VK1LF, VK1FELF, VK1FDNK all /p on VK1/AC-023 Mt Coree

I briefly tried 40m, it sounded very quiet, not that much activity. Managed  to work a couple more

VK1ACE/p on VK1/AC-031 Mt Rob Roy

VK2NKO/1 on VK1/AC-037 Mt Taylor

Getting quite warm, packed up at noon and headed home for lunch.