Sunday, 21 September 2014

G -> VK Long Path QRP SOTA Activations

I decided to go up to local Walton Hill - G/CE-002 to try to work the VK land early in the morning inspired by Carolyn G6WRW, Mike 2E0YYY and others in the SOTA reflector.

I left the house at 5.05z and after 15min drive and 5min walk to the summit - I was in business by 5.45z. Temp was 12C, foggy but no wind whatsoever.
Over the last few days there has been a CME and plenty of sun activity so early in the morning the conditions were depressed..... My expectations were low!
After 45min, things started to pick up - I was following what others were doing on the summit - Mike 2E0YYY/P and Roger F5LKW/P via SOTA lite spots web on my mobile.

At 06.49z I QSYed 1 KHz up to contact Roger and made a S2S - F/CR-204.

10min later I heard VK3...VK3.... Ron VK3AFW heard my call and came back to me. I gave him a 579 - he was a good signal - 100Watts on a 4-el beam at 13m height. He gave me a 539.
Later Ron confirmed on the SOTA reflector he was beaming towards the Long Path - that is 23000Km at 250degrees from Walton Hill.

At that point signals became very loud and the band was in great shape... we exchanged 599+10 with Guru EA2IF in Pamplona - both on QRP.

MTR v2 - 30-20-17m - 5Watts
EFHW - multiband linked & Mountain Tuner set up as inv L - 9m vertical wire & 1m sloping down - 20m
band. tuner about 1m above the ground.
10m pole
Mini paddle
LIPO 3S zippy 1000mAh 25C

G/CE-002 Walton Hill -  06.15z

Station: MTR v2 ... calling CQ on beacon mode

22 QSOs, 12 DXCC, 1 DX with VK3, 1 S2S

I went back to Walton Hill early in the morning to try to work some more VKs via LP and S2S.
I started a litte bit later - 06.45z... Brilliant WX - warm and sunny. Raul, one of my friends from Laguardia in EA1, acompanied me and enjoyed some reading in the sunshine whilst I was at the key.

Views towards the South from Walton Hill

Having seen the good results that Mikel EA2CW and Marcial EA2BDS got with their dipole at 9m earlier on the week, I decided to take my homebrew 44' doublet. I used the Commander Compass app on my iPhone to aim the broadside of the doublet towards VK land. - 250deg SW/W

I started on 20m. At 06:48z, Tony VK3CAT returned my call. He gave me 33N, he was a 55N on my end.
About 15min later, Ron VK3AFW came back to me with a 55N, he was a stronger signal than the last week with the EFHW
It was a busy morning, with a lot of callers and many familiar callsigns. I did QSY to try to work Gerard F/VK2IO/P and Gerald F6HBI/P on 20m but they were on the null of the doublet and/or skip and could not hear them.

When I swapt to 30m, I rotated the doublet broadside about 20-30deg towards the North in order to aim towards NA, but I run out of space. I did not want the nylon rope to run over of the walking path as there was plenty of bike and horse riders around.
At 07.43z, Guru EA2IF/P called from EA2/NV-040 on 30m and made the only S2S of the day. 

I swapped to my HB1B to work 40m and worked a few other stations.
The band was in great shape. Andreas DL6AP/P called me from GMA DA/ND-004.
I did try to work Heinrich DL2XL/P at DM/NW-226, gut signal hr, but there was simply to many QRO chasers.

Summary: 39QSO, 2x DX to VK3 land, 1S2S SOTA, 1 GMA /P
DXCC: SP, OM, VK, G, HA, YO, I, OE, SM, OK, DL, OG, F, EA2, LA, DK, HB9, PA, ON

10m pole & 28' 800ohm /p ladder line

MTR v2 - 20,30m - 5Watts
HB1B - 40m - 4Watts
Elecraft T1 & betterqrp baluns 1:1, 4:1
44ft doublet - inv V, 28ft -800ohm ladder line 
10m pole
44' doublet with wire-winders - 288gr
Many thanks to all the chasers.

73s de Angel M0HDF

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