SOTA VK1AD – March 2021 2m – 23cm Activations

The purpose of this post is to share information with fellow radio amateurs, which demonstrates how you can achieve VHF-UHF Dx contacts with as little as 5 watts output on 144.200 MHz and 2.5 watts to 25 watts output on 1296.150 MHz.

Yes, you can also qualify a SOTA peak with a mono or dual band HT on 2m and 70cm. You can achieve greater distances with the use of an external antenna such as the 2m Oblong Loop antenna.

This month’s activations include:

  • Boboyan Range VK1/AC-044

8 March 2021 – Boboyan Range VK1/AC-044 QF44ME 1489m ASL

Longest paths

  • 2m 144.2 MHz SSB VK2DO 110 km
  • 23cm 1296 MHz SSB VK2DO 110 km
8 March 2021 – VK1AD SOTA activation of Boboyan Range on 2m and 23cm bands – Image courtesy of SOTA MAPS
TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
00:06VK1DSH23cmSSBQF44MS Dale s59 r59
00:07VK1KW23cmSSBQF44MT Rob s58 r59
00:08VK1MA23cmSSBQF44MT Matt s51 r51
00:10VK1RX23cmSSBQF44NN Al s51 r51
00:19VK2DO2mSSBQF54CH Chris s59 r59 110 km
00:21VK2DO23cmSSBQF54CH Chris s58 r59 110 km
00:27VK3ZPF/P80mSSBPeter s55 r51 S2S VK3/VN-030
00:29VK1DI/P2mFMIan s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-038
00:31VK1MA2mFMMatt s59 r59
00:34VK1FELF2mFMElizabeth s59 r57
00:35VK1FDNK2mFMTony s59 r57
00:35VK1LH2mFMLes s59 r57
00:36VK1DB2mFMDermy s55 r59

Oblong Loop Antenna for 144 MHz

2m Oblong Loop antenna

SOTA VK1AD – February 2021 2m – 23 cm Activations

The purpose of this post is to share information with fellow radio amateurs, which demonstrates how you can achieve VHF-UHF Dx contacts with as little as 5 watts output on 144.200 MHz and 2.5 watts to 25 watts output on 1296.150 MHz.

This month’s activations include:

  • Mt Ginini VK1/AC-008
  • Spring Hill VK2/ST-036
  • Mount Mundoonen VK2/ST-053
  • Mt Coree VK1/AC-023 plus 13cm 2.4 GHz
  • Webbs Ridge VK2/ST-005
  • Mt Ainslie VK1/AC-040 plus 13cm 2.4 GHz
  • Mt Cowangerong VK2/ST-001 plus 13cm 2.4 GHz

6 February 2021 – Mount Ginini VK1/AC- 008 QF44JL 1760m ASL

Longest paths

  • 2m 144.2 MHz SSB VK2EMA at Tottenham 387 km
  • 23cm 1296 MHz SSB VK1DA/3 at Mt Hotham 218 km

Extract – VK1AD SOTA activator log Mt Ginini 6 February 2021

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
20:56VK2TWR2mSSBQF43PL Rod s59 r59 120 km
20:59VK1AT/32mSSBQF32UC Jim s55 r51 279 km
21:01VK2EMA2mSSBQF37QS Mark s55 r55 387 km
21:02VK1DO2mSSBQF44PO Chris s59 r59
21:06VK1RX/P2mSSBAl s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-040
21:12VK1DO23cmSSBQF44PO Chris s59 r59
21:13VK1MA23cmSSBQF44MT Matt s59 r59
21:14VK1RX/P23cmSSBQF44NR Al s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-040
21:15VK1DSH23cmSSBQF44MS Dale s55 r53
21:20VK1DA/32mSSBQF33NA Andrew s51 r51 S2S VK3/VE-006
21:23VK3JBL2mSSBQF32FK Andrew s41 r51 S2S VK3/VT-022
21:28VK1KW23cmSSBQF44MT Rob s58 r59
21:40VK1DA/323cmSSBQF33NA Andrew s57 r53 S2S VK3/VE-006 218 km
21:57VK1DA/32mSSBQF33NA Andrew s57 r57 S2S VK3/VE-006
22:02VK1DI2mFMIan s59 r53
22:08VK1DB2mFMDermy s59 r59
22:25VK1RX/P2mSSBQF44NR Al s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-040
22:58VK1DA/32mSSBQF33NA Andrew s59 r59 S2S VK3/VE-006
23:21VK1MCW/22mFMBill s59 r59 S2S VK2/SM-093
23:37VK1CT2mFMChris s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-042
23:38VK1HF2mFMIan s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-042
23:56VK3PF/P2mSSBQF33XC Peter s51 r51 S2S VK3/VG-022 165 km
23:57VK3EQ2mSSBQF33XC Rik s51 r1 S2S VK3/VG-022
23:57VK2IO/32mSSBQF33XC Gerard s51 r51 S2S VK3/VG-022
VK1AD SOTA activator log 6 February 2021

20 February 2021 – Spring Hill VK2/ST-036 QF44NV 876m ASL

Longest paths

  • 2m and 23cm S2S with VK1DA2 and VK1MIC/2 at Mt Cowangerong VK2/ST-001 74 km
20 February 2021 – VK1AD SOTA activation Spring Hill on 2m and 23cm bands – Image courtesy of SOTA MAPS

Extract – VK1AD SOTA activator log Spring Hill 20 February 2021

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
23:11VK1RX2mSSBQF44NN Al s59 r59
23:14VK1MA2mSSBQF44MT Matt s59 r59
23:16VK1FJMG2mSSBJohn s59 r47
23:20VK1DA/P23cmSSBQF44S Andrew s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-001 74 km
23:21VK1MIC/P23cmSSBQF44SI Wade s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-001
23:24VK1MA23cmSSBQF44MT Matt s59 r59 10 km
23:25VK1RX23cmSSBQF44NN Al s59 r59 39 km
23:38VK1MIC/P2mSSBQF44SI Wade s58 r58 S2S VK2/ST-001
23:42VK2PET2mFMPete s59 r59
00:07VK1AD/22mFMAndrew s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-001
00:10VK1MA2mFMMatt s59 r59
00:12VK1DI2mFMIan s59 r59
VK1AD SOTA activator log Spring Hill 20 February 2021

20 February 2021 – Mt Mundoonen VK2/ST-053 QF44ME 810m ASL

Longest paths

  • 2m 144.2 MHz SSB S2S with VK1DA2 and VK1MIC/2 at Mount Gillamatong VK2/ST-034 96 km
  • 23cm 1296.150 MHz SSB VK1RX 68 km

Extract – VK1AD SOTA activator log Mount Mundoonen 20 February 2021

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
02:41VK1MA2mSSBQF44MT Matt s58 r58
02:44VK1MA23cmSSBQF44MT Matt s52 r51
02:46VK1RX2mSSBQF444N Al s59 r59
02:49VK1RX23cmSSBQF44NN Al s52 r51
03:19VK1MIC/22mFMWade s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-034
03:20VK1DA/22mFMAndrew s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-034
03:22VK1MIC/P2mFMWade s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-034
03:30VK2COW2mFMDimitris s59 r57
VK1AD SOTA activator log Mt Mundoonen 20 February 2021

21 February 2021 – Webbs Ridge VK2/ST-005 QF44JR 1306m ASL

Longest paths

  • 2m 144.2 MHz SSB VK2YW at Wagga Wagga 126 km
  • 23cm 1296.150 MHz SSB VK1RX S2S at Mt Ginini VK1/AC-008 24 km
21 February 2021 – VK1AD SOTA activation Webbs Ridge on 2m and 23cm bands. Image courtesy of SOTA MAPS

Extract – VK1AD SOTA activator log Webbs Ridge QF44 21 February 2021

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
01:06VK1RX/P2mSSBQF44JL Al s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-008
01:11VK2YW2mSSBQF34QU John s52 r51
01:12VK2COW2mSSBQF44OX Dimitris s59 r59
01:12VK1MA2mSSBQF44MT Matt s59 r59
01:13VK1MIC2mSSBWade s54 r59
01:23VK2COW23cmFMQF44OX Dimitris s59 r59
01:26VK1RX23cmFMQF44JL Al s55 r51 S2S VK1/AC-008
01:29VK1MA/23cmFMQF44MT Matt s56 r55
01:31VK2UK/123cmFMQF44MT Matt s56 r55
01:38VK2STG2mSSBSteven s58 r55
01:40VK2VEX2mSSBJohn s58 r55
01:43VK1DI2mFMIan s58 r51
01:44VK2PET2mFMPete s59 r55
01:46VK2VEX2mFMJohn s58 r58
VK1AD SOTA activator log Webbs Ridge 21 February 2021

21 February 2021 – Mt Coree VK1/AC-023 QF44JQ 1421m ASL

Longest paths

  • 2m 144.2 MHz SSB VK2EFM 309 km, 5 watts into a 2m Oblong Loop antenna (see pic)
  • 23cm 1296.150 MHz SSB VK2TWR 141 km
  • 13cm 2403.150 MHz SSB S2S with VK1RX at Mt Ginini VK1/AC-008
21 February 2021 VK1AD SOTA activation of Mt Coree on 2m, 23cm and 13cm bands. Image courtesy of SOTA MAPS
TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
21:03VK1KW2mSSBQF44MT Rob s59 r59
21:04VK2YW2mSSBJohn s52 r51 Wagga Wagga
21:05VK1AI2mSSBQF44MQ Greg s59 r59
21:06VK1BG2mSSBQF44MS Ian s59 r59
21:08VK1DSH2mSSBQF44MS Dale s59 r59
21:09VK1EM2mSSBQF44QO s59 r59
21:10VK1JTX2mSSBQF44NT John s59 r59
21:12VK1MA2mSSBQF44MT Matt s59 r59
21:15VK1DO2mSSBQF44PO Chris s59 r59
21:21VK2TWR23cmSSBQF43PL Rod s52 r55 141 km
21:26VK2BCC2mSSBQF56DI Colin s51 r51 231 km
21:36VK2EFM2mSSBQF56OQ Allan s55 r55 309 km
21:45VK1DSH23cmSSBQF44MS Dale s59 r59
21:47VK1MA23cmSSBQF44MT Matt s59 r59
21:47VK1KW23cmSSBQF44MT Rob s59 r59
21:49VK1MT23cmSSBQF44NM Matt s58 r58
21:54VK1DO23cmSSBQF44PO Chris s59 r59
22:04VK1AT/P2mSSBQF44BH Jim s51 r51 304 km
22:09VK1RX/P2mSSBQF44JL Al s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-008
22:15VK2COW23cmFMQF44OX Dimitris s59 r59 52 km
22:20VK1RX/P23cmFMQF44JL Al s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-008
22:26VK1RX/P13cmSSBQF44JL Al s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-008 25 km
22:27VK1KW13cmSSBQF44MT Rob s59 r59
22:47VK1MA13cmSSBQF44MT Matt s59 r59
23:28VK2IO/P80mSSBGerard s57 r57 S2S VK2/SM-014 303 km
Extract VK1AD activator log – Mt Coree 21 February 2021
Mt Coree – 2m Oblong Loop mounted on a 5m telescopic pole – best contact VK2EFM 309 km at 5 watts

Special event (23 on 23) 23 cm on 23 February – Mt Ainslie VK1/AC-0405 QF44NR 843m ASL.

Longest path

  • 2m 146.5 MHZ FM VK2PET at Bowning
  • 23cm 1296.150 MHz FM VK2COW at Gundaroo 29 km
  • 23cm 1296.150 MHz SSB S2S with VK1RX at Tuggeranong Hill VK1/AC-038 21 km
  • 13cm 2403.150 MHz SSB S2S with VK1RX at Tuggeranong Hill VK1/AC-038 21 km
23 February 2021 VK1AD SOTA activation of Mt Ainslie on 23cm and 13cm bands. Image courtesy of SOTA MAPS.

23cm and 13cm transverter output power settings are 1.5 watts and 2.5 watts respectively

Extract – VK1AD SOTA activator log Mount Ainslie 23 February 2021.

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
08:01VK1DSH23cmSSBQF44MS Dale s59 r59
08:04VK1RX/P23cmSSBQF44NN Al s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-038
08:10VK1JA23cmSSBQF44NO Jason s59 r59
08:15VK2COW23cmFMQF44OX Dimitris s59 r59
08:21VK1MA23cmSSBQF44MT Matt s59 r59
08:24VK1KW23cmSSBQF44MT Rob s59 r59
08:36VK1RX/P13cmSSBQF44NN Al s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-038
08:40VK1KW13cmSSBQF44MT Rob s58 r58
09:00VK1DI2mFMIan s59 r59
09:03VK1DB2mFMDermy s58 r59
09:05VK1MA2mFMMatt s59 r59
09:07VK2PET2mFMPete s48 r51

28 February 2021 – Mt Cowangerong VK2/ST-001 QF44SI 1364m ASL

Longest paths

  • 2m 144.2 MHz SSB VK3VG 374 km
  • 23cm 1296.150 MHz SSB S2S with VK1RX at Mt Mundoonen VK2/ST053 102 km
  • 13cm 2403.150 MHz SSB 2.5 watts S2S with VK1RX at Mt Mundoonen VK2/ST-053 102 km

Extract – VK1AD SOTA activator log Mt Cowangerong 28 February 2021.

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
20:48VK1JA2mSSBQF44NO Jason s58 r58
20:51VK2COW2mSSBQF44OX Dimitris s58 r59
20:58VK2COW23cmFMQF44OX Dimitris s51 r51
21:08VK1RX/22mSSBAl s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-053
21:10VK1DSH2mSSBQF44MS Dale s51 r53
21:11VK1AI2mSSBQF44MQ Greg s57 r54
21:11VK1KW2mSSBQF44MT Rob s59 r59
21:17VK1RX/223cmFMQF45ME Al s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-053 102 km
21:19VK1KW23cmFMQF44MT Rob s56 r52
21:23VK1DO2mSSBQF44PO Chris s59 r59
21:24VK1DO23cmSSBQF44PO Chris s53 r54
21:26VK1BG23cmSSBQF44MS% Ian s58 r58
21:35VK1JTX2mSSBQF44MT John s58 r58
21:38VK3VG2mSSBQF23RO Trevor s55 r53 374 km
22:03VK1MA2mSSBQF44MT Matt s54 r52
22:10VK1MA23cmSSBQF44MT Matt s41 r31
22:20VK1RX/213cmSSBQF45ME Al s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-053 102 km 2.5 watts
22:28VK2COW13cmSSBQF44OX Dimitris s51 r55 74 km

SOTA VK1AD – January 2021 2m – 23cm Activations

The purpose of this post is to share information with fellow radio amateurs, which demonstrates how you can achieve VHF-UHF Dx contacts with as little as 5 watts output on 144.200 MHz and 2.5 watts to 25 watts output on 1296.150 MHz.

Yes, you can also qualify a SOTA peak with a mono or dual band HT on 2m and 70cm. You can achieve greater distances with the use of an external antenna such as the 2m Oblong Loop antenna.

2 January 2021 – Livingstone Hill VK2/SM-093 QF44NG 932m ASL

Longest path – VK2TWR at Nimmitabel 88km on 1296.150 MHz SSB

2 January 2021 – VK1AD SOTA activation Livingstone Hill on 2m and 23cm – Image courtesy of SOTA MAPS
TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
00:09VK1RX2mSSBQF44NN Al s59 r59
00:13VK1MA2mSSBQF44MT Matt s56 r51
00:21VK1MA23cmSSBQF44MT Matt s51 r51
00:22VK1RX23cmSSBQF44NN Al s59 r59
00:29VK2DO2mSSBQF54CH Chris s56 r52
00:39VK1MF2mSSBMatt s54 r57
00:48VK1KW2mSSBQF44MT Rob s59 r59
00:50VK1KW23cmSSBQF44MT Rob s59 r59
01:03VK3PF/P40mSSBPeter s59 r57 S2S VK3/VE-265
01:09VK2TWR23cmSSBQF32PL Rod s59 r59 88 km 1296.150
01:12VK2TWR2mSSBQF32PL Rod s59 r59
01:16VK3AFW40mSSBRon s59 r59 S2S VK3/VT-022
01:22VK1MA2mFMQF44MT Matt s59 r56
Extract VK1AD SOTA activator log 2 January 2021
2 January 2021 – VK1AD and VK1DA Joint activation of Livingstone Hill

7 January 2021 – Mount Stromlo VK1/AC-043 QF44MP 782m ASL

Equipment – FT817ND, 5m telescopic pole and a 2m flower pot antenna

7 January 2021 – VK1AD SOTA Activation Mount Stromlo on 2m – Image courtesy of SOTA MAPS
TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
07:06VK1DA/P2mSSBAndrew s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-048
07:08VK1DB2mSSBDermy s59 r59
07:15VK1MIC2mFMWade s59 r59
07:16VK1MA2mFMMatt s59 r59
07:20VK1CC2mFMConrad s59 r59
07:24VK2XDT/M2mFMs59 r59
07:25VK1JP2mFMJohn s59 r59
Extract VK1AD SOTA activator log 7 January 2021

SOTA – Snow Gum Mountain on 23cm

Sunday 24 May 2020.  Andrew VK1DA and I have chosen two summits for the day,  first Mount Wee Jasper VK2/ST-017 1121m ASL grid square QF44HU followed by Snow Gum Mountain VK2/SW-028 1179m ASL, grid square QF44IR.

Snow Gum Mountain

Snow Gum Mountain is 11.5 km line of sight from Wee Jasper, however the route between summits is convoluted through pine forests. Travel time is approximately 45 minutes.

Until recent times Snow Gum Mountain hosted a VHF VOR/DME air navigation facility. The VHF DME was decommissioned, all communications infrastructure have been removed from the site. The site is now a drive-up summit, there are no signs, gates, barriers, buildings or fences. The mountain peak has been returned to nature 🙂

The view of the horizon is an uninterrupted 360!

Former VHF aircraft navigation VOR/DME array site – all that remains are two circular concrete slabs. This elevated site is perfect for a VHF-UHF field day.
VK1AD SOTA shack at Snow Gum Mountain 1179m ASL
23cm SOTA gear – working stations in Canberra on 1296.150 MHz SSB
View east – 14 km our granite monolith Mt Coree VK1/AC-023 1421m ASL
23cm RF path over Mt Coree to Canberra VK1. Mt Coree is 242m higher than this summit Snow Gum Mountain. Distance as the crow flies is 14 km.

Extract of VK1AD SOTA Activator Log: Snow Gum Mountain VK2/SW-028 Sunday 24 May 2020

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
02:19VK1MA144MHzSSBQF44MT Matt s58 r55
02:23VK1RX144MHzSSBQF44NN Al s59 r59
02:30VK1MA1240MHzSSBQF44MT Matt s54 r51 37 km
02:33VK1RX1240MHzSSBQF44NN Al s59 r59 49 km
02:39VK8GMT/11240MHzSSBQF44MT Matt s55 r51 37 km
02:40VK2UK/11240MHzSSBQF44MT Matt s55 r51 37 km
03:17VK1MIC144MHzSSBQF44NT Wade s55 r51
VK1AD Activator Log – Snow Gum Mountain Sunday 24 May 2020

SOTA – Mount Wee Jasper on 23 and 13cm

Sunday 24 May 2020.  Andrew VK1DA and I have chosen two summits for the day,  first Mount Wee Jasper VK2/ST-017 1121m ASL grid square QF44HU followed by Snow Gum Mountain VK2/SW-028 1179m ASL, grid square QF44IR.

Mount Wee Jasper

view south-west at 07:35h local
VK1AD SOTA shack at Mt Wee Jasper
23cm SOTA gear
Mt Wee Jasper trig station at 1121m ASL
view around the summit

Extract of VK1AD SOTA Activator Log: Mount Wee Jasper VK2/ST-017 Sunday 24 May 2020

Summit to Summit QSOs: Jim VK1AT at Mt Mundoonen VK2/ST-053, QF45ME and Al VK1RX at Mt Ainslie VK1/AC-040, QF44NR and ZL1JPS on ZL1/WK-147.  I worked Jim and Al on three bands; 2m, 23cm and 13cm.

23cm gear: SG-Labs 23cm transverter plus a 25 watt RF amplifier

13cm gear: SG-Labs 13cm transverter power output 2.5 watts

IF Source: FT-817 @ 1.5 watts on 144.150 and 435.150 MHz respectively

Not shown in the photos is VK1DA, Andrew’s HF station

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
22:38VK1DO144MHzSSBQF44PO Chris s59 r59
22:41VK1DO1240MHzSSBQF44PO Chris s59 r59 72 km
22:47VK1RX/P1240MHzSSBQF44NR Al s58 r58 S2S VK1/AC-040 49 km
22:53VK1AT/P1240MHzSSBQF45ME Jim s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-053 52 km
22:57VK1MA1240MHzSSBQF44MT Matt s51 r51 40 km
23:13ZL1JPS7MHzSSBs52 r52 S2S ZL1/WK-147 2351 km
23:28VK1AT/P2.3GHzSSBQF45ME Jim s55 r51 S2S VK2/ST-053 52 km
23:29VK1RX/P2.3GHzSSBQF44NR Al s51 r41 S2S VK1/AC-040 49 km
23:38VK1MA144MHzFMQF44MT Matt s59 r58
00:03VK1MA144MHzFMQF44MT Matt s59 r58
00:04VK1DI144MHzFMQF44 Ian s58 r51
VK1AD Mt Wee Jasper Activator Log 23 & 24 May 2020

SOTA – Mount Tumorrama on 23cm

Saturday 4 May 2019 #maythe4thbewithyou

I have taken receipt of a SG-Lab 23cm (1296 MHz) 25 watt RF amplifier and today Compton VK2HRX and I will attempt a SOTA Summit to Summit (S2S) QSO over 190 km (118 miles).

It’s Star Wars Day! Travel time from my home in Canberra to the summit at warp speed is 1 hour and 40 minutes, my departure time was 05:30 am in the dark. After 30 minutes of setting up 2m, 23cm and HF antennas I was on air at 7:50 am local (21:50 UTC).

Bearing from Mount Tumorrama to Mount Wanganderry VK2/IL-002 is 58 degrees.

I made a successful 23cm S2S QSO with Compton at 22:55 UTC just over 1 hour after setting up. Why did it take so long? I initially set up the 13cm transverter and connected it to the 23cm amplifier (oops). I spent 30 minutes faffing around trying to work out why I couldn’t hear the VK1s on 23cm 1296.150 MHz only 50 km to my east. I happened to look down at the blue tarp and noticed the 23cm transverter sitting in its plastic case, oh dear!! I need to put dymo labels on the outside of each transverter case. 🙂

With a 23cm 1296.150 MHz S2S at 190 km (118 miles) completed and signal reports at 5-7 and 5-5 there is ample headroom to work a 220 km (137 miles) Summit to Summit QSO.

Mt Tumorrama to Mt Wanganderry path

Mt Tumorrama to Mt Wanganderry 190 km

Mt Tumorrama to Mt Wanganderry 190 km Curved Earth

Path profile at 1296 MHz

Mount Tumorrama Trig Station at 07:10 am

VK1AD SOTA Shack at Mount Tumorrama

VK1AD/2 SOTA shack at Mt Tumorrama VK2/SW-027

I left the tripod top platform on the bench at home

23cm transverter and 25 watt RF amplifier wedged into the tripod frame, not ideal!

ZS6BKW HF antenna on 7 and 14 MHz

VK2HRX at VK2/IL-003 4 points

VK2HRX at VK2/IL-003 4 points

Extract of VK1AD SOTA Activator Log: Mt Tumorrama VK2/SW-027 3 May 19 UTC

Time Call Band Mode Notes
21:55z VK1MA 144MHz SSB QF44MT Matt s58 r57
21:56z VK1KW 144MHz SSB QF44MT Rob s59 r59
21:57z VK2COW 144MHz SSB QF44OX Dimitris s59 r59
21:59z VK2HRX 144MHz SSB Compton s51 r55 S2S
22:04z VK1AT 144MHz SSB QF44MQ Jim s59 r55
22:20z VK1BG 144MHz SSB QF44MS Ian s59 r59
22:20z VK1AI 144MHz SSB QF44MP Greg s59 r59
22:34z VK1JA 144MHz SSB QF44NO Jason s59 r59
22:35z VK1RX 144MHz SSB QF44NN Al s58 r58
22:39z VK1DA/P 144MHz SSB Andrew s58 r S2S VK1/AC-042
22:41z VK1JA 1240MHz SSB QF44NO Jason s58 r59
22:46z VK1DA/P 1240MHz SSB QF44NR Andrew s58 r57 S2S VK1/AC-042
22:47z VK1KW 1240MHz SSB QF44MT Rob s59 r59
22:48z VK1AT 1240MHz SSB QF44MQ Jim s54 r54
22:50z VK1MA 1240MHz SSB QF44MT Matt s55 r51
22:55z VK2HRX/P 1240MHz SSB QF55DQ Compton s57 r55 S2S VK2/IL-003 190 km @ 25 watts (118 miles)
23:01z VK2IO/P 7MHz SSB Gerard s59 r56
23:03z VK3ZPF 7MHz SSB Peter s59 r55
23:05z VK6MB/3 7MHz SSB Mike s56 r52
23:06z VK3PF 7MHz SSB Peter s59 r47
23:07z VK4ZD 7MHz SSB Bill s59 r59
23:08z VK7JON 7MHz SSB John s59 r59
23:10z VK3CAT 7MHz SSB Tony s59 r49
23:13z VK7FOLK 7MHz SSB Helen s59 r59
23:16z ZL1SKL 7MHz SSB Soren s55 r52
23:17z ZL1IU 7MHz SSB Nick s58 r55
23:20z ZL3GA 14MHz SSB Geoff s59 r59 S2S ZL3/CB-650 new summit
23:26z ZL3GIG/P 14MHz SSB Ian s59 r59 S2S ZL3/CB-650
23:30z ZL1BYZ/P 14MHz SSB John s56 r55 S2S ZL1/WK-158

23cm on 23rd #2 – 23 March 2019

Saturday 23 March 2019. I have organised a VK1 SOTA ’23 on 23′ event where SOTA tragics, that’s like minded SOTA activators, have the opportunity to join others for a local Summit to Summit (S2S) fest on 23cm 1296 MHz, SSB, CW and FM modes.

Today’s SOTA activators include:

  • Compton VK2HRX/P at Mt Gibraltar 163 km north-east
  • Jim VK1AT/2 at Mt Cowangerong 43 km east
  • Andrew VK1DA/P at Mt Mundoonen – 70 km north
  • Al VK1RX/2 at Spring Range – 40 km north
  • Bill VK1MCW at Mt Stromlo – 17 km north
  • Chris VK1CT at Mt Majura – 24 km north-east

Our local VK1 23cm enthusiastic chaser group is just as impressive which includes: Rob VK1KW, Jason VK1JA, Ian VK1BG, Matt VK1MT, Chris VK1DO/VK2DO, Rod VK2TWR, Dale VK1DSH and the occasional contact with Dimitris VK2COW. In Sydney 276 km north-east Mike VK2FLR and Compton VK2HRX take an interest in the hunt for 23cm signals emanating from VK1.

Today my plan is to activate Tuggeranong Hill VK1/AC-038, 855m ASL in grid square QF44NN. I left home at 6:30 am, yep it’s dark outside, for a 20 minute drive to Callister Crescent, Theodore at the base of Tuggeranong Hill. From the car park the walk to the summit takes 30 to 35 minutes to cover 1.5 km along a fairly steep gravel fire trail. See below screen shots.

Tuggeranong Hill GPS Track Log

Tuggeranong Hill GPS Track Log

Tuggeranong Hill track Profile

Tuggeranong Hill track Profile

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Sunrise 7 am local

23cm equipment:

To drive a 23cm transverter one needs an IF source, conveniently SG-Lab’s 23cm transverter is designed to operate with a 144 MHz IF input between 0.5 to 5 watts all mode. What is the most common portable QRP SOTA rig around and ideal to work as a low power IF on 2m and 70cm, yep the Yaesu FT817! The rear SO239 antenna port is driving the 2m yagi while the front BNC port is driving the 23cm transverter.

You can of course drive the 23cm transverter with a 2m HT operating on FM, as I did last month from the summit of Mt Taylor.

Map courtesy of SOTA Maps. Furthest contact is Compton VK2HRX at Mt Gibraltar VK2/IL-001 162 km north-east, next is Rod VK2TWR 120 km south at Nimmitabel.

VK1AD 23cm QSO 20190322

VK1AD 23cm QSO around VK1 20190322

Extract of VK1AD SOTA Activator Log: 22 March 2019 UTC (23 March 2019 local) – Tuggeranong Hill QF44NN

Time Call Band Mode Notes
20:41z VK1FXNZ 144.2MHz SSB QF44NT John s59 r59
20:45z VK1JA 144.2MHz SSB QF44NO Jason s59 r59
20:46z VK1DO 144.2MHz SSB QF44PO s59 r59
20:47z VK2HRX/P 144.2MHz SSB Compton s34 r34 S2S 162 km
20:49z VK1DO 1296MHz SSB QF44PO Chris s59 r59 18 km
20:50z VK1AI 144.2MHz SSB QF44MP Greg s59 r59
20:51z VK1KW 144.2MHz SSB QF44MT s59 r59
20:53z VK1KW 1296MHz SSB QF44MT s59 r59 30 km
20:54z VK1JA 1296MHz SSB QF44NO Jason s59 r59 4 km
20:58z VK1DSH 1296MHz SSB QF44M Dale s58 r59 26 km
21:01z VK2TWR 1296MHz SSB QF43PL Rod s55 r55 120 km
21:04z VK1AT/2 1296MHz SSB QF44IS Jim s56 r58 S2S VK2/ST-001 43 km
21:06z VK1DA/2 1296MHz SSB QF45ME Andrew s58 r58 S2S VK2/ST-053 70 km
21:09z VK2HRX/P 144MHz SSB QF45FM Compton s57 r57 S2S VK2/IL-001 162 km
21:12z VK1MCW/P 1296MHz SSB QF44MQ Bill s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-043 17 km
21:24z VK2HRX/P 1296MHz SSB QF45FM Compton s58 r55 S2S VK2/IL-001 162 km
21:26z VK1BG 1296MHz SSB QF44MS Ian s59 r59 26 km
21:30z VK1RX/2 1296MHz SSB QF44NV Al s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-036 40 km
21:35z VK1CT 146.5MHz FM Chris s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-034
21:45z VK1KW 2.3GHz SSB QF44MT Rob s55 r55 30 km
21:47z VK1RX/2 2.3GHz SSB QF44NV Al s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-036 40 km
21:52z VK1AT 2.3GHz SSB QF44SI Jim s51 r41 S2S VK2/ST-001 43 km
21:55z VK1JA/P 2.3GHz SSB QF44NO Jason s59 r59 4 km
22:10z VK1MCW/P 2.3GHz SSB QF44MQ Bill s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-043 17 km
22:13z VK1AT/2 2.3GHz SSB QF44SI Jim s52 r51 S2S VK2/ST-001 43km
22:15z VK1AT/2 144.2MHz SSB Jim s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-001 43 km
22:23z VK1DA/2 144.2MHz SSB Andrew s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-053 70 km
22:27z VK1CT/P 144.2MHz SSB Chris s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-034 24 km

SOTA – Bobbara Mountain on 23cm 212 km to Nimmitabel

Sunday 10 March 2019 – Bobbara Mountain grid square QF45HI, 753 metres ASL is 86 km north-west of Canberra GPO, near the sleepy hollow township of Binalong, NSW.

I left home at 5:30 am for a 1.5 hour drive from Canberra heading north-west to Binalong. Access to the summit is via a public gravel road within a private property.

The summit hosts an air navigation facility en route radar, mobile phone and commercial radio services. The Trig station and summit surrounds are covered by a dense cover of dead thistle plants, it’s not a place to visit at the height of spring. To prevent your legs turning into blood soaked human pin cushions one needs to wear long pants. Seriously a field of dead thistle spikes crack a major ‘punch’ on soft human skin! 😦

My aim for today’s activation is to work 2m, 23cm and 13cm chasers in Canberra 86 km south-east on voice SSB and FM. To my great surprise Chris VK2DO located on the NSW south coast 188 km east (116 miles) and Rod VK2TWR 212 km south-east (136 miles) at his home QTH in Nimmitabel, NSW, popped up on 1296.150 SSB. That’s right 212 km on 1296 MHz at 2.5 watts, pretty good if I do say so myself. 🙂

At the conclusion of the 23cm activity I tested my new homebrew telescopic 2m 1/2 wave dipole. I sent a message to Wade VK1MIC via WhatsApp seeking his assistance. Wade called on 144.2 MHz using 2.5 watts QRP into a 2m 1/2 wave vertical located at his home in north Canberra (QF44NT). Signal reports were S52 and R51 over 76 km with mixed polarisation, that’s a good resul. 🙂

On 13cm 2.403 GHz Jason VK1JA and I attempted a contact over 97 km via aircraft enhancement. We failed to make the distance.

On 2m 144.2 MHz SSB all contacts were made at 5 watts using a 2m 3el yagi antenna.

During the descent my friend Andrew VK1DA suggested I drop in at his property near Yass. Thanks Andrew I was grateful for a nice cup of tea.

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Sunrise 7:15 am

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View east at 7:30 am

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Bobbara Mountain Trig Station 753 metres ASL Latitude: -34.6393 , Longitude: 148.5903

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Dual band 2m/70cm yagi and 13cm yagi. 23cm yagi is leaning against the tripod

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SG-Lab 23cm transverter and a homebrew 12el DL6WU yagi beaming south-east towards Canberra. Operating frequency 1296.150 MHz

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2m dipole mounted on a lightweight telescopic pole

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close up view – 2m 1/2 wave dipole

Homebrew telescopic 2m dipole construction and assembly

Extract of VK1AD SOTA Activator Log: 9 March 2019 UTC – Bobbara Mountain QF45HI

Time Call Band Mode Notes
20:58z VK1KW 144MHz SSB QF44MT Rob s58 r55
20:59z VK2COW 144MHz SSB QF44OX Dimitris s57 r58
21:01z VK2DO 144MHz SSB QF54CH Chris s58 r55
21:03z VK1JA 144MHz SSB QF44NO Jason s55 r55
21:04z VK1MT 144MHz SSB QF44NM Matt s52 r33
21:14z VK1MIC 144MHz SSB QF44NT Wade s52 r51
21:15z VK1MA 144MHz SSB QF44MT Matt s51 r51
21:17z VK1FXNZ 144MHz SSB QF44NT John s55 r52
21:18z VK2TWR 144MHz SSB QF43PL Rod s52 r52
21:21z VK1JA 1296MHz SSB QF44NO Jason s55 r53 97 km
21:23z VK2DO 1296MHz SSB QF54CH Chris s55 r52 188 km
21:26z VK1BG 1296MHz SSB QF44MS Ian s58 r52 77 km
21:27z VK2TWR 1296MHz SSB QF43PL Rod s52 r51 212 km
21:28z VK1KW 1296MHz SSB QF44MT Rob s59 r59 74 km
21:32z VK2COW 1296MHz FM QF44OX Dimitris s59 r59 FM 71 km
21:37z VK1BG 1296MHz SSB QF44MS Ian s59 r59 74 km
22:11z VK1MIC 144MHz SSB QF44NT Wade s52 r51 75 km – 2m dipole

Photos: © Copyright 2019 Andrew VK1AD

SOTA – 23 and 13cm from Mt Coree

Sunday 20 January 2019. Mt Coree (QF44JQ) 1421 metres ASL, Namadgi National Park, Australian Capital Territory

GPS track route is available here

“272 km via an A380 aircraft enhancement reflection en route to Sydney”

Mt Coree at 1421 metres ASL is a premier location for VHF-UHF Dx operations. Mt Coree dominates the Brindabella Ranges with it’s impressive granite structure with sheer vertical cliffs. The 360 degree view is commanding and for VHF-UHF radio purposes there are no vertical obstructions to the horizon. The summit is perfect for long distance (Dx) VHF-UHF-Microwave radio contacts out to VK2 and VK3.

Tony VK1VIC and I are undertaking a SOTA activation of Mt Coree. Tony is operating on 14 and 7 MHz and is very keen to qualify using CW mode. To qualify a SOTA summit the activator must complete valid signal report exchanges with a minimum of four unique callsigns. There is no upper limit to the number of stations worked on a SOTA summit, however for practical or safety reasons the activator has the choice to terminate the activation when deemed necessary.

VK1AD SOTA shack at Mt Ginini, Namadgi National Park

Equipment at the summit

  • SG-Lab 23 and 13cm transverters
  • FT-817ND
  • 13 volt 4S 8.4 Ah LiFePO4 battery
  • 2m/70cm dual band yagi
  • 23cm 1296 MHz Bi-Quad antenna
  • 13cm 2.4 GHz Bi-Quad antenna
  • 70cm 433 MHz flower pot antenna
  • 2 x 1.4 metre tripods
  • Lenovo 7 inch tablet
  • Flightradar24 software
  • Compass
  • Backpack, food, water, first aid kit

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2m/70cm Dual Band Yagi & 23cm Bi-Quad at Mt Coree

View east to Canberra, cloud covering the summit

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Cloud descends on the summit

View west over Brindabella National Park

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Hombrew 13cm Bi-Quad antenna

View south-west

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Homebrew 23cm Bi-Quad antenna – working VK2FLR at 272 km north-east

Extract of VK1AD SOTA Activator Log: 19 January 2019 – Mt Coree

Six unique QSOs on 1296 MHz and 2.4 GHz and seven QSOs on 144 MHz

Summit to Summit QSOs: Jim VK1AT Mt Stromlo VK1/AC-043 (QF44MQ)

Best DX long distance QSO on 23cm (1296 MHz) at 2.5 watts using the Bi-Quad antenna was with Mike VK2FLR in Sydney. The over-the-horizon path is 272 km via an A380 aircraft enhancement reflection en route to Sydney. 🙂

Time Call Band Mode Notes
22:19z VK1JA 144MHz SSB QF44NO Jason s59 r59
22:21z VK1MT 144MHz SSB QF44NM Matt s59 r59
22:22z VK1MCW 144MHz SSB QF44NN Bill s59 r59
22:25z VK1AT/P 144MHz SSB Jim s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-043
22:32z VK1RX 144MHz SSB Al s59 r59
22:35z VK1DSH 144MHz SSB Dale s59 r59
22:38z VK1DSH 1296MHz SSB QF44MS Dale s58 r55
22:39z VK1MT 1296MHz SSB QF44NM Matt s58 r58
22:40z VK1RX 1296MHz SSB QF44NN Al s58 r59
22:41z VK1JA 1296MHz SSB QF44NO Jason s59 r59
22:44z VK1MCW 1296MHz SSB QF44NN Bill s59 r59
22:50z VK1AT/P 2.4GHz SSB QF44MQ Jim s56 r59 S2S VK1/AC-043
22:52z VK1MCW 2.4GHz SSB QF44NN Bill s59 r59
22:53z VK1DSH 2.4GHz SSB QF44MS Dale s51 r54
22:56z VK2YK 146MHz FM Adam s59 r59
23:02z VK1JA 2.4GHz SSB QF44NO Jason s59 r59
23:03z VK1RX 2.4GHz SSB QF44NN Al s58 r59
23:09z VK1KW 2.4GHz SSB QF44MT Rob s58 r55
00:11z VK2FLR 1296MHz SSB QF56OD Mike s55 r51 272 km

Photos: © Copyright 2019 Andrew VK1AD

SOTA – Mt Marulan to Canberra 95 km on 23cm QRP

Sunday 9 December 2018. Mount Marulan (QF45XF) VK2/ST-039 868 metres ASL, Southern Tablelands NSW

GPS track route is available here. The walk is an enjoyable 2.1 km stroll, allow 45 to 60 minutes to reach the trig station.

Andrew VK1DA and I are undertaking a SOTA activation of Mt Marulan. Andrew and I have learnt that two stations operating on HF frequencies and within harmonic frequency range is a recipe for disaster. For this activation Andrew is operating in the HF spectrum mainly on CW mode while I operate in the VHF-UHF spectrum using voice single-sideband. Both stations can operate at the same location, at the same time without causing interference to each other 🙂

FT-817ND for operations on 2m 144.2 MHz SSB and the IF source 144.150 MHz input to the SG-Lab 23cm transverter

12el 23cm DL6UW Yagi and a 4el 2m Yagi both pointing south west to Canberra. To reduce the potential for feedline loss, the SG-Lab 23cm transverter is mounted as close as possible to the rear of the yagi. I have used a 150 mm length of 50 ohm semi-rigid RG402.

23cm 12el Yagi. Driven element is a folded dipole terminated in an N-type socket. 90 km over the horizon is Al VK1RX on Mt Ainslie VK1/AC-040

Hot day on the summit with limited shade

Mt Marulan stone trig station at 868 metres ASL

23cm 1296.150 MHz signal path over 90 km

Mt Marulan VK2/ST-039 to Mt Ainslie VK1/AC-040 95 km signal path overlay on Oz Topo

Extract of VK1AD SOTA Activator Log: 9 December 2018 – Mount Marulan

Grid Square: QF45XF. Operation is on 2m 144.2 MHz SSB at 5 watts and 23cm 1296.150 MHz SSB at 2.5 watts.

Summit to Summit QSOs: Al VK1RX and Tony VK1VIC both at Mt Ainslie VK1/AC-040 (QF44NR)

Time Call Band Mode Notes
23:37z VK1RX/P 144MHz SSB QF44NR Al s58 r59 S2S VK1/AC-040 95 km
23:41z VK1AT 144MHz SSB QF44MS Jim s57 r51 97 km
23:43z VK1MT 144MHz SSB QF44NM Matt s59 r57
23:45z VK1DI 144MHz SSB QF44MS Ian s53 r51
23:56z VK1KW 144MHz SSB QF44MT Rob s53 r53
00:00z VK1RX/P 1296MHz SSB QF44NR Al s51 r55 S2S VK1/AC-040 95 km
00:04z VK1AT 1296MHz SSB QF44MS Jim s41 r41 not on a summit 97 km
00:13z VK1VIC/P 1296MHz SSB QF44NR Tony s51 r53 S2S VK1/AC-040
00:14z VK2VIC/1 1296MHz SSB QF44NR Tony s53 r53 S2S VK1/AC-040
00:26z VK1MT 1296MHz SSB QF44NM Matt s53 r41
00:31z ZL3GIG/P 14MHz SSB Ian s57 r35 S2S ZL3/CB-759
00:40z VK1MA 144MHz SSB QF44MT Matt s51 r21

Photos: © Copyright 2019 Andrew VK1AD