SOTA – VK1 Isaacs Ridge to Europe

Canberra – Isaacs Ridge VK1/AC-041 840 metres ASL


During the week I posted a note on the SOTA reflector seeking interest in summit to summit contacts between Australia’s Capital Territory (VK1) and keen SOTA activators in Europe on Friday 13 March 2014, yes it’s  Black Friday.  I received three firm responses from Mike 2E0YYY in the UK, Ed DD5PL in Germany and Herbert OE9HRV in Austria.   Would myths and superstitions around Friday 13th hold true or would the 20m band open between VK and Europe?

Friday 13 March 2015 my lucky day.   To keep the black cats away I have my 4 leg SOTA companion Harry, I don’t have a mirror on me and there are no ladders to walk under so I’m expecting a good result.  🙂

The climb to the summit starts from Long Gully Road, a 100 metre ascent over 1.5 km taking 20 minutes.

Forget Black Friday myths and superstitions, at 06:35 UTC 20m opened with a bang, first contact in the log was Herbert OE9HRV/p in Austria on OE/VB-155 Bratschenkopf with a 5-8 report on 14.317 MHz.  Interesting, Herbert’s signal had an echo meaning the signal path was a combination of long and short path or his signal passed around the world twice.

Just as I moved to 40m to work VK chasers, Sergei RV9DC in Russia posted a spot on SOTAWatch asking me to QSY to 14.310 MHz, Sergei was listening to my S2S contact with Herbert.  I had every intention to return to 20m at 0700 UTC and thankfully I did work Sergei later in the evening at 0808 UTC.  😉

Summit to Summits contacts went as planned, Mike 2E0YYY and Dave G4ASA both on G/TW-005 Normanby Top in the region known as Tees to the Wash, made the long path distance at 0754 UTC, signal reports were 5-7 and 5-5.   Later at 0810 UTC and with headphones on, Ed DD5PL on DL/AM-180 Berndorfer Buchet in the German Alpine region broke the radio silence for a  3-1 to 4-1 report.  Thanks Ed for a new unique summit and the chance to complete the DL association.   Terrific S2S contacts thanks Herbert, Mike, Dave and Ed.

Summary of SOTA contacts:

  • 40m – 19 chasers from VK2, VK3 and VK5 including portable stations Paul VK5PAS in Charleston CP VKFF-777 and Doug VK2FMIA in Horton Falls NP VKFF-594.
  • 20m – 38 chasers including 3 S2S.  14 countries – Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Slovak Republic, Sweden and Switzerland.  VK 20m contacts came from VK3 and long haul VK6 and VK8.
  • On 20m two contacts of note: Reinhard DF4TD operating mobile and Rainer DF7GK operating portable from the Black Forest DLFF-124.

My SOTA gear:  Yaesu FT-857D operating at 40 watts into a link inverted V dipole supported by a 7 metre squid pole.  The rig is powered by 4S 4.2 Ah LifePO4 batteries.  I use an iPad with an internal Telstra SIM and SOTA Goat to monitor spots.

Two pictures taken on the summit and an extract of my activator’s log below.  Thanks everyone, Friday the 13th was my luck day.  🙂

summit surrounds

summit surrounds

VK1NAM SOTA shack on Isaacs Ridge

VK1NAM SOTA shack on Isaacs Ridge

Extract of VK1NAM SOTA log 13 March 2015.

Time UTC Band Mode Callsign Summit Notes
6:37 14MHz SSB OE9HRV/P OE/VB-511 Herbert S2S OE/VB-011 S58 R45
6:43 7MHz SSB VK3PF Peter S59 R59
6:43 7MHz SSB VK3OHM Marc S59 R59
6:44 7MHz SSB VK3DBP Paul S59 R59
6:45 7MHz SSB VK2GAZ Garry S59 R59
6:46 7MHz SSB VK3FQSO Amanda S59 R57
6:47 7MHz SSB VK2UH Andrew S59 R59
6:48 7MHz SSB VK3DAC Fred S59 R59
6:49 7MHz SSB VK2AFA Sam S59 R58
6:49 7MHz SSB VK5WG Nev S59 R56
6:50 7MHz SSB VK3AV Bernard S59 R58
6:51 7MHz SSB VK2IO Gerard S59 R58
6:51 7MHz SSB VK3TKK Peter S55 R57
6:52 7MHz SSB VK3FPSR Peter S59 R59
6:52 7MHz SSB VK3ASC Mark S59 R59
6:55 7MHz SSB VK2FMIA Doug S59 R58 VKFF-594
6:55 7MHz SSB VK3WE Rhett S59 R59
6:56 7MHz SSB VK5WE Tom S59 R58
6:56 7MHz SSB VK5PAS/P Paul S59 R58 VKFF-777
6:58 7MHz SSB VK3JBL Andrew S59 R59
7:02 14MHz SSB G4OBK Phil S58 R57 Engalnd
7:09 14MHz SSB ON4VT Danny S58 R44 Belgium
7:10 14MHz SSB G0VWP Terry S58 R44 England
7:11 14MHz SSB F4FEP Joh S59 R59 France
7:12 14MHz SSB OH6TX Jari S58 R51 Finland
7:13 14MHz SSB DB1WT Juergen S58 R57 Germany
7:15 14MHz SSB VK8GM Greg S59 R59
7:16 14MHz SSB DL6MST Klaus S58 R53 Germany
7:17 14MHz SSB G0RQL Don S59 R55 England
7:18 14MHz SSB SB7W Leif S59 R55 Sweden
7:19 14MHz SSB G4SOF Jeff S59 R57 England
7:20 14MHz SSB OE7FMH Franz S59 R57 Austria
7:21 14MHz SSB OK2PDT Jan S59 R55 Czech Republic
7:23 14MHz SSB IZ1MHY Andrea S58 R55 Italy
7:24 14MHz SSB OM7OM Milan S55 R55 Slovak Republic
7:25 14MHz SSB G0RBD Des S59 R53 England
7:28 14MHz SSB EA3BDE Sal S58 R53 Spain
7:29 14MHz SSB I5FLN Luciano S59 R57 Italy
7:31 14MHz SSB DL1EBR Axel S58 R57 Germany
7:32 14MHz SSB HA6OB Gyula S59 R57 Hungary
7:33 14MHz SSB DK4RM Xaver S58 R57 Germany
7:34 14MHz SSB ON4BB Luk S59 R57 Belgium
7:35 14MHz SSB DF7GK Rainer S59 R57 DLFF-124 Germany
7:37 14MHz SSB OK2UR Milan S59 R58 Czech Republic
7:37 14MHz SSB G6TUH Mike S58 R36 Engalnd
7:38 14MHz SSB E79D Dalibor S58 R57 Bosnia
7:39 14MHz SSB DH1AC Andy S58 R55 Germany
7:50 14MHz SSB DF4TD/M Reinhard S55 R53 mobile   Germany
7:54 14MHz SSB 2E0YYY/P G/TW-005 Mike S2S G/TW-005 S57 R55
7:55 14MHz SSB G4ASA G/TW-005 Dave S2S G/TW-005 S57 R55
7:57 14MHz SSB HB9MKV Rudi S59 R51 Switzerland
7:58 14MHz SSB DL3HXX Lothar S58 R33 Germany
8:00 14MHz SSB VK3DET Ernie S53 R53
8:03 14MHz SSB VK6NU John S58 R56
8:07 14MHz SSB HA5LV Viktor S59 R55 Hungary
8:08 14MHz SSB RV9DC Sergei S57 R33 Russia
8:10 14MHz SSB DD5LP/P DL/AM-180 Ed S2S DL/AM-180 S41 R31

One thought on “SOTA – VK1 Isaacs Ridge to Europe

  1. Andrew, this makes me totally envious. Congratulations on your success. Wonderful to read. Great pics too.

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