SOTA – 6m Challenge Sporadic E to VK5

Livingstone Hill VK2/SM-093 932 metres ASL with Sporadic E to VK5 on 6 and 10m.

From the Monaro region of NSW (VK2) a fantastic Sporadic E opening this evening from Livingstone Hill on 6m 50.150 MHz and 10m 28.480 MHz.  The VK5 Adelaide beacon on 28.260 MHz was S8, a marker indicating good radio wave propagation to VK5.

I opened the activation on 50.150 MHz for a contact with Rod VK2TWR at Nimmitabel followed by a chat with Ian VK1BG in Canberra.  While chatting with Ian I heard a familiar voice in the background calling ‘VK1AD this is VK5??’.  For a few seconds I didn’t believe what I was hearing, the caller was Nev VK5WG in Crystal Brook South Australia, 1031 km due west bearing 252 degrees.  I asked Ian if he wouldn’t mind standing by while I work out who the VK5 is, at the same time as falling off my rock perch shaking my head with disbelief.  I returned Nev’s call and sure enough there is Nev’s voice on 6m booming out of the radio’s speaker for a 5-6 signal report.   What makes the event even more surprising is Nev was not operating his rig into a multi-element 6m yagi no, Nev’s antenna is an 80m Inverted V wire dipole, get out of here, yep an Inverted V wire dipole!   Just to make the contact even more remarkable my 6m SOTA antenna is a vertcal 1/2 wave coaxial dipole, known in some amateur radio circles as a Flowerpot antenna.  I think Nev was operating his rig at 100 watts while my Yaesu rig powered by a 16 volt LiPo was set at 25 watts output.  Nev if you get to read this post all I can say is a huge thank you!  Before this activation Nev and I have worked the following bands: 40m, 30m, 20m and 10m.  We can now add 6m to the list, awesome.  😉

After working Nev on 6m I checked for 10m propagation by scanning through the VK 10m beacon frequency allocation. The Adelaide beacon’s signal was S8, excellent I immediately posted a spot on SOTAWatch for 28.480 MHz.  Within seconds of calling CQ Ian VK5IS responded followed by Adrian VK5FANA and again Nev VK5WG.  Local VK1 chasers on 10m included Andrew VK1MBE, Matt VK1MA, Matt VK1MT and Peter VK1XP.  At 07:48 UTC Andrew VK1DA/P and Adan VK1FJAW/P called in for S2S contacts. Andrew and Adan were operating from Goorooyarroo VK1/AC-036 a summit on the ACT/NSW north-east border.

After the excitement of 6 and 10, well particularly 6m, I moved to 40m 7.090 MHz where conditions were okay however a storm around the Hunter region was giving me occasional grief with loud static crashes (QRN).  Chaser on 40m were Warren ZL2AJ, Col VK3LED, Tony VK3CAT, Steve VK3MEG, Peter VK3PF, Ken VK3UH, Brett VK3FLCS and Scott VK7NWT, north west Tassie.  During the 40m session I finally caught up with Andrew VK1DA for a S2S contact on 6m 52.2 MHz.  Thanks Andrew for persisting with your coax antenna connector.  😉

Good to see the Kiwi’s getting involved in SOTA, thanks Warren for chasing.  Thanks everyone, after this activation my 6 and 10m tally is 163 unique callsigns from 28 summits.  🙂

This evening, pictures from Livingstone Hill VK2/SM-093 in the Monaro region of NSW.  The summit is on private property 3 km south of the Michelago township.

Livingstone Hill - Dark clouds and rain threatening to fall

Livingstone Hill – Dark clouds hang over the Monaro region threatening to spoil the party with a massive rain dump

10m J-Pole feedpoint

10m J-Pole feed point.  The 10m J-Pole antenna was kindly donated by Herbert OE9HRV living in Austria

guy-ropes supporting a DX-Wire 10m fiberglass pole

guy-ropes supporting a DX-Wire 10m fiberglass pole

operating position - not as comfortable as sitting in the shack

operating position in the rocks – not as comfortable as sitting in the shack and no shortage of flies  😦

Livingstone Hill trig - left to right J-Pole and a 6m Flower Pot coaxial half wave vertical

Livingstone Hill Trig – left to right OE9HRV 10m J-Pole and a 6m Flowerpot coaxial half wave vertical.

An extract of my SOTA log operating from Livingstone Hill.

Time UTC Band Mode Callsign Summit Details
6:36 50MHz SSB VK2TWR Rod S55 R58
6:47 50MHz SSB VK1BG Ian S56 R54
6:49 50MHz SSB VK5WG Nev S56 R55 – 80m Inv V dipole 1031 km
7:01 50MHz SSB VK1VIC/M Tony S51 R51
7:13 28MHz SSB VK5IS Ian S58 R55
7:15 28MHz SSB VK5FANA Adrian S57 R52
7:15 28MHz SSB VK1XP Peter S59 R53
7:17 28MHz SSB VK5WG Nev S57 R55
7:20 28MHz SSB VK1MBE Andrew S51 R51
7:34 50MHz SSB VK1MBE Andrew S51 R51
7:40 28MHz SSB VK1MA Matt S55 R53
7:45 50MHz SSB VK1MA Matt S55 R52
7:48 28MHz SSB VK1DA/P VK1/AC-036 Andrew S2S VK1/AC-036 S55 R57
7:49 28MHz SSB VK1FJAW/P VK1/AC-036 Adan S2S VK1/AC-036 S55 R57
7:58 50MHz SSB VK1MT Matt S55 R55
8:01 28MHz SSB VK1MT Matt S56 R56
8:17 7MHz SSB ZL2AJ Warren S59 R59
8:18 50MHz SSB VK1DA/P VK1/AC-036 Andrew S2S VK1/AC-036 S51 R52
8:19 7MHz SSB VK3LED Col S59 R59
8:20 7MHz SSB VK3CAT Tony S59 R58
8:21 7MHz SSB VK3MEG Steve S59 R59
8:23 7MHz SSB VK3PF Peter S59 R59
8:24 7MHz SSB VK3UH Ken S59 R59
8:25 7MHz SSB VK3FLCS Brett S58 R59
8:27 7MHz SSB VK7NWT Scott S59 R57

Light started to fade as the sun moved closer to the horizon, at 7:30 pm I started to pack up the radio and antenna gear.  While packing, I thought about constructing a J-Pole for 24 MHz, that will be my next challenge to work Nev and others on 24.980 MHz.  🙂

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2 thoughts on “SOTA – 6m Challenge Sporadic E to VK5

    • Thanks Chris. From VK1 I have had good openings to VK4 too. Last Sunday from Booroomba Rocks VK1/AC-026, I worked VK4JMC, VK4BOO, VI4ANZAC and VK4FNQ in Charters Towers, all on 6m Es. 🙂 Cheers Andrew VK1AD.

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