SOTA 2016 – VK1AD portable 70cm update #4 and Sporadic E

Saturday 9 January 2016, unplanned SOTA activation of Yellow Rabbit Hill VK1/AC-039 855 metres ASL on 432.2 MHz USB and 439.00 MHz FM.  Maidenhead Grid Locator QF44KP

Radio: Yaesu FT-857D and Yaesu FT-60R dual band HT
Antenna: 7el 70cm Yagi (see photo)
Power Level: FT-857D 10 watts, FT-60R 5 watts
SOTA Alert:  Yes
Date posted alert: 8 January 2016
Notice Period: Less than 24 hours
Outcome:  Qualified Yellow Rabbit Hill on 70cm  🙂
Duration to qualify on 70cm: 55 minutes for 4 contacts  😦    20 minutes longer than time taken at Booroomba Rocks and 35 minutes longer than the time taken at Spring Hill.
My 2016 70cm challenge: qualified 3 from 4 summits

Would you believe me if I said you can work ZL on 6m SSB at 25 watts? Yes you can but you do need access to tools which show the state of the ionosphere and whether or not Sporadic E has formed. The Australian amateur radio operator is blessed with having access to a first class public space weather service at SWS.

On the morning of 9 January 2016, SWS reported blanketing of Sporadic E over VK1. With that information in hand I headed to Yellow Rabbit Hill to operate on the 28 and 50 MHz bands. The rest is history, check my log extract for contacts on 6 and 10m. Note that in some cases I made contact with the same callsign on both 6 and 10m bands only minutes apart. Both bands were running hot into VK3, VK4, VK5, VK7 and New Zealand (ZL).

While I was pleased to eventually qualify Yellow Rabbit Hill on 70cm, my focus shifted to the SOTA 6 and 10m Challenge. The highlight of this SOTA activation was a 5 minute QSO with Simon ZL1SSW across the south pacific ocean, commonly known as the ‘ditch’ from the Australian Capital Territory (VK1) to Auckland City (ZL1) on 50.130 MHz at 25 watts.  Signal reports were S56 R43   🙂

Photos: © Copyright 2016 Andrew VK1AD

Arrow dual band yagi with 2m and 70cm elements fitted. Antenna forward direction is north-east.

Arrow dual band yagi with 2m and 70cm elements fitted. Antenna forward direction is north-east

6m flowerpot, VHF/UHF yagi and a 10m J-Pole

Left to right – 6m flowerpot, VHF/UHF yagi and a 10m J-Pole

Post Update 6 Feb 16:  Space Weather Services Australia – MUF report indicating Sporadic E over Canberra (VK1)

SWS MUF report 6 Feb 16 - Sporadic E over Canberra

Space Weather Services – MUF report at 0400 UTC 6 Feb 16 – Sporadic E over Canberra (VK1)

6m Sporadic E opening from Canberra to Auckland 2343 km or 1450 miles

On 6m 50.130 MHz operating a Yaesu FT-857D at 25 watts in to a 1/2 wave vertical flowerpot antenna

QSO with Simon ZL1SSW on 6m 50.130 MHz from Yellow Rabbit Hill QF44KP to Auckland RF73KD. My rig a Yaesu FT-857D operating at 25 watts output feeding a 1/2 wave vertical flowerpot antenna

VK1AD SOTA Activator Log – Yellow Rabbit Hill 9 January 2016

Time Call Band Mode Notes
22:16z VK4FSCC 28MHz SSB Glenn S59 R59 28.480
22:23z ZL1AA 28MHz SSB S55 R55 28.490
22:23z VK1MTS 433MHz FM Roald S55 R55 439.0
22:37z VK1DI 433MHz SSB Ian S55 R53 432.2
22:49z VK5NJ 28MHz SSB John S58 R57 28.480
22:52z VK5PAS 28MHz SSB Paul S59 R59 28.480
22:54z VK3CAT 28MHz SSB Tony S59 R58 28.480
22:57z VK4RF 28MHz SSB Cliff S59 R59 28.480
22:57z VK1MT 28MHz SSB Matt S59 R55 28.480
22:59z VK4FANA 28MHz SSB Adrian S58 R58 28.490
23:02z VK5BZ 28MHz SSB Brenton S58 R54 28.480
23:07z VK3AFW 28MHz SSB Ron S59 R59 28.480
23:08z VK4RF 28MHz SSB Rick S55 R55 28.480
23:10z VK3PF 28MHz SSB Peter S55 R52 28.480
23:12z VK1VIC/P 28MHz SSB Tony S2S VK1/VC-037 S59 R59 28.480
23:13z VK1VIC/P 433MHz SSB Tony S2S VK1/VC-037 S59 R59 439.0
23:14z VK2VIC/P 433MHz FM Tony S2S VK1/AC-037 S59 R59 439.0
23:16z VK3MEG 28MHz SSB Steve S59 R58 28.480
23:17z VK5HEL 28MHz SSB Geoff S59 R59 28.480
23:20z VK5HEL 50MHz SSB Geoff S59 R59 52.2
23:22z VK5FXLV 28MHz SSB Alan S55 R52 28.480
23:27z VK5HS 28MHz SSB Ivan S59 R53 28.480
23:29z VK3QA 28MHz SSB Howard S59 R59 28.480
23:30z VK3KCX 28MHz SSB David S59 R58 28.480
23:33z VK7FMPD 28MHz SSB Mike S58 R59 28.480
23:36z VK5GY/M 28MHz SSB Gordon Adelaide CBD S59 R53 28.480
23:37z VK3BY 28MHz SSB David S59 R59 28.480
23:38z VK3PMG 28MHz SSB Mick S59 R57 28.480
23:39z VK5ND 28MHz SSB Keith S52 R52 28.480
23:56z VK5CZ 50MHz SSB Ian S58 R55 50.160
23:57z VK1EM 50MHz SSB Mark S59 R59 50.160
23:58z VK5SFA 50MHz SSB Steve S59 R58 50.160
00:01z VK5NY 50MHz SSB Roger S59 R59 50.160
00:09z VK1VIC/P 28MHz SSB Tony S2S VK1/VC-037 S59 R59 28.490
00:10z VK1VIC/P 433MHz SSB Tony S2S VK1/AC-037 S59 R59 439.0
00:11z VK5FANA 28MHz SSB Adrian S55 R55 28.490
00:12z VK6XL 28MHz SSB Allen S51 R32 28.490
00:14z VK1XP 28MHz SSB Peter S59 R59 28.490
00:14z VK3MCD 28MHz SSB Brian S57 R54 28.490
00:15z VK3PF 28MHz SSB Peter S55 R53 28.490
00:16z VK3FORD 28MHz SSB Matt S59 R59 28.490
00:18z VK3LED 28MHz SSB Col S59 R58 28.490
00:20z VK3YAR 28MHz SSB Ray S58 R56 28.490
00:21z VK3EHG/P 28MHz SSB Hiro S2S VK3/VC-034 S59 R59 28.490
00:23z VK3AFW 28MHz SSB Ron S59 R59 28.490
00:24z VK3AFW 50MHz SSB Ron S58 R57 50.160
00:25z VK3CAT 50MHz SSB Tony S55 R53 50.160
00:26z VK5LDM 28MHz SSB Dennis S59 R59 28.490
00:29z VK5LDM 50MHz SSB Dennis S57 R54 52.2
00:31z VK3VZX 28MHz SSB Dale S59 R59 28.490
00:33z VK5PAS 28MHz SSB Paul S59 R59 28.490
00:35z ZL3MH 28MHz SSB Murray S57 R51 28.490
00:36z ZL1BYZ 28MHz SSB John S59 R59 28.490
00:38z VK3CTM/P 28MHz SSB Tony QRP S58 R57 28.490
00:40z VK5NNT 28MHz SSB Neville S59 R59 28.490
00:42z VK7NWT 28MHz SSB Scott S59 R57 28.490
00:43z VK3DAC 28MHz SSB Fred S57 R55 28.490
00:43z VK3MBW 28MHz SSB Barry S59 R58 28.490
00:45z VK5MBD 28MHz SSB Bill S57 R56 28.490
00:47z VK1NS 28MHz SSB Nick S59 R59 28.490
00:49z VK3VIN 28MHz SSB Ian S59 R57 28.490
00:51z VK7BO 28MHz SSB Alan S59 R56 28.490
00:51z VK3FLEE 28MHz SSB Lee S59 R59 28.490
00:55z ZL1SWW 50MHz SSB Simon S56 R53 50.130 1st ZL on 6m @ 25 watts
01:18z VK3VLY 28MHz SSB Shaun S59 R54 28.475
01:29z VK1MA 50MHz SSB Matt S59 R59 50.160
01:32z VK1MA 433MHz FM Matt S59 R59 439.0
01:34z VK1HW 50MHz SSB Hauke S59 R59 50.160
01:37z VK2UL 50MHz SSB Jeff S55 R55 50.160
01:50z VK1MA 28MHz SSB Matt S59 R59 28.495
01:53z JA8XOK 28MHz SSB Yama S58 R57 28.495
01:55z VK3FM 28MHz SSB Ernie S59 R57 28.495
02:15z VK2UL 144MHz SSB Jeff S57 R57 144.2

Last Update: 6 February 2016 included an example of SWS MUF report 6 February 2016

5 thoughts on “SOTA 2016 – VK1AD portable 70cm update #4 and Sporadic E

  1. Pingback: SOTA – 6m 52 MHz Coaxial Dipole Antenna | Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

  2. Andrew, if you do not have it already, keep a look out for a copy of the RSGB VHF/UHF DX Book. Very informative. Particularly interesting on 6m is the effect of multiple propagation modes at the same time. For example TEP and even F2can be extended via Es. Nice read. Tony

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