SOTA – VK1 SOTA Dx

Friday 28 October 2016.  During the week I posted a note to the SOTA Reflector seeking interest from fellow SOTA activators in Japan, Greece and Portugal for a Summit to Summit (S2S) QSO from the peak of Mt Stromlo VK1/AC-043 in Canberra, Australia’s Capital Territory.

The effects of a recent coronal hole were lingering yesterday, however later today the K Index had fallen to 1, almost perfect for DX propagation. With a low K Index, I was confident of working DX to Japan and some parts of Europe.  Next problem the T Index over VK indicated suppressed conditions -27% for NVIS.

Not one to be deterred or discouraged from operating my radio gear from a low noise environment, I headed to Mt Stromlo as planned for a 0700 UTC activation.  I arrived at 06:30 taking 20 minutes to set up two homebrew antennas; a 20m EFHW J-Pole and a 15m 1/2 wave inverted V dipole.  My SOTA Dx rig is a Yaesu FT-857D operating at 40 watts powered by a LiFePO4 4S 8.4 Ah battery.

Having set up I checked SOTAWatch to find Japanese SOTA activator JI1IHV/4 was activating JA/YO-113 an unnamed summit in the Honshu region of Japan.  At 0655 UTC I posted an alert for 21.260 MHz and called CQ for 10 minutes without a single JA chaser.  I moved to 21.190 MHz for JI1IHV, again nothing heard  😦

Okay next try 20m for JA.  Started on 20m 14.315 MHz at 07:05 UTC to immediately work 4 ZLs, F1BLL and VK6XN yet after 30 minutes still no JA chasers.  At 07:40 UTC I thought of a second shot on 15m 21.190 MHz ‘bazinga’ spot on, I called CQ on 21.190 to hear Jun JI1IHV/4 calling in reply from JA/OY-113. Jun’s signal was 5-5 at Mt Stromlo while my signal was 5-1, fantastic my second JA SOTA Summit to Summit (S2S) in 7 days couldn’t be happier.  🙂

After working Jun, JS6SD called also 5-5 and 5-1.  I moved back to 20m this time 14.330 MHz to work European, ZL and JA chasers ON4BB, ZL2ATH, 9A3NM, JL1ELQ, UA5D, DL/G8OFQ, and DG5LAC.  See the log extract below.

Thanks Jun for a 2nd JA S2S 😉

Photos: © Copyright 2016 Andrew VK1AD

Photos at Mt Stromlo

30 minutes before sunset

Left 20m EFHW J-Pole, right 15m 1/2 wave inverted V dipole

left 20m EFHW J-Pole, right 15m 1/2 wave inverted V dipole

Sunset - view west over Brindabella Ranges

Sunset at 08:30 UTC – view west over the Brindabella Ranges

Extract from VK1AD SOTA Activator Log:  28 October 2016 – Mt Stromlo VK1/AC-043

Time Call Band Mode Notes
07:07z ZL1BAT 14MHz SSB Ian S59 R45
07:11z ZL2AJ 14MHz SSB Warren S53 R53
07:12z ZL1BYZ 14MHz SSB John S59 R59
07:14z ZL1TZW 14MHz SSB Jacky S59 R59
07:24z F1BLL 14MHz SSB S59 R55
07:35z VK6XN 14MHz SSB S59 R51
07:44z JI1IHV/4 21MHz SSB Jun S2S JA/OY-113 S55 R51
07:46z JS6SD/7 21MHz SSB S55 R51
07:55z ON4BB 14MHz SSB Luk S59 R55
08:11z ZL2ATH 14MHz SSB Wynne S59 R52
08:12z 9A3NM 14MHz SSB Sasa S58 R55
08:18z JL1ELQ 14MHz SSB Kazuhiko S59 R59
08:21z UA5D 14MHz SSB Igor S58 R56
08:23z DL/G8OFQ 14MHz SSB Geoff S58 R58
08:25z DG5LAC 14MHz SSB Mike S59 R51
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6 thoughts on “SOTA – VK1 SOTA Dx

  1. Some nice DX there, Andrew. The Kp index was 3 during your activation according to spaceweatherlive.com. Wonder what your source was.
    Cheers, Gerard

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