SOTA – VK1AD 2017 QRP Update #3 – Tuggeranong Hill

Wednesday 11 January 2017 – 8:00 am (21:00 UTC) joining the VK VHF DX Net from Tuggeranong Hill 855 metres ASL for VHF Aircraft Enhancement propagation (AE).

Purpose of today’s SOTA activation is to:

  • experiment with low power 500 mW (QRP);
  • qualify Tuggeranong Hill with the FT-817ND power output set to 500 mW for QSOs on 2m, 70cm and 6m;
  • complete S2S QSOs with Andrew VK1DA/2 at Mt Mundoonen and Andrew VK1MBE at Mt Ainslie, yep that’s three Andrews on three summits; and
  • Join the VK VHF DX net to work chasers in Melbourne (450 km SW), Sydney (260 km NE) and west to Wagga Wagga 164 km and beyond.  For this exercise I will deploy a TONO 2m 90 watt amplifier.   Power input to the amplifier is 5 watts, power output is 60 watts = 10.7 dB gain  🙂

Photos: © Copyright 2017 Andrew VK1AD

For Tuggeranong Hill route details see this post 1 April 2015

Tuggeranong Hill summit 500 metres

Tuggeranong Hill summit @ 855 metres ASL, 530 metres to go!

VK1AD SOTA shack on Tuggeranong Hill

VK1AD SOTA shack on a rocky Tuggeranong Hill – Dual band 2m/70cm yagi

Set up and ready to go for 2100 UTC (8 am).  QRP 500 mW QSOs on 2m 144 MHz included VK1DA/2, VK1MBE/P, VK1RX and VK1BG.  Summit to Summit QSOs at 500 mW on 6m 50.160 MHz and 70cm 432 MHz included Andrew VK1DA/2 and Andrew VK1MBE.

Best chaser QSO on 144 MHz:  At 21:49 UTC working Ron VK3AFW via Aircraft Enhancement (AE) over 455 km for a 5-3 signal report.

Extract from VK1AD SOTA Activator Log:  10 January 2017 Tuggeranong Hill

Time Call Band Mode Notes
21:02z VK1RX 144MHz SSB Al S59 R59 500 mW Canberra 1 km
21:03z VK1DA/2 144MHz SSB Andrew S2S VK2/ST-053 S59 R59 QF45ME 500 mW 70 km
21:07z VK1DA/2 433MHz SSB Andrew S2S VK2/ST-053 S57 R57 500 mW 70 km
21:10z VK1RX 433MHz SSB Al S59 R59 500 mW 1 km
21:15z VK1DA/2 50MHz SSB Andrew S2S VK2/ST-053 S58 R58 500mW 70 km
21:18z VK1RX 50MHz SSB Al S59 R59 500 mW 1km
21:24z VK1MBE/P 144MHz SSB Andrew S2S VK1/AC-040 S59 R59 500 mW QF44NR 18 km
21:31z VK2YW 144MHz SSB John QF34QU S51 R51 25 watts 164 km
21:39z VK3AFW 144MHz SSB Ron S53 R32 QF22MC 60 watts 455 km
21:47z VK1BG 144MHz SSB Ian S59 R59 500 mW QF44MS 24 km
21:49z VK3AFW 144MHz SSB Ron now S55 R53 60 watts QF22MC 455 km
22:11z VK2EMA 144MHz SSB Mark S55 R55 QF37SQ 60 watts 377 km
22:19z VK2DO 144MHz SSB Chris S58 R55 60 watts 130 km NSW South Coast

Radio and amplifier arrangement for long range VHF DX contacts.  FT-817ND is powered by a small 12 volt 2.2 Ah 3S LiPo while the 2m amplifier is powered by a 13 volt 8.4 Ah 4S LiFePO4.

FT-817ND plus a TONO 2m 90 watt RF amplifier. The amplifier is bypassed for QRP operations.

FT-817ND plus a TONO 2m 90 watt RF amplifier. The amplifier section is bypassed for QRP operations.

18 months ago I was fortune to meet a fellow radio amateur in Melbourne who was interested in selling a range of 2m gear (he was leaving the hobby) which included two TONO 2m 90-G RF amplifiers, I couldn’t resist the offer.

For folk interested in the 2m RF amplifier circuit – what’s inside the box?

Amplifier circuit TR1: Mitsubishi 2SC2630, power input 10 to 15 watts, power output 80 to 90 watts.
Receive preamp: FET 3SK113 offering 15 dB gain.

The amplifier design includes over voltage protection >15 volts.  A VSWR >1:5:1 will disable the amplifier placing the circuit in a pass through state.

Circuit diagram

Circuit diagram

Photos: © Copyright 2017 Andrew VK1AD

4 thoughts on “SOTA – VK1AD 2017 QRP Update #3 – Tuggeranong Hill

  1. Thanks for a great posting. When I was a volunteer op on W1AW/7 located at the arctic circle I know we also tried to get certified as SOTA because the temporary QTH was indeed on a very high ‘hill’ in Alaska.

  2. Hi Andrew, three A’s for the price of one. You guys are inspirational. What a great experiment and the aircraft corridor certainly helps.
    John D

  3. Excellent experiment, Andrew. Good to read about your exploits as always.

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