SOTA – ZS6BKW Antenna #2 at Mt Stromlo

Good Friday 19 April 2019. Tom M1EYP in the UK  has organised at Good Friday DX 30m CW S2S QSO Party, in addition Tom has invited 40m SSB participants.  I have considered my options and decided to activate Mt Stromlo VK1/AC-043 for the first time this year, in doing so I will gain a single (1) activator point  🙂

My plan is to take advantage of recent improvements in 40m Dx propagation into Europe where timing is everything.  The idea is to operate on 40m (7 MHz) in the last 90 minutes of sunlight leading up to VK East Coast sunset.  This period is known as the ‘grey-line’ where in Australia the sun is moving towards sunset while in parts of Europe and the UK the sun is rising.

My SOTA friends Mike 2E0YYY has posted an alert for G/SP-004 Shining Tor in the UK while Herbert OE9HRV has posted an alert for OE/VB-494 Hochälele in Austria.


  • Icom IC-703 QRP 10 watts
  • Battery: 13.2 volt 4.2 Ah 4S LiFePO
  • Homebrew ZS6BKW antenna incorporating 11.1 metres of 300 ohm feedline
  • 1:1 BALUN Choke & a 50 cm length of RG-58AU terminated with BNC plugs
  • 10 metre telescopic pole
  • Dual band 2m/70cm HT Yaesu FT-60R
  • Homebrew 2m SlimJim antenna
  • 7 inch Lenovo tablet

This is my first use of the ZS6BKW antenna chasing SOTA activators in Europe on 40m (7.180 MHz) SSB with 10 watts output. I wrote about my first experience with the ZS6BKW antenna here. The results below speak for themselves 🙂

Extract of VK1AD SOTA Activator Log: Mt Stromlo 19 March 2019

Summit to Summit QSOs: Gerard VK2IO/P, Herbert OE9HRV/P, Glenn VK3YY/P, Allen VK3ARH/P, Mike 2E0YYY/P and Andrew VK1DA/2

05:50zVK3PF3.5MHzSSBPeter s58 r58
05:52zVK2YK3.5MHzSSBAdam s58 r55
05:56zVK2YW3.5MHzSSBJohn s59 r59
05:57zVK1MA3.5MHzSSBMatt s59 r59
06:02zVK2IO/P3.5MHzSSBGerard s57 r55 S2S VK2/NM-213
06:04zVK3AFW3.5MHzSSBRon s59 r53
06:04zVK2YMU3.5MHzSSBRobert s59 r59
06:10zVK3CAT7MHzSSBTony s59 r59
06:15zOE9HRV/P7MHzSSBHerbert s57 r35 S2S OE/VB-494
06:17zZL1BYZ7MHzSSBJohn s59 r57
06:19zVK3BSG7MHzSSBEric s59 r59
06:20zVK3YY7MHzSSBGlenn s59 r59 S2S VK2/VC-002
06:21zVK3NCR7MHzSSBCraig s59 r55
06:24zF5USK7MHzSSBFred s59 r55
06:26zVK3ARH/P7MHzSSBAllen s59 r58 S2S VK3/VC-018
06:26zVK5PAS/M7MHzSSBPaul s59 r57
06:28zVK3FPSR7MHzSSBPeter s59 r59
06:29zVK5IS7MHzSSBIan s59 r59
06:31zVK3DBP7MHzSSBPaul s55 r57
06:35z2E0YYY/P7MHzSSBMike s52 r31 S2S G/SP-004
06:41zVK7DW7MHzSSBAndrew s59 r55
06:43zZL2ATH7MHzSSBWynn s57 r55
06:45zVK3GMC7MHzSSBGlenn s59 r59
06:46zVK5FANA7MHzSSBAdrian s59 r59
06:47zZL1SKL7MHzSSBSoren s58 r47
06:49zVK2SB7MHzSSBAngus s59 r58
06:53zVK4SMA7MHzSSBMark s59 r58
06:55zVK4PZZ7MHzSSBMatt s51 r55
06:56zZL4CZ7MHzSSBSteven s59 r59
06:59zVK4VSM7MHzSSBSteve s59 r56
07:01zVK4NH7MHzSSBRay s59 r59
07:02zVK5CZ7MHzSSBIan s59 r57
07:03zZL2AJ7MHzSSBWarren s59 r48
07:05zVK1MA144MHzFMQF44MT Matt s59 r48
07:08zVK1MT144MHzFMQF44NM Matt s59 r55
07:10zVK1EA144MHzFMCarlos s59 r59
07:14zVK1DA/2144MHzFM Andrew s58 r59 S2S VK2/ST-053
07:16zVK1KW144MHzFMQF44MT Rob s59 r59
07:24zVK1MIC144MHzFMQF44NT Wade s59 r59
Icom IC-703 10 watt QRP Rig
Icom IC-703 operating on 80m. You can see the 300 feedline terminated at a 1:1 BALUN choke
view west to the Brindabella Ranges
ZS6BKW antenna apex at 9 metres mounted as an Inverted V
ZS6BKW antenna at Mt Stromlo VK1/AC-043
17:20h local (07:20 UTC) Sun is setting in the west behind the Brindabella Ranges
Last light – Mt Stromlo optical and lazer ranging telescopes

19 April 2019 – VK1AD DX QSO with stations in Europe and New Zealand. I am using an Icom IC-703 (10 watts) on 40m with a ZS6BKW antenna. QSOs: 7 on 80m 3.625 MHz, 26 on 40m 7.180 MHz and 7 on 2m FM 146.500 MHz FM, including a S2S with Andrew VK1DA/2 at Mt Mundoonen.

VK1AD Dx and S2S contacts. Map courtesy of SOTA Maps
VK1AD chaser and S2S contacts within VK. Map courtest of SOTA Maps