An evening of DX portable/mobile contacts

Last night (Monday 12th September 2021) I burnt the midnight oil a little and worked a handful of DX portable/mobile stations on 20m on the short path. The band was alive with European signals due to the Worked All Europe DX Contest, but I focussed on the portable operators who were operating outside of the Contest.

First in the log was Joe M1DLS who was activating Northumbrian Coast SPA-Blyth North Beach GFF-0339. Joe was 5/3 and gave me a 5/3 also. The map below shows his location.

Map showing the location of GFF-0339

The photos below show GFF-0339 (c/o Google maps).

I found the video below that was put together by Joe of his activation.

Next in the log was Mark M0NOM/p who was activating SOTA peak Whitbarrow-Lords Seat G/ LD-056 in GFF-0233. Mark was 5/3 and he gave me a 5/7.

Mark M0NOM. c/o QRZ.com

The map below shows the location of G/ LD-056 and GFF-0233.

Above:- The location of G/ LD-056 & GFF-0233

More info on the summit can be found at……..

This was followed by Balazs HA5GB/p who was activating SOTA peak HA/ KM-028 in Hungary. The signal reports were 5/3 sent and 4/5 received.

Next was Rodolfo I4RHP/p who was activating Natura 2000 – Alta Valle Del Torrente Sintria IFF-1888 in Italy. The signals were 5/5 both ways. The photos below are c/o https://ambiente.regione.emilia-romagna.it/

I then spoke with Steve G5EPC who was operating portable with 100 watts and a 5/8th vertical antenna. Steve was 5/5 and he gave a 5/6 signal report. Steve has a website which can be found at…….

https://g5epc.blogspot.com/

Above:- Steve’s vertical. c/o his blog

And finally I spoke with Fraser MM0JHCD/p who was stationary mobile about 40 miles east of Edinburgh. He was running an Icom IC7100, Heil headset, and a MFJ telescopic vertical antenna on the roof of his van. Fraser was 5/4 and he gave me a 5/5 signal report.

I did hear a number of other European/UK SOTA and Park activators, but unfortunately they were being drowned out by other European stations taking part in the Worked All Europe DX Contest.

VK5MAZ in the 2021 ALARA Contest

Over the weekend just gone, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th August 2021, the annual ALARA Contest was held. ALARA is the acronym for the Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association.

Although we had a number of commitments over the weekend, Marija did manage to sneak in about 3 hours on air during the contest. This was Marija’s first ever contest.

Marija made a total of 124 QSOs on 40m and 80m SSB. Not bad at all considering the amount of time she spent on air. Our Sunday afternoon was spent with the family, including our little grandson Flynn.

Our tallies as VK100AF and VI100AF.

Between March and August, Marija VK5MAZ and myself were honoured to use the special event callsigns of VK100AF and VI100AF, to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force.

We would like to thank Stuie VK8NSB who organised the event. He did a fantastic job putting it all together.

Marija and me were one of around 50 amateurs who took part using the calls. VI100AF was on air from March until the end of May. VK100AF remains on air until the end of August.

We had the 2 callsigns on 9 different occasions. We made a total of 3,078 QSOs. This was into 66 different DXCC entities.

Countries worked were:-

  • Alaska
  • Antarctica
  • Asiatic Russia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Balearic Islands
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Canary Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • England
  • Estonia
  • European Russia
  • Federal Republic of Germany
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Greece
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hawaii
  • Hungary
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Lord Howe Island
  • Malta
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Ireland
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Republic of Korea
  • Romania
  • Scotland
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Cook Islands
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine
  • United States of America
  • Virgin Islands
  • Wake Island
  • Wales

The map below shows our contacts around the world.

During March, April, May, June, and July we found that long path 20m band conditions into Europe & the UK were good. Unfortunately there was virtually no long path propagation during August.

The map below shows our contacts into Europe.

Our 40m antenna is a rotatable dipole at about 55 feet, and with 100 watts, it is difficult to make good contacts on that band into the USA. However, we did make a few, and also made North American contacts on 20m.

The map below shows our contacts into North America and the Carribean.

We only found some propagation on the 15m band to Asia during March, and very little if any on 10m, so we did not make a lot of contacts into Asia. The map below shows our contacts into that part of the world.

We were very happy to make some contacts on 20m into Africa. The map below shows our contacts into that part of the world.

Most of our contacts were on the 40m band as can be seen in the graph below.

  • 10m – 27 QSOs
  • 15m – 32 QSOs
  • 20m – 1,137 QSOs
  • 40m – 1,256 QSOs
  • 80m – 624 QSOs

THANK YOU to everyone who called us between March and August whilst we had the calls. We had a terrific time and it was a real honour to be able to use the special event callsigns. Thanks to Stuie VK8NSB for asking us to take part.

VK100AF for the last time

Marija VK5MAZ and myself had VK100AF for the very last time on Saturday 14th, Sunday 15th, & Monday 16th August 2021.

I had a short go with the callsign on Saturday morning leading up to the Remembrance Day (RD) Contest. I did not use the special event call for the RD, rather entering the contest under my own call. After a sleep on Sunday afternoon after the completion of the RD, I made a few more calls as VK10AF. Then on Monday I was in and out of the shack, jumping on air wherever possible. On Sunday evening Marija made a number of contacts on the 80m band.

All up, a bit quieter for us this time around, with a total of 160 QSOs in the log. The map below shows our contacts.

Very little DX was around this time around, with just 6 DXCC entities worked.

  • Antarctica
  • Australia
  • England
  • New Zealand
  • Spain
  • United States of America.

The majority of our contacts were around Australia and New Zealand, as can be seen in the map below.

We worked just 2 USA stations, one in California and one in Virginia.

We made just 2 contacts into Europe and the United Kingdom: John EA7BA in Spain and John G0OUF in England.

Thanks to everyone who called us.

2021 Remembrance Day Contest

Over the past weekend (Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th August 2021) I took part in the annual Remembrance Day (RD) Contest.

The RD Contest “commemorates the Amateurs who died during World War II and is designed to encourage friendly participation and help improve the operating skills of participants.”

The RD is held on the weekend closest to the 15th August, the date on which hostilities ceased in the southwest Pacific area. The aim is to make contact with as many amateurs in VK call areas, New Zealand (ZL) and Papua New Guinea (P29).

Below is a list of the WIA members who paid the supreme sacrifice….

Royal Australian Navy
J.E. Mann VK3IE
A.H.G. Rippon VK6GR

Australian Military Forces
C.D. Roberts VK2JV
J.D. Morris VK3DQ
J. McCandlish VK3HN
S.W. Jones VK3SF
D.A. Laws VK4DR
J.G. Phillips VK5BW
K.S. Anderson VK6KS

Royal Australian Air Force
F.W.S. Easton VK2BQ
V.J.E. Jarvis VK2VJ
W. Abbott VK2YK
G.C. Curle VK2AJB
T. Stephens VK3GO
M.D. Orr VK3OR
J.F. Colthrop VK3PL
J.A. Burrage VK3UW
J.E. Snadden VK3VE
F.J. Starr VK4FS
R. Allen VK4PR
C.A. Ives VK5AF
B. James VK5BL
J.E. Goddard VK6JG
P.P. Paterson VK6PP

Merchant Marine
N.E. Gunter VK3NG
R.P. Veall VK3PV

Last year I had just moved to my current QTH at Ashbourne and I did not have a dedicated amateur radio station set up, so I operated from the back verandah with my portable station. I made a total of 402 contacts running just the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and a 20/40/80 m linked dipole.

This year I had my shack all set up and tower in the air. I ran the Yaesu FT-2000, 100 watts, with the antennas being a 40m rotatable dipole, an 80m home brew dipole, and a 5 element tri band yagi.

I made a total of 870 QSOs with a claimed score of 1,038 points.

This year I operated from the start of the contest at 0300 UTC on Saturday (12.30 p.m. local time) until 0300 UTC on Sunday (12.30 p.m. local time) when I started to fall asleep at the radio & computer. I tried to stay awake as long as I could after 1.00 a.m. as points were trebled between 1.00 a.m. and 6.00 a.m. local time. But my eyelids didn’t win the battle. I went to bed at 3.00 a.m. and came back out into the shack at about 5.30 a.m. sneaking in a couple of hours of sleep.

The graph below shows my operating activity over the 24 hour period.

I operated on the 80m, 40m, & 20m bands on SSB, with the majority of my contacts being on the 80m band.

  • 80m – 407 QSOs
  • 40m – 373 QSOs
  • 20m – 90 QSOs

The graph below shows my contacts on the three bands.

The map below shows my contacts during the contest around Australia and New Zealand. I wasn’t called by anybody outside of VK and ZL, with those contacts not counting for the contest. The highlight of the RD contest for me was to be called by Paul VK0PD at Casey Station, Antarctica. Sadly there were not a huge number of ZL stations participating. I logged 15 different New Zealand stations. I did not hear any stations from P29 land.

The map below shows my contacts around mainland Australia and Tasmania. The majority of my contacts were into Victoria with a total of 301 QSOs. This was followed by 156 into New South Wales.

  • VK1 – 13
  • VK2 – 156
  • VK3 – 301
  • VK4 – 93
  • VK5 – 94
  • VK6 – 106
  • VK7 – 91
  • VK8 – 0
  • VK9 – 0
  • VK0 – 1

Of the 870 QSOs, a total of 402 were different callsigns. In the RD, you could call the same station after a three hour period.

The graph below shows my contacts per State/Territory.

The map below shows my contacts around Victoria.

The map below shows my contacts around New South Wales.

The map below shows my contacts around Western Australia.

The Map below shows my contacts around South Australia.

The map below shows my contacts around Queensland.

The map below shows my contacts around Tasmania.

The map below shows my contacts into New Zealand.

The map below shows my contacts per band. The red markers are for 40m, the blue for 80m, and the orange for 20m. It was pleasing to be able to work New Zealand on 20, 40, & 80m.

The graph below shows my activity on the 80m band. I started off on 80m before it became dark and continued on into the evening. The 80m band was working beautifully, with lots of very strong signals. More importantly, was the absence of any significant status crashes.

Below is a screen shot of VK5BAR Ironstone Range Kiwi SDR showing the activity on 80m at 1.06 a.m. SA local time, showing all the activity with stations taking advantage of the treble points.

The graph below shows my activity on the 40m band. Once it was dark, I found 40m virtually unusable, with very few VK & ZL stations to be heard.

The graph below shows my activity on the 20m band. Contacts on this band were made into VK1, VK2, VK4, VK6, VK0, and New Zealand. It was very pleasing to work a total of 37 VK6 stations.

The screen snot below of the Croydon Victoria Kiwi SDR shows the flurry of activity on 40m just before the end of the contest on Sunday afternoon.

Thank you to everyone who called. I had a lot of fun.

References.

  1. WIA, 2021, <https://www.wia.org.au/members/contests/rdcontest/>, viewed 16th August 2021

My contacts as VK5PAS whilst portable

Following up on my previous log re contacts I have made from home, this post relates to all of the contacts I have made whilst portable, e.g. on a SOTA summit, in a park, on a HEMA summit, silo, etc.

I have about 38,000 portable QSOs in my log.

I have made contact with 86 different DXCC entities/countries.

The map below shows my QSOs around the world whilst operating portable.

The map below shows my contacts into Europe and the United Kingdom.

The map below shows my contacts into North America, Central America, and South America.

The map below shows my contacts around Australia and New Zealand.