Aeronautical mobile in the log again

Yesterday (Monday 28th September 2015), I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and stumbled across Jerry PH9HB aeronautical mobile, calling CQ all on his own on 20m.  I had also been lucky enough to work Jerry about a week before, whilst he was in the cockpit of a 737 cruising over Portugal.

For more info and photos from my previous QSO with Jerry, please see my previous post at…..

This time Jerry’s signal was a little lower than last time, but my signal report of 5/7 was a lot stronger than the 4/4 I had received a week ago.


On this flight, Jerry was behind the controls of a Boeing 737-8K2 aircraft, PH-HSE, enroute to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands off the coast of western Africa, from Amsterdam in The Netherlands.  He was cruising at 37,000 feet and travelling at 474 knots.

As I did on the previous occasion I jumped onto Flight Tracker and had soon located Jerry’s flight, TRA6Y.  Jerry was out over the South Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Portugal, about 100 km south west of Lisbon.

Screenshot 2015-09-28 15.49.39

Screenshot 2015-09-28 15.47.56

Screenshot 2015-09-28 15.47.22

Screenshot 2015-09-28 15.49.21

Flight Tracker is very interesting.  You can even get a cockpit view, which you can see below.

Screenshot 2015-09-28 15.59.42

Screenshot 2015-09-28 15.58.55

I had a good 4 minute chat with Jerry, but was cognisant that there would be others that would Like Jerry in the log.

Here’s an image of all the aircraft over Europe at the time.  Amazing!

Screenshot 2015-09-28 16.01.11

And here is an image of all the aircraft in the sky in the world at the time.  Even more amazing!

Screenshot 2015-09-28 16.00.50

A great afternoon of chasing portable DX

Last Sunday (27th September 2015), I had a very enjoyable afternoon in the shack, chasing DX portable operators.  The 20m band on the long path into Europe was in excellent shape.  In fact it remained open here on the long path until around 7.00 p.m. local time, thats 0930 UTC.

My equipment is a Yaesu FT-2000, a Heil Pro 4 head set, 100 watts and a 5 element tri band yagi @ 16 metres.

My first portable station for the day was Ingo DH0KAA/p, who was portable as part of the World Castle Award.  Ingo had a good 5/5 signal coming in from Stacherburg Castle in Golzheim, Germany, which dates back to 1375.

Above:- Stacherburg Castle.  Photo courtesy of wikipedia.

Ingo was operating as part of the Worked Castles Award Program, which encourages portable operation from castles, fortresss and other fortification works around the world.  For more information on the program, please see…..

Next up was Phil, OK/ G4OBK/p, who I had seen spotted on SOTA Watch.  Phil was operating high on the 20m band and had quite a pile up from Europe, but I managed to break through and get a 5/7 signal report, with Phil being a very readable 5/4.

Phil was on top of SOTA peak, Komárí vrch, OK/ KR-013 in the Czech Republic.  The summit is 991 metres above sea level and is worth 8 SOTA points.  It is located in the Královéhradecký region of the Czech Republic, close to the border with Poland.  It is located in the reserve of the same name, Komárí vrch in the Eagle Mountains.

Screenshot 2015-09-28 20.22.54

Above:- Map showing the location of Komárí vrch.  Map courtesy of

Phil is currently on a SOTA tour around the Eagle Mountains in the Czech Republic.


Above:- Phil’s QSL card.  Courtesy of his page

I found a post on the SOTA refelector where Phil showed the radio gear he was taking, his clothing and shoes, and finally the packed rucksack on his back.

For more information please see…..

My third contact was another SOTA activator.  Jarek SP9MA/p.  Jarek had an excellent 5/7 signal and gave me a 5/9.  Jarek was on the top of Trojaki (Solowy Wierch) SOTA SP/ BZ-060.  The mountain is 848 metres above seal level and is worth 4 SOTA points.  The summit is located in the Beskidy Zachodnie region of Poland.


Above:- Jarek’s QSL card, courtesy of his page.

I then saw another spot on SOTA Watch for another European SOTA activator.  It was Enrico IZ3GOS/p, who was activating Monte Cauriol, SOTA I/ TN-313 in Italy.  I tuned to14.285 and I was surprised to be able to hear another DX activator, albeit that Enrico was a 5/3.  I think my neighbours were out and as such the plasma TV was not on, so the noise floor at home was very low.

Screenshot 2015-09-29 20.03.05

Above:- the location of the summit in Italy.  Map courtesy of wikipedia.

Monte Cauriol summit is a big mountain.  It is 2,494 metres above sea level and is worth 8 SOTA points.  It is located in the Trentino region of Italy. and is a mountain belonging to the Lagorai chain.  A cross can be located at the top of the summit.

Above:- Monte Cauriol summit.  Images courtesy of wikipedia.

My fifth portable DX contact for the day was with Zvone S57PZ/p who was portable on SOTA peak Kobilja glava, SOTA S5/JA-040 in Slovenia.  Again, Zvone was not strong, but still a good 5.3 and very readable.  He gave me a 5/8 signal report.


Above:- Zvone S57PZ, from his page.

Kobilja glava summit is 1,475 metres above sea level and is worth 6 SOTA points.  It is located in the Julijske Alpe Region of Slovenia.


Above:- Kobilja glava summit.  Image courtesy of

And my first WWFF European activator of the day was Henryk SP30OPZ/p who was activating the Rudawski Landscape Park SPFF-117 in Poland.  Henryk has been quite active the past week, out and about in parks in Poland and has great ears hearing the DX amongst the European pile up.  Henryk had a good 5/7 signal and gave me a 5/8 signal report.

The Rudawski Landscape Park was established in 1989 and is located in the southern part of Lower Silesia in south western Poland.

Above:- The Rudawski Landscape Park.  Images courtesy of

I then spoke with Dave G4AKC who was pedestrian mobile on the beach at Blackpool in England.  Dave is often heard out and about on 20m, operating either pedestrian mobile or bicycle mobile.  And as always, Dave had a great signal…5/9 plus.


Above:- Dave’s pedestrian mobile and bicycle mobile set up.  Courtesy of his page.

I then spoke with Peter who was operating the club call of GX1RCD, belonging to the Dartmoor Radio Club in England.  Dave was in a tent out in the field, operating portable and had a nice strong 5/8 signal.

Next on my list was Antonio EC2AG/p who was sitting on top of SOTA peak Longitas EA2/ BI-046 in Spain.  It was quite difficult breaking through the European pile up, but I made it and logged Antio with a 5/3 signal, and receiving a 5/8 in return.

Longitis summit is 580 metres above seal level and is worth 1 point.  It is located in the Bizkaia region of Spain.  This was the fourth activation of the summit.  As it turns out, Antonio was also the first to activate the summit back in November 2011.

Screenshot 2015-09-28 19.37.58

Above:- Map showing the location of Longitis summit.  Map courtesy of google maps.

And finally, I worked another European park activator.  It was the Silesian Radio amateur Group SP9YFF/2 activating the Piwnicki Nature Reserve Forest, SPFF-0661 in Poland.  We exchanged 5/5 signal reports.


So all in all, a successful day of chasing and hunting DX SOTA and parks activators.

Latest VKFF certificates

With the recent release of the Sapphire VKFF Hunter certificate and the Honour Roll certificates, and the OCCFF Hunter certificate, my email system has been running hot, sending out certificates all around Australia and the world.

Below are the certificates I’ve recently qualified for myself for the World Wide Flora Fauna program (VKFF National program).

My WWFF stats

I decided today to have a look at what countries I was working in the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  So I headed to WWFF Log Search to find the answer.

Leading from the front is Australia obviously, with a total of 249 different VKFF references.  Next up was Belgium, with 44 ONFF references.  What an appropriate number.  Most of these are due to the tireless efforts of Danny OT4V and Swa ON5SWA, who always take the time out to listen for outside of Europe.

At number three is Poland, with 25 different SPFF references in my log.  Poland seems to have a strong SPFF following, and I have found that the Polish operators also listen for outside of Europe.  This was closely followed by Italy.

Screenshot 2015-09-25 12.18.56

Total of 426 different WWFF reference areas in my log from 24 different countries…….

  1. Israel – 1
  2. Cyprus – 2
  3. Croatia – 4
  4. Portugal – 3
  5. Germany -13
  6. Spain – 2
  7. France -18
  8. England – 6
  9. Hungary -3
  10. Switzerland – 2
  11. Italy – 22
  12. Lithuania – 1
  13. Austria – 1
  14. Finland – 4
  15. Czech Republic – 4
  16. Belgium – 44
  17. Denmark – 4
  18. Netherlands – 5
  19. Poland – 25
  20. Greece – 2
  21. Ukraine – 2
  22. Australia – 249
  23. Romania – 6
  24. New Zealand – 1

Aeronautical mobile

This amazing hobby of amateur radio never ceases to amaze me.

Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 23rd September 2015) I had a nice contact on 20m with Jerry PH9HB, who was aeornautical mobile over Europe.  I have spoken with Jerry quite a few times on 20m, whilst he has been behind the controls of a commercial airliner over Europe.


This time, Jerry was flying a Boeing 737-8k2, registered PH-HSJ, for Transavia, from Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands, to Faro Airport in southern Portugal.

During our QSO I jumped on to flightradar24, and was able to track Jerry’s progress in the skies over Europe..

As you can see from the image below, there was certainly a lot of air traffic over Europe at the time.

Screenshot 2015-09-23 17.28.06

And below you can see Jerry’s flight just crossing over from Spain into Portugal during our QSO.  Jerry was at an altitude of 33,000 feet and was travelling at 454 knots which equates to about 841 km per hour.

Screenshot 2015-09-23 17.28.39

And if you are curious to see how many aircraft were in the sky all around the world, at the time of our QSO, then have a look at the image below.  Amazing!

Screenshot 2015-09-23 17.34.23

At the conclusion of our QSO, I continued to listen to Jerry working other European amateurs and followed his progress into Faro airport.  You can see an image below of Jerry’s aircraft on the tarmac at the Faro Airport in Portugal.

Screenshot 2015-09-23 17.51.54

A second attempt at Mowantjie Willauwar CP, VKFF-919

Yesterday (Saturday 19th September 2015) my wife Marija and I went for a drive down the South Eastern Freeway to the small but interesting Mowantjie Willauwar Conservation Park, VKFF-919.  This would be my third visit to the park.   The first being in 2014, for an activation as part of the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award, and then just over a week ago I made an attempt to get 44 contacts as part of the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program, but fell short at 14 (the bands were terrible).  So I decided to head back to pick up another 30 QSOs to qualify the park.

For more information on the activation about a week earlier, and some interesting information regarding the park, please see my previous post at…..

Screenshot 2015-09-10 11.20.12

On the way to the park I worked both Mick VK3PMG and Tony VK3VTH, who were out portable in Victorian parks as part of WWFF.  I had worked Mick and Tony from home, but as they had such terrific signals into my mobile, I decided to give them a shout.

After arriving at the park, we set up in my normal operating spot, which is about 600 metres in from the gate on the northern side of Placid Estates Road.  For this activation I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, and my 40m/20m linked dipole supported on a 7 metre squid pole.

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon.  Local time was 2.20 p.m. and the temperature was about 22 degrees C.  I had been eaten alive by sand flies and mosquitoes during my previous activation here at Mowantjie Willauwar, but this time I had come prepared with a can of ‘Off’.

Screenshot 2015-09-10 11.19.35

Prior to calling CQ I had a quick look around the 40m band and found Norm VK5GI and Greg VK5GY on 7.100, operating out of the Bullock Hill Conservation Park on the Fleurieu Peninsula.  Norm and Greg were running QRP, just 4 watts, and had a nice signal coming in to the Murray Mallee.  After working Norm and Greg I found Mick VK3PMG calling CQ on 7.110 in Dergholm State Park, VKFF-756 with a beautiful 5/9 + signal.  I then tuned up to 7.142 and worked Tony VK3VTH operating portable from the Mount Granya State Park, VKFF-767, again with a 5/9 + signal from Victoria.  Not a bad start….four park contacts to kick off the activation.


I then headed for 7.150 and started calling CQ and this was immediately answered by regular park hunter, Rex VK3OF with his normal 5/9 + signal, followed by Les VK5KLV who was operating portable from the Winninowie Conservation Park, VKFF-820.  I was very happy…my 5th park contact in just 6 QSOs from Mowantjie Willauwar.

A steady flow of callers followed, and then came another park activator.  This time it was Gary VK5FGRY who was in the Morialta Conservation Park, VKFF-783.  And after about a dozen more contacts I was called by Greg VK5GJ and Norm VK5GI had moved to the Cox Scrub Conservation Park.

The band was getting very busy and I had a little bit of QRM from F8CHM in France on 7.151.  But I perservered and worked Brendon VK5FSCC who was portable in the Deep Creek Conservation Park on the Fleurieu Peninsula.  It seemed that everyone was out enjoying the sunshine.  Many of the regular VK5 and WWFF park hunters called in, but it was also pleasing ti get a number of new calls in the log.  Many of whom struggled to get their tongue around Mowantjie Willauwar, which means ‘Native Pine forest’ in the local aboriginal language.

After working a total of 39 stations on 40m I headed over to 20m, and after lowering the squid pole and removing the links, I called CQ on 14.311.  This was immediately answered by the ever keen Albert S58AL.  He must have been there waiting for me.  I went on to work stations in Slovenia, Russia, Germany, France, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Slovak Republic, Japan, Poland, Czech Republic, Israel, Estonia, Belgium, VK4 & VK6.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I worked a total of 47 stations on 20m, before heading back to 40m to see if I could pick up any of the die hard park stragglers.  The band was very busy with lots of European and North American signals coming in.  I found 7.130 clear and called CQ.  Peter VK3ABM came back to my call, and this was followed by Peter VK3PF who was operating portable from Ninety Mile Beach Marine National Park, VKFF-951.  I was Peter’s 44th contact to qualify the park for him.  Well done Peter.

Next up was Peter VK3YE and Scott VK5FSKS who was operating portable from Chelsea Beach as part of flag pole day.  Below is a video of Peter and Scott…..

A few calls later, in amongst the VK’s I heard a European accent.  I asked the VK’s to stand by, and sure enough, Danny ON4VT in Belgium came back to me with a 5/3 signal, and reciprocated with a 5/3 for me.  Wow, was I excited.  Just 40 watts and a meager little linked dipole, and I had Belgium in the log on 40m.  I’m sure I heard one or two more European callers, but the frequency was very busy and I was unable to pull out any more European call signs.

But I did work a handful of Kiwis including Lamont ZL2ALK, Willem ZL3CHE, Stan ZL1TWR, and Ken ZL4KD.

So after 3 hours in the park, I had a total of 107 contacts in the log, including some nice DX contacts on both 20m and 40m.  Thanks to everyone that called, and thanks to those that took the time to spot me on the DX cluster, parknspeaks, and Facebook.

After the activation, Marija and I headed to ‘Fred’s landing’ where we watched the sunset over the Murray River.  We were also fortunate enough to observe two Whistling Kites who were in a nearby gum tree enjoying a late afternoon meal (a freshly caught fish from the river).  I tried to get as close as I could for a photo (didn’t have the zoom lens), and they both flew off, dropping their meal.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5GI/p (Bullock Hill CP)
  2. VK5GJ/p (Bullock Hill CP)
  3. VK3PMG/p (Dergholm State Park, VKFF-756)
  4. VK3VTH (Mount Granya State Park VKFF-767)
  5. VK3OF
  6. VK5KLV/p (Winninowie CP, VKFF-820)
  7. VK2LX
  8. VK4RF
  9. VK5ZRY
  10. VK4HA
  11. VK3TKK
  12. VK2NEO
  13. VK3XY
  14. VK3YSP/p
  15. VK3AKK
  16. VK5AW/m
  17. VK7FGGT
  18. VK3ANL
  19. VK5FGRY/p (Morialta CP, VKFF-783)
  20. VK3ZMD
  21. VK3FJIM
  22. VK3SIM
  23. VK5BC
  24. VK3YAR
  25. VK3ZPF
  26. VK2JDW/m
  27. VK3FINE
  28. VK3AWG
  29. VK7EK
  30. VK3TXD
  31. VK5GJ/p (Cox Scrub CP, VKFF-824)
  32. VK5GI/p (Cox Scrub CP, VKFF-824)
  33. VK3PI
  34. VK3UCD
  35. VK5PL
  36. VK5FSCC/p (Deep Creek CP, VKFF-780)
  37. VK5MCB
  38. VK2YK
  39. VK3UH
  40. VK3ABM
  41. VK3PF/p (Ninety Mile Beach Marine National Park, VKFF-951)
  42. VK3YE/p (Chelsea Beach)
  43. VK5FSKS/p (Chelsea Beach)
  44. VK2AR
  45. VK7CC
  46. VK4AJB
  47. ON4VT
  48. VK2UW
  49. VK4PHD
  50. ZL2ALK
  51. ZL3CHE
  52. ZL1TWR
  53. VK4SJD
  54. VK3PLP
  55. VK3FAPH
  56. VK6NI
  57. VK4SD/2
  58. VK8GM
  59. ZL4KD

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. S58AL
  2. S52KM
  3. RA3PCI
  4. DL2ND
  5. F1BLL
  6. HA6OB
  7. IZ1UJE
  8. DK4RM
  9. IK1GPG
  10. EA3MP
  11. IZ1DXG
  12. I5FLN
  13. UT5PI
  14. IW2NXI
  15. IK4IDF
  16. R7AY
  17. IK8FIQ
  18. RA3DAD
  19. UA6NT
  20. IZ5YHD
  21. OM7OM
  22. JA8XOK
  23. DL5WW
  24. VK4RF
  25. VK4HA
  26. IZ8EFD
  27. Dk1RS
  28. IZ8DFO
  29. DL2NOM
  30. SP6KEP
  31. OK7WA
  32. HA6NF
  33. SP5APW
  34. IK2ZJN
  35. EA4DTV
  36. VK4MWG
  37. 4Z4OQ
  38. ES5QD
  39. DL3APO
  40. ON4BB
  41. DK2BS
  42. F8DRA
  43. JA8RJE
  44. ON5SWA
  45. ON4VT
  46. F5IDJ
  47. VK6NU