30032013 – VK3/VC-024

Activated VK3/VC-024 (Mt Beckworth)  30th March 2013.

Previous activation – 23/Jun/2012

APRS Yes. Dipole Yes. 

This is a summit of firsts for me. Made my first SOTA SSB DX contact and now first SOTA VHF AE S2S. 

Today Andrew VK1NAM/p and I achieved S2S contact on 2m 144.220 ssb at 22:08 UTC 30 March 2013 betweenVK1 Mt Ginini (QF44JI) and VK3 Mt Beckworth (QF12UQ). This is 495 km, grid square to grid square.  This was achieved with using battery powered radios. VK1NAM using FT857 running 40 watts into 4E beam and I was using a FT897 running 20 watts into a 5E beam. Sent 52 and received 51. The ‘S’ point = 20W ?

Map 001

VK3 QF12UQ and VK1 QF44JI

The actual contact was brief,

22:08 VK3HRA/p VK1NAM/p 51 52 VK3/VC-024 AE S2S VK1/AC-008

Thanks Andrew for the ground work. All I had to do was turn up and point my beam 67 degrees. Though the start times kept creeping forward, can see why now. The windows are small, not even minutes. No time for chat just callsign and signal report. Very similar to SOTA at 23:58.

I could hear VK1NAM several times during the morning and whilst he came back to me we only confirmed one solid contact. That was enough to prove the point. Andrew was using 40w and I was using 20w. The difference in power was an entire S point.

40m rolled in. Made 30+ contacts for the morning. There were familiar voices on VHF (Ron) and others were sneaking away from kitchen (you know who you are) to make contacts as well as a high number of portable stations. 

100 7291

Expecting rain so setup tent. Also carries all wet weather gear. Extra weight is good for the character.

Just purchased a second hand FT897 with internal batteries and already have a 2M beam that fits on the pack so ready for this. Rain was 70% chance which in Ballarat means 170% so carried tent and wet gear. The walk up is require no navigation just follow the track that has a rocky end that gets interesting when carrying three times the normal weight. As not keen on relying on VHF for contacts, took spare batteries and antenna.

Worried too much. The FT897 lasted 3hrs on one battery.

FT897 and FT817 inside the dry tent. 

100 7289


Now VK3WAM is finishing a weekend marathon of activations with VHF only through the summits of VK!. Will be looking forward to the summary of the antenna performance as it appears VHF is for SOTA.



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