A free weekend at last

by vk3arr

Chasing has been slow again, largely due to sporting pursuits, but also due to a work trip to Japan and general busyness at work too.  I was stuck for quite a while on around 410 points until Ben VK3FTRV did a few 10 pointers which bumped me up to 435 odd.  I missed his 7 summit odyssey, unfortunately, due to being in Tokyo.  Today, however, a bye had presented itself in the tennis draw, and I had a good chance to be around the radio to chase a few points.  A lot of the usual activators were delaying their activations until 7pm or so in the evening so that they could participate in the VK/EU SOTA DX challenge.

My first contact was with Phil VK2FPJR, his first activation on VK2/SC-033.  My signal was fairly weak, 3 and 5, while his was fairly strong (with the preamp on), at 5 and 7.  I’ve since worked out that if I am working off the LiFe battery, I need to manually check power output, as the lower input voltage makes the RF Power setting on the radio over report its output.

Next up was Brian VK3MCD, on VK3/VC-032, an unnamed summit in the Wombat State Forest. Brian was 5 and 8 again with the preamp, and my signal was 52. Brian is extremely methodical with the way he works the pileup, and it is a joy to behold.

I heard Nick VK3ANL barely above the noise floor, but with QSB down into the muck, working Allen VK3HRA on Mt Stirling (VK3/VE-011). Allen was very weak, 4 and 1 at the peaks, and my signal to him was at first, “zero and zero”, but given as “3 and 0” in the end. Later inspection showed that I’d bumped one of the tuning knobs on the ATU so I was not properly tuned up.

Final contact for the day was Peter VK3ZPF on Mt Tamboritha (VK3/VT-011). He was 55, and I was 42 to him. By the end of the day, I was on 464 points. Only 36 points to the half-Sloth. I’m hoping there’s a rash of 10 pointers activated in the new year! 🙂