Portable Station

While out this morning  on VK5/SE-013, I finally remembered to take a few photos of my setup, so here goes!

After sitting on the ground too many times, it has come down to this!  A lightweight table – just big enough for the KX3, paper log and laptop (for the easy summits) -and best of all, got it on special for only $30!

This summit is a very easy one, and we have set up here, with the squid pole for the dipole tied up to a post just behind me.   The 2nd set of headphones – yep – for 5RR who took the photos today.  Earphones are an essential – they keep the ears warm on the cold summit, and if there is any wind you really need them to hear.

The headset just makes it easy – and the Yamaha CM-500 is a mid-priced headset that matches up with the KX3 pretty well – I always get great audio reports.


The station from the operating position – the walkstool can be seen, and for the astute, you will see the foot switch – the black disk on the ground near the corner of the table, which keeps both hands free for logging or tuning. Usually just have a 9aH SLAB for power – means we can go for about 5 hours between charges.  The little blue box near the KX3 is the power conditioner – a great addition – it allows input from between 8-30V and you can set the output from 2-16V @ 6A (QS-1212CCBA 80W).

The whole lot, squid pole supporting the antenna, stools, table and bag to pack everything up in, ready for the next summit.

So, what does your portable station look like?

Oh, yeah, Forgot to mention, worked 40 stations on 3 bands and 3 S2S contacts in about 2 hours on a very nice morning.

Multi-band activation

After a fortnight ago, when we took VK5/SE-013 to surpass the 1K qso’s logged, it was almost an anti-climax last weekend to head back up on Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings and work quite a few EU contacts on 20M including several S2S contacts as well.

Today, the noise at home was actually low enough and I managed to chase a few other summits from home!

With the band conditions even better this week, I had a little bit of time and got back out to the summit – with the aim of doing a walk from 10M down to 40M and see what I could work.   When activating I normally only do 20 and then 40, but as long as there is enough time, I’ll give it a shot across other bands as well in the future.

So, I set up the dipole and wound it out to about 4M long each side, plugged in the KX3, hit the tune and made a few calls on 10M, while at the same time, self spotting.  Nothing heard on 10M after about 10 minutes, so jumped down to 12M and again just hit the tune button again.  Sent a spot, and again called for about 10 minutes with no takers.

So, dropped the dipole down a bit, and rolled out the dipole another meter or so on each end, put it back up, hit the tune button, and then went looking for a clear frequency on 15M.  Again, self-spotted and put out a call.  This is where it started to get interesting and I worked 10 stations over the next  15 minutes – including my first chaser from South Africa.  When the calls stopped, another QSY this time down to  17M.  Again, a push of the tune button, and self spot, and worked a couple more stations  here as well.

Again, dropped the antenna and wound out the dipole to  5.5M a side for 20M.  Back in the air, found a clear frequency and put up a spot and worked another 5 stations here.

It was starting to get cold and the sun was most definitely on the way down, so again, a quick extension of the dipole out for 30M.  Again, find a quite frequency, hit the tune, self spot and call.  And again, a few takers – this time no DX and just VK chasers.

As always, before leaving, I rolled out the dipole to the full length and spotted and called on 40M.  I called for about 5 minutes without a reply and was about to give up – as Nigel, VK5NIG had been up here earlier in the day and worked most of the regular VK chasers for the day.  But as luck would have it, I did get a few contacts, including a ZL chaser – which was another first for the day.

All in all, it was a quick activation, we tried 7 bands, worked stations on 5 of the bands, DX on 4 bands and had a few new countries in the chase today. So many “first’s” today – I logged the first 17M Contacts for the Summit – still a few bands to go to have contacts logged all bands, but another day.

As I worked down the bands, there were a couple of people whom I worked on more than 1 band, they were following the spots.  I worked G0RQL on 15 and 20M, DL0CS also on 15 and 20M, DJ5AV on 15 and 17M, VK6NU on 15, 20 and 30M and ZS5J on 15 and 17M.

The total QSO count across the 5 bands where there were answers to my call (including the multiples) put 25 worked stations in the log.

With chasers across the bands, it was interesting to note how the signal reports were on the different bands, and a clear indication as to what the conditions were like today – certainly a lot better than they have been on the higher bands!

Again, another fun afternoon up on VK5/SE-013, and it just goes to show that even now with 10 activations of this summit under my belt, there is always something new to try – be it new bands or new countries to work,  Now, the next big challenge for the regular activators is to get the activation count up from 72 to past 150 and into the world top 50 list.