Challenge Ends

The SOTA 10 and 6 metre challenge ended at UTC midnight of the 13th of February 2016. This was 11:00 am on Sunday morning in VK3.

The previous day I was involved with the VK3 SOTA symposium held at the MDRC club rooms. The SOTA gear was sill in the van, ready to go. The WX looked nice so Nan & I headed off to Flinders Peak in the You Yangs N.P. Not sure what the propagation would be like? The previous night there was good short path F1 into europe providing me with 3 new callsigns and summits on 10 metres.

Date:13/Feb/2016 Summit:VK3/VC-030 (Flinders Peak) Call Used:VK3CAT/P Points: 1 Bonus: 0
Summit Height 364 metres. Excellent phone coverage.
This is an easy run over the West Gate Bridge and Freeway towards Geelong and Little River. Takes about an hour from home to get to Table Top car park.This would also prove to be a convenient shake down for the up coming Hotham long weekend..

It is a steady 1/2 hour walk up the steps to the summit. Some track restoration was underway and there were a number of people walking, running, with dogs enjoying the fine weather and climbing to the top.

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I was set up and running at 22:56 hrs UTC with a hopeful call on 52.525 FM. Surprise reply from Andre VK3MAW in Norlane for a new multiplier. Also worked Ron VK3AFW, Allen on the new call VK3ARH and later Marc VK3OHM all on 6 / 10 metres SSB. Other contacts were all 40 metres CW into VK5, VK4, VK3 and VK2 (S2S with VK2MWP)
We finished up at 23:52. Propagation was not great. Headed back to the car park for a cup of tea and Nan showed me the rock she used as a slide as a young girl. She could not resist the temptation to try it for old times sake.

My 6/10 metre challenge results are 686 activator points made up of 49 unique call signs and 14 unique summits. This puts me at the top of VK3 and a distant 8th overall in VK. Top of the Ladder being Matt VK1MA with 22044 points. Well done Matt and also Andrew VK1AD plus all others who gave it a go!

As a chaser, I obtained 1750 points made up of 35 unique callsigns and 35 unique summits that put me first in VK3 and 3rd overall in VK behind Matt VK1MA and Andrew VK1AD.

Position Activator
Callsign
6m & 10m Callsigns 6m & 10m Multipliers Points
1 VK1MA 501 44 22044
2 VK1AD 320 47 15040
3 VK1FJAW 188 39 7332
4 VK1DA 191 36 6876
5 VK2IO 174 37 6438
6 VK1RX 112 18 2016
7 VK2JDL 34 22 748
8 VK3CAT 49 14 686
9 VK1DI 47 13 611
10 VK3YY 46 11 506
11 VK1VIC 47 10 470
12 VK1MBE 37 8 296
13 VK1EM 22 6 132
14 VK3PF 17 7 119
15 VK2MWP 11 7 77
Position Activator
Callsign
6m & 10m Callsigns 6m & 10m Multipliers Points
1 VK1MA 46 61 2806
2 VK1AD 44 60 2640
3 VK3CAT 35 50 1750
4 VK1MTS 33 36 1188
5 VK1DA 33 34 1122
6 VK2IO 27 35 945
7 VK4RF 19 49 931
8 VK1FJAW 29 31 899
9 VK5WG 17 42 714
10 VK3AFW 21 32 672
11 VK1DI 21 28 588
12 VK1EM 15 30 450
13 VK1RX 20 22 440
14 VK3PF 16 22 352
15 VK2MWP 15 21 315

All up. the results proved 10 metres in particular can provide excellent Es propagation plus F1 and F2 at QRP levels. 6 meter Es were less common and no other modes except ground waves were used. That said, the 6 metre ground wave can be very useful as al alternative ot 40 metres when the latter’s propagation is poor. It does help if the home station at the other end has a decent antenna system.
The challenge also showed the tight propagation foot prints on both bands and it was noticable by SOTA Watch that here in VK3, our F1 propagation window was significantly smaller than those further north. Also, in VK3, we were mostly too close for reliable VK1 and VK5 propagation and there was little to no activity from VK4 which is the most reliable distance.
That said, I did work into VK5 and VK1 on both 10 and 6 metres from home (using yagi antennas)

As an activator, I wanted to see how I went using the standard SOTA gear. Thus, just the KX3 at up to 10 watts and the doublet or the VK7R hand held with triband antenna. It did OK and was fun to determine the best radiation pattern angle off the antenna.
Will see what the next challenge may be!
Tony VK3CAT

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