New VK port-a-log version released, named Moondarra_03

Today I have released the latest version of VK port-a-log, named Moondarra_03

This version has the following changes;

  • The SOTA activator and SOTA chaser CSV files have been replaced with a single SOTAv2_combined file.
    The SOTAv2_combined file can be uploaded to SOTAdata as a chaser file and as an activator file.
    The SOTAv2_combined file has all SOTA QSO details within.

At present when uploading SOTA CSV files to users still need to upload twice, one for chaser, one for activator, but you now use the same file for each upload.

Later this year changes to will see only one upload required.

For those users keenly awaiting other improvements these have been delayed and I expect to commence beta testing in early February with a release date around mid-March 2019.

Screenshot_20190104-095604 cropped

ES File Explorer showing typical output files for WWFF and SOTA activation.


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New VK port-a-log version released, named Moondarra_01

Today I have released the latest version of VK port-a-log, named Moondarra_01

This version has the following changes;

  • Location info – lists closest five SOTA summits within 80 km
  • Location info – lists closest five WWFF areas within 80 km (VK & ZL only)
  • Location info – current VKFF area when inside the park boundary (VK only)
  • Location info – current Municipal Shire (VK only)
  • Option to jump to Location Info after start-up screen when not QTHR.
  • Pile up function – allows five call signs to be entered before saving QSO
  • Revised start-up screen display
  • Option to set line 4 of logging screen; QTH, SOTA reference, WWFF reference, Gridsquare, VK shire
  • Option to enter log frequency in MHz or kHz
  • Option to use full soft keyboard for frequency entry
  • Option for slashed zero in call signs
  • Updated VKFF and SANPCPA lists
  • Name look-up works with AX prefixes
  • Added ADIF QSL message field for eQSL
  • Expanded ADIF options for QTH, Notes and Comments fields
  • Option to include other station’s gridsquare in SOTA activator csv files
  • LOG4OM ADIF support for VK Shires and VGLA
  • Spot last updated time removed

Thank you to Manuel HB9DQM, Compton VK2HRX, Gerard VK2IO, David VK3IL, Peter VK3TKK, Jürg HB9BIN and Andrew VK1AD for Beta testing and their valuable feedback.

Unless there is some major bug fix required, this will be the last update for a while as I need to make some changes to the basic structure of the app to accommodate forthcoming changes to SOTAwatch and the inclusion of some of the bigger improvements suggested by users, such as post QSO log entry.

More info about VK port-a-log is available at



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Blog updates day or too hot to be out and about.

With the temperature forecast for today in the low 30s I decided to catch up again on some overdue VKFF and SOTA blog posts.

The following pages have been added:


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New year’s day activation – Mt Vinegar, VK3/VC-005

The SOTA program awards activator points only once per calendar year for each summit. The calendar year starts at 0000 UTC which in Victoria is 11:00 am on New year’s Day. This allows activators easy access to double points for one hill climb.

I decided I would again try to activate Mt Vinegar, after my blocked attempt in November 2016 due to a fallen tree. This time however there was a locked gate blocking Road 8, the easy path to Mt Vinegar.


Locked gate on Road 8

Being keen to get the 12 points on offer, and not wanting to miss out on the activation again, I parked the car at the bottom of the hill and hiked 5km up to the top. The track up has a constant slope and rises nearly 550 metres over 5 km.


Mt Vinegar Rd cnr Acheron Way

Today was quite warm and it was a tough climb up. Once on the summit I strung my linked dipole in a gum tree and started calling on 7.090 MHz. I made 24 QSOs with 11 S2S QSOs before the UTC change and 20 QSOs with 13 S2S QSOs after the change.


Linked dipole in gum tree

This summit is also part of the Yarra Ranges National Park and I made 3 Park to Park QSOs. My radio was FT817ND and I logged with VK port-a-log.


Recovering forest after fires in 2009


Tall old tree

On the walk down to the car I saw what were probably two red bellied black snakes.


Snakes alive

While it was a tough climb up from the Acheron Way is was still a pleasant day out.

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Returning to Mt Ritchie, VK3/VC-003

After my unsuccessful activation of Mt Ritchie earlier in the month today I went back out and climbed Mt Ritchie again. This time I remembered my radio and the activation was a success. I made 10 QSOs on 40m and two on 20m. All contacts were also made from the Yarra Ranges National Park to assist chasers for VKFF, KRMNPA or WWFF awards.

The equipment was FT817ND and link dipole strung in a gum tree. Logging was via VK port-a-log.


Activating positions


Fire damaged trees – Black Saturday 2009

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