AG7UO – my newest call sign

Last Saturday I sat the US Technician, General and Extra Class ham radio exams provided by VE Exams Australia
The six examiners made the whole process work as smooth as possible.

Today I logged into the FCC database and found that I have been allocated the Extra Class call sign AG7UO.
I’m signed up to access a remote radio in Alabama and I’m just awaiting permission then I’ll see what the conditions are like on the other side of the world.



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Harry Angel sprint 2019

Tonight was the annual running of the Harry Angel Sprint.
I’ve participated in the contest a few times before, usually from a location away from the suburban noise.
There had been a significant amount of rain recently and this always reduces the noise at home, I guess it washes the power line insulators clean, so I stayed home and gave the sprint another go.

I managed to get 39 QSOs in the log on SSB and I was logging on a contest version of VK port-a-log.

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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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Three SOTA summit day with Glenn VK3YY


Operating position at Mt Hyde

Today I met up with Glenn VK3YY and we headed to three SOTA summits out in the Yarra Ranges.

The first summit for the day was VK3/VC-008, Hyde Hill.
We climbed up the edge of the previously logged area and set up two stations. Glenn set up an end fed antenna and worked 20m and 40m while I strung up a vertical dipole for 2m.
I qualified the summit with four QSOs and Glenn got six QSOs.

The second summit was VK3/VC-011, Britannia Range.
We parked at the base of the hill and walked up to the summit.
Glenn again set up and end feed antenna working 10m, 40m and 20m while I set up my linked dipole working six stations on 40m including a summit to summit QSO with Col VK3LED at VK3/VN-016, Mt Alexander.


Quick fix to one link on my antenna

Our third summit was Mt Bride, VK3/VC-009.
We parked on Burn Rd at the start of the narrow walking track.
Again Glenn used his end fed antenna for 10m, 20m and 40m SSB for a total of 10 QSOs.

I used my linked dipole, which needed a quick repair, and made six QSOs on 40m including summit to summit QSOs with Col VK3LED on VK3/VN-016, Mt Alexander and Graeme VK3GRK on VK3/VN-023, Mt Tarrengower.

This was a good day out with Glenn revisiting summits we had both activated before.
My station was a Yaesu FT817ND, Zippy 8.4 Ah LiFePo4 battery, 2m coaxial dipole and HF linked dipole.

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