VK/ZL – EU-S2S Event from DM/BW-099 – Achalm – 707m


September 25th, 2022  05:55 – 07:40 UTC
I stopped counting my activations of Achalm. It’s one of my local summits and easy to access. I’ve been there many times…

Wx: Overcast/ misty, approx. 9°C
Walking time: 22 min. up, 13 min. down
Ascent/ descent: approx. 190 vertical metres

Rig: KX3 / 15W, 2.5Ah Li-Ion battery (4S), Palm Mini Paddle
Ant: J-Pole for 14MHz on a 10m squid pole

Conditions were good (SFI = 147, SSN = 128 and k = 2)

2   SSB QSOs on 20m, 1 x VK S2S, 1 x EU S2S
22 CW QSOs on 20m, 2 x VK S2S, 1 x JA S2S, 9 x DX

– Worked 10 x DX, thereof 4 x S2S
– Worked all continents from DM/BW-099 over the last years during VK/ZL- and Trans Atlantic S2S-Events (W/VE, FY, EA8, UA9/JA, VK/ZL)

Lowlights: none

Activation report:

This was another attempt to work summit to summit with friends in down under. Even though I’ve been on the air for more than 30 years, it makes my heart go faster when I hear a station calling from „the other side“ of the world.

2022-09-25 09.38.13
Antenna on DM/BW-099

With the weather being better than predicted I set off for my local summit DM/BW-099 at 5:00 utc. It can be really crowded but at this time of the day there is usually no one around.
Setup was done quickly and I was QRV just before 6:00 utc as estimated. I had some concerns that the vertical would pick up more noise than my trusty delta loop but the noise level was really low with S1 (PreAmp ON and 400 Hz IF BW).

Band conditions seemed to be good. However, Andrew, VK1AD, was only RST 33 when I tuned to his frequency. It seemed 20 metres was not yet fully open. So I decided to try later and called OE9HRV on DL/AL-277 on ground wave for the first S2S of the day. Ten minutes later the band was open to down under and the first DX S2S with VK1AD/p on VK1/AC-043 went into the log.
VK1DA on VK2/ST-053 was next. We exchanged 559 reports in CW and I kept checking Andrew’s signal for the next hour to learn how condx would change.
After a while I was called by VK6NU on VK6/SW-031. John’s signal was difficult to copy, RST 339 at best, but the path to VK6 is completely different from the one to VK1-3 and I wasn’t even sure whether it was long path.
Finally, I had a QSO with JG4LCS on JA5/EH-139 on CW. Seiji’s signal was RST 449 here and easy copy. I heard two more JA activators JS1UEH and JI3BAP but it seemd they couldn’t copy my tiny signal. My impression was that the path to JA opened at least 30 minutes later than to VK and signals were never that loud.

DX base stations worked (in chronological order) were ZL1TM, VK3CAT, VK4TJ, JH1MXV, R9LM and  EA8AA.
I operated only on 20 metres and went QRT after 1h 45 mins in order to avoid the approaching rain.


  • Amazing what 15 watts can do! Radio contacts across more than 20,000 km can be established, even in SSB!
  • My vertical EFHW dipole worked very well, local noise level was low and it is faster to set up than my delta loop
  • Achalm is well suitable for VK/ZL/JA S2S
  • I completely forgot to run on 20m SSB, maybe because signals weren’t that strong and I half expected it to be a struggle.

Thanks to everyone who was QRV today! It’s always a pleasure talking to friends at the “other end” of the world :slight_smile:
Thanks for the QSOs and for your efforts at pulling my signal out of the noise!

73, Roman

Diese Diashow benötigt JavaScript.

I copied the following section from an earlier report:

Which way does the signal travel?

Basically, radio waves can reach any point on earth in two directions: On the direct (short) path or in the opposite direction via the so-called long path.
For radio contacts between EU and Australia/New Zealand in the (EU-) morning hours, the long path is usually a very reliable option. There are radio amateurs with large directional antennas who will confirm this. The signals coming in from the west (for us in Europe) are often surprisingly loud even when using low power.

There are good reasons for that:

  1. After sunrise in EU, almost the complete long path to Australia and New Zealand lies in darkness (see images below). A signal traveling over the night side of the Earth experiences significantly less attenuation than on the day side because of the absence of the D-layer. The only requirement is that the MUF be above the operating frequency along the entire path. For the 20m band this is usually the case, maybe with the exception of the sunspot minimum: Once the sun is above the horizon in EU, the MUF will soon rise above 14 MHz. Further south, darkness is no issue since the MUF is usually higher closer to the equator, even at night.
  2. Moreover, the long path to VK/ZL leads mainly over the ocean and thus offers an additional advantage: A reflection on sea water attenuates the signal much less than a reflection on the ground, which would be the case for most of the short path.

Signal paths are shown for 1.5.2022 at 5:30 utc.

DL - ZL1
Signal path Stuttgart – Auckland: Short path (green) = 18,270km/46°, long path (red) = 21,740km/226°


Signal path Stuttgart – Melbourne: Short path (green) = 16,300km/90°, long path (red) = 23,700km/270°


4 Gedanken zu “VK/ZL – EU-S2S Event from DM/BW-099 – Achalm – 707m

  1. dl1hbt 26. September 2022 / 08:46

    Roman, besides the fact that your summaries are really good I especially like the conclusions and the small articles on theory both on antennas as well as on HF-propagation. Keep up your good (portable) work and cu, Tom

    • DL3TU 27. September 2022 / 21:17

      Thanks for your kind words, Tom 🙂

  2. Marcel 26. September 2022 / 19:51

    Hello Roman. Having a home mountain is worth a lot. You don’t always have to travel far to do SOTA if the points are secondary (if you activate several times a year). Thank you for your report. It motivates to be there. Many greetings.
    73 Marcel DM3FAM

    • DL3TU 27. September 2022 / 21:24

      Thanks, Marcel! In fact, the points don’t mean that much to me. When it comes to making a quick activation, DM/BW-099 is (almost) ideal and working DX is rewarding 🙂
      Hope to see you soon in the next pile-up!

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