Category Archives: VK3/VC-025

Pocket-sized homebrew 40m CW QRPp/QRP transceiver

In May 2019 I activated Mt Dandenong VK3/VC-025 with my latest homebrew rig. It was a CW only activation, five QSOs completed, but while I was handing out 599s, the reports coming back to me from the chasers were well down. Over the next few days on OZSOTA (the VK SOTA discussion group) several chasers made comments to the effect that they could hear other VK3s but nothing much from me. When regulars Tony VK3CAT, Ron VK3AFW and Gerard VK2IO reported the same thing, the evidence for a problem at my end mounted.

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Summit Prowler 6: A pocket-sized SSB/CW transceiver for 80, 40, 30 and 20m

Peter DK7IH is a master of compact homebrew transceivers. I’ve been reading his excellent blog where he chronicles more than half a dozen homebrew HF transceivers and related projects. Most are compact SSB superhet transceivers with digital VFOs, AGC, metering and PAs in the range 5 to 50 watts. A few of these rigs are just so remarkably tiny I wonder how he has the persistence and patience, not to mention how he gets them stable. With Peter’s fine examples in my head, I started daydreaming about a compact SSB/CW transceiver, hoping to go a fair bit smaller than my slightly chunky attempt at a hand-held from last year.

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A fine reception at Mt Dandenong VK3/VC-025

On Saturday the 16th May I found myself able to disengage from the usual domestic responsibilities and slipped away mid afternoon in glorious sunshine  for an assault on Briarty Hill (VK3/VC-029).  Traffic on the drive to the Sunnyside Rd turnoff about 2.5 km east of Seville via Wandin North on the B380 was light and the weather was close to perfect in autumn.   The sealed road took me north through a verdant valley of houses on large blocks and a few small farms.  After about 4km Killara Rd. forks off to the right.  Ignoring VK3ZPF’s instructions and also his map I sailed past, keeping the mountain on my right, thinking I was heading in the right direction.  Killara Rd, however, turns west and after a few kilometers I was heading away from the hills and in open plains.  I pulled over, checked the instructions, and retraced my path to Yarraloch Way, getting to the start of the fire track.  The gate was closed.

My approximate reading of the map suggested the summit was about 2.5km away, which included a steep ‘goat track’ section.  Not being able to go any further on wheels, and looking at the sinking sun, I decided to bail out and come back another day, rather than have a rushed activation and a walk down the goat track in the dark.

Arrow marks the operating position on VC-025.

Arrow marks the operating position on VC-025.

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