Interim Posting, Updated February 8th, 2016.

Our 2015 DX Expedition has now been completed. 

We VK's (9 of us) had a wonderful time. We achieved Contacts on all our Bands we took, to multiple Amateurs in OE, DL and HB.
So.. a quick summary - our initial QSO's completed with our OE friends were over a circa 27 Kms Path on 10 GHz, 24 GHz, 47 GHz and 76 GHz.
We also heard a Simplex signal on 122 GHz over a 27 Kms path and achieved a modest 2 way QSO over a 4 Kms path.

These distances were then surpassed (>100 Kms) on most Bands with many random QSO's from Zugspitze Mt.

A full Report will appear shortly in DUBUS, 3rd Quarter.

This Report will be Posted here after DUBUS has Published it.

Cheers,

Alan - VK3XPD on behalf of David - VK5KK, Iain - VK5ZD, Tim - VK5ZT, Gerard & Andrew and of course our friends Wolfgang - OE4WOG, Hans - OE2JOM and Rudi - OE5VRL.



VK to EU Microwave DX Expedition, June 17-28, 2016.


Once again, Australian Amateurs Alan - VK3XPD,  David - VK5KK, and Iain - VK5ZD attended the 2016 Friedrichshafen Hamfest over the
weekend of June 24, 25, and 26th.

This time however, we took our "upgraded" portable Transverters for various Microwave and Millimetre Wave Bands.
Prior to attending Europe's most popular Hamfest... we completed numerous QSO's with our European friends from Schafberg Mt, approx
40 Kms East of Salzburg.
Although there are Walking Tracks to the Summit at 1783 Metres ASL, our Hotel Schafbergspitze is generally only accessible by a Cogged Railway.
The Hotel itself is "perched" on top of a sheer cliff.

Check this URL to see the fantastic panoramic views....
https://www.google.com.au/search?q=schafberg&client=firefox-b&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiDoJqCxZDOAhVLpJQKHSKhC9MQsAQIHA&biw=1280&bih=611&dpr=1.5

Alan, David and Iain had 3 full days to operate our gear from this Mt Summit in Grid Locator JN67rs.
The Weather for us on Schafberg was not the best with 2 Days of  total "white-out" conditions due the clouds with continuous rain on the Sunday..
In addition to the bad weather, I had a catastrophic failure of my 47 GHz LO chain on initial Power Up. I later discovered that a Feed Thru Pin on my
Mixer had fractured during transport and it "shorted" the/a 12 Volt Rail which caused my 12-24 GHz Doubler to fail.
Fortunately however we still had David's gear to use.

Our first Day on the Summit Friday - 17th was very cold, very windy with a lot of Cloud. We worked a few stations on 10 Ghz out to 130 Kms.
In my LOG I recorded DC8EC - Ferdinand, DL3IAE - Daniel and Claus - DL7QY but I know we collectively worked several other stations too.
This day was a more of a "shakedown" run for our gear after it's very long transport from VK...

The next day Saturday was bright clear and sunny.
Rudi - OE5VRL and Wolfgang - OE4WOG together with Ernie - HG5ED and Mircea - YO5AXB had set up their Portable Ops in Grid Locator JN78hh
some 106 Kms to the North of us.
At 0940 Hrs local we started operating with our 24 GHz gear. David was QRP Bare Mixer to a Horn and I had 100 Milliwatts to a 30cm NURAD Dish.
This gave us our Pointing/Bearings for the higher Bands.
At around 1030 Hrs local, we then worked all stations above on 47 GHz with good solid signals.
Next were our attempts on 76 GHz at circa 1100 Hrs local.
Unfortunately we failed to complete probably due the high moisture content in the atmosphere, this despite us having "reversable" LNA's that
delivered considerably more power than a bare Mixer.

Later in the day, Hans - OE2JOM drove up to the Gaisberg Summit. We VK's all took turns working Hans on 5.7 GHz, 10 GHz, 24 GHz, 47 Ghz
and 76 GHz over this relatively short 20 Kms path. An attempt on 122 GHz failed... due mainly to the very low Power Output I had available
from my gear.

From 1500 Hrs local, we VK's worked Henning - DF9IC on 24 GHz, 47 GHz and 76 GHz in Grid JN68ja - a path of some 57 Kms.
Meanwhile, Rudi ++ had relocated to JN78dj and we completed on 24 & 47  GHz over a path of some 93 Kms.

Sunday June 19th was a Contest day.
It was also the day that Wolfgang, Mircea and Ernie caught the Cogged Railway up to the Shafberg Summit to catch up with us VK's.
Unfortunately the weather was atrocious. Constant rain and "white-out" conditions.
However, since we VK's had gone to all this effort of transporting gear - for the most part we were prepared.
From 0900 Hrs local we collectively set up our gear and covered it all with "plastic bags" for rain protection.
I put on a much needed plastic Poncho to protect myself from the constant rain.

So there we were... 3 VK's, and "friends", operating the RF gear in the drizzling rain and the heavy clouds...
I wonder what the local Tourists thought when they saw us  operating in these rainy ??  
Perhaps they thought our Op's were a little on Madness side  ???
However, they too had ventured up the Mt on the Cogged Railway... only to find a total "white-out" conditions.

Despite these condx, we still managed multiple QSO's on 10 GHz, 24 GHz and even 47 GHz.
Additionally, I had brought with me a "new" Multiverter Box which covered all 8 Bands from 902 MHz thru to 10 GHz.
With this "box" we completed multiple QSO's on 1296 MHz, 5.7 GHz and 10 GHz.

On the Sunday night we all gathered in the lovely warm surroundings of the Hotel Schafberg and had a good ole "rag-chew" !
All in all - a very pleasing result from the summit of Schafbergspitze - despite the very poor weather condx.

Next morning, we all travelled down the Mt to go our separate ways.
But NOT before we agreed to try 122 GHz from my/our Rossil Hotel Balcony across Lake Wolfgangsee... a path of circa 2 Kms.
Fortunately, we achieved this QSO albeit with some difficulty and only 51 Reports.

While I continued to enjoy a few days of local Tourism activities around Lake Wolfgansee, David, Iain and Wolfgang travelled West
towards Friedrichshafen in Germany etc. and over several days they collectively "activated" multiple Grid Squares from
OE to DM, HB9, and one of the most difficult Countries to work on Microwave/Millimetre Waves - Lichtenstein (HB0) !

All up... a VERY enjoyable and successful 2016 VK DX Expedition to the EU countries of Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Lichtenstein.


We VK's would like thank Wolfgang - OE4WOG, Rudi - OE5VRL, Hans - OE2JOM for their assistance in this 2016 DX Expedition and their
willingness to go out Portable.

Thank you.


Alan VK3XPD, David VK5KK, Iain - VK5ZD.