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VK5 Microwave Road Trip

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:46 pm
by VK5ZD
David (VK5KK), Tim (VK5ZT) and I will be doing a tour which will include visits to VK1, VK2, VK3 and VK4 during the week from the 15th to the 24th of March. The main purpose of the trip is to work as many people as possible on the microwave bands, in particular the mm wave frequencies (i.e. 24GHz and above). We will be travelling in two vehicles each of which will carry equipment for operating on all bands from 1,296MHz up to 122GHz plus optical (red light). We will also have 2m and 70cm FM for liaison purposes.

We will be in the general vicinity of Melbourne from Saturday morning (16th) until midday Sunday (17th). Our operating locations have not yet been decided and we are open to suggestions. Note that this is the JMMFD weekend.

Following this we will head north.
Monday (18th) we will be in the Canberra area.
Tuesday (19th) we will be in the Sydney area.
Wednesday (20th) we will be in the Orange/Bathurst area.

On Thursday (21st) we will continue north and should arrive in the Brisbane/Gold Coast area on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday (23rd) we will participate in the VK4 ’23 on 23’ event.
EDIT: We'll leave the Brisbane area late Sunday afternoon (24th) to return home (so we can play in the M.A.D. :thumbup: ).

If anyone is keen to schedule a contact (or just catch up for a beer) then please let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

Re: VK5 Microwave Road Trip

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:07 am
by VK7HH
Hi Iain,
When you know rough operating locations, can you post them up?

It may be possible to get a few of us on air down in VK7 looking back to VK3 if you're open to working us?
I should have my new 2.4 and 3.4 system on air by then.

Hayden VK7HH

Re: VK5 Microwave Road Trip

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:41 pm
by VK4CZ
We'll leave the Brisbane area late Sunday afternoon (24th) to return home (so we can play in the M.A.D. :thumbup: )
Tnx - appreciated :thumbup:

Re: VK5 Microwave Road Trip

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:49 pm
by VK7PD
Hi Iaian,
With Hepburn looking reasonably promising for the weekend I'm prepared to set up portable gear on Saturday at QE38ro operating 23cm, maybe 13cm, 9cm and 3cm. It was from this spot I had contacts with VK3ALB on 9 and 3 for the Summer field Day this year. Worth a try if you're going to be in a favourable location. My email is
Peter VK7PD

Re: VK5 Microwave Road Trip

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:32 pm
by VK7HH
On Sunday 17th, I woke up at 6:30am and proceeded to pack the car for a 8am start on Mt.Wellington to take advantage of any thermal ducting across the path... Another amateur was also coming along so we could operate 1296, 2400 and 3398.

A hour or so later we arrived at the summit and proceeded to setup. Immediately the VK3RGI beacon was audible on 2403.434 MHz. Had this of been a two way contact, it would have automatically been a new VK7 record at around 505km.

We waiting around patiently and in that time we made contact with VK7PD at White Hills just outside of Launceston on 2.4 and 3.4 GHz. We also made contact with a local in Hobart to test his 3.4 GHz panel.

We waited and waited and waited, but despite having already clearly stated our operating intentions and emailed our contact details, the travelling VK5 party did not show. Nothing, not even a phone call. We were not supplied with a phone number for their end. The only information we had was operating from a certain location on Sunday.

This was extremely disappointing and a main draw card for travelling out portable. A post was made on Facebook by the VK5's about 2 hours after we had left, indicating they had a successful contact on 76 GHz to each other. We seem to have been forgotten and still as yet, I have not had a reason why. It's a shame these things were not more properly communicated.

}:[ }:[ }:[

Re: VK5 Microwave Road Trip

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:50 am
Similar here Hayden. There was an announcement that VK5ZD would be operating from Mt Ainslie in Canberra yesterday evening. As far as I can tell nothing eventuated. Nothing on the logger either.

Re: VK5 Microwave Road Trip

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:19 am
But they were there for Sydney! Very loud on 1296 from Kurrajong Heights plus some contacts on 13cm
The boys are going inland NSW around Bathurst today.

Re: VK5 Microwave Road Trip

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:29 am
The VK5 microwave road trip has been posting reports and video on the VHF-UHF-Microwave VK ZL Facebook group.

It's unfortunate they choose to post only on Facebook, and upload video directly to Facebook (not Youtube).
I'm sure the many anti-Facebookers (they're out there!) would have liked to have seen what was going on.

To point out the obvious, if you post video to FB, that's where it's stays, within that platform, and it's disgustingly compressed.
If it were uploaded to Youtube, it can be shared much further, like on Forums, or embedded in any web page, as well as on FB.

Living-in-the-moment vs making content more widely accessible.

By the way, the VHF-UHF-Microwave Facebook group, linked to above, is "Public".
You only need a Facebook account to view it, no need to specifically "join".

I think it's foolish to have Facebook groups and Forums that are "hidden", "private" or require sign-in just to view content.
In case people haven't noticed, the hobby is dying so it becomes even more important than ever before to make content as easy to access as possible.
It's also why this Forum became free and open to view years ago.

If you come across any Forums or Groups that require you to sign in, just to see what goes on, (just to please some stupid control freak Admin ego?), then don't bother with them.

Re: VK5 Microwave Road Trip

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:28 am
by VK7HH
Hey Adam,
Agreed it's a bit disappointing.

Although I see the videos on Facebook, it would be much better uploaded to YouTube. I've learnt quite a bit from watching YouTube videos on microwaves recently, even if it's just something I notice about the setup, or how a switch, dial or connector is mounted etc.

Re: VK5 Microwave Road Trip

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:50 am
Totally agree Hayden.

Youtube has come a long way since the early days of stupid cat and dog videos (which have moved to Facebook).
There's so much to learn out there... pity it's not ham radio though.

Microwaves is difficult enough (from a newbie perspective) to break into.
The easier content can be found from Google searches, the greater the likelihood of getting new blood into this aspect of the hobby.
Posting stuff on Facebook is all very well, but it's useless as a repository.

Same for dead trees like Dubus and GippsTech Proceedings.
People under 50 YO are highly unlikely to purchase a dead tree and wait for it to arrive in the snail mail.

Archiving this Forum for 2 years was a longer term experiment to see if Facebook groups could ever replace a Forum.

Re: VK5 Microwave Road Trip

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:03 pm
by VK7HH
True, content gets lost easily on Facebook. It has its place, for instance for quick updates and sharing photos which can be found in albums, unless they are posted in a comment. However it’s difficult to find again.

I’ve searched the forums many times and found answers to questions and helpful content so thank you.

As an aside I’ve started experimenting with YouTube videos and hope to post more content soon so that it’s easier for others to learn what I have so far (which isn’t much!).

Anyhow, getting off topic now... hopefully the VK4’s have success in working the traveling VK5’s this week.

Re: VK5 Microwave Road Trip

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:59 pm
I am not a Facebook user so I can't really comment on it's usefulness or otherwise, I find youtube as a 'learning tool' to be almost useless.

The basis of my dislike is the interminable scrolling through poorly filmed, poorly narrated, poorly storybooked and poorly lit videos to find that one nugget that you need is massively wasteful.

I am rarely looking for a complete instruction, more usually I am looking for a small indication of how to do something, a command or tool reference. maybe a dozen frames of a 25 minute video.

Scrolling down a web-page with the instructions is faster and far less enervating - and has the bonus of having the text for the instruction stay right where you need it.

Re: VK5 Microwave Road Trip

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:51 am
by VK5ZD
Hayden (VK7HH): I can only apologise as things did not go to plan at our end. The night before we decided that I'd go to Mt Buningyong so we could try a long haul 76GHz contact fom Mt Donna Buang. Dave and Tim went to Mt Donna Buang in the morning as planned only to find that the trees had grown since the last photo shown on Google and blocked the view (and RF) in all directions of interest. This necessited a hasty search found another location they could use and we settled on the lookout on Mt Saint Leonard. While this was not obstructed it did require them to carry all the gear about 1.2km up the steep hill from the car park and they had their hands full with just the 10GHz to 76GHz gear.

I did operated from Mt Ainslie as advertised and made contacts on 1.2GHz and 2.4GHz.

Re posting videos to YouTube, we'll get to it. I'd just like to do a bit of editing first. We'll also to a bit of a write-up with photos to show how we went. The priority at the moment is operating (plus lots of driving - about 3,000km so far).

The only reason for posting stuff to Facebook is that it's quick and easy to do so on my phone. I also have a mobile phone data limit that I'm trying not to exceed. :D :D

We're currently in Coonabarabran about to start the drive up to the Brisbane area for the M.A.D. on Sunday.