23-on-23 - building activity

23cm, 2.4/3.4/5.7/10/24/47 GHz and above - antennas, propagation, operating, etc. Includes Optical communications, with light,
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23-on-23 - building activity

Postby VK4CZ » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:29 pm

It's now probably close to 5 years since 23-on-23 Activation Events started. And whilst interest still exists and is slowly building [at least in VK2 - they were slow to learn], the overall level of participation remains low compared to the stated capability - just scan through VKLogger operator profiles for Station Details.

I agree that it would be all too easy to have a 'Statler and Waldorf' [Muppet's grumpy old men :om: ] response and say it's just endemic of AR in 2018 [and that's probably partly true] but as I've discovered when discussing the potential to activate 23cm and above with those who have the capability, there remains a true level of excitement to activate their 23cm capabilities... yet the motivations haven't yet translated into activity.

It's been noted that the VK2 contingent have started to amp up their support [pun very deliberately used], and are now regularly leading the way with activity levels. Yet VK3 has never been convinced of the activation event benefits as seen by the level on participation [yet have the largest number of profiles stating 23cm Station Capability]. VK5... reason not known. And VK6 from memory have a weekly 23cm activity event.

So, why is it that mid-week 23-on-23 activation events continue to struggle to gain support?
* Work? - Sample of one.... whilst I still promote the activation event, and participate as often as I can, when they fall on a week night and even with the 8pm start time I rarely can participate as I typically walk in the door from work only minutes earlier... and needing to provide sustenance to the family [also hold role of #1 cook too], the result is my arrival in the shack typically closer to 9pm, if at all.
* Too late? - 8pm is too late for the majority and by that time they are well and truly unable to participate.
* To complicated? - the rules of the activation are too hard to follow.
* No local activity? - located well away from areas of activity.
* No incentive?- want it to be more competitive. Could we turn the activation events into a competitive event. Points per QSO, Points per kilometer... accrued over 6/12mths with a certificate awarded in each state. Logged on VKLogger as verification.

So to advance the concept of an activation event, I'm seeking your help to inform if changes should be made/trialled.

OK.... Go!
Scott VK4CZ
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Re: 23-on-23 - building activity

Postby VK4LHD » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:52 am

The one thing is for sure and that is there is a very rapid decline in the VK4 participation of the 23 on 23. It was quite easy for me to get 8 or more contacts on 23cm alone. Now I'm luck if I can get 2 or 3 contacts on 23cm.
My real problem is I can not work 23cm from home due to all the terrain and buildings in my path to the south which mean going portable is my only option. For me to go portable I have to take half my shack apart to get my IC-910H out and fill my car with transverters, antennas, table and chair, drive to the location and just hope I can get the spot I want and setup for the night. I also got to power all this gear which means taking batteries for the night time running ( solar during the day events). Almost all of the rest of the southern stations are working from the comfort of their home QTH so I can't see why it is so hard for them to take 1 hour a month to sit in front of the radio and work 23cm. I been going portable since the start of the 23 on 23 and have hardly missed a month. My average attendance would be at least 10 out of the 12 sessions we have each year with the 23 on 23.

How could make it better??. To be honest I have no idea. Having a points system might work but that already puts me at a disadvantage. Most of the southern stations can work Grant VK2MAX and get a nice points score with that one contact alone. I have never been able to reach Grant from the Sunshine Coast (either from Buderim or Howells Knob) but I have tried. I don't know if certificates for participation would work or who is even going to print them out or make them up and send it to our emails as a PDF to print ourselves. I have tried to push the idea up here on the Sunny Coast to get more northern stations on but even up here where there are at least another 4 stations with 23cm capability there is no interest.

Are we having too many of them??. Is 12 a year too much for some people. Do we cut it back to just the warmer season (October to April) and just have the one 23 on 23 MAD plus day time run in July on a weekend regardless of if it falls on the 23rd or not. For me personally I don't mind where or when the 23 on 23 is happening. I will be there if possible. It will be a shame if the VK4 23 on 23 dies off. I hope it don't but I would like to thank Scott VK4CZ for his continued support and advertising of the 23 on 23. It may well have died off a long time ago without his continued support.

Robert
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Re: 23-on-23 - building activity

Postby VK4JAZ » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:51 pm

I am following this thread with interest. I have no 23cm equipment so have never taken part, but what I observe here in VK4 in general is in sync with your experiences with 23 on 23. I am involved in SOTA, being the administrator for VK4 and participation here is also dismal compared to the southern states. There just doesn't seem to be the same level of companionship and community spirit here. I started off in SOTA a few years back when I was stationed in Canberra (Navy, you know) and found the spirit there to be quite refreshing. We had no trouble organising and running regular SOTA parties, activations or even dinners. Not so in VK4. If I could put together a 23cm station (or the pieces necessary to make use of my FT-817) I'd be keen to take part, that's for sure.
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Re: 23-on-23 - building activity

Postby VK4GHZ » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:38 pm

With the release of the much anticipated Icom IC-9700 (with 23cm built-in, not optional), I would expect to see an increase in 23cm activity during 2019 and 2020.
How long the "new toy" novelty lasts for is another thing.

Humans are a strange species.
We feel a need to own material possessions, but not utilise them.

It might be hard to accept, but activity has diminished severely in the last ~ 5 years.
There are many proxy indicators we can observe this.
VK Logger use. KST usage (often weeks go by, and all you see posted are weather reports between a few inactive OMs). Field Day log submissions. Forum usage.
It's an aging community that's moving on, and without any new blood, the decline of "the oldies" is very noticeable.
There comes a time, probably in your late 60's where it becomes too much to be going out portable.

One would have thought that once per month wouldn't be too onerous, especially as a home station though.

Making the event bi-monthly or less frequent will only create confusion, and that would only see a further decline.

It couldn't be classified as "complicated".
There are no rules per se, and the only thing to remember is that there is 23cm activity on the 23rd on the month.
How hard is that?

Incentive?
If there is no incentive to use equipment you may already own, then it's probably time to start selling it off.

Given hams have a habit of "preaching to the converted" (existing VHFers/microwavers), keeping things in a bubble, and don't actually know the meaning of "promotion", it might be worth promoting "23-on-23" on mainstream Facebooks groups. ie; those that are HF orientated, but have a large pool to potentially draw from.

Just as existing microwavers have become tired and bored with what they have been doing for many years, I'm sure there would be HFers out there who are also looking for new challenges.

Any new blood into VHF and microwaves is unlikely to come from outright newbies into the hobby, but from existing hams that have probably only dabbled in HF and possibly 6m.
That's where any new enthusiasm will come from.
Get them interested in operating on the higher bands.

:om:
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Re: 23-on-23 - building activity

Postby VK3ZAZ » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:00 am

Following with curiosity as wheneve I see topics to promote and motivate such as the four quarterly field days,
I reflect on past results, failures and experience.
So far w.r.t. 23 cm and my station upgrade to that band at a cost, including purchase of a 910 10 watt rig in Tokyo and the 23cm module and swapping dsp modules from my other 910.
My results are
beacons from VK3 dx and local
beacons from VK5VF and qso on ft8 and ssb with VK5PJ.
beacons from vk7rae.
several qsos with Melbourne newbies but none of the regulars who can operate.
VK5BC and I have made it on 432.
VK5GF and I hoping to on 23.
If you check my logger reports I regularly report 1296 and 432 beacons each morning in the tropo.
VK3RMB, VK3RGI VK3RXX qf12,22,31
VK5VF pf95
VK7RAE qe38

worked pf94, qf12,21.22, 02 less than ten qsos all year.

I work VK3AXH regularly, VK5 occasionally if I find them around.
I am yet to try with VK3VG yet I see him work VK1 daily.
No one has ever asked me to go to 1296 that I can recall.

so with 23 on 23 in VK3
get the dust off you rigs, fix your antenna and stop procrastinating, summer is nigh.

dont be shy
and you experts come down off ten gigs and stop being snobs.

give me a sked and call.
mornings preferred as the 0730-815 window is when you find the morning rush.

16 db grid with 15 watts and mh preamp.

73 zaz
Tread your own path :om:
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Re: 23-on-23 - building activity

Postby VK2XAX » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:18 am

As one of the VK2's pushing microwave activity, its been a hard slog. Personally I've had a hard time with the work/life balance and AR has taken a back seat for quite some time.

I've always had 1296 but there's always been a dearth of VK2's to talk to.

That's now changed.

A number of us in Western Sydney are now on 23cm and, as of a week or so ago, a few more are now on 13cm as well. My 13cm transverter is on the bench 90% built and tested with just a few things to do.

A few of us are working on 13cm transverters and soon we will have 4 of us on 13cm from our QTHs and with outputs between 2 and 80w, a few Spectrians here ;)

That being said, there are plans by most of us to be QRV on both 5 & 10Ghz, 2 people already are on 10Ghz.

Also.... for those who want to test stuff on days other than the 23rd, we have an informal net on 146.450 nearly every night of the week from 7:30pm, except Mondays, where we chat about our kit and run tests.

Most on air testing happens on Tuesday night when most of us are on air.

You don't have to wait until the 23rd to work us - we'll happily pop up on 1296.1 any evening - most of us listen there all the time :)

The group here are mostly in and around QF56 and are..

VK2YOC - John : 23cm and 13cm - higher bands on request.
VK2YAC - Alf : 23cm, 13cm under construction
VK2AZ - Hilary : 23cm and 13cm, 10Ghz by request
VK2TMC - Michael :23cm, other bands under construction
VK2XAX - Tim : 23cm, 13cm under construction

If you want to schedule something, send us a PM or email and we'll endeavour to do something, for those closer... pop up on 146.450. Repeater liaison by request.

regards

Tim
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Re: 23-on-23 - building activity

Postby VK2KCM » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:29 am

Hi Tim,

I'll try and go to Somersby next Tuesday and do some further 23cm testing with you guys. What time do you usually start?

Regards

Colin
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Re: 23-on-23 - building activity

Postby VK2XAX » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:42 am

VK2KCM wrote:Hi Tim,

I'll try and go to Somersby next Tuesday and do some further 23cm testing with you guys. What time do you usually start?


Hi Colin,

We're generally on air at around 7:30pm, I'll let the guys know.

Will you just be on 1296 or will you want to try other bands ?

regards

Tim
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Re: 23-on-23 - building activity

Postby VK2KCM » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:47 pm

Hi Tim,

I only have 23cm atm, if Gary 2KYP comes along he will bring his 13cm transverter.

Regards

Colin
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Re: 23-on-23 - building activity

Postby VK2XAX » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:28 pm

VK2KCM wrote:Hi Tim,

I only have 23cm atm, if Gary 2KYP comes along he will bring his 13cm transverter.

Regards

Colin


Beut! - I've teed up the guys to listen for you :)

regards

Tim
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Re: 23-on-23 - building activity

Postby VK2KYP » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:33 am

Hi, just to confirm polarisation for 2 metre liaison
Vertical or Horizontal?

Thanks Gary vk2kyp
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Re: 23-on-23 - building activity

Postby VK2XAX » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:12 am

VK2KYP wrote:Hi, just to confirm polarisation for 2 metre liaison
Vertical or Horizontal?

Thanks Gary vk2kyp


Hi Gary,

If on 146.450 FM, it is generally vertical but we can do horizontal if you like. We can also go to SSB on some frequency if desired.

Let us know what works for you and we will endeavour to accommodate.

regards

Tim
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Re: 23-on-23 - building activity

Postby VK3ZAZ » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:40 am

Field day results
VK3AXH Ballarat QF12wi 180k
VK3KQ/P field day QF22 200+
VK3MY Melbourne 300k
VK3III QF03 140k
Multiple qsos in the two hour period and points multiplier

IC901 barefoot 15 watts and
hor parabolic ex Pay tv at 75 feet
2 el yagi inside fed with LDF5/50
IC1200 MH preamp
So far heard
VK7RAE VK3RGI VK5VF and worked VK5PJ at 440km
On 1296 less than one year.
On 2M less than 5 since 5A sw off
Current VK3 dx record to ZL1 3000k on 2M will try for 432.
ZL just in today working east coast only
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