After the CX experience, VA3PCJ decided to cross the mightiest ocean in the world and land in Australia to play grandpa and, on occasions, even try his luck in QRP/P as VK2/VE3DTI. VK2-Land (modern New South Wales) is home to the most amazing diversity of birds that Mother Nature has ever imagined. Here are only two of them: the Sulphur Crested Cackatoo and the Crimsom Rosella (photographed with a Canon PowerShot SX730 HS camera, in the wild of Katoomba in the Blue Mountains):
My Portable QTH was the backyard of my son’s home in Armidale (QF59ul). The rig was the KX3 at 10W or less, and the antenna was the W3EDP Jr. (https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/a-42-portable-multiband-hf-antenna-with-no-wire-on-the-ground-the-w3edp-jr/) strung horizontally East to West across at about 2 metres from the ground (the best I could do) between his backyard porch and a small (maple?) tree:
The KX3 had no trouble tuning the W3EDP in 40m-10m, which in this orientation would clearly favour signals to and from North and South. HF propagation being what it is I was not expecting any miracle, particuary since on first impression Amateur bands appeared less in use in OC than in NA. Also, I was able to fire up the rig only sporadically. Nevertheless, so far, two 20m CW QSOs have been logged, one with New Caledonia (Mic FK8IK) and another with Tasmania (Steve VK7CW), and two 30m FT8 QSOs were completed with New Zealand (Ian ZL1MVL) and Tasmania (Alan, VK7BO). The two CW QSOs have been already eQSL’ed. The QSO with Steve VK7CW was particularly special because he was calling CQ as the SKCC K3Y-OC station, in the very last day of the SKCC K3Y 2019 Event, and we were able to complete a full SKCC straight key CW QSO (for which I quickly rigged the Palm single paddle as a straight key):
I hope to still be able to log many other QSOs as VK2/VE3DTI, but given the main purpose of the trip I feel already quite satisfied with my radio progress so far.
The updated log of VK2/VE3DTI can be seen here: http://www.hamlog.eu/vk2/ve3dti