Stepping into the wide world of radio

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Good news everyone! I passed my exam and as of earlier this year joined the ranks of radio amateurs around the world. It has been a fun few months exploring all manner of things.

Using the WIN System with a cheap Baofeng GT-3 MK II handheld during my trip to Austin where I spoke at Art Into Science. I was astounded by the density of repeaters in the US compared to our sparse coverage in VK.

handheld radio with towers in background Taken looking west from the Colorado Tower in downtown Austin. The tower lights in the distance mark the AUSWST APRS repeater.

I’ve been building myself up to do Summits On The Air (SOTA) style activations as my main HF radio outlet since getting things working in inner Sydney would require herculean efforts. Here you can see where I stood up my squid pole and linked dipole to test everything and was making contacts into VK3 on 40 meters successfully despite it being nearly noon!

park bench with antenna and solar panels A shot of my park bench overlooking Black Wattle Bay. I opt’ed to lug everything I had planned for a SOTA activation much to the amusement of on-lookers.

I achieved my first SOTA activation for a grand total of one point recently by activating VK2/HU-094 Mount Yakaba. With only the FT-817 when 40 meters started fading it was time to pack up. Fortunately I just scraped in with the required four contacts! The view from the summit while only a few hundred meters was well worth the heat.

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