Jeff Johnson VK4XJJ

 Five months backpacking across Oz with his trusty FT-817nd

"Gulf to Gulf" the book for sale through radio clubs
Info about the print version



Electronic (eBook) version now available on line (US$4.99)

Amateur radio contacts during the walk

Amateur radio specific photo gallery

Pic 16F84 data sheet

7 segment display ZD-1856 data sheet

My apologies for the out-of-date info on this page. I will be fixing it "real soon now".

Jeff was in daily contact via short-wave Amateur Radio on the 40 metre band.

Many amateur operators talked with Jeff on his regular scheds.

The SKED details were:

Time: 17:30 EST
Please note that while Jeff sometimes monitored and or chatted on the frequency prior to this time, it was very much appreciated that the time slot of 17:20 - 17:30 was left clear for the position and welfare report to VK4BNQ. Following that, there is usually message traffic between Jeff and his brother VK2FWGJ.

Frequency: 7045 KHz

Mode: LSB

Jeff, VK4XJJ was operating a Yaesu FT-817nd into a 1/2 wave dipole which he strung up between a couple of trees every evening. That is, whenever there were any trees. Often it was a couple of bushes several meters high. On several occasions one end of the support venetian blind cord was on a road side sign indicating a bend ahead with the other end anchored to the ground with a rock or three. There are lots of pictures in the photo collection of the unusual antenna arrangements.

The little QRP HF radio runs only 5 watts and just 2.5 watts on internal batteries. To achieve 5 watts, Jeff was carrying a 2.5AH battery. He charged this and his satellite phone with a solar panel that he wore around his neck.

Yaesu FT-817nd

Jeff had a regular sched with his brother Bill, VK2FWGJ in Newcastle who was also running the same radio into a 1/4 wave vertical antenna. Daily position reports, conditions and news were exchanged.

His other main contact and relay station during the journey was Roger, VK4BNQ, located at Gympie, Queensland.
Roger was operating a Yaesu FT-707 (100W output) into an Inverted Vee antenna.

Jeff also carried a handheld UHF CB radio. The channel monitored varied depending on local repeater and homestead frequencies.


From Lyn - VK4SWE on Sweers Island...

Re: their trip to Sweers, it is all confirmed that the local air charter/mailplane company Aero Tropics, will donate a flight for them both to come across to Sweers on next Thursday's mailplane, with the pilot staying overnight, that will give them a good half day and a night on Sweers, so they might even get to have a swim in the northern Gulf, perhaps catch a fish, and certainly make some radio calls from OC-227 (a rare one in the IOTA collector books, so perhaps worth passing that around any island chasers you know.) Aero Tropics is based in Cairns, but have also a Karumba based aircraft & pilot Tony. They do all the mailruns around Cape York, and recently took up the Gulf islands mailrun. So here's cheers to them!

73/88

lyn VK4SWE