Jeff Johnson VK4XJJFive 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My apologies for the out-of-date info on this page.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
Frequency: 7045 KHz
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.
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
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!