Going through the Activator Roll of Honour results for QLD recently, I noticed that there were no results for Digital Voice. Checking the state of play for the other states, I saw that the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria had one each.
It was time to put that right, so on Saturday 23rd June, I headed out for Mt Cotton (VK4/SE-115) with nothing more than my Yaesu FT-70DR hand held radio.
I had activated this summit more than a year previously, so if I logged at least four qso’s, it would count as another activation and my tally would increase by one point.
The climb up to the summit was uneventful and I headed to a clearing that featured a rather tatty picnic table and a good view.
I set the radio’s frequency to 147.400, the calling frequency for digital modes, and the mode to DN (Normal Digital Mode).
I had pre-arranged with Wal, VK4CBW, to listen out for me on simplex. His was the first contact I made. The distance between us was 26.33 Km (16.456 miles) and his Yaesu FT-2DR connected to a beam antenna sounded excellent. I ran a few quick tests too, to see what difference it would make to the signal if I placed my radio flat on the ground while he spoke. It made absolutely none!
I am well used to using FM simplex on summits and noticed immediately that with C4FM there was no background hiss at all. The audio was as perfect as can be, very similar to that of a mobile phone.
I then had a long qso with George, VK4HGT, followed by Phil, VK4MOT and Bob VK4YA. All contacts were remarkable in that the audio was perfect. I think C4FM is far superior to FM analogue and it’s a mode I’ll be using more often in future.