Although my recent SOTA summit activation was an easy one, others will no doubt be more challenging and more exposed, with conditions perhaps changing quickly.
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The weather forecast looked good. The gear was packed the day before, comprising my FT817 with external 4S LiPo, Voltage regulator, electrical power ‘Watts Up’ meter, tiny MS2 straight Morse key, 12m Spiderbeam pole shortened to 8m, and my PAR End Fedz 40/20/10 antenna. And a peg hammer!
The journey to Mt. Tomah was uneventful. Not much traffic around at 7am on a Sunday! On arrival at the site, it was quite chilly – around 6°C. Fortunately I’d brought a Thermos flask of white hot chocolate to warm up with. A quick descent off the summit with the gear out of the activation zone and back to qualify. It was disappointing to see how much rubbish had been dumped down the slope. This place would be a good candidate for ‘Clean Up Australia Day’.
The pole was zip-tied to a convenient frame of a burnt-out sofa (yes, unfortunately true!), and the antenna was pegged at the far end, and a short coax run attached. I started operation on Saturday (UTC time). Spotting myself via Sota Spotter then calling CQ resulted in a run of contacts, quickly making the 4 required contacts, and going on to make many more, both before and after the UTC clock roll-over.
All my operation was on 40m. The band was in quite good shape, but with some deep QSB at points. Most operation was SSB, but with a bit of CW thrown in too. I’m glad I decided to bring the key in the end.
Calling CQ and VK4RF (Rick) replies, from Kallangur, Qld
A total of 35 QSO’s, and 9 Summit to Summit (S2S) QSO’s for 7 unique summits. Quite a productive mission! I wrapped up around midday local as I needed to get home. A shame I couldn’t stay longer and catch 20m opening for some DX.
Thanks to everyone for the QSO’s, and to those who activated other summits. See you next time! 73 – Rob