Mount Gawler vk5/se-013 is my first activation for 2016.
The weather was nice and cool and the Tour Down Under cycle race started today so I decided to activate a summit on the way to watch the Women’s race go by at Mount Torrens in the Adelaide Hills..
Parked nearby the set up area the bush is slowly recovering from a bush fire in 2015 easy summit to access .
Lots of burnt out trees in woods and forest country across the road and still very dry from months of no rain this summer .
So once set up I was glad to start out with a S2S, VK1VIC/2 was very clear and strong on 40m ssb so I knew it was going to be ok to qualify the summit and as it turned out I got 3 qso’s from the same summit with VK1VIC/2 , VK1FAJW/2 and VK4JAZ/2 so 3 S2S QSO’s right from get go. Unfortunately no short skip to VK5 again with only a very low signal qso with Ian VK5IS on cw and VK5AO Mait who was just below me in Adelaide, luckily the vk 2 3 and 4 stations were quite strong on 40m cw.
On this summits it is hard to set the antenna up under the trees and I could only run out the dipoles north south direction which would later make it harder to qso to Japan on 15m . The wx was a nice breeze to keep cool but not really fill out the flags all the time.
Once roll over came I went on 40m ssb and made some qso’s mostly with the same chasers I had worked on cw giving them some extra points but with conditions poor for the locals I could not complete a couple qso’s I am sorry.
The Large tree over the fence only allowed me to put the dipole up end on to Japan which probably did not help my signal but with the FT 857 I was running 25 watts on cw . I noticed the internal noise in the 857 is not as quiet as the kx3 and the DSP filtering was turned off helping improved my reception when working hard to pull out the week signals. No man made noise was evident and 15m was very quiet but with low signals and qsb we had to repeat reports several times and keep listening for the qsb to go up. With this type of conditions it is good practice to slow the cw speed down and just send the RST three or four times no other information/chatter. JJ1SWI/1 Go was on summit JA/KN-020 in Kanagawa and he had the best signal considering conditions, then Mot JP1QEC/1 who was portable in a park was workable as well. Mot is my friend on Face book and I have chased him on summits before from my home, so we were proving the possibility of a s2s one day. I was very pleased NS7P Phil was able to make contact with me, its been a while since I heard from him.
This SOTA station was a FT 857 running 25 watts on ssb and cw the antennas are my newly made 40/20m and 30m/15m link dipoles fed with rg 174 feed line and in this case both inverted V’s were up 7 metres . New wire is from SOTA beams which I think is great antenna wire, the link dipoles are made up from the dipole design on sota maps.org page which has a great antenna design feature. Even down to the length of the support strings needed for my set up with a 8m squid pole and keeping with the 60 deg angle of the inverted V. The software calculates for you the length of wires needed to get the two bands you are aiming for, the length of cord needed for end supports and I call my tent pegs .1m . Very little tuning is needed to get it resonate in the area I want to operate in if you follow the design plan.
Working the pile up .
Thanks everyone for chasing and S2S, sorry to those who I could not work .
23 contacts plus 2 uncompleted from the qsb.
Thanks for your interest in my blog.
Ian vk5cz ..