Grape harvest is coming to a close with only 3 more jobs to do to be finished, I decided to get out on a SOTA summit on Sunday. Tothill Range is only about 40 minutes drive from home and access is good with just a phone call to Peter for permission. The walk up is not too hard if you follow the sheep pad which goes up at an angle along the side of the hill then a short scramble to the top at the end of the path.
This is the new Grape Harvester I have been driving this season, nice machine I always feel safe in the hills in this rig.
I tried the APRS phone app APRStrack , this time for a short part of the walk, it works well but I had to save my phone battery for spots on SOTA watch as well.
Legs were a bit sore from the morning 60km bike ride. Good view of Porters Lagoon behind .
This time I took my Alinco 2m radio and a half wave vertical to make sure I could make contact with my local friends as 40m is no good for short range contacts now days. I made good signal strength into vk5nwe/m vk5is and vk5wg with 5 watts. Future activations I think I will just use my VX8G with this same antenna because it puts out 5 watts also and is easier to carry .
40/20 m link dipole set up the small she oak tree is recovering nicely to provide some shade, it was burn badly in a fire up here a few years ago.
My view out to the east, this old land could do with some rain to freshen things up after a very hot dry summer.
The view south is Lagoon Hill another summit I visit every year and Little Lake below very dry and empty.
My shack for the day, this time I used the KX3 and link dipoles . I made 3 qso on 2m fm then 4 qso on 40m ssb and 2 on cw , 1 qso on 20m cw and 1 qso on 15m cw .
Worked vk2twr S2S on 40m ssb and js1ueh S2S on 15m cw but signals were quite low down . I later found I had a fault with my antenna system either the coax or the dipole it’s self, but I have not tested it at home yet to find out what is wrong. My kx3 would not load that well on 15m and once I by passed the tuner it showed a really bad SWR on the rig meter so I have to investigate further . The SWR meter was flickering a higher than normal reading for a cut resonate dipole and I am wondering if the rg 174 is faulty.
Hard at work, great afternoon out in the hills and its good make a start activating for another season ahead. Looking forward to my trip to Orroroo in a few weeks time for more hiking and activating.
Just a short inclusion of another activation I done over Easter.
I went out to Mt Nadjuri vk5/ne-058 and had a great time working stations on 2m fm 40m ssb and cw and a pile up of dx on 20m cw for a change . It was my best activation as far as all round band conditions and would you believe I forgot to take some photos , my busiest activation in a while and I even heard from some of my regular EU chasers again. Ian vk5is Nev vk5wg and Dale vk5ld talked my through setting up SOTA csv editor to make up loading SOTA logs easier so I am excited to learn something new that makes life easier. When I go on my SOTA week away I can now take the laptop and blog and upload my activations at the end of every day.
Thanks for reading
Ian vk5cz ..