Lagoon Hill is a nice Summit located in The Julia Ranges about 50 km from my home town of Clare, its one of those summits I save locally for a quick visit on a Sunday.
Hugh was off bush walking so it was time to get some ankle burn on Lagoon Hill and it does not disappoint once the accent starts. Farmer Jeff has the neighboring property and he lets me walk across his paddock to get to the boundary of Lagoon Hill property. Another difference with this summit is it’s a Heritage Trust private conservation area, but I have permission from the Trust Director to access the Trig point via a Crown Land easement that ends in a 1 acre area around the trig point ideal amount of room to set up my SOTA station.
Now to access I need to follow the easement along a fence line at the bottom of the hill for a while then once I come to two large stones in the fence line, these are the original survey markers placed there many years ago. With my cap on backwards I head east up to the top of the summit in about 400 metres of distance with roughly 160 metres of gain in the land to the top. Its a killer for sure but with plenty of rests you eventually make the top, this time it took 43 minute to go about 2 km from the parked Ute.
Now once on the summit and recovered a bit I set up my 20/40/80 link dipole on a 7 metre telescopic pole getting ready to start the activation and on my Alert time too for a change.
The first contacts are on 80m SSB with some local chasers from around country SA. I then changed to 40m CW and worked into VK 2 3 4 5 with good signals and also got a good report from ZL1BQD in New Zealand.
While on 40m I went to SSB and worked more VK stations in VK 2 3 then Hugh called me on 2m FM while he was on his bush walk some 30 km away from me.
The dipole runs out nicely along the ridge line and all bands can fit in between the Sheoak trees.
The old log serves as a good support for my pole and of course I have a cushion to sit on and operate the radio.
Once I had run out of Chasers on 40m I took down the bigger Dipole and put up a 20/17/15 metre 3 band link Dipole I made so I could try some higher bands.
On 20m CW I worked VK2IO and YC1RIK in Indonesia but no response to a quick CQ on 20m SSB.
Time to change bands and try 17m on CW, I heard a couple beacons quite well on 18.110 so I though conditions should be ok. After the first CQ JH1MXV and ZL1BYZ answered me straight away so the Spotting was working on the net ok. It was getting windy on the hill and I put in my ear buds so I could hear the radio better and I noticed when I called CQ on CW I could hear the tail end of my CW characters in my ear buds like an echo sound. It shows the great Receiver and Full Break In on the KX3 works well. It was a bit off putting to start but I have had this experience before and I thought if there was this sound my signal was being propagated some where out there. Listing for a while I heard a faint signal sending S2S S2S meaning Summit 2 Summit. I had checked my phone before and thought I did not see any other VK ops out on SOTA today, then NN7M put in his callsign. WoW USA S2S its only happened to me once before in 9 years of SOTA. I slowed my CW speed a little to help with the QSB on the path but we managed to make a RST swap plus Summit Reference swap quite easily in the end. NN7M was on W7W/SK-173 and the copy was so good I even heard him correct a mistake he sent in the Reference. It is so cool to make these Summit 2 Summit contacts on low power, Ryan sent a comment in his signoff Spot on the SW3 page he was running 5 watts and I had the KX3 at10w for the activation. Having the proper resonate link Dipole is also a big help rather than some compromised tuned up antenna that might work ok in some circumstances but not as efficient or consistent when making DX contacts further than one would expect.
One last try on 15m CW I worked YC1RIK again with a slightly better reception than our QSO on 20m earlier but good of him to chase me on other bands.
Great view all around this area and the Farmers could sure use some rain so they can make a start on cropping for season 21/22.
Thanks to all the chasers for 20 QSO’s in a 3 hour period of living the dream on SOTA.
Thanks to the land owners
Thanks for reading my Blog.
See you on the next one ..