Saturday, 2 March 2013

SOTA Activation Mt Stromlo 782m

After getting home from work it was a short 15 minute drive to the ANU boom gate on Mt Stromlo

The sign indicated the boom gates close at 6pm. Not wanting to risk getting locked in later I walked from here, plus it ensured I was well clear of the activation zone. Found out later the gates are only locked for upcoming traffic, they still let you out...Walked around the bend past the gate and took a rough dirt track to the top to avoid walking on the main road.

After about a km or 15 minute walk reached the telescopes and restaurant area.

The small domes are workshops, the large dome the shell of the 74 inch Grubb Parsons Reflector telescope

Just past this is "Scope" cafe/restaurant, which was busy with a wedding, and the shell of the 26 inch Yale-Columbia Refractor, which had the bridal party inside taking photos. Saw the bride through the doorway :)

Then only a short walk up to the Mt Stromlo summit. The building used to be the Oddie Telecsope a 9-inch
Grubb refractor that was installed in 1911.

Got on the 2m hand held and worked S2S with VK1FBIT, Brendan on Castle Hill, VK1DA/VI100ACT Andrew on Mt Ainslie, VK1NAM Andrew on Mt Tuggeranong.

Tried setting up the squid pole and 40m dipole on the Mt Stromlo trig, in the high wind it detelescoped down before even getting a call out...

As the wind was quite strong and cold I decided to seek shelter in the nearby Oddie telescope building shell, in the remnants of what I assume was the old kitchen set up my "shack".

There was an old downpipe in the corner, tied the squid pole to this.

 View from outside. The squid pole bend over a lot in the wind but stayed up

40m was very noisy, some kind of electrical interference from something close by kept anything below S8 unreadable

Luckily there were some strong signals on the band. Worked 14 contacts, another S2S with VK1RX Al on Black Mountain, VK1s, VK2s VK3s and ZL2ALJ, my first overseas contact from a SOTA summit :)

Packed up around 7:30 pm to get some photos of the sunset.
The building nearby is a new Satellite laser ranging telescope, using laser pulse reflections to determine the distance to near earth orbit objects, including the moon.

Headed down past the Scope restaurant, got back to the car at 8pm and went home.

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