Sunday, 21 April 2013

SOTA Activation Isaacs Ridge 840m

Forecast for Sunday was good so decided to activate another SOTA summit, Isaacs Ridge, VK1/AC-041. This is a 840m hill at the top of a pine plantation at the back of the Canberra suburb of Isaacs. Parked off Long Gully Road and started the walk.

Soon found the road heading steeply upwards through the pines.

The road joins the top ridge road, after which walking became a lot easier. Several transmission towers in sight.

Some good views out the West. Can see Mt Taylor which I climbed last Sunday, and the Brindabellas in the distance.

Also see the Tuggeranong valley

Set up the 40m dipole on a fence post near one of the towers, close to the summit. Turned on and found S9+ noise over the whole band...

On 2m hand held simplex heard Andrew VK1NAM and Matt VK1MA discussing where I was, so told them the bad news on the local RF QRM...Will need to move the antenna to a quieter RF spot. In the meantime worked 6 stations on 2m, so at least I got the summit activated. Tried jamming the squid pole in a rocky outcrop nearby, unfortunately the pole fell down and split in one of the middle left with a 3-4m squid pole instead of 7m.... Mounted it as best I could on the nearby fence on one of the star pickets.

Set up the FT817 on a nearby rock

This rather crude arrangement at least got me on air. Noise over the band was down to S7-S8 so could at least work stations with signals over this strength. In all managed 20 contacts on 40m, including S2S contacts with VK3ZPF, VK3KAB, VK1RX and VK3MRG, so not a bad result from a bad site and antenna. I seemed to be getting out okay, just not able to hear that well. Sorry if I missed anyone calling.

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