Saturday, 30 March 2013

SOTA Activation VK1/AC-027 Honeysuckle Creek area 1365m

Saturday 30th March 2013

SOTA summit VK1/AC-027  is an unnamed peak near the former site of the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station, now a camping ground, to the south of Canberra.

Drove through the camping ground until coming to a turnoff marked "Management Vehicles Only", this is where I parked and started walking.

 After a short walk spotted the peak in the distance.

Didn't look too hard, I was to learn later this was not the case...The road climbed up the hill a bit then to the left, ending at some water reservoirs. Probably for use in fire fighting.

At this point the GPS showed around 500m to the summit. Left the road and started bush bashing my way up hill.

Lots of fallen branches, logs and thick vegetation. Also rocky outcrops to climb over and around.

Got quite scratched and bruised my knee on a fall. It was tough going! After almost an hour, reached the top at 10:30pm.  Got the hand held out and worked Wayne, VK3WAM/1 on Mt Murray, hand held to hand held, he was packed up and waited to work me before heading off. A good signal. 

The Summit appeared to be a bunch of boulders on top, nowhere to put a dipole so dropped down a bit.

GPS showed around the correct height and location

Set up the FT817 on a nearby log, worked VK1NAM and VK1MA both with weak signals on 2m. Not a great VHF takeoff to Canberra.

Set up the squid pole using a nearby sapling tree as a support and strung out the legs as best as possible given the thick scrub.

Found 40m in poor shape, stations very weak. Only worked 8 stations. From comments seemed to be just poor propagation and not the antenna. Heard another activator, VK3KAN/p but too weak to make out. Also managed another contact with Wayne, VK3WAM/1 hand held to hand held, no longer on Mt Murray, but gave him some more chaser points.

Packed up after lunch. Battled back down through the scrub, coming out a different way, but still hard going.

On to the next summit, VK1/AC-026, Booroombra Rocks

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