Sunday, 13 April 2014

SOTA Activation Tuggeranong Hill VK1/AC-038

I set up my new 20/40 m linked dipole in the driveway at home, and got the SWR down flat on both bands. Now I needed to test it out in the field :)

Set out for Tuggeranong Hill, VK1/AC-038, which I activated last year. Parked at the same place in Theodore off Callister Cres

After a steep walk up the hill reached the trig on top

Set up the squid pole on the trig, running one dipole leg to the branch of a nearby tree, the other wound around a rock.

Started with the clips joined to go on 40 m. Usual VK chasers from VK1,2,3,and 5, with strong signals. I got a S2S call from Rob, VK2QR activating VK2/SW-019 Mount Hovell. This gave me over 1000 S2S points! :)

After 40 m died down dropped the squid pole and unclipped to go to 20 m.

After spotting myself on 20 m, worked OE7FMH, then noticed the battery voltage getting low...
Made a quick S2S with Matt, VK1MA on nearby Mt Stromlo, VK1/AC-043, then absolute chaos as the EU chasers had found me!

Worked IK1GPG, G6TUH, EA3NT, DD2VO, S58AL, 9A7C, ON7ZM, and G0RQL. During some of the contacts the FT817 shut down due to low voltage, waited a bit and recovered. Worked a couple of VKs, Paul VK5PAS with a massive signal using VK5BAR call, and Andrew VK2UH at Yass.

After working Andrew the battery had died, and could see a rain shower coming my way, so a good time to pack up and go.


  1. Hi Ian,

    Nice to have spoken with you today. We were set up in the Belair National Park, for the PR4Amateur Radio event. Had a very enjoyable day, despite the lack of numbers of the public coming up to say hi. When I spoke with you I was running 40 watts into the 20m/40m linked dipole.

    Best 73,


    p.s. love the use of the plastic ruler.

  2. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the contact from Belair NP. You always come in well here on 20 m. The ruler worked well, might even move onto a 3 band linked dipole, so much easier than setting up a fan dipole.

    Best 73
    Ian VK1DI

  3. Hi Ian,

    Your new link dipole looks good. Good idea using the ruler as an insulator.

    I'll probably make another linked dipole over Easter. I do like the fan dipole as you can face the 20 m dipole east-west and the 40 m dipole north-south for what is worth and you have more support with four gires which helps on windy days. But for ease of setting up, packing up and multiband operation I think the linked dipole wins out. I can always add another two gires on windy days.

    What about a linked fan dipole? There's an idea! Might get a little complicated setting up and packing up. just thinking aloud.



  4. Hi Al,

    Yes there are good and bad points going from a fan to a linked dipole. The fan dipole was great for flicking between bands, if you had just gone to 20 m and an S2S opportunity started on 40 m, just return. Now I have to lower the dipole to change back...As you say the extra wires helps out on windy days, but sometimes made it hard to just find place to tie the ends of the dipoles.

    Must add some other bands like 12 m or 30 m, always good to have a choice.

    73 Ian VK1DI