Sunday, 20 July 2014

SOTA Activation Mt Gillamatong

After activating Mt Palerang and driving to Braidwood for lunch, continued on to nearby Mt Gillamatong, VK2/ST-034, via Gillamatong Lane.

Parked at the end and went through the gate for pedestrians.

Went to the left, then up the hill to another pedestrian gate into the scrub.

The scrub on Mt Gillamatong is fairly light and easy to walk through, but it is still a steep climb...

Reached the summit trig

Set up the SOTA shack on the trig platform.

I had problems here when the squid pole collapsed, the section that had cracked while activating the Rock Hill  now wouldn't slide, so could only raise it to about 5 m...Anyway was high enough to get out.

Got on 40m, started well with a 59 report from VK2AET Scott up in Grafton. Conditions on 40 m were very strange, lots of QSB with close by stations in VK1 barely able to copy me then coming up to S9 and down again...Stations further away like VK5 and central VK2 steady and strong.

Tried 20 m but no contacts, even after self spotting. Andrew VK1NAM wanted to try a 2 m SSB contact, attached the 2 m whip to the FT817 and held it up high above the trig, but heard nothing. Probably too many mountains in the way. Packed up after 22 contacts and headed back down. Due to the jammed squid pole meant carrying a 2m long squid pole back to the car...Will need to get a replacement.

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