Sunday, 7 September 2014

SOTA Activation Mt Budawang

As part of the VK2 SOTA anniversary weekend thought I would reactivate a couple of peaks close to Braidwood, Mt Budawang VK2/ST-015 and Oakey Creek Firetrail VK2/ST-023.

Drove to the start of the walk for Mt Budawang the same route as my last activation, going through 3 gates on an access road through private properties. The drive was tricky in places, the area has had a lot of rain recently and several muddy patches to negotiate. Eventually reached the Budawang National Park sign and parked.

A short walk and crossed the locked gate. No giant dogs allowed...

The first Km or so of the walk passes through nice rain forest, lots of ferns.

The track then climbs steeply, after 4 Km and over an hour of walking reached the top fire tower and communications masts.

For a change decided to set up on the NW corner of the compound rather than the SE like last time. This is where Andrew VK1NAM set up.

One leg of the dipole attached to a tree on the edge of the cleared area, the other end to a tree root. A great view looking NE to Currockbilly Mountain, Mt Owen, The Castle and Pigeon House Mountain.

Set up the SOTA shack on the tarp on the ground at the base of the fence.

Connected up the dipole, not receiving anything, not even static...After wriggling the coax worked out I had a broken coax inner core connection in the PL259 plug on the back of the rig. Twisted it about until I had it working and left it alone, need to redo the plug...

Started with chasing a spot for Al, VK1RX/2 for an S2S on nearby Mt Palerang VK2/ST-009 on 20 m. As expected he was very strong. Switching to 40 m links worked Mark, VK1EM/p doing a first time activation of Booths Hill, VK1/AC-016. Well done Mark, I had thought of doing this one but the 800+ m climb had put me off!

Went on to work the usual chasers. As per my last activation here conditions were not that great, lots of fading, mainly working close by VK1, VK2, and VK3, nothing from VK5. Later on switched back to 20 m and worked Nev VK5WG with a good signal, he couldn't work me on 40 m due to poor conditions. Also worked Peter ZL2MS with a good signal, although I was in a prime position for working ZL here.

Tried a 2 m SSB contact with Andrew, VK1NAM. I could hear him faintly but readable but I was very weak to him.

After lunch Mark VK3ASC/p popped up on 40 m from VK3/VE-138 for another S2S. Total of 19 contacts. Headed back down.

Track log of walk

Track profile of walk, 4 Km each way with a 400 m climb


No comments:

Post a Comment