Saturday, 17 January 2015

SOTA VK1/AC-048 Mount McDonald

SOTA peak VK1/AC-048 Mt McDonald is only about a half hour drive from home and is an easy mid morning SOTA activation. Last time was a disaster, my old SLA battery died...this time had my LifePO4 battery so should have no power problems...

Drove to the start of the walk off Brindabella Road. A proper car park for the walk. Sign detailing walk.

Locked gate at start of walk

Turned off onto Mt McDonald Rd

This rises steeply, bending about before heading for the summit. Some good views. Looking South along the Bullen Range, Mt Tennent in the distance on the left.

Looking East. Black Mountain tower visible in the centre. Mt Stromlo on the right.

Reached the top. The summit cairn, a pile of rocks...Mount McDonald Ecce trig and remnants of the fire tower on top

The trig and remnants of the fire tower, destroyed in the Canberra 2003 bushfires

Set up the squid pole on the trig, using the fire tower to support one end of the dipoles legs.

Other ends tied to branches of nearby trees Had both 20/40 m and 6/10 m linked dipoles up in a fan configuration.

Had real problems with the wind today, quite strong, the pole telescoped on me several times...Shack in the small amount of shade at the base of the trig

Got on 40 m first. Found an electrical buzz on the band, about S2, annoying. It was quiet last time I was here. Probably from the nearby power pole.

A S2S with VK1RX/p Al on nearby VK1/AC-033 Bullen Range. Chasers from VK1, VK2, VK3 and VK5.

Switched the dipole links to 20 m. VK5WG, VK5EE, VK8GM, VK2KTT with good signals. Tried 6 m, only 1 contact with Al VK1RX nearby on Bullen Range. Another S2S with VK2IO Gerard on VK2/IL-015 Mount Kembla on 40 m,

Saw a spot for John VK6NU/p on 20m, on VK6/SW-039. Managed a S2S, not real strong but workable. Heard him get called by Nick VK3ANL/p on VK3/VC-032 so another contact with Nick, a good strong signal on 20m.  Went on to work a few more chasers on 20 m, including VK6YS Wally and VK6NI Nigel with good signals.

Tried 10 m. Got a call from Ross VK4CQ, as usual 59+...Had a chat with Andrew VK1NAM. Heard a weak W7 calling me, but didn't answer me back, probably just saw my SOTA spot and tried calling anyway...Finally a call from Steve VK2NSS, a huge 59+ from Murrumbateman on his beam.

Packed up and headed home.

Track log of walk. 2.7 Km. About 45 minutes to get up and 30 minutes down.

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