Sunday, 4 January 2015

SOTA VK2/AC-042 Black Mountain antenna testing

For the upcoming SOTA 6 and 10 m challenge made a new linked dipole to cover these bands. Thought I would test it out in the field with an activation of my local summit, Black Mountain.

As per my previous activations parked in the car park just below the summit and walked up.

The track passes close to the base of the tower and joins the road running around the top car park

Headed up the road to the lookout

Black Mountain lookout. Or it would be if the trees hadn't grown up...Set up the squid pole on the fence and strung out both my old 20/40 m linked dipole and my new 6/10 m dipole.

Shack in the small amount of shade behind the distance marker

Tried 10 m first. Worked a couple of locals, Matt VK1MA and Andrew VK1NAM with good signals.
Tried listening for 10 m beacons in the 28.2-28.3 Mhz segment of the band, could hear several, including V73TEN Marshall Islands on 28.297 Mhz and ZL3TEN New Zealand on 28.227 Mhz, so the band was open to the Pacific okay.

There were some signals from the USA, tried calling W7CI in Arizona with a good strong S8 signal. He misheard my call as K1DI and turned his beam to the East and lost me...

Popped over to 40 m to grab an S2S with Adam VK2YK/p on VK2/MN-117. Not very strong but quite readable with the low noise floor on the summit. Worked a few of the regular chasers, then went to 6 m.

Managed to work Andrew, VK2UH in Yass with a weak signal, otherwise quiet. Band didn't seem to be open. Went back to 10 m. Worked a few more locals, VK1MT Matt and VK1EM Mark, before packing up and heading home for lunch.

Track log of walk

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