Sunday, 1 March 2015

SOTA VK1/AC-038 Tuggeranong Hill

With a forecast of rain and a warm day decided to activate a local summit in the morning before it got too warm, Tuggeranong Hill, VK1/AC-038.

As per previous activations drove up to the gate at the end of a lane off Callister Cres in Theodore and started walking

Turning right at the gate took the track heading up the hill, in the centre of the photo

Its a short but steep walk up to the summit. A small peak gives you a short break from climbing but then its up again to the top...

Approaching the summit, the trig just behind the communication towers. I did get a few spots of rain here but it stopped.

Reached the trig. Once I had set up the antennas and radio it actually cleared up and got warm. View to the North. Lake Tuggeranong, Mt Taylor.

Antennas on the squid pole, on the trig. Set up the 20/40 m dipole and the 2 m jpole ribbon.

Shack on the rocks in front of the trig. One rock for a seat, the other to prop up the radio.

Andrew VK1NAM had SMSed me while setting up, started by calling him on 2 m FM, he was walking the dog on Oakey Hill near Woden with the HT. Good strong signal. No others on 2 m FM though. Tried 144.2 SSB, one contact with Matt, VK1MA, a huge signal as usual from North Canberra.

Went to 40 m/ Conditions were not good, lots of static from a nearby storm and low down signals...Worked a few VK3s, VK5s and VK2KTT. Andrew VK2UH in Yass called, but could barely hear each other, he is usually S9...

Tried 20 m, quite dead apart from a couple of US stations running lots of power, no replies to my calls.

Finally tried putting up the 6/10 m dipole and calling on 10 m. Got Andrew VK1NAM with a good strong signal.

As about to pack up decided to try an experiment with Andrew, and QSYed to 29.6, the 10 m FM calling frequency. Andrew was S9+ and crystal clear! As getting warm packed up and headed home for lunch.

Wasn't sure if anyone else had used 10 m FM on a SOTA activation before in Australia. Had a look in the SOTA database, seems I'm the first VK SOTA activator to try it :)

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