Monday, 8 June 2015

SOTA Bobbara Mountain VK2/ST-044

My last activation of Bobbara Mountain was in December 2014. It was hot and plagued by figured a better time to activate was today with the cold and no flies...

As before drove out to Yass via the Barton Highway, taking the Hume Highway to Bowning, on to Binalong and Bobbara Mountain Road. Arrived at the gate with the enter at own risk warning.

Walked along the road towards the mountain.

When level with the big tree straight ahead followed a sheep track running up the mountain. Fairly steep climb up but saves a fair distance compared to walking along the road all the way.

Rejoined the road at the top of the ridge.

Walked around the radar complex to the trig. Last time it was too hot in the sun to operate here, this time it was cold in the wind...Don't let the bright sunshine fool you, it was probably around 10c, less with the wind chill...

Looking back to the East at the radar complex

Set up the squid pole on the trig. Hard to find places to attach the ends of the dipole, ended up just tying the ends to rocks. Looking South West

Looking to the North East

Set up the radio at the base of the trig, to try and get some shelter from the cold wind. Not that effective though.

Got on 40 m, to hear Julie VK3FOWL/P on VK3/VC-014 saying she was about to go clear. Quickly worked her for a S2S.

Spotted myself on the mobile and got a good pileup going. Strong signals from VK1, VK2, VK3 and VK5. Another S2S with Tony VK3CAT/P on VK3/VE-204.

After the chasers dried up on 40 m went to 6 m where Andrew VK2UH, Andrew VK1NAM and Al VK1RX advise would listen for me. When changing the dipole from the 20/40 m linked one to the 6/10 m dipole the rubber ball at the tip of the squid pole decided to work loose, crashing the whole antenna to the ground. The sistema container feed junction box got cracked up badly but still usable.

Hoisted the antenna back up. Called by Andrew VK2UH nearby in Yass, not getting much power out, he came back a weak S3 so something not quite right...No sign of Andrew VK1NAM or Al VK1RX, might have just heard them very weakly.

Took the antenna down again. Not seeing too much wrong, hoisted it back up, this time on 10 m. Seemed to load up better on 10m, able to work Andrew VK2UH a good S8 now. Still no contact with VK1NAM or VK1RX.

Tried 20 m briefly with no contacts apart from Andrew VK2UH again. He advised Andrew and Al still keen for a 6 m contact. Tried putting up the antenna again, this time orientated it around more to favour towards Canberra. It seemed to load up better this time, getting full output power. Just managed to work Andrew VK1NAM with a 41 signal, and Al VK1RX with a 51, Al was using a beam. A struggle for both of them to hear me though on my 5 w.

Around noon the cold wind was too much so packed up and headed home.

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