Saturday, 3 October 2015

SOTA Spring Hill VK2/ST-036

With a warm spring day decided to return to Spring Hill for another SOTA activation. This summit is located just over the ACT Northern border, only about 20 km from home and about a 15 minute drive away. It is on private property, contacted the owner Phil Robinson the night before so good to go.

Arrived at the car park at the entrance to his property and sent him a text, then got walking. My walk got off to a bad start, shortly after the car park heard a rush of wind and feathers, was being swooped by a magpie! These black and white birds are normally docile and leave your alone, however in the nesting season they become aggressive and will attack anything that enters their territory.

Quickly hurried past a row of gum trees and watched it swooping me, until I got further up the road and it left me alone. Climbed steadily up the mountain. Once on top of the ridge the wind, which had been a gentle breeze, got fairly strong. I discovered here I had left my camera home, so photos are off my mobile phone camera. Approaching the summit.

Note the hang glider on the right. Despite the good conditions seemed to be the only one up here today, last visit there were several. He had plenty of breeze and ended up re landing on the hill later.

Got to the summit. As per last time set up the squid pole on the trig, laid out the 40 m dipole and also the 2 m ribbon Slim Jim. Pole bent over in the wind but remained up okay for the activation.

Shack on the base of the trig, providing a little shelter from the wind and sun. It was still very windy though, but kept the flies off and was nice and cool.

Got on 2 m FM just after UTC changeover. Good strong signals from Andrew VK1NAM, Matt VK1MT, Matt VK1MA and Adan VK1FJAW/P on a hand held on a hill in Bonner. So qualified the peak just on 2 m! Switched to 40 m as could see some other activators on there on SOTAwatch

Started with Peter VK3PF/P on VK3/VE-069. Then Tony VK1VIC/P on VK1/AC-041 Isaacs Ridge, around 30 Km to the South, enjoying his 1st solo activation. Followed by chasing Russ VK2BJP/3 on VK3/VE-095 and then found a spot and got the chasers chasing me. Another S2S with Phil VK2BHR/P on VK3/VN-016 later.

After about an hour 40 m chasers dried up, tried 20 m, but no calls, the band sounded dead...By this time the wind was getting quite strong so packed up and headed back down.

View South towards Canberra from the other side of the communications tower.

Headed home for lunch.

 Steered clear of the magpie tree, he gave me one swoop but otherwise left me alone.

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