Sunday, 2 October 2016

SOTA Mt Cowangerong VK2/ST-001

After activating SOTA peak South Black Range VK2/ST-006 drove to Captains Flat for lunch, then proceeded to Mt Cowangerong, VK2/ST-001.

Turned off Captains Flat Road onto the Cowangerong Fire Trail. Sign for Tallanganda National Park here.

Note the sign is on the right side of the road. The park does not extend to the other side of the road which is Tallaganda state forest, and the actual summit is not even in state forest, but its own rectangle of land. So you can't activate the peak and the park at once. Here is a screenshot from the Six Maps website showing park boundaries.

Got to the turnoff to Mt Cowangerong and parked here on the right off the road.

Carried my gear up the short access road, including a heavy TS-480... glad not too far. Reached the Mt Cowangerong radar, this is the Bureau of Meteorology's rain radar for the Canberra area.

I know from experience anywhere near the radar is QRM central... so moved back down the access road until finding a suitable squid pole support, in this case a sign warning of buried high voltage cables. Strung out the 40m dipole along the road. Didn't worry about 80 m this time as not a good time of day for it.

Close up of the sign. Shack on a tarp just off the road.

Shack on the tarp. Set my TS-480 to around 50W output as conditions were still poor.

Got on 20m as figured better at this time of day. Started with a good signal from John ZL1BYZ, then Matt VK1MA a surprising strong S7. Probably on ground wave on 20m.

After Matt surprised to get called by Ron VK3AFW/2 doing a multi-operator activation of Pilot Reef Mountain, VK2/SW-021. He was fairly weak but clear, and probably on ground wave around 110 Km away to my West. The other operators there also grabbed me for S2S contacts, Compton VK2HRX/p, Allen VK3ARH/2. Then worked another ZL, Warren ZL2AJ.

Contacts dried up on 20m so switched the links to 40m. Started by working Karl VK2GKA/p in VKFF-0334 Morton National Park near Goulburn. Worked more of the usual chasers in VK2, VK4, VK5 and VK7. Got a few more of the VK2/SW-021 activators, Phil VK3BHR/2 and Ken VK3KIM/2. Signal similar to 20m, maybe a little stronger. Had a very weak contact with Andrew VK2UH at Yass, still NVIS conditions poor. Brett VK2VW in Northern NSW a good signal.

Packed up, stopped at Captains Flat for afternoon tea, then headed home.

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