Mt Stromlo VK1/AC-043 5 April 2013

Mt Stromlo VK1/AC-043 782 metres ASL – (Summit in the suburbs)

It’s Friday 0800 am 5 April 2013 and my father is visiting from Melbourne.  Since the commencement of SOTA in VK1 I have kept dad appraised of my adventures in the mountains.  On SOTAWatch2 VK3WAM Wayne has posted 4 alerts for summits in the central district of Victoria (VK3).    My Summit to Summit score is 249 points, 1 point away from achieving the first S2S certificate at 250 points.   Wayne has an alert for VK3/VC-019 Mt Warrenheip at 1300 local (0200) UTC.  Dad is a keen amateur astronomer and wanted to visit Mt Stromlo to look over the remains of the Mount Stromlo Observatory which was destroyed in the firestorm on 18 January 2003. Five telescopes, infrastructure and workshop support facilities were destroyed.  Dad wanted to get a taste of this SOTA stuff so we decided we would head up to Stromlo for a 1300 activation.

Mt Stromo is about 6.5 km from my QTH a ten minute drive in the car.  The drive to the summit is via Weston along Cotter Road to Mt Stromlo Road.  Turn right into Stromlo Road and follow it to the summit.  The summit car park is only a few metres below the summit spot height.  Options are park the car well below the 25 metre activation zone or park in the car park and walk out of the 25 metre activation zone, then walk up to the summit.  I parked the car 1 km from the summit, well outside of the activation zone.

Dad was in-charge of the director’s chair, water and photography while I loaded up the human pack-horse for the trek up the hill.  Set up the shack below the trig station and used a large rock to support the squid pole.   Antenna choice is the 40 metre 1/2 wave dipole.  I didn’t bother with the Slim Jim given the proximity to the suburbs but did have the 2m Yaesu FT60R HT.

Dad in the Director's chair

Dad in the Director’s Chair enjoying the view

Fired up the FT857D QRP at 1245 local and made contact with VK3KU Peter operating a FT817 on his property in Gippsland about 400 km south of my postion.  Peter’s signal was excellent, RST 58 both ways. Next in line was VK3AFW Ron followed by VK3YSP/2 Joe driving to Jindabyne, VK3FABA Bernard, VK3PF Peter, VK5PAS Paul, VK3WAM/p Wayne on VK3/VC-019 (S2S) and VK2MAX Grant.  The contact with Wayne advanced my S2S score to 253 points, thanks Wayne.

Shack stuff

Shack stuff and the rock

VK1NAM Andrew contacting VK3FABA Bernard at Kinglake

VK1NAM Andrew (me)  contacting VK3FABA Bernard in Kinglake Victoria

Below is an extract from the activation log:

Time Call Band Mode Notes
01:45z VK3KU 7MHz SSB Peter FT817 S58 R58
01:56z VK3AFW 7MHz SSB Ron S59 R56
01:57z VK3YSP/2 7MHz SSB Joe S59 R57
01:59z VK3FABA 7MHz SSB Bernard S57 R56
02:05z VK3PF 7MHz SSB Peter S59 R57
02:17z VK5PAS 7MHz SSB Paul S57 R53
02:21z VK3WAM/P 7MHz SSB Wayne S2S VK3/VC-019 S56 R55
02:33z VK2MAX 7MHz SSB Grant S59 R58
Squid pole supporting the 40m antenna and SOTA Flag.

Squid pole supporting the 40m antenna and SOTA Flag.

Looking north to Black Mountain VK1/AC-042

Looking north to Black Mountain VK1/AC-042

Thanks to the chasers for a quick chase and thanks Wayne for the summit to summit.  Dad and I packed up the gear (well I did). I headed back to the car and dad headed over to the ‘Scope’ Mount Stromlo Cafe for coffee and New York Cheese cake.

It’s tough going on the summits in the suburbs!  Yes I did join dad for coffee.