Mt Taylor VK1/AC-037 – 7 April 2013

Mt Taylor VK1/AC-037 856 metres ASL, Summits in the Suburbs

Forecast:  Temperature 23 degrees and sunny
Antenna: 2m 3el beam and 40m 1/2 wave dipole
Antenna support: 9 metre squid pole
Rig: FT857D
Battery: 4S 5Ah LiPo

Earlier today I completed an activation of Mt Ainslie gaining S2S points with VK3PF/P Peter on VK3/VE-132 Mt Strathbogie and VK3DET/P Ernie on VK3/VC-032 (no name).  It’s now 1 pm and I’m off to Mt Taylor for another opportunity to gain S2S points again with VK3PF Peter who is heading to Mt Wombat VK3/VU-002. Next time I head down to Melbourne I will activate VK3/VE-132.

Mt Taylor is a part of the Canberra Nature Park, located 15 km south of the Canberra GPO located between the Weston and  Woden valleys.  Mt Taylor is a prominent feature in the southern suburbs rising 200 metres above the valley. The mountain is recognisable by its unique shape and profile. If you were to take a cross-section east-west you would see the shape of a wave. The east face from Pearce is very steep while the west side rises gradually from the suburb of Kambah.

The summit is 2.5 km south of my QTH and like Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura is very popular with folk seeking to improve their fitness, and families and friends with their dogs out for a half-day walk. If you exercise man’s best friend, be sure to take a litre of water to top-up the water bowl at the lookout.  I have two dogs at home, what a great excuse than the dog’s exercise requirements to undertake a 2m SOTA activation.

Parked the car on the north side at the Waldock Street car park.  The walk to the summit very steep and a little over 1 km.  The trig was over-run with fit looking people working through their exercise routines. I wonder if they see the trig as their church, they go their to worship the fitness gods?  Without fail the next person running up the mountain heads straight to the trig, fascinating!  So I found a rock suitable, well almost suitable to strap the pole to.

Started the SOTA ops at 02:58 UTC on 40m and first to chase was VK3ZPF Peter followed by 18 more chasers, VK3AFW Ron, VK1IRC Peter, VK3CAT Tony, VK1MA Matt, VK3HRA Allen, VK1DI Ian, VK3KAB Kevin, VK3YY Glenn, VK3FERM Craig in Newcastle, VK3VCW Ken, VK5CZ Ian, VK3GHZ Rhett, VK2UP Terry, VK2WY John, VK3FABA Bernard, VK2HAV Brad, VK2UH Andrew and VK1GG/m Chris.

Separately on 2m simplex 146.500 MHz chasers included VK1HBB Bruce, VK1FBIT Brendan, VK1RX Al and VK2HPN Phil in Queanbeyan.  At this point the chaser group had run out of steam so Peter VK1IRC and I conducted 2m antenna tests.

Peter VK3PF was running behind time so I stayed on the summit.  Had a long chat with VK5CZ Ian talking about antennas and other SOTA bits and pieces.  At 03:42 Peter called into the group and we completed the S2S contact.  I stayed on the summit for another hour (2 hours in total) having a good-old rag chew with a group of VK2s.

Packed up at 0500 UTC having enjoyed a top-day on two local summits.  The weather was perfect.

VK1NAM Shack on Mt Taylor

VK1NAM Shack on Mt Taylor.  2M 3el yagi and camera tripod.  Squid Pole supporting the 40m 1/2 wave dipole

View north towards Canberra

View north looking out to Curtin and beyond towards Yass

Squid Pole and 40m Dipole

9 metre Squid Pole and 40m dipole (wind was getting stronger)