Mt Rob Roy VK1/AC-031 1099 metres ASL Canberra Nature Reserve, grid QF44NM
Today I decided to activate Mt Rob Roy, test out the 2m dipole by working VHF DX stations and update this blog with the Mt Rob Roy navigation details. I last activated this summit in February 2013 while the last activation was in May 2013. Given the growth of SOTA among VK chasers, Mt Rob Roy is likely to be a new unique to some chasers.
Left home at 07:10 for a short drive to Banks. The walking track starts from Thorn Crescent next to a domestic water storage tank. The track to the summit passes through private property before reaching the Mt Rob Roy Nature Park. The track is open to the public for walkers only, whereas a permit is required to operate a vehicle along any part of the private and public track areas.
The first 600 metres is very steep with a 20% grade climbing 136 metres. Total ascent is 460 metres over 4.5 km.
Equipment for the activation: FT-817ND, 7 metre squid pole, home-brew 2m dipole and a link dipole for 10, 20 and 40m and 2 lengths of RG58AU. The radio is powered by a 2.2 Ah 3S LiPo battery. Battery voltage is monitored using a Watts Up meter.
Arrived at the summit 1 hour 10 minutes after leaving the car. Set up the FT-817, 2m and HF dipoles. I placed a compass near the base of the squid pole to align the 2m dipole north-east/south-west for VHF DX and north-west for a chance to work John VK2YW near Wagga Wagga. I rotated the base of the dipole in small increments to peak the received signals.
Started the activation at 2200 UTC on 144.200 USB. 2m contacts on the dipole were Rob VK1KW, Chris VK2DO, VK2NC in Sydney 300 km north-east. That’s 300 km on a home-brew 1/2 wave dipole 5 metres above the summit and the FT-817 running 5 watts. Other VHF contacts included Matt VK1MA, Greg VK1AI, Al VK1RX S2S on VK1/AC-038, Ian VK1DI and Compton S2S on VK2/SC-005 73 km to the east.
The path to the north-west and VK2YW is not ideal due to the elevation of the Brindabella Ranges. Nevertheless John and I tried a 2m contact. John was 51 to me and gave me a 31 report. I should have a better chance of working John from Bimberi Peak VK1/AC-001 next weekend.
Later in the activation I worked Rod VK2TWR S2S on 144.150 USB at VK2/SM-067, ‘The Peak’ 105 km to the south-east. Very pleased with the performance of the 2m dipole, I doubt I will be carrying a 5el 2m yagi to a summit again.
On HF I worked 43 chasers before UTC then 33 post UTC. Chasers responded to self-spots on 40m and 20m. 20m chasers were Mike VK6MB, Tom VK5EE, Andrew VK1MBE, Josh VK3XJM/5 S2S on VK5/SE-013, Paul VK5PAS, Stuart VK5STU and Paul VK2KTT at Coffs Harbour.
S2S contacts included Al VK1RX on VK1/AC-038, (VK2JOS, VK2AFA and VK5TX all three on VK2/HU-007), Compton VK2HRX on VK2SC-005, VK3XJM/5 on VK5/SE-013, Steve VK3JY on VK3/VG-001 Mt Torbreck, Rod VK2TWR on VK2/SM-068 and Tony VK3CAT on VK3/VE-047. Total of 49 points added to the S2S log.