SOTA Activation Black Mountain – 28 February 2014

Black Mountain VK1/AC-042 812 metres ASL, Canberra Nature Park

Looking at SOTAWatch this morning there were three activations planned.  Matt VK1MA on Mt McDonald, Andrew VK2FAJG on Spring Hill and Mike VK3EK on Mt Seldom Seen, East Gippsland.

On the 2014 list of local summits yet to be completed are Black Mountain and One Tree Hill.  I am saving One Tree Hill for a SOTA DX session so Black Mountain VK1/AC-042 it will be.  Left home at 08:15 for a 15 minute drive to the Black Mountain lower car park.  The ascent from the car park is 70 metres over 500 meters along a formed pedestrian track taking ten minutes reach the summit.

Fig 1.

Black Mountain GPS track log

Fig 1: Black Mountain GPS track log

Fig 2.

Black Mountain track profile

Fig 2: Black Mountain track profile

Fig 3.

Black Mountain ascent data

Fig 3: Black Mountain ascent data

Pictures from the summit

QRM levels on HF are very low which is a nice surprise given the nature of operations. The 2 metre Yaesu HT was experiencing minor interference from pagers, nothing too bad, just the occasional break through.   When I was last on Black Mountain the main cause of interference is the street lighting, quite ironic given the amount of RF floating around the summit.

Telstra Tower

Telstra Tower

squid pole set up on a metal fence for the city view lookout

squid pole set up on a metal fence at the city view lookout

VK1NAM SOTA shack set up on the distance maker

VK1NAM SOTA shack set up on the distance maker.  Yaesu FT-817ND, FT-60 HT and a 4S LiFePO4 battery

20 and 40 m link dipole

20 and 40 m link dipole.

Plenty of activity on 40m, summit to summit (S2S) contacts were Mike VK3XL and Robbie VK3EK on Mt Seldom Seen VK3/VN-029 a new unique to chase, Andrew VK3FAJG on Spring Hill VK2/ST-036 and Matt VK1MA on Mt McDonald VK1/AC-048.  Matt was on Mt McDonald for WICEN duties.

Chasers on 40M were Peter VK3FPSR, Peter VK3PF, Amanda VK3FQSO, Ernie VK3DET, Doug VK3FJAE, Dave VK2DJS/M, Tony VK3CAT/M, Fred VK3JM, Nev VK5WG, Tom VK5EE, Bill VK5MBD, Garry VK2GAZ, Gerard VK2IO, Ron VK3AFW, Marshall VK3MRG, Mark VK3YN and Mark VK1MDC.

20m did not want to play today, called for 15 minutes to VK5 and VK6.  I watched the SOTAWatch page as Mike VK6MB was providing feedback in the form of spots, on the status of reception.  Sorry Mike the propagation was not there today.

Finished the activation 11:25, headed back to the car then drove to the Curtin shops bakery for coffee and a meat pie.  🙂

A pleasant morning combined with an easy activation.