SOTA Activation Devils Peak – 18 May 2014

Devils Peak VK2/ST-003 1321 metres ASL, Brindabella National Park VKFF-054

VK1 and nearby VK2 SOTA folk have a regular gathering at the Ainslie Football Club.  We aim to meet each month for hearty discussions on recent adventures on mountain peaks in the ACT and Southern NSW.   At our last gathering Ian VK1DI and I considered a joint activation of Devils Peak, 27 km west of Canberra in the Brindabella National Park VKFF-054.

The purpose of this blog post is to compliment the write-up by Ian VK1DI by including extra map data and photos of the environment around Devils Peak.

Previous and first activation:  Matt VK1MA, October 2013

Route:  No formed tracks, Ian and I each made our own assessment of a likely route to the summit, surprisingly we had similar ideas on how to tackle the summit.   See the two map extracts below with the proposed route (magenta).  Was it a good choice, note the squiggly route indicating many changes in direction?  Read Ian’s blog for the answer.  Red GPS track log is the ascent, Blue GPS track log is the descent.  Note the average walking speed at 1.5 km/h very slow as we battled our way through the scrub.

Post 2003 firestorm: Regrowth, regrowth and more regrowth akin to Mt Domain VK1/AC-020 and VK1/AC-018 near Billy Billy rocks.

No reliable Optus 3G signal anywhere, anytime until I was back in the suburbs of Canberra.  Ian started out okay with a Telstra signal.  Thanks Matt VK1MA for the 2m spots (SSB and FM) and Peter VK3PF for the 20m spot on 14.310 MHz.  🙂

Thanks to the VK1 and VK2 local SOTA boys for four contacts on 2m. Matt VK1MA, Mark VK1EM, Al VK1RX and Andrew VK2FAJG.  I did try to contact Andrew VK1DA at Tuggeranong using a HT, I’m guessing the signal attenuation was high due to the dense scrub.

On 40m chasers were Bernard VK3AMB, Paul VK5PAS, Peter VK3FPSR, Gerard VK2JNG/P near the Queensland border, Julie VK3FOWL and Rod VK2LAX hunting National Parks from Propan NP VKFF-417.

After seeking help from Peter VK3PF for a 20m spot, chasers on 20m were Nev VK5WG, Paul VK2KTT and Paul VK5PAS.  John VK6NU was in the clear, unfortunately John didn’t receive my signal running the FT-857D at 5 watts then 40 watts.

Changed the antenna back to 40m by inserting the 20m links.  Listened on 7.090 for 10 minutes before Mark VK3ASC broke through the silence for our first S2S contact.  Mark was activating VK3/VG-033 Razorback Range (the name looks interesting), there are a few ‘razorback’ ridge formations in Namadgi NP.

Would I revisit Devils Peak summit?  Yes taking a route heading SSW on the ridge running NNE, close to our exit route in Blue.

Equipment: Yaesu FT857D, battery 4S 4.2 Ah LiFePO4, 7 metre squid pole, antenna 2m Slim Jim and a 10/20/40 m link dipole.

Thanks Ian for your excellent company, humour and perseverance to achieve the goal of activating Devils Peak.  It was a tough gig.   I do not recommend anyone attempt this summit on their own, take a SOTA buddy.

Two Sticks Road

Two Sticks Road – Devils Peak is 1.3 km to the left of the picture

Start

Car parked off Two Sticks Road.  Entry point is on the other side of the road.

Devils Peak GPS track log

Devils Peak GPS track log.  Red ascent, Blue Descent

Devils Peak GPS log continued

Devils Peak GPS log continued.

Devils Peak ascent profile

Devils Peak ascent profile

Devils Peak ascent data 😦

Devils Peak descent profile

Devils Peak descent profile

Devils Peak descent data

Devils Peak descent data  🙂

The picture tells the story

Regrowth

view of the regrowth

Summit view

summit view

View of the space available for HF antennas.

summit surrounds and a view of the limited space available for HF antennas.

VK1NAM SOTA shack on Devils Peak

VK1NAM SOTA shack on Devils Peak.  FT857D, battery LiFePO4, antenna 2m Slim Jim, FT-60 HT

VK1NAM Devils Peak SOTA log

VK1NAM Devils Peak SOTA log

Ian VK1DI

Ian VK1DI setting up his 30m antenna

Regrowth

Navigating through thick vegetation

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4 thoughts on “SOTA Activation Devils Peak – 18 May 2014

  1. Pingback: SOTA – Devils Peak Brindabella National Park | Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

  2. I just bought the same rig and look forward to getting started in SOTA. I love you blog! you make it look fun. Do you have a meter for the battery? Have you tried to maintain a charge via solar panel I dont think it it would work with that battery but I am looking at a LIFEPO4 with Battery Management built in. Any thoughts?

  3. Looks challenging but very satisfying to activate that one. On my long list of “summits I must visit one day”!
    Andrew vk1da/2uh

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