SOTA – VHF Aircraft Enhancement – Mt Taylor Canberra

7 December 2014.  This morning I decided to try VHF aircraft enhancement from Mt Taylor between 2100 and 2200 UTC, unfortunately weather conditions were working against me, best contacts were Rod VK2TWR in Nimmitabel 153 km south and Col VK2BCC 300 km north-east.  Local VK1 VHF contacts were Rob VK1KW, Ian VK1BG, Dave VK1DJA, Paul VK1ATP and Karl VK2GKA 126 km north-east at Bowral.

Towards the end of the session at 2145 UTC, Ian VK1DI/2 portable on Mt Mundoonen VK2/ST-053 near Yass, checked in for a summit to summit on 144.200 MHz USB.  Mt Mundoonen is a new SOTA peak added to the VK2 Southern Tablelands list last week, which makes Ian the first to activate and a new summit to chase, thanks Ian a nice surprise!  After working Ian I heard Jim VK3II near Phillip Island calling CQ, 472 km south-west of Mt Taylor, I returned Jim’s call he did hear me but very weak, insufficient to make a valid contact, nevertheless it was worth a try.   Moving on…

SOTA gear: Yaesu FT-857D @ 40 watts output, antenna 2m/70cm dual band yagi, battery 2 x LiFePO4 4S 4.2 Ah.  Photos from the site are below:

FT-857D and iPad running FlightRadar 24

VK1NAM SOTA shack on Mt Taylor.  FT-857D and the iPad running FlightRadar 24.  I must have accidentally changed a setting on the clock, the format should be 24 Hour as 21:36 UTC.

With little action on 2m, at 2210 UTC I moved to 40m 7.085 MHz.  Checked SOTAWatch, activators with alerts between 2200 and 2300 UTC are Mitch VK3XDM/7 planning to activate Tinkers Lookout (VK7/NW-046) half way between Wynyard and Stanley on Tasmania’s North West Cape, Glenn VK3YY for Mt Torbreck VK3/VN-001 and Kevin for VK3/VN-002 Mt Bullfight.

First on 40m was Cliff VK2CCJ followed by Larry VK5LY then the band went quiet, I called CQ for 5 minutes and nothing. QSY to 10m 28.510 again called CQ for 10 minutes this time I had one chaser Matt VK1MA.  Before I could finish the 10m contact with Matt SOTAGoat alerted to the activation of Mt Torbreck by Glenn.  Back to 40m this time 7.090 MHz to chase Glenn for the second S2S, stayed on 40m QSY to 7.085 to work Gerard VK2IO, Tony VK3CAT, Mike VK3XL, Ron VK3AFW, Amanda VK3FQSO, Peter VK3PF and a big surprise Mike VK6MB called in with a 5-7 report 3800 km long haul from Western Australia, that’s my first contact with Mike at home on 40m just amazing, normally I work Mike on 20m 14.310 MHz.

At 2240 UTC I made contact with Mitch VK3XDM now at Tinker’s Lookout VK7/NW-047.  Thanks Mitch for a second VK7 summit which brings my unique SOTA Associations tally to 15 for the Mountain Hunter Gold Award.

Next on 40m, was Robin VK5TN, Bernard VK3AV, Michael VK2CCW and Justin VK7TW.  SOTAGoat fired off another alert this time Kevin VK3KAB had activated Mt Bullfight VK3/VN-002. Thanks Kevin for the fourth S2S.   Note to self, I must put Mt Bullfight and Bill Head VK2/VN-004 on the bucket list when I next visit family in Melbourne.

At 2300 UTC I moved to 20m 14.310 MHz USB to work Paul VK2KTT and Ian VK1DI/2 still on Mt Bundoonen.  Worked Ian on three bands 2m, 20m and 40m.  Thanks chasers and activators for a good SOTA morning out on Mt Taylor.

VHF and HF gear on Mt Taylor, Canberra

VHF and HF gear on Mt Taylor, Canberra


One thought on “SOTA – VHF Aircraft Enhancement – Mt Taylor Canberra

  1. Hi Andrew, later I went to wind the power down on the KX3/KXPA100 and found that it was already set to 30W not the 100W that I told you in the QSO.
    That’s propagation for you, I couldn’t hear any of the 20m Activators.

    73 Mike VK6MB

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