Thursday 7 January 2016, planned SOTA activation of Booroomba Rocks VK1/AC-026 1382 metres ASL on 432.2 MHz USB and 439.00 MHz FM. Maidenhead Grid Locator QF44LK.
Radio: Yaesu FT-857D and Yaesu FT-60R dual band HT
Antenna: 70cm Slim-Jim supported by a 5 metre telescopic pole (known as a ‘squid pole’)
Power Level: FT-857D 15 watts, FT-60R 5 watts
SOTA Alert: Yes
Date posted alert: 4 January 2016
Notice Period: 72 hours
Outcome: Qualified Booroomba Rocks on 70cm 🙂
Duration to qualify: 35 minutes for 4 contacts 😦
My 2016 70cm challenge: Qualified 1 from 2 summits
Monday 4 January 2016, I discussed a dual activation of Booroomba Rocks with Adan VK1FJAW. Adan hasn’t activated Booroomba Rocks before so this would be an ideal opportunity for Adan to work unique amateur radio callsigns for the SOTA 10m Challenge, Adan agreed.
After setting up 3 separate antennas for 28 MHz, 432 MHz and HF bands we commenced the SOTA activation at 2255 UTC (9:55 am local). I posted a 70cm alert on SOTAWatch using RRT and sent a SMS message to the VK1 SOTA group. I have formed the opinion my SMS message is more effective in reaching amateur radio operators than the popular mobile phone apps Rucksack Radio Tool (RRT) and SOTA Goat.
After calling CQ on 432.2 MHz for 6 min Al VK1RX responded with a 5-9 report that’s contact number #1, I need 3 more. At 2306 UTC Roald VK1MTS called me on 439.0 MHz FM also 5-9 for contact #2. 15 minutes of calling CQ netted zip, I placed a call on Mt Ginini 2m repeater asking for local amateur radio operators to call me on 432.2 MHz USB and 439.0 MHz FM, same response as Mt Stromlo zip, zero, zilch. Continued calling CQ, 30 minutes had passed with only 2 contacts when Andrew VK1MBE called on 432.2 USB, thanks Andrew for contact #3. At 2332 UTC Rod VK2TWR in Nimmitable, 110 km south-east of Booroomba Rocks called me for chaser number #4, thanks Rod summit qualified on 70cm 🙂
Extract of VK1AD SOTA activator log
|23:01||433MHz||SSB||VK1RX/M||Al S59 R59 432.2|
|23:06||433MHz||FM||VK1MTS/P||Roald S59 R59 439.0|
|23:18||7MHz||SSB||VK1DI/3||VK3/VC-025||Ian S2S VK3/VC-025 S58 R58|
|23:24||433MHz||SSB||VK1MBE||Andrew S57 R56 432.2|
|23:32||433MHz||SSB||VK2TWR||Rod S55 R58 432.2|
After qualifying the peak on 70cm I moved to 6m then onto 40m. 6m chasers Andrew VK1MBE on 52.2 MHz and Peter VK2AN on 50.150 MHz. On 40m 17 chasers including a S2S contact with Ian VK1DI/3 portable at Mt Dandenong VK3/VC-025, Melbourne’s outer east.
Later I joined Adan to work VK1HW and VK1MT/M on 28.480 for two unique callsigns. Thanks Al, Roald, Andrew and Rod for the 4 unique contacts on 70cm, I hope to work you again tomorrow from Spring Hill VK2/ST-036.
Rock pools filled from recent rain (see my post for 13 December 2015)
View north looking over Canberra City and beyond
My next SOTA 2016 70cm challenge #3:
8 January 2016 from Spring Hill VK2/ST-036 at 876 metres ASL, 21 km north-east of Canberra GPO. Wish me luck!