SOTA 2016 – VK1AD portable 70cm update #3

Friday 8 January 2016, planned SOTA activation of Spring Hill VK2/ST-036 876 metres ASL on 432.2 MHz USB and 439.00 MHz FM.  Maidenhead Grid Locator QF44NV

Radio: Yaesu FT-857D and Yaesu FT-60R dual band HT
Antenna: 7el 70cm Yagi (see photo)
Power Level: FT-857D 15 watts, FT-60R 5 watts
SOTA Alert:  Yes
Date posted alert: 4 January 2016
Notice Period: 4 days
Outcome:  Qualified Spring Hill on 70cm  🙂
Duration to qualify: 20 minutes for 4 contacts.  10 minutes better than the activation of Booroomba Rocks is a good result.
My 2016 70cm challenge: qualified 2 from 3 summits

Spring Hill is 21 km north-east of Canberra on private property. I called Phil on Monday to arrange access.  See my blog post 4 September 2014 for track details

Arrived at the summit at 8 am allowing 30 minutes to set up four antennas.  Temperature on the summit was 20 degrees with a light gentle breeze.  At mid day the wind changed to 25 to 30 km/h which is expected for Spring Hill.  As I was packing up my gear two car loads of para-gliders arrived looking very happy with the weather conditions on the summit.

Started the activation as planned at 2130 UTC (08:30 am local).  First chaser on 70cm was Adan VK1FJAW/P activating Mount Stromlo VK1/AC-043 25 km south-west.  Progress on 70cm was slow until the 2nd chaser Laurence VK1LWW called on 439.00 MHz FM from his home QTH in the southern suburbs of Canberra.  Next chaser was Andrew VK2MWP near Queanbeyan on 432.2 MHz USB followed by Rod VK2TWR at Nimmitabel 159 km due south.  10 minutes later Roald VK1MTS called on 439 MHz followed by Paul VK1ATP/P on 432.2 operating a FT-817 combined with a yagi from his work car park.  🙂

Later at 2233 UTC Tony VK1VIC/P called on 439 FM then Roald VK1MTS/P now portable had made his way to the summit of Mt Ainslie VK1/AC-040 for a 5th contact on 439 MHz FM.  Roald had other plans to activate Black Mountain VK1/AC-042 on 439 FM.

7el 70cm (430 MHz) yagi pointing south-west

7el 70cm (430 MHz) yagi pointing south-west towards Victoria (VK3).  In the distance the Brindabella Ranges

VK1AD SOTA shack on Spring Hill VK2/ST-036

VK1AD SOTA shack at the summit of Spring Hill VK2/ST-036.  Wind is blowing west to east

Other bands

  • 6m (52 MHz) 1 chaser Andrew VK2MWP.
  • 10m (28 MHz) 6 chasers three of which were unique callsings for the SOTA 10m Challenge. Summit to summit contacts included Adan VK1FJAW/P at Mount Stromlo.
  • 40m (7.110 MHz) 13 chasers including summit to summits contacts with Al VK1RX/2 at The Cascades VK2/SM-014 in the Snowy Mountains and Ian VK1DI/3 at Mt Big Ben VK3/VE-105 near Yackandandah in Victoria.

Extract of VK1AD SOTA activator’s log for 70cm.  6 chasers in the 1st hour, for a working day that’s a good result.  Thanks Adan and Roald for the S2S and Rod for the UHF Dx contact.  I am grateful to Laurence, Andrew, Paul and Tony who took time out from their busy schedules to chase me.   🙂

Time UTC Band Mode Callsign Summit Details
21:34 433MHz FM VK1FJAW/P VK1/AC-043 S2S VK1/AC-040 S59 R59 439.0
21:43 433MHz FM VK1LWW S52 R54 439.0
21:53 433MHz SSB VK2MWP S55 R55 432.2
21:55 433MHz SSB VK2TWR S59 R59 432.2 159 km 432.2
22:03 433MHz FM VK1MTS S56 R55 439.0
22:06 433MHz SSB VK1ATP/P S59 R59 432.2
22:33 433MHz FM VK1VIC S59 R59 439.0
22:43 433MHZ FM VK1MTS/P VK1/AC-040 S2S VK1/AC-040 S59 R59 439.0
23:34 433MHz FM VK1MTS/P VK1/AC-042 S2S VK1/AC-042 S59 R59 439.0

My next SOTA 2016 70cm challenges #4 and #5:
Saturday 9 January 2016 from Mt Palerang VK2/ST-009 1230 metres ASL and South Black Range VK2/ST-006 1250 metres ASL (Tallaganda National Park) 45 km east of Canberra GPO.  Both summits are about 600 metres higher (ASL) than Canberra at  650 meters ASL.  For Mt Palerang I will change rigs to the FT-817 (QRP) my antenna choice is the 7el yagi  😉


2 thoughts on “SOTA 2016 – VK1AD portable 70cm update #3

  1. Pingback: SOTA 2016 – VK1AD portable 70cm update #4 and Sporadic E | Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

  2. Hi Andrew, what a great effort in carrying all of this gear and setting up, and, finally qualifying the summit. You are setting a great example. I will concentrate on 6m for the present.

    John D

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