Saturday 27 February 2016. Andrew VK1DA and I (Andrew VK1AD) are heading to Wyong for the Central Coast Amateur Radio Club (CCARC) annual Field Day event, known to the VK amateur radio community as ‘Wyong Field Day’ to be held on Sunday 28 February.
A road trip to Wyong or anywhere for that matter can’t go by without one or two SOTA activations. With very little thought and almost no planning, at the 11th hour the day before we decided a new summit in the Sydney basin, at least new to both of us would make for an interesting afternoon. The Sydney basin has two, yes two peaks that meet the P150 guidance, Canoelands VK2/SY-001 and Riley’s Mountain VK2/SY-002. P = Prominence, P150 is where the landform leading to a peak, has at least 150 metres of unbroken or continuous prominence around the formation.
Riley’s Mountain at 252 metres ASL in the Blue Mountains National Park (VKFF-0041) is a terrific place to visit with your family or friends. If you live in Sydney and you own some form of portable radio transceiver, which should be in some form of working order and you are a licenced amateur radio operator, this is your opportunity to enter the Summits on the Air (SOTA) Awards Program.
How do you get to Riley’s Mountain? Andrew VK1DA and I drove from Canberra therefore our route may differ to yours, nevertheless from the south navigate to the township of Wallacia while from the north find your way to Mulgoa Road. From Mulgoa Road turn into Fairlight Road and stay on Fairlight Road, which changes from an asphalt surface to gravel, to Riley’s Mountain Walk car park. see photos below
The ascent to the summit of Riley’s Mountain is 122 metres over 2.7 km taking 42 minutes to walk, quicker if you ride a bike!
Photos: © Copyright 2016 Andrew VK1AD
Blue Mountains information board
At Riley’s Mountain Lookout view north-west
At the summit the most practical place to set up a SOTA station is next to a sign post ‘Rileys Mountain Lookout’ a good support for a squid pole and HF wire antenna. Make sure the wire antenna is sufficiently raised and isn’t a hazard for cyclists or pedestrians using the walking trail.
SOTA Activation. Andrew and I operated in the 40m and 10m bands. We did call on 20m 14.310 MHz for 10 minutes only to find poor propagation. Summit to Summit (S2S) contacts included Compton VK2HRX and Marek OK1BIL both at Mount Alexander in the Southern Highlands close to the township of Mittagong.
Extract from VK1AD SOTA Activator Log – Riley’s Mountain 40m and 10m contacts
|02:42z||VK2EJW||7MHz||SSB||Jock S59 R59|
|02:47z||VK7CW||7MHz||SSB||Steve S58 R41|
|02:48z||VK5WG||7MHz||SSB||Nev S57 R42|
|02:49z||VK3CAT||7MHz||SSB||Tony S59 R52|
|02:58z||VK2JDL||7MHz||SSB||Phil S51 R34|
|03:39z||VK2HRX/P||28MHz||SSB||Compton S2S VK2/IL-005 S51 R42|
|03:39z||OK1BIL/VK2||28MHz||SSB||Marek S2S VK2/IL-005 S51 R42|
|03:41z||VK2NP||28MHz||SSB||Cliff S59 R54|
|03:48z||VK3PF||7MHz||SSB||Peter S59 R59|
|03:50z||VK3LED||7MHz||SSB||Col S58 R56|
|03:51z||VK3ANL||7MHz||SSB||Nick S56 R33|
|03:52z||VK3FQSO||7MHz||SSB||Amanda S57 R53|
|03:53z||VK1MA||7MHz||SSB||Matt S59 R57|
|03:55z||VK2YK||7MHz||SSB||Adam S57 R53|
|03:58z||VK3CAB||7MHz||SSB||Tony QRP S57 R54|
|04:01z||VK3DAC||7MHz||SSB||Fred S58 R54|
|04:03z||VK2HHA||7MHz||SSB||Dennis S59 R56|
Station Shack set up
a very annoying March-fly bit my thigh through my trousers 😦
The female March-fly bites and draws protein from animal and human blood to help produce eggs. The Snowy Mountain’s version of the March-fly (bloody huge) are attracted to blue as this one appears to be. Unfortunately my backpack is also blue, easy to see in the bush but a magnet for biting March-flies during the warmer months January to late March.
Don’t be put off by Aussie insects, Riley’s Mountain is a great place for a family day-out combined with a picnic and a SOTA activation. You could limit your activation to 2m 146.5 MHz FM using a HT and an external antenna such as 2m Slim-Jim or a similar antenna arrangement. Give it a go! 🙂