SOTA – VK1AD portable 70cm update #8 – Mt Nungar

Saturday 19 March 2016, planned SOTA activation of Mt Nungar VK2/SM-027, 1710 metres ASL Maidenhead Grid Locator QF44HD, Kosciuszko National Park VKFF-0269

Today Al VK1RX and I plan to activate 3 summits in the vicinity of Wares Campground, Mt Nungar, Blackfellows Hill and an unammed peak known fondly as ‘March-fly Mountain’ named by Andrew VK1MBE after the huge biting March-flies. After a restful night sleeping on the ground, (not funny) we will drive to Perisher Valley and climb Mt Perisher.

Radio: Yaesu FT-817ND, UHF 70cm frequencies 432.2 USB and 439.00 FM
Power Level: 5 watts
Antenna: 7el Yagi
Distance to Canberra GPO (VK1): 80 km north-east bearing 35 degrees
SOTA Alert: Yes
Date posted alert: 17 March 2016
Notice Period: 2 days
Outcome:  Qualified Mt Nungar on 70cm   🙂
Duration to qualify on 70cm:  36 minutes for 4 unique chasers
My 2016 70cm challenge: qualified 7 from 8 summits

Photos: © Copyright 2016 Andrew VK1AD

Weather on the summit: Light winds and a pleasant 16 degrees C.  Water consumption 2 litres.

Previous SOTA activations: Peter VK3PF, Rod VK2TWR, Rob VK2QR and Brian VK3MCD

Al VK1X and I left Canberra at 6 am for the township of Cooma via the Monaro Highway. From Cooma we took the Snowy Mountains Highway to Adaminaby.  Adaminaby township is the host of the BIG Trout and a very clean public toilet block!  From Adaminaby continue along the Snowy Mountains Highway for 19 km to Tantangara Road on the right.  From the intersection of Snowy Mountains Highway and Tantangara Road travel along Tantangara Road until you arrive at Tantangara Dam Trail (signposted), park your car in the open area.  see photo

Mt Nungar summit is accessible from Tantangara Road intersection with Tantangara Dam Trail.  A month or so ago I was tipped off by a well-known local resident, to look for a tree with blue paint on the trunk facing Tantangara Road.  Al and I walked 200 metres north-east along Tantangara Road to find the tree, sorry the photo has a slight blur.

The ascent 369 metres over 2.3 km (blue track) is a steady climb following a spur feature running south to the summit taking 1 hour, 15 minutes.  Average gradient over 2.3 km is 15%, average walking speed was 1.8 km/h.  The dark green coloured track is our descent path 1.7 km taking 38 minutes.

Mt Nungar GPS track log overlay on OZ Topo

Mt Nungar GPS track log overlay on Oz Topo

Mt Nungar track profile

Mt Nungar track profile

Mt Nungar ascent data

Mt Nungar ascent data

Mt Nungar 1710 metres ASL, Kosciuszko National Park

view of Mt Nungar from Blackfellows Hill

view of Mt Nungar from Blackfellows Hill looking north-east

Rest stop at Adaminaby, Snowy Mountains Highway

BIG Trout at Adaminaby

BIG Trout at Adaminaby

After parking the car at Tantangara Dam Trail we walked 200 metres north-east along Tantangara Road to find a tree painted with a blue mark at S35.82506° E148.64706° or UTM 55 H 648779 6034203.  This is the start of the ascent to Mt Nungar summit.

IMG_0838

Off road car park – Tantangara Dam Trail

Ascent to the summit starts here

Walking trail starts from this tree

Walking trail starts from this tree about 3 metres in from the road shoulder

view of the ascent tree-line

steady climb – view of the ascent through a beautiful native eucalyptus forest

At the summit. The summit is clear of trees and offers amazing panoramic views in all directions.

Mt Nungar Trig Station

Mt Nungar Trig Station 1710 metres ASL

Mt Nungar Geocache

I opened the geocache to find a log book.  I made a note of two amateur radio operators VK1RX and VK1AD taking advantage of the summit’s height to work amateur radio stations in Canberra.  🙂        Watch out for the ‘O’ ring seal in the cap, the inside of the tube needs to stay dry to protect the look book during winter snow falls.

Mt Nungar geocache

Mt Nungar geocache

VHF/UHF SOTA Station

Dual band Yagi antenna aimed at Bimberi Peak (1912 metres ASL) for a signal path to Canberra at a distance of 80 km bearing 35 degrees from Mt Nungar.  Canberra GPO at 640 metres ASL, is 52 km north-east of Bimberi Peak.

A fair proportion of SOTA chasers in Canberra use vertically polarised VHF antennas, hence in the photo the 2m elements are in the vertical position.  It’s a simple matter of rotating the antenna axis by 90 degrees to change from vertical to horizontal, takes seconds to make the change.  😉

VK1AD SOTA Shack at Mt Nungar

VK1AD SOTA shack at Mt Nungar.

VK1AD sitting comfortably in a 'chair' shaped rock

VK1AD sitting comfortably in a ‘chair’ shaped rock.  (photo supplied by Al VK1RX)

Great action shot of Al operating his Icom IC-706 on 2m while pointing his 3el Yagi in the direction of Canberra for a 2m QSO with Matt VK1MA.   Matt’s VHF antenna is vertically polarised.

great action shot of Al operating his Icom IC-706 while pointing his 3el Yagi in the direction of Canberra

view east – this is not a pose for the camera, it’s the real deal!  Al VK1RX working Matt VK1MA in Canberra.

Antenna

VK1AD in the shadow of Mt Nungar Trig operating a Yaesu FT-817

Signal path to Canberra

View North.  The 70cm signal path to Canberra (80km) is over the gap between Bimberi Peak and Mt Murray at 35 degrees.  The gap between the two mountains is known as Murray’s Gap.

VK1 border peaks with VK2. The 70 cm signal path to Canberra is over Bimberi Peak

view north – looking at the ACT/NSW  border peaks VK1 and VK2 Snowy Mountains regions.

View north-east

VK1 SOTA peaks

from our position the view north-east of three VK1 SOTA peaks

70 cm 432.200 MHz SOTA Activation

After setting up my station and helping Al to deploy the HF antenna, I started the 70cm activation at 2310 UTC with a confirmed contact with Dimitris VK2COW followed by Rob VK1KW, Tony VK1VIC for a second S2S from Mt Ginini and later Matt VK1MA for four unique chaser contacts, thanks guys.  🙂      As you can see from the log, Al and I didn’t let the first S2S contact with Tony VK3CAT at VK3/VE-016 pass by.  Thankfully we just scraped in the contact with Tony on 40m 7.090 MHz, 40m signal propagation to Mt Nungar was poor.

Extract from VK1AD SOTA Activator Log – Mt Nungar on 70cm and 2m

Time Call Band Mode Notes
23:10z VK2COW 433MHz SSB Dimitris S55 R53 432.2  QF44OX  106 km
23:14z VK1KW 433MHz SSB Rob S59 R59 432.2  QF44MT  83 km
23:25z VK3CAT/P 7MHz SSB Tony S2S VK3/VE-016 S52 R52  King Billy No1 238 km
23:31z VK1VIC/P 433MHz FM Tony S2S VK1/AC-008 S59 R59 439.00  Mt Ginini 40 km
23:31z VK2VIC/1 433MHz FM Tony S2S VK1/AC-008 S59 R59 439.00  Mt Ginini
23:46z VK1MA 433MHz SSB Matt S52 R51 432.2
00:02z VK1MA 144MHz FM Matt S59 R54 146.5
00:16z VK1VIC/P 144MHz SSB Tony S2S VK1/AC-008 S59 R59 146.5 at Mt Ginini

 

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7 thoughts on “SOTA – VK1AD portable 70cm update #8 – Mt Nungar

  1. Pingback: SOTA – VK1AD portable 70cm update #10 – Mt Perisher | Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

  2. Pingback: SOTA – VK1AD portable 70cm update #9 – Blackfellows Hill | Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

  3. Excellent again Andrew! Looks like it was a steady climb to the summit and interesting to see the geocache up there.

    Regards
    Chris
    VK4FR

    • Hi Chris, fortunately I new about the presence of the geocache cylinder from information sourced from different websites. The cylinder contains a single logbook and pen. The logbook has some minor water damage which may have occurred when the ‘O’ ring seal was not seated correctly in the cap groove. Al and I both remarked Mt Nungar is now in the list of our top 10 favourite SOTA peaks 🙂
      Cheers
      Andrew (VK1AD)

  4. Hi Andrew,
    Your tripod and antenna looks a little less cumbersome than mine. Your tripod appears to be for a camera. I am interested in how you secure the antenna boom to the tripod? Paul (VK5PAS) has a tripod and antenna and we were discussing mounting methods last Friday night (see VK5BJE.com for my setup). Any clues/ideas you might provide will be welcome. I enjoyed your description of the trip. I have driven past the big trout: must keep the peak in mind for a future excursion.
    cheers
    John D
    VK5BJE

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