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 1710 metres ASL, Kosciuszko National Park
Rest stop at Adaminaby, Snowy Mountains Highway
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.
Ascent to the summit starts here
At the summit. The summit is clear of trees and offers amazing panoramic views in all directions.
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.
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. 😉
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.
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.
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
|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|