SOTA – VK1AD portable 70cm update #9 – Blackfellows Hill

Saturday 19 March 2016, planned SOTA activation of Blackfellows Hill VK2/SM-033, 1620 metres ASL Maidenhead Grid Locator QF44HD, Kosciuszko National Park VKFF-0269

Earlier in the day Al VK1RX and I activate Mt Nungar VK2/SM-027 for the first time.  Mt Nungar activation was a success for Al and I.    We have moved from VK2/SM-027 to Wares Campground, shown on the map as ‘SM-033 Car Park’, to start the ascent (a bridle trail) to the summit of Blackfellows Hill.

SOTA peaks in the area

VK2 Snowy Mountains Region – SOTA peaks along Tantangara Road, SM-027, SM-033 and SM-036

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:  Failed to qualify Blackfellows Hill on 70cm   😦
Duration to qualify on 70cm:  NA
My 2016 70cm challenge: qualified 7 from 9 summits

Photos: © Copyright 2016 Andrew VK1AD

Weather on the summit: Light winds and a pleasant 14 degrees C.  Water consumption 2.5 litres.

For directions to this summit see my post SOTA Activation Blackfellows Hill dated 15 November 2014

The ascent 295 metres over 4.4 km is a steady climb following a spur feature initially running south-west then turning north to the summit taking 1 hour and 25 minutes.  Average gradient over 4.4 km is 6%, average walking speed was 3.1 km/h.

Blackfellows Hill GPS track log 19 March 2016

Blackfellows Hill GPS track log 19 March 2016

At the summit we selected a place which offered an unobstructed view of Bimberi Peak. (see Mt Nungar post)

VK1AD operating a FT-817 on the summit of Blackfellows Hill

VK1AD operating a FT-817 on the summit of Blackfellows Hill

70 cm 432.200 MHz SOTA Activation

I failed to qualify the summit on 70 cm however I did work 4 unique chasers so all was not lost.  The activation started at 0335 UTC (14:35 local) with a 2m S2S contact with Tony VK1VIC/P activating Mt Ginini.  I asked Tony if he would call me on 70 cm simplex 439.00 FM, which he did, thanks Tony.  The next 70 cm contact was Matt VK1MA also on 439.00 FM. That’s two unique chasers on 70 cm but I still need two more.  I called CQ SOTA for 10 minutes on 432.2 USB and later 439.00 FM and posted new spots to SOTAWatch.  I followed spots with a call to Canberra Amateurs via Mt Ginini 2m repeater 146.950 MHz all to no avail.

With little prospect of qualifying the summit on 70cm, I decided to join Al at his Icom HF rig. This summit is a 9 km return walk over 3 hours, working HF may help to qualify the peak and pick up 10 activator points.   Within minutes of joining Al, I complete two summit to summit (S2S) contacts with Gerard VK2IO on VK2/HU-024 unnamed summit and  Rod VK2TWR on VK2/SM-040, I thanked Al for his help.  Tick, summit qualified on HF with 4 unique chasers on a mix of bands covering 40m, 2m and 70cm.  🙂

Extract from VK1AD SOTA Activator Log – Blackfellows Hill on 70cm, 2m and 40m

Time Call Band Mode Notes
03:37z VK1VIC/P 144MHz FM Tony S2S VK1/AC-008 S59 R59 146.5
03:38z VK1VIC/P 433MHz FM Tony S2S VK1/AC-008 S59 R59 439.0
03:39z VK2VIC/1 433MHz FM Tony S2S VK1/AC-008 S59 R59 439.0
03:40z VK1MA 433MHz SSB Matt S51 R51 432.2
04:10z VK2IO/P 7MHz SSB Gerard S2S VK2/HU-024 S57 R57
04:19z VK2TWR/P 7MHz SSB Rod S2S VK2/SM-040 S53 R57
Al VK1RX operating an Icom IC-706 on the summit of Blackfellows Hill

Al VK1RX operating an Icom IC-706 on the summit of Blackfellows Hill

HF Inverted V link dipole

HF Inverted V link dipole

view north Tantangara Dam

view north Tantangara Dam

My 70 cm completed SOTA activations is now at 7 out of 9 attempts.  As I found out today, although I posted alerts 2 days in advance, promoted today’s activations via various email groups and I called on a local 2m repeater pleading for contacts on 70 cm, there is no guarantee to qualifying a SOTA peak.  😉

Next 70 cm activations: VK2/SM-036 unnamed and Mt Perisher VK2/SM-007

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2 thoughts on “SOTA – VK1AD portable 70cm update #9 – Blackfellows Hill

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

  2. Tough going Andrew. 70cm a yet untapped resource? I have to admit I don’t think I have ever contacted anyone on 70CM simplex let alone SSB.

    Cheers
    Chris
    VK4FR

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