Easter Monday 28 March 2016, planned SOTA activations of three peaks in the vicinity of Yass township, NSW
- Bowning Hill VK2/ST-042, 798 metres ASL Maidenhead Grid Locator QF45JF
- Spring Hill VK2/ST-036, 876 metres ASL Maidenhead Grid Locator QF44NV
- Mt Mundoonen VK2/ST-053, 810 metres ASL Mundoonen Nature Reserve, Maidenhead Grid Locator QF45ME
After a hoot of a time on Mt Mundoonen Al VK1RX and I moved to Bowning Hill VK2/ST-042. Did I consider the possibilities of continuing the QSO with Jim VK3II on 2m SSB over 507 km, no I didn’t. Did I consider completing a third short QSO on 2m SSB with Bernard VK3AV over 430 km yes I did.
Bowning Hill SOTA 70cm activation
Radio: Yaesu FT-857D, UHF 70cm frequencies 432 MHz USB and 439.00 MHz FM
Power Level: 15 watts
Antenna: 7el Yagi
Distance to Canberra GPO (VK1): 62 km (38 miles) at 154 degrees
SOTA Alert: Yes
Date posted alert: 26 March 2016
Notice Period: 2 days
Outcome: Qualified Bowning Hill on 70cm 🙂
Duration to qualify on 70cm: 46 minutes, 10 minutes longer than Mt Mundoonen 😦
My 2016 70cm challenge: qualified 12 from 14 summits activated
Photos: © Copyright 2016 Andrew VK1AD
Weather on the summit: 18 degrees C with light easterly winds. Water consumption 500 mils, 2 cups of tea and an Easter Hot Cross Bun 😉
For directions to this summit see my post SOTA Activation – Bowning Hill 10 March 2014. The ascent to the summit is 209 metres over 1.9 km taking 35 minutes. On this occasion Al VK1RX had sought permission from the land owner to drive to the summit.
Al set up his HF station 10 metres north of the Trig and I set up the 2m and 70cm antennas a few metres west of the Trig with a clear outlook south-east towards Canberra and south-west towards Melbourne.
The aim of this SOTA activation is to qualify on 70cm SSB or FM and to work Bernard VK3AV on 2m SSB. Both goals were achieved albeit taking 46 minutes to qualify on 70cm. On 2m SSB and aided by FlightRadar24, Bernard and I completed two VHF weak signal QSOs over 438 km the first at 23:54 UTC and the second at 00:27 UTC, before and after UTC change. 🙂
Summit to Summit contact on 70cm. I hadn’t paid any attention to SOTAWatch for updates to VK1 and nearby VK2 alerts. To my surprise Paul VK1ATP was activating South Black Range VK2/ST-006 and called in at 23:58 for S2S on 432 MHz over 100 km or 62 miles. Thanks Paul, great to make the 70cm S2S contact, for the life on me I can’t figure out why we didn’t follow-up with a second S2S after UTC change?
2m Dx Surprise!
Without the aid of aircraft enhancement, Jim VK3II answered a ‘CQ South-West’ call and as we did at Mt Mundoonen the conversation with Jim continued for 15 minutes, yes 15 minutes on 2m SSB over 504 km, amazing. Jim’s signal was steady at 5-5 throughout the QSO, no signs of AE or multi-path propagation. Later in the session Michael VK3KH at QF21MT Mornington Peninsula, joined the list of callers for a short QSO over 506 km, my first VHF Dx contact with Michael, thanks. To finish off the 2m Dx session Gordon VK3EJ at Cobram 316 km called in with a 5-8 signal.
Extract from VK1AD SOTA Activator Log – Bowning Hill on 70cm and 2m
|23:36z||VK1MA||144MHz||SSB||Matt S59 R59 QF44|
|23:38z||VK1WX||144MHz||SSB||Amanda S41 R41 QF44|
|23:41z||VK1KW||433MHz||SSB||Rob S57 R57 QF44MT 51 km (32 miles)|
|23:45z||VK3AV||144MHz||SSB||Bernard S51 R52 QF22PL 438 km (272 miles)|
|23:49z||VK3CAT/P||7MHz||SSB||Tony S2S VK3/VE-008 S59 R59|
|23:54z||VK1MA||433MHz||SSB||Matt S59 R57 QF44|
|23:55z||VK1KW||144MHz||SSB||Rob S59 R59 QF44MT 51 km (32 miles)|
|23:58z||VK1ATP/2||433MHz||SSB||Paul S2S VK2/ST-006 S53 R51 QF44SN 100 km (62 miles)|
|00:06z||VK3II||144MHz||SSB||Jim S55 R52 QF21RN 504 km (313 miles)|
|00:21z||VK2VIC/1||433MHz||FM||Tony S51 R51 QF44 68 km (42 miles)|
|00:21z||VK1VIC||433MHz||FM||Tony S51 R51 QF44|
|00:27z||VK3AV||144MHz||SSB||Bernard S51 R51 QF22PL 438 km (272 miles)|
|00:29z||VK3KH||144MHz||SSB||Michael S52 R52 QF21MT 506 km (314 miles)|
|00:32z||VK3EJ||144MHz||SSB||Gordon S57 R58 QF24TB 315 km (195 miles)|
|00:41z||VK7LTD||7MHz||SSB||Tony S2S VK7/WC-027 S51 R53|
|00:44z||ZL2AJ||14MHz||SSB||Warren S2S ZL1/WK-024 S52 R55|
As you can see from my SOTA log, the last two entries are S2S contacts on 7 and 14 MHz. After the 2m QSO with Gordon, Al and I moved over to Al’s HF station Icom IC-706 to work Tony VK7LTD on VK7/WC-027 and Warren ZL2AJ on a summit ZL1/WK-024 somewhere on New Zealand’s North Island. 🙂
Next blog post on the subject of VHF Dx is Bobbara Mountain 😉