Saturday 30 July 2016, planned SOTA activation of Honeysuckle Mountain, 1360 metres ASL, 4 points Maidenhead Grid Locator QF44LJ
Possible Summit to Summit contacts: Al VK1RX and Andrew VK1MBE have plans for a joint activate of Booroomba Rocks VK1/AC-026. Tony VK1VIC has plans to activate Livingstone Hill VK2/SM-093.
Honeysuckle Mountain SOTA 70cm activation
Radio: Yaesu FT-817ND, UHF 70cm frequency 432.200 MHz USB and 439.00 FM
Power Level: QRP 5 watts
Antenna: 70 cm 1/2 wave dipole (see pictures)
Distance to Canberra GPO (VK1): 36 km (22 miles) at 26 degrees
Mobile phone service: Telstra 3G two signal bars
SOTA Alert: Yes, plus an email to all CRARC members
Date posted alert: 26 July 2016
Notice Period: 5 days
Outcome: Qualified Honeysuckle Mountain on 70cm SSB 🙂
Duration to qualify on 70cm: 13 minutes
Photos: © Copyright 2016 Andrew VK1AD
Weather on the summit: 6 to 9 degrees C (42 to 48 F), sunny day with light winds.
Water consumption 1.5 litres. Winter bonus: 3 points
RF Signal Interference (QRM) on the summit: Nil
Left home at 7 am for a 45 minute drive to Honeysuckle Creek campground. From Honeysuckle Creek campground the ascent is 273 metres over 1.9 km taking 1 hour and 10 minutes. For convenience I have divided the ascent into two legs:
- Leg 1. From the car park take a fire trail heading of 163 degrees. The fire trail terminates at two large water tanks. See picture
- Leg 2. Once at the water tanks (S35.5870° E148.9794°) turn right into the scrub and take a bearing of 136 degrees for a 185 metre ascent over 944 metres taking 55 minutes. This leg has an average gradient of 19 percent. That’s a slope of 11 degrees at a ratio of 1 to 5.1, yep it’s steep.
This trip is my fourth visit to Honeysuckle peak. Honeysuckle Creek campground and the surrounding areas of Namadgi National Park were destroyed in the 2003 firestorm. It’s fabulous to see nature establish the eucalyptus forest and native wildlife kangaroos, wallabies and wombats. Reptiles native to Namadgi, lizards and snakes are hibernating in the cold weather.
Track log from Honeysuckle Creek campground
Honeysuckle scrub bash GPS log in red – from the water tanks to the summit
Below is an extract from my SOTA log and a few pics of my SOTA station set up on Honeysuckle Mountain. Worked six unique chasers on 70cm, signal reports are well down on last week due to the signal path attenuation and my operation at 5 watts: Chasers included: Rob VK1KW, Matt VK1MA, Dale VK1DSH, Matt VK1MT, Andrew VK1MBE and Al VK1RX. Dale VK1DSH and Matt VK1MT are new chasers on 70cm. No long distant VHF DX’ers today, Mt Tennent is a major obstacle between Honeysuckle and Canberra suburbs.
Summit to Summit contacts on 70cm and 2m: Al VK1RX/P and Andrew VK1MBE/P both operating from Booroomba Rocks peak, 3.2 km (1.9 miles) north at a bearing of 8 degrees.
Extract from VK1AD SOTA Activator Log 30 July 16 – Honeysuckle Mountain 70cm and 2m bands
|23:54z||VK1KW||433MHz||SSB||Rob S57 R55 432.2|
|23:56z||VK1MA||433MHz||SSB||Matt S51 R51 432.2|
|23:57z||VK1MBE/P||144MHz||FM||Andrew S2S VK1/AC-026 S59 R59 146.5|
|23:58z||VK1RX/P||144MHz||FM||Al S2S VK1/AC-026 S59 R59 146.5|
|23:59z||VK1DSH||433MHz||SSB||Dale S55 R57 432.2|
|00:01z||VK1MA||433MHz||SSB||Matt S56 R51 432.2|
|00:02z||VK1MBE/P||144MHz||SSB||Andrew S2S VK1/AC-026 S59 R59 146.5|
|00:03z||VK1DSH||433MHz||FM||Dale S55 R55 439.00|
|00:07z||VK1MBE/P||433MHz||FM||Andrew S2S VK1/AC-026 S59 R59 439.00|
|00:08z||VK1RX/P||433MHz||FM||Al S2S VK1/AC-026 S59 R59 439.00|
|00:09z||VK1MT||433MHz||FM||Matt S56 R56 439.00|
Honeysuckle Mountain – don’t be fooled it’s tougher than it looks
Water Tanks (Sep 2013)
At the summit
Chasers on HF Bands
Only six unique chasers on 40m 7.110 MHz: Nev VK5WG, Rick VK4RF, Steve VK7CW, Paul VK5PAS, Tom VK5EE, and Mick VK3GGG. No NVIS contacts within 500 km to radio amateurs in VK2 and VK3
On 30m 10.130 MHz: One local chaser Matt VK1MA, no other contacts outside of VK1
On 20m: Nil
Weak signal HF Summit to Summit contacts on 40m: Tony VK1VIC/2 at Livingstone Hill, Ian VK5CZ at Mount Bryan VK5/SE-001, Glenn VK3YY at Mt Macedon VK3/VC-007 and Al VK1RX/P at Booroomba Rocks peak.
My SOTA VHF and UHF distance records
No 2m or 70cm distance records set today. All VHF/UHF chasers are within a 50 km radius.
Reference / Links
Next activation report – Sunday 7 August 2016, VK1 Winter SOTA QSO from Goorooyarroo (VK1/AC-036) a former WW2 bombing range.