SOTA Activation of Black Mountain

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Sep 21 , 2014

Got out to another SOTA summit today, VK1/AC-042. Started off on 2m and got VK1MA, booming in strong as always, not much further luck on 2m, so attempted to get going on HF, but there were problems!

Telecom (not Telstra, damnit!) Tower

I called for a little while, and heard nothing come back, sent a spot to sotawatch, and then heard quite a few come in, but I had very poor signal reports, and VK1MA suggested something was very wrong as I was only signal strength 1, line of sight to his QTH, I should be some dB over strength 9! Tweaking things around a bit, I found that the patch lead I repaired last week, is still no good :( If I look at it in the right tone of voice, and hold it just right, it works, but it’s flakey!

After some debugging on 2m, and moving the FT-817 off the metal rail to improve 2m SWR and signal reports, I got 2 more contacts and a summit to summit with VK1NAM on Mt Taylor.

SOTA station nearly packed up

After that I tried the end fed wire straight into the LDG 817H tuner, without the 4:1 transformer, which worked fine! Tuned up 1:1 without issue on 40 and 20m. I proceeded to catch 15 more contacts, including 2 summit to summit on 40m with a much improved signal report of 58 to 59 for the most part! I also managed my first contact to England, with a summit to summit on 20m to 2E0YYY which was very cool!

I did remember photos this time, but only after I’d started packing up!

That’s the end of the easy summits in Canberra, next one I’ll have to walk a bit further! I’m not sure that I’ll have time to activate next weekend, but I’ll try out the other bands in the back yard with just the tuner, and see how I go.

Next Monday I’m in Tassie, hoping that the associatin is live so I can activate down there, fingers crossed!

(And yay, I finally figured out a bit more about the fancybox plugin for jekyll!)

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