Although a lot closer to my home location than the previous four activations, Mount Taylor involved a longer drive of over 4 hours from the Central Coast into the ACT (Australian Capital Territory).
This action was part of the celebration of 6 months of SOTA in the VK1 (ACT) association organised by Andrew VK1NAM, who encouraged involvement of all operators interested in SOTA to take part in the event.
Rod VK2LAX traveled down on the Saturday however Jim VK2LC and myself made the journey only on the Sunday morning and with a planned 9:15 am start, this meant rising at the ungodly hour of 3am to be on the road by 4am. The drive down was uneventful apart from fog along the whole on the federal highway, adding about 30 mins to the journey.
The temperature on Mt Taylor dropped once the fog listed but the views (that we saw nothing of, on the climb up) were amazing.
As planned, I set up my equipment on 20m, (FT817 plus inverted V dipole on a 6m squiddy) and Rod and Jim set up for 40m, Rod using an FT897 and a similar SOTABeams linked dipole, but this time set to 40m and Jim with an FT817 and a loaded vertical antenna.
This was Rod’s & Jim’s first summit activation and were rewarded with many contacts on 40m. My decision to run 20m was not as successful with no contacts on that band despite self-spotting, but two on 40m (using the 20m dipole) and, as I had remembered to bring the Wouxon dual-band HT along, thirteen contacts on 2m FM, many of them summit to summit.
So all three of us all well and truly “activated” this peak.
Mt Taylor is a favorite destination for people walking their dogs and running for fitness so we have several visitors asking what on earth we were doing! With a little more preparation this could have been a great opportunity to capture one or two new prospective radio amateurs – maybe at the next one ….
The day rounded out very nicely with most of the activators meeting up at a Canberra cafe for lunch together. A chance not only for the VK2 “interlopers” to meet the VK1 activators but also for some VK1 activators to meet fellow VK1 activators that they had not met previously.
All in all a great day and thanks goes to Andrew VK1NAM for organising it all.
Video of VK2LC/P1 operating 40m – his first SOTA summit activation.
Further pictures, those from our event photographer Matt Jarman can be found here: http://s269.photobucket.com/user/opdu/library/SOTA%20Mt%20Taylor
40m: Paul VK5PAS/P (S2S), Peter VK3PF/P (S2S)
2m: Michael VK1XYZ, James VK1DR/P (S2S) both before and after UTC change-over, Matt VK1MA/P (S2S) both before and after UTC change-over, Andrew VK1DA/P (S2S), Murray VK1UU, Ian VK1DI/P (S2S), Glen VK1FB/P (S2S), John VK1JST/P (S2S), Andrew VK1NAM/P (S2S), Peter VK1IRC/P (S2S), Mark VK1MDC/P (S2S),