VK2JI – SOTA in VK2 – 2nd. February 2014 Activation of VK2/HU-080 (Summit Point) and VK2/HU-054 (Broken Back Ridge).

Preparation:

I have already activated Summit Point in December (see report on this site – which also contains directions on how to get to Summit Point) however Rod VK2LAX, who was activating again with me this time, had not and also as we are now in a new calendar year, I can claim another activator point be re-activating the summit.

VK2/HU-080 Summit Point.

S-Point-800

Sculpture rock at base of Summit Point.

This summit is a relatively close location only about 1 hours drive from home and access roads while a little rough are reasonable. So an easy summit to get to? Well not completely – the climb up the very steep and slippery due to many years of leaves and other undergrowth, hill with heavy gear packs on made it quite a climb for both of us. OK, I admit it – I’m not fit, and CRIKEY do I know it when trying a climb like this. Anyway we both arrived safely on the top of Summit point and after about 5

minutes and some good long drinks of water, we were ready to set-up.

Rod had brought along his new 10m Squid Pole, which when collapsed was not much longer than my (short) 6m version. This is a new item available from SOTABeams or DXWire and well worth a look. Although I had all of my equipment with me, we used Rod’s FT857D, 10m Squiddy and SOTABeams linked dipole on both activations. This enabled us to run 30w output rather than the usual 5w from my FT-817.

We were all set up are ready to go well before UTC roll-over and work many stations on 40 and 20 metres (see list at end of this article).

After completing this activation and working all stations who called, we had and even more difficult job getting back down the hillside back to the car, but it was managed with only minor scrapes.

Broken Back Ridge – VK2/HU-054

Microwave relay towers on Broken Back Ridge.

Microwave towers on Broken Back Ridge.

I had previously tried to get to Broken Back Ridge but thought better of it when I was about 25% of the way up the access track in my low ground clearance 2WD car and it was getting dark. I now know that was the right decision as in Rod’s 4WD, the rest of the track from where I turned around last time got worse to drive. Of course in a 4WD it took about the same time to drive the complete track as it had taken me to get a quarter of the way up it.

Once we arrived at the summit we were in the company of 5 microwave relay station towers of varying height and some great views, as you will see from the video.

We arrived around 03:00 UTC, walked down out of the AZ and back in and set up in the shade. Contact from here were more difficult to get, possibly due to the time of day, the interference from the towers or perhaps as we weren’t able to get the antenna as high or as straight as we would have liked. There was a fresh breeze as otherwise this may have been a really uncomfortable activation. Operators in other states were suffering an awful lot more than we were with the heat however. Unlike Summit Point, we managed no Summit-to-Summit contacts from Broken Back Ridge. One VK4 activator we had hoped for that had been spotted several times as we drove up the tracks had unfortunately packed up by the time we got set-up.

All in all however this was a very enjoyable day with Rod’s new 10m Squid pole being very much the star of the show – the higher you can get an antenna the better it seems to work.

Video

Equipment

Yaesu FT857ND transceiver (running at 30W output)

SOTABeams linked dipole in Inverted-V format on a 10m squid pole

Stations worked from Summit Point pre UTC Rollover (all on 40m):

By Rod VK2LAX

VK2JNG/P Gerard
VK2FGJW/P Greg S2S on VK2/CT-042
VK3FPSR Peter
VK2DI Ian
VK3PF Peter
VK1NAM Andrew
VK2CCW/P Mike
VK5TX/P Ben S2S on VK2/NW-006

By Ed VK2JI

VK2FGJW/P Greg S2S on VK2/CT-042
VK3EK Rob
VK2CCW/P Mike
VK5TX/P Ben S2S on VK2/NW-006

Stations worked from Summit Point on 40m and 20m post UTC Rollover:

By Rod VK2LAX

VK5TX/P Ben S2S on VK2/NW-006 (40m)
VK2FGJW/P Greg S2S on VK2/CT-042 (40m)
VK3FPSR Peter (40m)
VK1NAM Andrew (40m)

VK2AXL Jack (40m)

VK2JNG/P Gerard (40m)
VK5NIG/P Nigel S2S on VK5/SE-013 (40m)
VK5WG Nev (20m)
VK6MB Mike (20m)

By Ed VK2JI

VK5TX/P Ben S2S on VK2/NW-006 (40m)
VK2FGJW/P Greg S2S on VK2/CT-042 (40m)
VK5NIG/P Nigel S2S on VK5/SE-013 (40m)
VK1MDC Mark (40m)

Stations worked from Broken Back Ridge on 20m & 40m:

By Rod VK2LAX

VK2DAG Matt (40m)
VK2YK Adam (40m)
VK1NAM Andrew (40m)
VK3BHR Phil (40m)
VK2FGJW/P Greg (40m)
VK2FADV Jim (40m)
VK5CV Ian (20m)
VK3AMB Bernard (20m)
VK4TWS Bill (20m)
VK3AFW Ron (20m)
VK3YAR Raymond (20m)
VK4OZY Dave (20m)
VK5NIG Nigel (20m)

By Ed VK2JI

VK2JNG/P Gerard (40m)
VK2DAG Matt (40m)
VK3FPSR Peter (40m)
VK3SSB Ash (20m)
VK3CAT Tony (20m)
VK5WG Nev (20m)
VK3PF Peter (20m)
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