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.
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
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.
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
By Ed VK2JI
Stations worked from Summit Point on 40m and 20m post UTC Rollover:
By Rod VK2LAX
VK2AXL Jack (40m)