Mount Stromlo is a popular Canberra destination for space nerds and cyclists, tourists, hikers and, amateur radio operators who enjoy SOTA. Today I had planned to activate this easy, drive-up summit at 8am local – so that suggested I be there by 0730 to 0745 in order to set up. Hmm…. the boom gates to the grounds were down, with a temporary (A4 sheet of cardboard) notice stating the opening hours were 8am to 4pm…. so I sat in my car and waited. Good old ANU, at precisely 8am the boom gates opened.. not a security patrol in sight!
On this activation I wanted to renew my interest in operating in the 1.2 GHz ( 23cm) and 2.4 GHz ( 13cm) bands.
I opened up on the 2m VHF band 146.5 MHz FM and quickly found myself on 144.2 MHz ssb. From there I enjoyed a couple of Summit to Summit (S2S) contacts with Andrew VK1AD who was not far away on Mt Coree VK1/AC-023 and Al VK1RX who was on Spring Hill VK2/ST-036 and Andrew VK1DA on Mt Mundoonen VK2/ST-053. From there we jumped up to the 23cm band SSB and repeated the exercise! We also added 13cm SSB to the S2S tally. In addition to the S2S, some local chasers added to the fun. Unfortunately I was unable to make contact with Andrew VK1DA on 23cm or 13cm.
To operate on these 1.2 and 2.4 GHz bands I need transverters which can just be seen on the feed end of each antenna. These are fed an intermediate frequency (IF) by the FT-817 which is top-right of the table. Also visible on my table – the KX-2 transceiver for HF and, a bit of SOTA class, a Begali Camelback Morse key which ONLY goes on drive-up activations, a Lenovo tablet for my logging app, and some solar panels to keep said tablet fully charged and also my phone. Normally such little luxuries are left at home – they pack a bit of weight for long hikes.. My backup log of course is the trusty Staedtler clutch pencil and note pad!
Today being Sunday, the usual steady flow of curious tourists, hikers and cyclists, ….. and a mob of over 30 kangaroos who came in quite close for a look! https://youtu.be/S_RY0rI4Y10
A fun day on an easy summit. A total of 31 contacts of which 15 were Summit to Summit ( some with repeat operators but on several frequency bands and operating modes). I made just one contact into New Zealand which was a little disappointing. On the home front there were chasers from the ACT, NSW, VIC, QLD and SA from 7MHz up to 2.4 GHz, covering FM, SSB and of course CW.
Pre UTC rollover (21 Jan)
|21:45||VK1AD/P||2m||FM||Andrew s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-023|
|21:47||VK1RX||2m||FM||Al s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-036|
|21:56||VK1KW||2m||SSB||Rob s59 r59|
|21:57||VK1DA||2m||SSB||Andrew s59 r59|
|22:02||VK1AD/P||23cm||SSB||Andrew s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-023|
|22:03||VK1RX/P||23cm||SSB||Al s53 r59 S2S VK2/ST-036|
|22:30||VK1AD/P||13cm||SSB||Andrew s59 r59 S2S VK1/AC-023|
|22:33||VK1RX/P||13cm||SSB||Al s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-036|
|22:46||VK5HAA||20m||CW||John s589 r599|
|22:48||VK5IS||20m||CW||Ian s579 r559|
|22:50||VK3PF||20m||CW||Peter s589 r559|
|22:51||VK5CZ||20m||CW||Ian s589 r559|
|22:53||VK2IO/P||20m||CW||Gerard s529 r529 S2S VK2/SY-001|
|23:03||VK1DA/P||40m||CW||Andrew s559 r579 S2S VK2/ST-053|
|23:07||VK4TJ||20m||CW||John s589 r559|
|23:30||VK3UA||10m||CW||Mark s558 r419|
|23:34||VK1CT||10m||CW||Chris s589 r559|
|23:37||VK3ARH||10m||CW||Allen s559 r539|
|23:56||VK1AD/P||2m||FM||Andrew s53 r55 S2S VK1/AC-005|
|23:58||VK1MA||2m||FM||Matt s59 r59|
Post UTC rollover (22 Jan)
|00:01||VK1DA/P||2m||FM||Andrew s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-053|
|00:10||VK1AD/P||2m||FM||Andrew s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-005|
|00:26||VK1AD||23cm||SSB||Andrew s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-005|
|00:27||VK1MA||23cm||SSB||Matt s55 r59|
|00:31||VK1RX/2||23cm||SSB||Al s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-036|
|00:40||VK5CZ||15m||CW||Ian s599 r539|
|01:00||VK2GAZ||40m||CW||Garry s579 r579|
|01:02||VK2YW||40m||CW||John s599 r579|
|01:06||VK2IO/P||40m||CW||Gerard s559 r579 S2S VK2/SY-001|
|01:22||VK1DI/2||2m||FM||Ian s59 r59 S2S VK2/ST-006|