A long anticipated activation…. No, not necessarily for the 8 point ( plus winter bonus) summit, but how I got there! My “new” SOTA chariot, a 2012 T31 turbo diesel Nissan XTrail…. This is the first of I hope many similar activations over the coming years…
The drive to Mt Cowangerong is just over an hour – plus a couple of minutes for my much-needed caffeine boost ‘Drive-Thru’ diversion en-route. From the south side of Canberra I drove through Queanbeyan to the Kings Highway, then turned right on to Captains Flat road… With a massive storm and torrential rain for much of Thursday, I did wonder how Captains Flat Road which had been closed due local flooding, and the Mt Cowangerong Fire Trail, would hold up. Captains Flat road is currently in terrible condition but is thankfully undergoing much needed repairs… A good 10 to 15 minutes was added to the trip thanks to reduced speed limits and roadworks… and the watchful eye of the NSW Highway Patrol who observed me from their not so stealthy vantage point….. no tickets! Once through the village of Captains Flat you continue along Captains Flat road towards Braidwood and then turn right onto the Cowangerong Fire Trail. Though somewhat eroded due to the recent rain, the fire trail is in quite good condition – though I do recommend a 4WD.
I was joined on the summit by Andrew VK2ZRK…. I was the first VK1 Sota activator that Andrew has met who is NOT called Andrew!!! Sorry to break the trend! – Thank goodness for individual callsigns! 🙂
Despite the forecast of possible showers, we were spared that annoyance – however at a tad over 1300m ASL, it was on the cool side.
Brief Activation Summary
2 metre FM back to Canberra was remarkably good. I used my Yaesu FT-60R hand-held for the local callbacks immediately following the weekly WIA broadcast via the VK1RGI Ginini repeater, and then swapped to the FT-817 and the increasingly popular “oblong loop” antenna for the 2m simplex part of my activation. On the downside, the VK1 Winter SOTA QSO party was not well supported by local activators but we still managed a couple of welcome 2m S2S both sides of roll-over.
Here is a link to Andrew VK1AD’s invaluable web site and the oblong or rectangular-loop. https://vk1nam.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/antenna-project-2m-145-mhz-rectangular-loop/
With no other 2m chasers or activators about I chopped to HF.
HF was all CW with success on both 40m and 20m. I had a fleeting contact with VK6NU on 15m, but he vanished mid exchange – so it was not logged.
My thanks to Andrew VK2ZRK for joining me at the summit after working all night. Andrew VK1AD for his efforts in organising and promoting the VK1 Winter SOTA party and to Andrew VK1DA also for promoting the event as well the 2m FM and 20m CW S2S and , Andrew VK1MBE….. Gerard VK2IO, Wade VK1MIC and Rod VK1ACE for the S2S contacts.
Thanks also to chasers ZL1TM, ZL3RI, VK2WP, VK2YW, VK3BEZ, VK5IS.
73 and safe travels to your next summit!