Saturday 31 January 2015
The weather forecast was bleak, matching the view out the windows! Wet, dark grey clouds and very strong winds were around all day. I decided to catch up on getting the log entries ready to upload and to write something about the several previous days’ activities. I even posted them to this site! During the day, I managed to chase several activators on 40 m, thanks to being able to use Rex’s station.
Saturday evening saw 8 people (7 amateurs and one wife) at the Cascade Hotel for a SOTA gathering over an excellent meal. Discussion was fairly general early, but turned to all things SOTA after we had all eaten dinner. Both Justen and I had taken our SOTA packs with all the gear (except food and water).
Justen and others were impressed with the mass of my link dipole. He then compared the complete systems, including the coax, when he won out on total mass. However, I defended my choice of 9001 coax (similar to RG-8X, with multicore centre conductor) over RG-174 – I can use my coax on 144 MHz without a hefty loss penalty.
Sunday 1 February 2015
White Spur VK7/SW-127 532 m 2 points Not previously activated
South West National Park VKFF-461
Sunday morning was still bleak in Hobart, but the forecast for the west coast was looking reasonable. I decided to attempt an 8-point summit in the South West National Park, so headed off past Mount Field National Park and on to Maydena. The weather seemed to be improving as I moved westward. However, by time I arrived at the launching place for my target, the summit had its head buried in the cloud and it was raining. Furthermore, the swirling of the clouds indicated stronger winds up higher. I abandoned the attempt and headed further west. As I approached Strathgordon, I saw the locked gate leading up to Twelvetrees Range VK7/SW-089. The walk would be about 3.5 km, with a climb of around 380 m vertical. I decided to think about it, and drove on through Strathgordon and to the Gordon Dam for a quick look.
On the return trip from the dam, I saw a road heading towards a summit – White Spur. I thought that it would also be likely to have a gate, but headed up the track. It was a little rough in places – definitely 4WD or at least high clearance required. The track continues on past the high point, dropping down to the transmission line towers. I parked at the high point. A rough 4WD track heads in the direction of the ridge line, but does not go very far, so it is not really worth heading up.
I loaded up and climbed up to the ridgeline, then headed south towards the summit. One needs to dodge some rocks in places, and also some thickets of scrub. Otherwise, one is walking across terrain typical of the South West: spare grasses and sedges, and low scrub, up to knee height.
I was set up by around 0200Z, and I started on 40 m. Rex VK7MO was first in the log, followed by Marc VK3OHM who kindly spotted me – there is no mobile reception this far west! I worked 25 stations on 40 m, included Glenn VK3YY/p and Kevin VK3KAB/p on Mount Selma for a S2S. I then worked 8 stations on 20 m before returning to 40 m to catch Tony VK3CAT for the last contact. It was then 0314Z, so I decided to pack up when further calls had no responses.
I headed back to the car, then back down to the main road, through Strathgordon and back towards Maydena. I stopped beside the road and tried calling for about 30 minutes on 40 and 20 m without any responses, so I packed up and headed back to Hobart.