A winter day without power

A power outage was scheduled for this day and I was interested in possibly making a purchase in Castlemaine, so the decision was made for a shorter road trip….

Friday 16 June 2017

I was underway at around 0800 local, well before the scheduled outage start time. I travelled to Melbourne, with a short detour to purchase a set of snow chains. That added more time than expected, but I safely arrived at my first destination in the anticipated time window. I inspected the intended purchase and even managed to make a contact with Gerard VK2IO/p on VK2/MN-075 on 40 m CW. After further discussions, the purchase was made prior to departing.

I then headed to Harcourt to grab some lunch and then up to Mount Alexander summit.

Mount Alexander VK3/VN-016 741 m 4 points
Mount Alexander Regional Park VKFF-0973

I set up using a line over a tree branch at about 10 m and ran out the heavy duty link dipole that normally lives in the car. First in the log was Neil VK4HNS/p in Gatton National Park – a Park to Park contact first off. Four minutes later, Rob VK4AAC/2 in VKFF-0406 called me. After about 15 minutes, callers became scarce and it became hard work.

Approaching 0500Z I decided to change bands to 30 m. During the change, I heard Bill VK4FW call me. By time I had changed the antenna back to 0 m, Bill had gone – sorry Bill! Back to 30 m, I worked only Gerard VK2IO/m, about 30 minutes since I had worked him as my last contact on 40 m before the antenna change.

I switched the antenna again, this time going to 80 m. This yielded 4 VK3 stations. After a further 5 minutes of calling without responses, I switched back to 40 m, yielding 20 contacts in the next hour, including a CW contact with Gerard VK2IO/p on VK2/MN-045. At 0643 Z, I worked 3 VK4 stations on CW before going back to 80 m, which yielded another 4 contacts. I tried 30 m again briefly, yielding another 2 contacts. Considerable time calling earlier on 20 m had yielded no contacts. With 48 contacts in the log, I decided to pack up and start the long drive home. Overall, a good day.

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