2020 Christmas trip to Wodonga – Day 18

Saturday 2 January 2021

The weather forecast was for possible severe thunderstorms across much of Victoria, mainly in the west and southwest on the morning, but developing in other regions later in the day. The forecast for the Albury-Wodonga area suggested that conditions should be okay in the morning, so I decided to head out for another activation.

Jarvis Creek Plateau VK3/VE-265 701 m 4 points
Jarvis Creek Plateau Regional Park VKFF-0969

I had activated this summit on 17 December, but decided to visit the summit again. I drove out to Old Tallangatta and up Plateau Road. I parked in the same spot as my previous visit and set up in essentially the same spot and in the same manner: a line over a tree branch to support the doublet, the folding table and camp chair for operating, with the gear on the table.

I was set up and operational just after 2300 UTC. I spotted for 40 m CW and worked eight stations in around 20 minutes. I moved to 40 m SSB and worked seven stations. I moved to 20 m CW and worked five stations before UTC midnight.

I moved to 40 m CW to work Andrew VK1DA on VK2/SM-093 before returning to 20 m CW. I listened for a few minutes before finding a clear frequency and spotting myself. I worked three stations, including Melbourne – very short skip for 20 m. I moved to 20 m SSB and again spotted, working five stations before callers dried up.

I moved to 40 m SSB, where 15 minutes of calling yielded only four contacts. I moved to 40 m CW, where another r15 minutes yielded only two contacts.

At 0100 UTC, I moved up to the VKFF focus frequency for 40 m SSB and worked 10 stations. I next tried 30 m SSB, working one station only. A spot appeared, so I jumped back to 40 m SSB to work Ron VK3AFW/p on VK3/VT-022. I returned to 30 m SSB and worked another regular – Ian VK5CZ.

For something different, I listened on 10 m SSB, where I found a couple of weaker stations working. I found a clear frequency and spotted. I worked 16 stations over the next 30 minutes, including one JA, a ZL, VK7 and several in VK4, plus Ian VK5CZ once again. I decided to eat lunch, with the radio running on the same frequency. A station near Tokyo Bay came up and started calling and I soon had him in the log.

After finishing lunch, I returned to 40 m SSB to chase Stuart VK3UAO in VKFF-2103. I then decided to have a listen around the band and heard Joe operating VK3SRC, so I called in to say hello. I soon had another two calls in the log.

I was aware that Ron VK3AFW was heading to another summit. I decided to not move to another summit myself and to remain at my current location. I pulled out my laptop and the IC-7300. I soon had the IC-7300 set up and operational for WSJT modes, with the power set to 20 W. I managed to a JA station on 17 m FT8. I tried calling CQ for several minutes with no responses. I listened on 28 MHz, 24 MHz and 21 MHz FT8 frequencies, seeing few signals. I moved to 20 m FT8 and soon worked a ZL station. The a spot appeared, so I jumped to 40 m SSB and worked Ron VK3AFW on Mt Skene VK3/VE-031. I returned to 20 m FT8 and managed to work VK6IR and Gerard VK2IO. The sky was looking more threatening, so I closed down and packed up. I had 73 stations in the log.

I retraced my route back to Wodonga.

Thanks to all who worked me during the activation.

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