02062019 – VK3/VC-024 Mt Beckworth
Mount Beckworth Scenic Reserve not in WWFF ? Why not ? well because its (SCR) Scenic Reserve. Any way its close and has a great SOTA summit so no WWFF for you but a quick run for me.
This is a contuniation of my current plan of finding a good walk and test equipment during winter plan.
Easy access to the summit but ignore the GPS to get to the park. From Coghills Creek road, turn into Fentons Rd then right into Mountain Creek road. Turn right towards Manna Gumms camp ground. I park just before Manna Gumms in a clear open area as the track up to the summit has easy access from here. Follow the track up to the ridge line. Noting where you need to turn off once on the ridge. Its a good short (1.6Km walk for 216m height gain) walk on clear tracks but still has challanges if wet due to the rocks. Once on the summit you are presented with an open flat area with log benches. Perfect for a bit of SOTA. Deployed the double again with excellent results. Maybe having the ends off the ground is worth the effort !
Rolled out and setup cleanly. Watching the antenna carefully as not convinced it will be a rugged as the end-fed but so far the SOTABeams wire is standing up to the demands. Here is a detail view of the feeder and choke.
Received good signal reports Cant be sure if the antenna is as big a factor as propagation but these were on 5w.
The rain was looming so once secured Steve decided it was time to pack up and head home. The KX3 is a ‘shack in a box’ but a shack with leaky roof so need to keep out of rain.
04082018 – VK3/VC-024
Went to Mt Beckworth for the VK1 S2S Party.
Third attempt to activate Mt Beckworth this year, first failed as the KX3 battery was flat and didn’t take a spare up to the site, second was changed to Mt Bunnyioung as slept through the alarm. Made it this time
This is a good site for such activities as close and clear.
QRPGuys 20/30/40 vertical with an additional 6 ground wires making 9 in total.
It is hard to pick differences without actually running all the antenna up at the same time, but a much better response with the additional ground over the original 3 wires when deployed at Mt Bunnyioung recently.
Didn’t run the end fed out to gain 80m as comfortably qualified and the other sites ended on on these bands.
This was also a run with the new ‘Compact heavy-duty 7 m mast from SOTABeams’. As you can see the mast nearly fits into my backpack.
This will be great as now will not be harassed when hiking through dense bush (still not returning to Hells Gate !) Bit heaver but figure I just need to get fitter.
Good activation with 15 S2S in the fog. Also 1mm rain but not complaining about that given the drought in NSW.
anyway, great activation. Ready for VK JA ZL – EU S2S QSO Party Saturday 20 October 2018 – 06:30 UTC to 08:30 UTC (Melbourne, Australia*AEDT (UTC +11) Sat, 20 Oct 2018 5:30 pm)
VK3/VC-024 – Mt Beckworth
Given the continual HF poor propagation the use of lower bands being considered for SOTA activations. The puzzle to solve was what type of antenna to carry and deploy. Also in preparation for AM and 160M activities on ANZAC day and for giggles it was decided to activate SOTA peaks with 160M. 1st Aril was deemed a suitable date.
160 meter portable antennas for SOTA were discussed at the recent VK3 SOTA conference. Peter VK3YE proposed the inverted L. The usefulness was as an all-round antenna being good for both local and longer distances and being end fed will allow multi band use. Basically, as much wire as possible fed with an L-match coupler.
I decided to select a clear summit and deploy a end fed. The antenna was a 43m end fed using with 12m counterpoise hosted on a 7m squidpole with 9:1 Unun matching to RG174 coax back to the KX3 with the internal tuner ensuring a better match. This allowed me to work 80m and 40m. Research led me to choose 43m being near a quarter wave and a 12m counterpoise which was actually my 40m end fed antenna used to assist with tuning. Mt Beckworth was selected due to the clear summit with good access allowing for evening walk out.
Not believing that I was going to have much success with ground wave, decided to activated in the afternoon when conditions should allow contacts. Arrived on site around 17:00 local time and setup. So, there was a lot to chase with VK3BYD Warren and VK3AFW Ron out for the day whilst VK3IL David, VK3CAT Tony, VK2IO Gerard and VK2WP (VK2AOH) Nick all separately activating and camping overnight with 80 and 160M
After consulting the spots, I immediately worked VK3BYD/P Warren, then Tony VK3CAT/P and Ron VK3AFW/P on 160 CW. A great start as the summit was nearly qualified with S2S contacts.
After a AM contact with VK3GGG/P Mick it was back to work VK2IO/P Gerard, to then pick VK3PF/P Peter on 40M then to work VK2IB/P Bernard on 80M with the final contact with VK1MA/P Matt on 160M SSB.
It was a beautiful evening to be out on a Mt Beckworth (VK3/VC-024). It did get slightly wet and chilly as the sun went down but that didn’t detract from the activation.
Great activation with walk out in the evening and short run home for dinner.