VK3/VN-029 (Federation Range)
WWFF Yarra Ranges National Park (VKFF-0556)
Rare photo of Andrew activating in VK.
We walked in the ‘WILD HORSES Festival’. Was not expected or a issue but did create a problem as access to the Lake Mountain site was restricted so we had to park 2kms down the road. The additional 2kms was on the road ,in the heat it was all up hill. Fornatually we didn’t have to walk as jumped on the hippy buss and was dropped off on the site. That was an experience in itself.
The walk to Federation Range is straight forward as long as you start on the correct track (Royston Trail) Its a clear walk with consistent climb following the ski tracks through the old site and Andrew didn’t get too far ahead of me. Got on site and setup in time to secure S2S with VK3BYD and VK3PF. Comfortably qualified on CW leaving the SSB contacts to Andrew. The end fed worked a treat. I had performed some much needed maintaince as the end connector was fraying (using Araldite to enclose it) and adding addition wire as had to cut down after a serious tangle incident on Mt William. Added a length of yellow wire to the end to also increase visibility.
With 40m of wire and the 49:1 matcher the tuner in the KX gives all band support. Setup high and clear 40m returned 1:1 swr without requiring tuning.
We walked back to the carpark and kept going not waiting for the bus as down hill and had allready decided to drop the proposed second summit. Had to walk on the edge so as to avoid walking in the blistering road tar.
Good day in great conditions. Happy to grab this summit before the heat settles in as is not a spot you would want to be in should there be fires.
VK3/VC-003 – Mt Ritchie – WWFF ID – VKFF-0556
Took the ATS out to Mt Ritchie.
This is a great summit and one I do each year.
Mt Ritchie is a good winter summit as 8 points with seasonal bonus and can be completed in harsh weather. You can access the summit from the north in summer with a 4WD but I prefer to park off Acheron Way at the gate on Road 15 and follow Road 10 to the summit. Easy clear access but the roads were not open due to several trees down. Not a issue as walking. Ive been off track in this area and its slow and wet. No need and no intent. Didn’t take the GPS. This is not a reckless choice as used hiker app on watch;
Its a 7k walk and all uphill to the summit. The summit is clear and open with enough room for long wire antenna. Several trees to support as well as sign posts to secure squid poles to.
This year it was time to take the ATS out. Keen on the ATS as it supports 80m. Setting up an antenna for 80M has challenges due to the space the wire requires. A shorter length (26.8m 88f) wire and L Match Tuner has been raised to address. Whilst this setup matched 80 to 15m, it was too touchy on 80m so took a trapped 20/30/40m end fed to be sure. Really didn’t want to blow out the transistors on the first activation.
There was light rain and cold, no snow but it was still cold. I addressed this with the proved method of layers on and still had two layers backup in the pack.These small radios do not do rain but to be fair neither does the KX3. The FT817 in its bag is best for such conditions. Ok but 817 requires external tuners and is heavy both itself and on the battery. The KX3 is brilliant with internal batteries and tuner and lighter than 817 but not as rugged. The KD1JV devices (MTR & ATS) are small, light and efficient but requires external tuners and batteries.
Secured the summit on 40M and CW with a P2P with VK5FLEA in Nurragi Conservation Reserve (VKFF-2247) and the usual loyal chasers.
Happy with the performance of the radio and antenna. Called on 30 and 20 with no takers regretted not taking 80. After an hour on the summit packed up and walked back down in the light rain.
The quest for the ideal SOTA radio is ongoing ….
Parked at the gate of Road Fifteen off Acheron Road. Got out, grated up and got on with the walk,
Mt Ritchie is a great walk. Your are walking down a maintained road that is seasonally shut. No issues with navigation or rough areas just a case of keep going up until you reach the summit.
Using a Garmin VirbX and still getting use to it. The mountain is square just my mount is not aligned.
Not as much snow this year as previous. The summit is a clear open space with signs to use as squidpole mount and enough room for a long antenna. I took 41m end fed as expecting the use of 80M given recent conditions.
Looking down the antenna here to the operating position. 41m end fed. The KX3 tunes it to everything. 9 contacts. All CW. Two S2s. First for the day with VK5CZ on VK5/NE-082 and after a lot of work with VK4JAZ on VK4/SE-117. This contact demonstrated the value of CW. It was marginal at best but we managed to get through. Two 80m contacts to work the local CW enthusiasts. Despite being 10℃ and being a ‘sunny’ day the wind was chilling and kept rugged up. Spent an hour on the summit and decided it was time to head home picking up another summit on the way.
VK3/VN-030 Mt Strickland
After reading Paul VK3HN blog I added Mt Strickland to the list for the day. Had been up and yes it was was a clean run.
Headed back down Acheron Road to turn right into Feiglins road to Mt Strickland.
Operating position on Mt Strickland. This is a open summit with enough room for the biggest antenna. I ran up the 20/40 dipole as was intending to qualify and keep heading home.
Park contact with VK4SMA in Mount Perry Conservation park and two ZL contacts. Headed back down to Acheron Road then into Healesville and home. Back in time for tea.
2 Summits, 2 S2S and 22K steps for the day.