The Canberra Region Amateur Radio Club received authorisation to use the callsign Vi100ACT during the month of March 2013, to recognise the Canberra Centenary. I volunteered to coordinate the roster of members who were keen to use the callsign during the month and rostered myself on for the 40m, 20m and 2m bands on the evening of 1 March when I would be activating Mt Ainslie as a SOTA station.
For this activation I set up the 20m dipole as well as the 40m dipole. I made about 15 contacts on 40m including VK1/2/3/4/5/7, ZL2 and FK8. A few contacts were made on 2m FM, then I moved to 20m and self spotted on sotawatch.org to announce that I was calling on 14.061 CW. I then worked 8 contacts into England, Germany, Austria and France (G, DL, OE and F) with reports varying from 339 (weak) to 559 (fair). This seemed a fair result for the first use of the 20m dipole, not yet optimised for length or angle. The power output of the FT817 is 5 watts.
The two dipoles shared a common feedpoint at the top of the squid pole support, and the dipoles were strung out in roughly the same plane, the longer one at the top and the shorter one below it. No impact on the 40m antenna behaviour was apparent. The SWR on 20m was not ideal as there was some reflected power indicated on the 817 meter.
The Vi100ACT callsign is to be used on various bands by different club members during the month of March 2013. The official centenary of Canberra’s founding/naming ceremony is on the 12th of March.
I was advised by Andrew VK1NAM that this hill was fairly difficult due to not only the climb needed (I measured about 420m, from car park 685m to summit 1105m) but the number of steep sections in the path. He was certainly right. I didn’t give up but I was close to it when I got to what seemed to be the high point of the road, then it started to fall and did not seem likely to resume a climb. At that point I called Andrew on the phone and asked for advice. Turns out that the summit is in bushland, quite rocky and treed, and I was within a few metres of the point where he had left the path to negotiate the final 100m of climbing through the bush.
I got to the summit at about 18:48 local time after leaving the car at about 17:10. Quite a long trip but understandable for 420m of climbing. Set up the 40m dipole, called cq and immediately had a contact with Andrew VK1NAM who was in Melbourne on a family trip. Another 10 or so contacts followed on 40m and 2 on 2m FM including contacts on both bands with Matt VK1MA who was having problems at Black Mtn on 2m due to the TV and other transmitters at that site. Although my signal was strong enough, spurious signals produced in the front end of his receiver were making it difficult copy at his end.
One contact on 40m was with Luke VK3HJ and we had a cw contact as well as ssb. My first activator CW contact.
Packed up at 19:45 local just before sundown. Left the summit just before 20:00 and got back to the car 1 hour later with a bit of moonlight helping me find the path and avoid rocks. Nice lights from the city. If I took my camera I would have better shots to show here.