I was running late for this activation and had not been up to the mountain for quite a few years. In fact I had not seen the level of destruction by the 2003 bushfires, I might have postponed seeing that because I had heard and read about it.
The mountain has a restaurant on it which is apparently open at night. There are sometimes stargazing events open to the public.
Access to the summit is limited by a security gate which is closed to uphill traffic at 6pm. That gate is a fair way down from the summit so if you can go a bit further uphill it will save a lot of walking. I parked just below the gate and walked from there. It took me about 25 mins to get to the area I operated from, which was on the side of a fenced water reservoir. I only used 7 Mhz ssb and 14 MHz CW for this activation. I had about 10 contacts on 7 Mhz and then about the same number on CW on 20m, including contacts into Germany, Finland, the UK and New Zealand.
Signal reports received on 20m were low and I need to improve my signal strength on this band. I have a few ideas I need to try out. The best simple low antenna for dx contacts is a vertical, but it needs an effective ground radial system to be efficient. I am probably going to try using 3 elevated radials, about 1m above ground. The squid pole is a good support for the vertical radiator and as it only requires 5m of vertical radiator, the radials can be almost 2m above ground, further reducing ground losses.
On this activation I found I was being attacked by mosquitoes especially once it got darker. I had not had trouble with these on earlier activations and my fellow SOTA activator Andrew VK1NAM also had lots of mossies on Black Mountain this evening.
No photos as I got there too late.
Closed down after the contact with ZL1KLP at about 7:45 local time, quite dark by then. Have to make the most of daylight saving while we still have it. DST end date 7 April 13.
I have disabled comments as I was receiving no comments from fellow amateurs but dozens from spammers with automatically generated inane comments and links to irrelevant and usually offensive websites.