Bobbara Hill, VK2/ST-044 on 4th December 2015

Although I had activated this summit earlier in the year I wanted to get it into my log for the 6m/10m challenge.  So when an opportunity presented itself, with VK1AD on Mt Ainslie for an S2S, I packed the gear into the car and headed off towards Binalong, which is the nearest village to Bobbara hill.

I forgot how much longer it would take to walk up this hill in the heat.  It was about 30C when I left the car and by the time I was half way up I was confident it had risen to 40.  I finally reached my operating position after 45 mins of climbing and set up a shelter for the radio and the operator as the sun was still very strong.  Getting into the shade of the shelter was a huge relief.  I erected the squid pole with the linked dipole, which worked well.

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I started on 10m and had contacts with three Canberra stations, Matt VK1MA, Andrew VK1AD and Ingmar VK1BGT, who was kind (and keen) enough to drive up to Dairy Farmers Hill, just west of the Tuggeranong Parkway near the Scrivener Dam.  I could hear him faintly as he talked to Canberra stations en route, but when he got to the top of that hill near the Arboretum, he was finally able to hear me, albeit weakly.  I also had a call from Roald VK1MTS on the repeater who said he had listened for me but not heard me.  He is located at the eastern border of the ACT so it was a long haul for a tropo contact on 10m especially with only 5w from my transmitter.

I then called cq for a while further on 10m, on both ssb and on cw, without success.  I changed the antenna over to 20m, finding that one of the links could not actually be reconnected, so I was unable to go to 40m as planned.  I repaired the link later at home, crimping and soldering a new connector (spade lug).

On 20m I heard not much activity on the ssb end of the band but I  spotted myself on 14.062 and called cq for a while, netting VK6NU, VK4RF and several Europeans who were excellent signal strengths.

I am convinced of the advantages of these shelters in hot weather.  Just need to sort out a good way of carrying them.  The bag has straps which are not really much use when you are already carrying a back pack and walking with a squid pole.  I can’t use a HT while all that junk is occupying my hands so I don’t usually run the HT while walking to or from a summit.  Having a better operating environment is very good in hot weather.

Inside the shelter - shade and coolth
Inside the shelter – shade and coolth