For some thing different this time round I decided to try back pack portable, something I have wanted to do for some time. Black Hill is 467m above sea level was the perfect site to try. In this part of the world that is high, as we do not have any mountain or alpine country in this state.
Hiking in took a little longer than anticipated. It took my in my current unfit state about 1hr to get from the car up to the top for operating. The track was a lot harder going than I thought, mostly due to terrain (Picture Left about the average). I was expecting a fire track of some kind. From the car to the operating Site 1.6Km elevation gain of 278m with a max gradient of 47% and an average of 18%. As can be seen on graph below it was quite a challenge. Having the 23cm yagi get caught on in trees on the side of the track made life kinda interesting.
The site as pictured below was sheltered by trees, but this did not seem to have any negative effects. The trees also provided a nice bit of shelter from the wether was it was a little average early in the day and was hiking though the rain at one point on the way up. Thankfully it cleared up and I had no problems with WX for the rest of the day.
- Yaesu FT-817
- iCOM T-90A HT
- iCOM 23cm HT
- ASUS EEE PC
- 12AHR SLA Battery
- LDG 817 Tuner
- 6m Slim Jim (VK5NE)
- Arrow 2m/70cm yagi
- 23cm Yagi
- Fishing Hand Line
- Old Camera Tripod
All this gear along with food and water weighted about 14kg, with 5kg being the battery. The antennas were carried over a shoulder while every thing else went in my day pack. The antenna mounts and tripod system were just thrown together the night before and worked so well, no problems with tipping or swinging around. 🙂
Operating was a blast discovering what is possible with QRP (5W). The elevation of the site meant working across the Gulf was a line of site path. But I did not realise how good this was going to be until I was half way up monitoring the 70cm call channel on the HT in my pocket when I heard Andy VK5LA at Wool Bay calling CQ. I was able to talk back to him form the HT. This was a good sign, as I climbed higher could start to hear more and more activity on the HT. Once I got to the top I quickly set up the antennas as the contest had been under way for about an hour. I Booted the logging computer up and started making contacts on mostly SSB (which was nice for a change). I worked a few stations on FM on 2/70 using my HT. The 3el beam on 2m came into its own when I heard VK5KC David calling CQ. I know he was going to be down onKangaroo Island so I swung the beam around and there he was no problem at all. I we worked on 70cm then the contact of the day was 23cm FM to Kangaroo Island a path of 138kms. This brought a big smile to my face. A few other interesting contacts thought out the day as well
The view on the hike down showed how high up I really was (left). It is an awesome park to hike around in as well.
A few things to consider for next time. A proper day pack with a better harness system, LiFe/ LiPo battery Lead is to heavy for this kinda stuff. Some microwave bands, and a better 6m antenna just in case there is an opening.
Catch you all next time, as I combine two great hobbies.
73 de VK5AKH
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