New Year’s Day, 1st January 2017
As a SOTA fan, one cannot allow New Year’s Day to come and go without getting out and activating a Summit or two. And so, despite an ankle injury and ignoring all good advice to the contrary, I stubbornly decided that I would be out and about this New Year’s Day.
Yes these two ankles do belong to the same person, namely me! I’m not absolutely sure what I’ve done… I went to see the doctor, who prescribed me some pills.
“Take these,” he said, “and you’ll be better in seven days”.
“Oh,” I said, “and what if I don’t take them?”
“Well then,” he said, “it’ll take a whole week.”
So I’m taking the pills and it isn’t better yet but that was only five days ago so his time’s not up yet.
Of course I wasn’t about to allow something as silly as this to stop me going out to activate a Summit, but I did compromise by choosing one that I could drive to without having to hike any distance. I have activated Wagra Mountain a couple of times before and knew that the access trail to it was likely to be a little rough, but the 4WD would cope with that and my ankle injury wouldn’t stop me from driving. What could go wrong?
The answer of course is quite a lot! But in fact nothing much did go wrong, apart from taking a wrong turning and finding a tree down across the trail, but we got around that. My lady and I were late arriving on the Summit though, and I only managed to make a couple of contacts before the midnight UTC roll-over. Rats! Only one 6-point claim for this trip, then.
This time out I decided to use the Barrett 940 with a 30-metre long wire antenna, mainly because that would allow me to work all bands without having to get up and adjust the antenna. The speed and convenience of the automatic ATU is certainly an advantage of this setup, though it probably isn’t the most efficient.
I had not bothered to check the propagation forecasts for the day because it really didn’t matter – I was determined to get on the air come what may! As it turned out, conditions were reasonable but, as expected, there was no NVIS on 40 metres. Stations from a few hundred kilometres distant were coming in at good strength and both 10 and 14MHz were lively.
There were a few march flies in evidence but a generous application of Bushmans soon sorted them out.
Stations worked on 7MHz CW:
VK3BYD/P (S2S VK3/VE-237), VK2AOH/P (S2S VK2/CT-012), VK7CW, VK2IO/P (S2S VK2/HU-093), VK5EEE,
Stations worked on 7MHz SSB:
VK3ARH/P (S2S VK3/VS-027), VK3ARR/P (S2S VK3/VE-008), VK5PAS/P (S2S VK5/SE-001), VK5FMAZ/P (S2S VK5/SE-001), VK3SG (S2S VK3/VE-007), VK2IO/P (S2S VK2/HU-093), VK3TST/P (S2S VK3/VE-034),
Stations worked on 10MHz CW:
VK2AOH/P (S2S VK2/CT-012), VK5EEE,
Stations worked on 14MHz CW:
Stations worked on 14MHz SSB:
VK6QS (S2S VK6/SW-009),