Having day release (thanks wifey) to attend the Ballarat hamfest saw me spend some time activating two more local mountains. Both Mt Warrenheip VK3/VC-019 and Mt Bunninyong VK3/VC-018 are ~10km form Ballarat and are the remains of old volcanoes.
This was my second summit for the day, having worked Mt Bunninyong earlier in the afternoon.
After my previous hill activation and pack-up, I headed back into Ballarat to grab a late lunch and head back to this hill, It is located at the northern end of ballarat, adjacent to the Highway back to Melbourne.
The Mountain had suffered a fire earlier in the year, and the view of the new growth (purpley/blue spring flowers) most likely from a weed against the thin foliage and black trees made for this nice photo on the way up.
I arrived and unpacked my gear, headed down the track a little on foot and then back to the summit to setup, This time I attached my pole to a pole adjacent a track to one of the communications tower compounds adjacent the trig marker. Setup my case on the ground and used my backpack to sit on.
It was 3pm local time and the band conditions had improved dramatically since the previous hilltop activation. This time Phil VK3BHR arrived as I was in the process of connecting up. He went for a walk and then headed down the way from me for some separation to setup while I proceeded to get my 4 QSO’s to qualify before handing over the mountain to him.
Contacts were a little slow to start with, but then I worked 9 stations back to back in ~20mins. A lot of the stations had finished JOTA and were at home now, I worked S2S with Heath on Mt Bunninyong and worked a couple of the SA/VK5 conservation parks operators who were out and about portable. Signals were much improved (and I even worked tony , vk3cat at 1watt) until he realised he was on low power! I handed over the summit to phil and headed up to 20m to see if I could work any DX, again calling and replying to various calls, but wasn’t successful with my modest setup.
By now it was 4pm, and I packed up and headed home, having had a fun day with the hamfest and 2 portable setups, 2 summit activations and a day just playing radio! The gear worked well, my new battery easily powered the 817, and now I’m motivated to build a more efficient antenna to improve my station performance.
|Heath VC018 S2S
|Joe VC018 S2S
|Tony (1 watt)