VK3/VC-024 – Mt Beckworth
Given the continual HF poor propagation the use of lower bands being considered for SOTA activations. The puzzle to solve was what type of antenna to carry and deploy. Also in preparation for AM and 160M activities on ANZAC day and for giggles it was decided to activate SOTA peaks with 160M. 1st Aril was deemed a suitable date.
160 meter portable antennas for SOTA were discussed at the recent VK3 SOTA conference. Peter VK3YE proposed the inverted L. The usefulness was as an all-round antenna being good for both local and longer distances and being end fed will allow multi band use. Basically, as much wire as possible fed with an L-match coupler.
I decided to select a clear summit and deploy a end fed. The antenna was a 43m end fed using with 12m counterpoise hosted on a 7m squidpole with 9:1 Unun matching to RG174 coax back to the KX3 with the internal tuner ensuring a better match. This allowed me to work 80m and 40m. Research led me to choose 43m being near a quarter wave and a 12m counterpoise which was actually my 40m end fed antenna used to assist with tuning. Mt Beckworth was selected due to the clear summit with good access allowing for evening walk out.
Not believing that I was going to have much success with ground wave, decided to activated in the afternoon when conditions should allow contacts. Arrived on site around 17:00 local time and setup. So, there was a lot to chase with VK3BYD Warren and VK3AFW Ron out for the day whilst VK3IL David, VK3CAT Tony, VK2IO Gerard and VK2WP (VK2AOH) Nick all separately activating and camping overnight with 80 and 160M
After consulting the spots, I immediately worked VK3BYD/P Warren, then Tony VK3CAT/P and Ron VK3AFW/P on 160 CW. A great start as the summit was nearly qualified with S2S contacts.
After a AM contact with VK3GGG/P Mick it was back to work VK2IO/P Gerard, to then pick VK3PF/P Peter on 40M then to work VK2IB/P Bernard on 80M with the final contact with VK1MA/P Matt on 160M SSB.
It was a beautiful evening to be out on a Mt Beckworth (VK3/VC-024). It did get slightly wet and chilly as the sun went down but that didn’t detract from the activation.
Great activation with walk out in the evening and short run home for dinner.