Mt Banks SOTA activation 8/3/2015

Mt Banks VK2/CT-032 VKFF-041 Blue Mountains NP 1060m 6pts (0459z – 0659z)

Route options to Mt Banks

Route options to Mt Banks

A 10 min drive and 30 min walk from Mt Tomah. Mt Banks is my second closest 6-point summit and the whole of the activation zone is within the Blue Mountains National Park so is attractive for those seeking the VKFF awards. The summit is very prominent above the surroundings.

Getting there

There are two approaches to the summit. The shorter one is along a direct track from the carpark “via ridge” which starts just behind the rock in the photo. The longer one “via road” follows the road shown on the left of the photo for over a km and then a walking track winds its way to the summit via the back of the mountain. Unfortunately, the turnoff to the walking track is not marked and is easy to miss. I went this way last time and found the distance was much longer yet the walk up was just as steep so now recommend the shorter track. In fact the short track was closed for several months due to bushfire damage but it has now been reopened.

Mt Banks

Mt Banks

I set up at the trig point using the marker as a support for the squid pole, the same as last time but paid more attention to orient my antenna NW-SE. This time I did the activation standing up using the raised platform as a table. There had been no new summits activated since leaving Mt Tomah so I was feeling lucky as it had taken 90 mins from closedown there to startup here. A run of 5 S2S on 40m SSB started the activation.

Through the bands

There was less time available so fewer bands were exercised on CW and SSB compared to Mt Tomah. In turn worked through 6m-ssb, 20m-cw, 30m-cw, 40m-cw, 15m-ssb, 20m-ssb, 30m-ssb then 40m-ssb. Again no contacts on 6m-ssb and at this spot on the activation zone there is a clear takeoff in all directions. I also called on 6m-FM just in case. There was no response on 20m-cw but a pleasing number on 30m-cw and 40m-cw. From the summit there was no problem with mobile coverage for spotting and receiving updates from SOTA watch. One spot did escape with a wrong summit code so chasers, please check you have the right one.


Track viewed from the summit

Track viewed from the summit

On 15m-ssb unexpectedly worked “locals” VK2YK (100km) and VK2LEE (200km). Dropping to 20m-ssb a call from DL1DVE reminded me of the time and that long path to EU was open. Unfortunately, just like at Mt Tomah, no VK6s were worked and I figured there was no-one chasing there today. There were no callers on 30m-ssb either and I expect it was getting a bit late for the regular callers. It was 0630z and 40m was wide open so that was the band where most contacts were made. A bunch more S2S contacts on 40m-ssb kept things interesting.

Ominous clouds approached so the activation was slightly shortened before EU really kicked in. There was no chance to return to 20m to give EU a proper run. It was an hour before sunset and with a half hour walk ahead of me I didn’t fancy getting wet or walking back in the dark. The walk itself is quite picturesque. As it turned out there was no rain until I had driven for about half an hour, but better to be safe than sorry. Also, there was no SOTA spot from EU until an hour after my last contact so nothing was missed. The activation had yielded more S2S contacts than I could have hoped for. It was a fine way to end my 3 summit activations for the SOTA party.

Shack on Mt Banks

Shack on Mt Banks

Trig point at Mt Banks

Trig point at Mt Banks


Elecraft KX3 @ 12W into ZS6BKW inverted-Vee doublet at 9m powered by 4200 mAh LiFe battery.

40 contacts (7 CW), 11 S2S (9 uniques), 56 S2S pts.

Thanks to all chasers and activators for another fun SOTA party weekend!


Date:08/Mar/2015 Summit:VK2/CT-032 (Mount Banks) Call Used:VK2IO/P Points: 6 Bonus: 0

Time Call Band Mode Notes
04:59z VK2QR/P 7MHz SSB R59+10 S59+10 Rob VK2/ST-004
05:06z VK3YY/P 7MHz SSB R57 S57 7085 Glenn VK3/VE-204
05:11z VK3FALA/P 7MHz SSB R59+ S57 7110 Peter VK3/VG-090
05:13z VK2BJP/3 7MHz SSB R59 S58 7095 Russ VK2/SM-053
05:32z VK3MAY/P 7MHz SSB R31 S33 7100 David VK3/VC-019
05:35z VK3PF 10MHz CW R559 S589 10116 Peter
05:39z VK3AGQ 10MHz CW R569 S599 10116 Dick
05:41z VK3AFW 10MHz CW R599 S569 10116 Ron
05:49z VK3CAT 7MHz CW R599 S599 7032 Tony
05:55z VK5CZ 7MHz CW R539 S559 7032 Ian
05:56z VK3WE 7MHz CW R599 S579 7032 Rhett
06:00z VK3DBP 7MHz CW R595 S599 7032 Paul
06:05z VK2YK 21MHz SSB R44 S43 21145 Adam
06:17z VK2LEE 21MHz SSB R45 S53 21145 Lee
06:27z VK5NIG/P 14MHz SSB R58 S57 14320 Nigel VK5/SE-013
06:29z DL1DVE 14MHz SSB R55 S57 14320 Thomas
06:33z VK2BJP/P 7MHz SSB R59+10 S59 7085 Russ VK2/SM-065
06:34z VK2TWR/P 7MHz SSB R59 S59 7085 Rod VK2/SM-065
06:39z VK2QR/P 7MHz SSB R59+ S59+10 7090 Rob VK2/ST-008
06:42z VK3FJAT/P 7MHz SSB R58 S58 7095 Jodie VK3/VC-018
06:44z VK3TKK 7MHz SSB R53 S57 7100 Peter
06:49z VK5FLEX/P 7MHz SSB R45 S45 7100 Peter in Murray River CP
06:50z VK1MA 7MHz SSB R59 S59+20 7100 Matt
06:51z VK3LED 7MHz SSB R59 S59+10 7100 Col
06:51z VK1EM 7MHz SSB R55 S59 7100 Mark
06:51z VK1ATP 7MHz SSB R59 S59 7100 Paul
06:52z VK3DAC 7MHz SSB R53 S57 7100 Fred
06:52z VK3FQSO 7MHz SSB R55 S58 7100 Amanda
06:52z VK3CRG 7MHz SSB R58 S59+5 7100 Craig
06:53z VK3FPSR 7MHz SSB R59 S59 7100 Peter
06:54z VK2LX 7MHz SSB R59 S59+20 7100 Grant
06:54z VK5WG 7MHz SSB R55 S57 7100 Nev
06:54z VK3EK 7MHz SSB R58 S59+20 7100 Robbie
06:55z VK5STU 7MHz SSB R58 S58 7100 Stuart
06:56z VK3XL/P 7MHz SSB R58 S58 7100 Mike
06:56z VK5EE 7MHz SSB R57 S57 7100 Tom
06:56z VK2FMIA 7MHz SSB R58 S59 7100 Doug
06:57z VK3KAB/P 7MHz SSB R58 S58 7100 Kevin VK3/VC-018
06:58z VK2MWP/P 7MHz SSB R55 S48 7100 Andrew
06:59z VK2CDS 7MHz SSB R59 S59+10 7100 David

One thought on “Mt Banks SOTA activation 8/3/2015

  1. Pingback: Mt Tomah SOTA activation 8/3/2015 | vk2io

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