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