No Disappointment on VK3/VC-014

Mt Dissapointment regularly comes up on my SOTA Finder app as the 3rd closest peak to home.  I have been eyeing it off for some time and the opportunity arose on a Sunday afternoon in late June. Others have done it on the same day as Pretty Sally for a total of 6 points but I had time only for one activation.  And it would be another twilight  one at that.  The weather was overcast and not cold,  14 or 15 degrees.  There had been no rain for the entire week and I thought I would find the bush dry and the tracks walk-able.

The way in is straightforward.  Drive to Heathcote Junction. I came via Whittlesea then the C727 and the C729. The main street of Heathcote Junction becomes Nth Mountain Rd, which then becomes Sth Mountain Rd, which after about 11 km from Heathcote Junction becomes Mt Disappointment Rd.  About 2km further on I parked at Blairs Hut Picnic Area, a cleared space with toilet and picnic tables. Just nearby the track to the summit area is clearly set out, despite the pot shots. image The track is well used but a bit overgrown, so there was a fair bit of ducking branches and face-swipes from branches both soft and prickly. After about 15 mins at a fair pace there is a picnic table and a historical sign commemorating the journey of Hamilton Hume and William Hovell who set out from Gunning at the western edge of known civilisation to find a route to Westernport Bay. They named this peak in 1824 when they hoped to see the coast from up top, but were, um, disappointed. Hume is forever honored with the main Melbourne to Albury Freeway. Hovell appears to have scored a road in Canberra and a suburban street in Endeavor Hills. The aspiring historian in me makes me wonder if there is a story there. image Just as Hamilton and William found, there is no view from here but you are close to the summit. The track continues and about 300 meters further on the bush clears a bit where a second picnic table is set. A very pleasant place but again no views. Right next to the table is a wide timber marker post. Androzic showed 787 meters, 9 meters below the summit, so this was the place for an activation.  Up went the squid pole with the new 40m centre-loaded vertical, 4 short radials layed out in the classic star pattern. There was not a breath of wind and the 9 meter squid pole stood motionless. image image The small black box terminates the coax in 4 black banana plug sockets for the radials and one red socket for the vertical element, about 8 meters of 1mm insulated multi strand wire with about 10 turns on a PVC former about half the way up.  The loading coil is 17 turns in total with taps at 7 and 10 turns.  The 7 turns resonated at 7150 kHz, the 10 turns at 7150 although it is pleasantly broad.  It’s that simple.

It was 5.30 pm on the evening and the light was dropping, and from recent experience I knew 40 m would be dead or dying to locals but variously open interstate. It was too late for summit to summit contacts, but the 4 QSOs needed for the activation came easily, predictably from interstate. Exchanged 59s each way with Paul VK5PAS, and good reports with VK2YK and VK4NL. Peter VK3PF called and gave me 4×4 confirming that the VK3 switch in the ionosphere had been thrown… to the ‘off’ position. If I had been able to stay longer I would have tried for further reports from VK4 or VK6 given the time and my new vertical. But the light was fading so I packed up and walked out. Took a final picture of the Blair Hut sign before driving away.

image

Date:28/Jun/2015 Summit:VK3/VC-014 (Mt Disappointment) Call Used:VK3HN/P Points: 4 Bonus: 0

Time Call Band Mode Notes
05:35z VK3PF 7MHz SSB s57 r44, Peter
07:31z VK5PAS 7MHz SSB s59 r59 Paul
07:34z VK2YK 7MHz SSB s59 r57 Adam
07:36z VK4NL 7MHz SSB s58 r57 Noel, Sunshine Coast

Mt Disappointment proved to be a pleasant place and activation. In fact no disappointment to be had.  The drive is easy and the walk at the end gives you a sense of having done some bush walking. On return home, I realized that Pretty Sally is quite close. In SOTA, there’s always another day and another summit.

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3 thoughts on “No Disappointment on VK3/VC-014

  1. Hi Paul, your new vertical antenna may generate interest in the SOTA and VKFF activator circles. I am interested in the dimensions of the base loading coil, can you share the details. Did the 10 turn tap bring the antenna resonance closer to 7.090?
    Cheers
    Andrew, VK1NAM

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    • P. R. Taylor says:

      Hi Andrew, I will write up the squid pole vertical in a few days. I took inspiration from your 5 meter shortened vertical for summits of little space. I modeled it on VK7JJ design. Radials are 8 meters. No balun, no matching, probably far from optimal but delightfully simple for a small footprint antenna. 73 Paul vk3hn.

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  2. […] has been used for three outings. There are pictures of it on summits in the blog entries for Mount Disappointment, The Hump and Gentle Annie.  I have no measurement equipment so can only comment on the […]

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