2016/17 rollover party on Mt Disappointment VK3/Vc-014, and the christening of ‘Summit Prowler Two’

I left my plans for 2016/17 rollover late, and when I checked sotawatch alerts 24 hours out, there must have been 15 summits manned. From lunchtime on I was due at my brother’s QTH in Doreen, north of Melbourne. So I chose Mt Disappointment, which is an hour’s drive from my place and 45 minutes drive from the lunch destination. This gave me time for a leisurely activation on the picnic table near the summit. This was also to be my first attempt to activate a summit on 30 meters CW with the newly finished Wilderness SST rig.  It all went to plan. With 4 CW QSOs on 30 meters bagged, I switched to 40 after rollover for a bunch of hunt-and-pounce QSOs. Here’s a video that offers a taste of the CW and SSB signals heard and worked.

Om 30 meters CW I worked VK2IO/P, VK4RF/HA and VK2IG, and also Glenn VK3YY (off camera). Everyone’s  CW signals were strong, noise free and a pleasure to copy. As the rest of the 30 meter band was not busy I got the impression that some of these operators came onto 30 for my sake– thanks guys, much appreciated.

Now that I have qualified a summit on the Wilderness SST 30, I hereby christen the little rig ‘Summit Prowler Two’, new little brother of Summit Prowler One, my 40 meter SSB rig.  Both rigs share the same essential computer-grade crystal mixing superhet architecture as well as lots of SA612 Gilbert cell mixers and IRF510s. A few photos of the outing follow.

Two rigs, two bands. Top is the Wilderness SST 30. Below is the trusty MST400 for 40m. Not exactly a minimal activation station, but I’m having fun with it.


Date:31/Dec/2016 Summit:VK3/VC-014 (Mt Disappointment) Call Used:VK3HN/P Points: 4 Bonus: 0

Time Call Band Mode Notes
23:15z VK4RF 10MHz CW s579, r559, Rick near Brisbane
23:16z VK4HA 10MHz CW s579, r559, Rick near Brisbane
23:25z VK3YY 10MHz CW s599, r559, Glen
23:35z VK2IG 10MHz CW s599, r519, Mike in Gunardoo
23:40z VK3CAT/P 7MHz SSB s55, r55, Tony on VK3/VC-037 (unnamed summit)
23:42z VK5PAS/P 7MHz SSB s55, r57, Paul on VK5/SE-001 (Mt Brian)
23:45z VK5FMAZ/P 7MHz SSB s55, r57, Marija on VK5/SE-001 (Mt Brian)
23:48z VK3ZPF/P 7MHz SSB s53, r52, Peter on VK3/VC-005 (Mt Vinegar)
23:50z VK3ARR/P 7MHz SSB s55, r55, Andrew on VK3/VE-008 (Mt Buller)
23:58z VK1AD/P 7MHz SSB s59, r59, Andrew on VK1/AC-043 (Mt Stromlo)

Date:01/Jan/2017 Summit:VK3/VC-014 (Mt Disappointment) Call Used:VK3HN/P Points: 4 Bonus: 0

Time Call Band Mode Notes
00:01z VK1AD/P 7MHz SSB s59, r59, Andrew on VK1/AC-043 (Mt Stromlo)
00:03z VK3ARR/P 7MHz SSB s55, r55, Andrew on VK3/VE-008 (Mt Buller)
00:05z VK3ANL/P 7MHz SSB s58, r58, Nick on VK3/VC-031 (Arthurs Seat )
00:10z VK3CAT/P 7MHz SSB s57, r57, Tony on VK3/VC-037 (unnamed summit)
00:15z VK5PAS/P 7MHz SSB s57, r57, Paul on VK5/SE-001 (Mt Bryan)
00:16z VK5FMAZ/P 7MHz SSB s57, r57, Marija on VK5/SE-001 (Mt Bryan)
00:16z VK3AGD/P 7MHz SSB s59, r55, Adam on VK3/VC-002 (Mt Donna Buang)
00:20z VK1ATP/P 7MHz SSB s55, r56, Paul on VK1/AC-039 (Yellow Rabbit Hill)

I made it to my brother’s place in time for a delightful family gathering. After hours of lunching and catching up when the non radio ham family members departed, David (VK3KR) and I disappeared into his shack for a long overdue eyeball and project discussion.  David builds his own SDR rigs, digital test gear and related projects so we complement each other perfectly … I cover 1980 to 2001, he covers 2010 on. One day I might move on from the nostalgia of super VXOs and NE602s but there are still a few classics to be built before that day!

On the way home, driving through Diamond Creek (?) I spotted some boxing kangaroos in a field.  All up, a great day of SOTA and socialising, both on and off air.

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