This year, for something a bit different the FD was never about building a full-on 4 band station and going all out for a big score – it was all about doing more with less.
We (Me, Bob VK5FO and Ray VK5RR) teamed up with Andy, VK5AKH and went QRP portable and went for a “nice” hike up to Black Hill Summit – a summit that is a hike in – and at 460M above sea level in PF95ic
We met down the bottom of the hill about an hour before the start and packed up the gear and antennas and away we went
We were taking gear to get us on the air on 4 bands for field day – 6m, 2m, 70cm and 23cm.
After nearly an hour, we finally made it to the summit at around 01:10 UTC just after the start time and proceeded to set up Antennas and Radio’s
Here you can see the Antenna’s – 1/2 Wave Vertical for 6m on the blue pole, and on the Camera Tripod, you can see the 11 Ele on 23cm, the 6 Ele on 70cm and the Slim Jim for 2m.
Andy making a contact on 6m with the KX3.
The summit, while it doesn’t offer great views has shade! which makes for a pleasant place to operate from.
Did I say minimal station set-up. Here I am with the KX3 and you can see the 70cm XVTR and batteries in the foreground.
We were set up pretty much at the old trig point – I say old, because someone has ripped it all out of the ground at some point and built a pile of rocks adjacent to it on the walking trail.
The aim of the day was to enjoy the hike up to the top of the hill and play a bit of radio and within an hour or so we had contacts on all 4 bands. It was all about getting out for a few hours, and getting a few contacts and handing out contacts to the other stations who were also out and about.
As far as FD goes, it is a decent location for a minimal set-up basic antenna’s that we carried in, and very modest power on all bands – we had 5w on 6m, 2m and 70cm and 3w on 23cm. It truly is a case of “height is might” when it comes to VHF/UHF and above.
Mid-afternoon we packed up and headed back down the trail.
It doesn’t look it, but it was a decent hike – with about 2km each way and 250+M elevation change. Coming back down was a bit quicker it was only about 40 minutes. Here we were about 5 minutes from the bottom.
We had APRS running on the Handheld while hiking in and out.
At the end of the day, I logged 16 contacts for FD, and Andy logged 21, in the 3 hours or so we were at the Summit.
As we were operating from Black Hill, this also qualified as both a SANPCPA and VKFF Activation.