DX activation of Mount McDonald VK1/AC-048, with the threat of some rain which thankfully didn't materialise.
Wow!! What a cracker of a DX activation, it reminded me of a typical 2014 20m DX activation between VK and Europe. The climb to the summit takes 40 minutes, I had set up by 0700 UTC for a 1.5 hour SOTA DX session with big hopes of working Mike 2E0YYYY/P on G/CE-002 and chasers from New Zealand, Japan and Europe. Well the activation played out as planned, working the last 1.5 hours of VK1 daylight I worked Mike at 07:21 UTC on 14.325 MHz and again at 07:44 UTC. Our second QSO held up for a good 5 minutes with signal reports at 5-7 (Mike) and 5-5 (me).
Don G0RQL left me gobsmacked when his punching audio jumped out of the radio's speaker with a solid 5-8 peaking 5-9 signal and others in Europe followed. Inbound EU signals ranged from 5-6 to 5-9+, my average signal received in Europe was 5-5. My SOTA station set up is a Yaesu FT-857D @ 40 watts powered by a 4S 8.4 Ah LiFePO4. My antenna for this summit is an Inverted V linked dipole with the apex at 8 metres. Antenna 1/2 wave element alignment was north-south with the broadside east-west for LP propagation. I was so busy on 20m I didn't find time to work 17 or 80m.
Summary: 26 unique QSOs on 20m and one local 2m chaser.
Chasers on 20m: JA1QVR, ZL1BYZ, 2E0YYY/P G/CE-004, ZL2ATH, ZL1WA, G0RQL, JA1RVY, ZL1SKL, HB9VC, OK2PDT, SA4BCM, YO7MPD, YU1AB, ON3BEN, IK2ECC, IK4GRO, YU1GTU, HA5AQ, IK2ZJN, ON5SWA, F4FUE, ON4VT, IK8FIQ, OK2TS, VK6NU and OE9HRV.
In addition to the group above I did hear a couple of 'G' and 'DL2' chasers calling, I did respond, sorry you didn't hear me.
On 2m 146.5 FM: Wade VK1FWBD
I stayed on the summit till sunset (08:25 UTC) then walked back to my car, 3.5 km in the dark
Mount McDonald summit
Set up on a disused concrete pad
Looking west sunset over the Brindabella Ranges
Great to catch up with so many AR friends in Europe. Thanks everyone
73, Andrew VK1AD