I undertook my 2-day face to face lessons and testing in mid-Jan, and got the much-awaited email from our national regulator ACMA that told me I am now a licensed Amateur being designated VK1FWBD.
Last Tuesday I was fortunate enough to be shown the SOTA ropes by the legendary VK1AD, Andrew who was kind enough to let me dive straight in after he made enough contacts as well as once the DX stations started rolling in. So within my first activations (and first HF session), I was immensely lucky to have 3 DX stations 2 NZ Stations (ZL) and 1 Japanese station (JA). I knew I was hooked! All while overlooking our gorgeous capital from VK1/AC-040 Mt Ainslie
Andrew’s Yaesu (I can’t remember which one) was pumping out a reduced 10w - to comply with my license requirements, on his linked dipole were a great match (gotta love an antenna pun).
The following day (Wednesday) my new (preloved) FT817ND turned up and I was keen to get on the air - I booked a day off yesterday (Friday) and thought I would be a keen bean and try a Friday daytime SOTA activation.
This time on another 1 pointer, with basically a walk of only a few hundred metres.
After hours of calling, I was not successful in reaching my needed 4 contacts. I was switching between my newly assembled PAC12 antenna on my DJI OSMO MOBILE base as a tripod and a long wire with a matching box from Nelson Antennas (on EBAY) up my 10m Squid pole and no joy. Only sunburn! (Note to self… maybe you might want to make sure the spotters aren’t all at work…)
Not to be deterred, I wanted to strike while the iron was hot, so headed back out this afternoon (Saturday) to a second operating position on the western side of the peak as seen on VK1DI’s blog. 2 hours and only local VK1 contacts - but enough to activate (THANK GOD) before moving to a new position as described by the 2m Simplex contacts I was talking to (again thanks to VK1AD and VK1MA who provided radio overwatch for my first solo SOTA session). From this new location, the PAC12 picked up 2 booming VK5 stations before getting stamped out on 7.090 by a head of DX stations and some contest stations.
Video and photos pending.
I have my own blog for those interested in non-radio exploits, this time it is under water rather than up mountains - scuba diving - wadeabout.com
Thanks to all who spotted - without you I would just be on blowy peaks yelling into my radio alone!