For New Year’s Day I went to my regular annual haunt Mt Elliot VK2/HU-093 which is near Gosford about 60km north of Sydney. Skies were clear all day and the temperature was hot with a slight breeze. In the morning I was able to use a picnic table for operating as it was sheltered from the sun by overhanging high trees. In the afternoon I set up my camp chair under a low tree. The rig used was the KX3 with a ZS6BKW doublet at 9m high.
Activating started 75 mins before UTC rollover at 11am local time and there was already plenty of activity, mainly on 40m. After spotting and working some chasers I got stuck into chasing S2S contacts. Many frequency and band (and mode) changes made it rather frantic. By 0000z 23 summits had been logged including 4 ZLs and VK6. There was so much activity it was not possible to get around all those being spotted so I missed some ZLs (amongst others).
The pace didn’t relax in the new day, at least not for the first hour. I was hunting and pecking my way through all the spots that came up on VK port-a-log. Sometimes the other station was busy so I’d move on to the next one and try to remember to come back. A few activators did not spot at all so were extra hard to work. Every so often I would spot myself and hope those activators would come running, but it was not completely successful.
After the first hour of the new year I stayed around to catch some stations doing second activations. There are no easily accessible summits nearby Mt Elliot so moving was not an option for me. Instead I was able to settle back, have lunch and see what turned up.
Due to the presence of a good E-layer the higher bands were running hot with short skip. 15m was particularly busy. Even on 12m which is normally very quiet I was able to work into VK3 and VK4. By 4pm the fresh S2S opportunities were becoming rare so I packed up. All up I’d made 91 contacts with 59 summits worked and 32 WWFF references. Bands used were 80m, 40m, 20m, 15m and 12m. SSB was used for 78 and CW for 13 contacts. Last year I made 103 contacts for 47 S2S so a big increase in summits worked this year.
Fun day out. Thanks for all the calls!
73, Gerard - VK2IO
Photo album with summary and log pages - click here: photos.app.goo.gl/f8zpoP15vUYejK669