I’m in Cape Town for a conference, but it winds down on Saturday, and I am planning an activation of Maclear’s Beacon on top of Table Mountain. It is one of the most activated in the area, but it is the one that I think I can manage in an afternoon taking public transportation. A cable car runs up to the top of the mountain, and as I understand it, I’ll need to follow a trail some distance to the site.
I’m aiming for the afternoon, probably around 15:00 local, 13:00Z to get to the top, so probably on the air nearer to 14:00Z. There’s a local ham flea market in in the early afternoon, so I am hoping to come on as that winds down and people return home.
Equipment is an FT817 and a chameleon F-loop antenna. I will operate at 5W from a 7Ah lead acid battery. I’ll call around on repeaters and try to stir up some VHF/UHF simplex contacts locally, and then get going on HF. The antenna provides continuous coverage on HF, so I’ll dial it up to 10 meters and then start working my way towards 40m.
The loop is not as efficient as longwire, so we’ll see. I’ll orient it towards (edge on) towards Europe (355 degrees), but also try it at about 300 degrees (US/Australia). It’s early in the day for EU/US contacts, but you never know. I can also hope for some local NVIS contacts on 30 and 40m. My best bet is CW, but I’ll also give a shout on SSB.
Hope the solar wind stream dies down in the next 24 hours or so.