VK5/SE-005 Mt Lofty

by vk3arr

A cousin getting married in Adelaide presented an opportunity to add a new association to the belt, VK5.  The easiest summit being Mt Lofty, I hired a car, picked up my parents, and drove on up.  I followed Paul VK5PAS’ instructions about setting up on the eastern side of the summit, finding a nice spot to set up.

I was carrying the FT-857, 4.2Ah LiFePo and the Frankenpole, using a 40/20/15/12 linked dipole.  Set up was quick and easy, and I turned on the radio, got the usual noise floor, put out a call, and received an answer from John VK5BJE.  One in the log was all I needed to activate the summit, although 4 would be nice to get the points too.  Those other three proved elusive.

I had all manner of antenna problems, the first noticing I had a link undone, which I figured was contributing to high SWR.  The fixing of that showed more intermittent faults.  Things seemed deaf on receive, and in the end, I figured I wasn’t actually receiving anything at all.  A quick troubleshooting showed it was most likely feedline related.

A trip to Jaycar on the way back for a multimeter and some replacement coax showed I was correct in my assumption.  This officially makes me (or the baggage handlers) terrible abusers of coax.

Conan the Feedline Destroyer

Conan the Feedline Destroyer

Hopefully I should now be fine for the US trip – I didn’t have time to test the replacement cable – but I have a day or so on Sunday, and plans to activate W1 and W2 summits.  We shall see.