VK3/VS-051 and VK3/VS-050
A ‘quick’ trip down to Portland gave me an opportunity to try activating a few summits along the route – Mt Clay (VK3/VS-051), which I activated over lunch, and Mt Leura (VK3/VS-050), which I tried to grab on the drive back. This was partly to be a test of equipment to be used in my European sojourn in a few weeks time.
Mt Clay is at the end of a dirt road, with relatively easy access from Portland. There was a lot of water on the road on the way down to Portland, courtesy of the several inches of rain that’d fallen over the previous week, but this wasn’t a big issue at Mt Clay. I attached my dipole to a new travel pole and tried to get it up in the air.
Higher than I’d like SWR meant I wasn’t getting a great signal out, but I managed to get 8 contacts, 6 on CW and 2 on SSB. I packed up and continued home, stopping at Mt Leura on the way.
This was to be an opportunistic activation, 15 minutes, and again I was plagued by the high SWR, despite being able to get the antenna much higher and straighter this time. No contacts were made, and by now it was getting late, so I continued on. Some interest on Mt Leura in what I was doing, particularly by an older couple. The “Have you heard about mobile phones” ‘joke’ came out too. Any reports of a bearded man punching an elderly couple hard in the face in the Camperdown area are not to be regarded as true.
Later testing showed a DC resistance of several hundred ohms across the coax, so yet again something was wrong with the feedline – it’s RG-174 so you basically just have to look at it and it’s broken. Other examples of the same length were closer to 2-3 ohms DC resistance. I swapped out cables and had no troubles in Europe with SWR.