Tonight I took my daughter to a meeting and I had 2 hours to spare before picking her up. I had made plans to try and activate a National Park whilst I was waiting.
I drove up to One Tree Hill in the Dandenong Ranges National Park and found a place next to the lower gate where I could throw an antenna into a tree. I figured I had about 60 minutes available to set up, work some QSO and pack up and get back to pick up my daughter before 8pm.
It took me about 15 minutes to erect a 20m dipole in the tree and hook it up to the FT757. A quick check of the SWR showed something was wrong.
I lowered the balun and found that I had pulled the coax a little too hard whilst trying to keep it out of the way and I had pulled the centre conductor out of the PL259. Normally I put a strain relief in all cable connections I make but tonight, as I was in a hurry and not staying for long, I decided not to. One day I will remember that I do things for a reason and I should always do them for that reason.
I swapped out the coax with another length that I had brought along.
After calling CQ for about 20 minutes I decided that it wasn’t going to happen tonight so I packed it all away. It only took 5 minutes to get the antenna packed away and I was back to pick up my daughter with time to spare.
Next time I try this I will erect an 80m dipole as 80m will have better propagation than 20m at this time of night.
So I won’t be updating the National Park map tonight.