Scouthike 2011

After wrapping up the VK100ARV activation on Tuesday my next event was Scouthike. I’ve been helping with Scouthike now for more than 20 years and I am yet to have a bad time at one.
This year was no exception, although it did have its moments.
Each year the SRESU establish a primary radio network using a 2 m portable repeater with a secondary network on 80 m to provide health, safety and welfare support to the couple of hundred scouts and support staff at this event.
Ashley, VK3FASH, came along with me and, as he did last year, played the major role in running the station. He is getting quite experienced at it.
We knew in advance that our location wasn’t ideal so we set up a 10 m 3 section mast with a Diamond X-200 dual-band antenna on top. I also ran out my trapped 20 m, 40 m and 80 m trapped dipole from the top of the mast. This set-up worked well with simplex 2 m contacts to a couple of the stations in the network as well as a good copy of the repeater.
The repeater had some problems on Friday night but Peter, VK3AJ, took care of these quickly and the 2 m network worked flawlessly for the rest of the weekend.
Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said about the 80 m network. The net control station at HQ had some challenges with their HF antenna and it needed to be replaced on Saturday. It would seem that the combination of a 1/4 wave 40 metre vertical element, some radial wires, a tuner and being set up on a big chunk of rock was not the right combination for an 80 m antenna.
We passed a few important messages and got some good feedback after the event and I put 22 QSO in my HF log, including two contacts with VK100ARV.
We are looking forward to going back to Scouthike in May next year.
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