After previously visiting this summit without a radio I returned fully prepared to activate Briarty Hill VK3/VC-029. I had plenty of time, the weather was looking good, I knew the short route up and I had reduced my load a little to make ascent easier. An ideal SOTA activation.
Or so I thought!
Leaving the car park in the dark I was half way up the hill as the sun rose. I made it to the top about 45 minutes after starting.
|Sunrise over the Yarra Valley|
After setting up the antenna I pulled the FT817 and 8.4 Ah LiFePo4 battery from the back pack and began to set up. Just one thing was missing. I didn’t have the DC power cable to connect between the radio and the battery.
I checked the internal battery and according to the FT817 display it was 3/4 empty. It was now looking like this activation may not happen.
I finished set up and reduced the output to 2.5 Watts and self spotted. No response to my CQ calls so I decided I would have to go looking for the four QSOs I needed.
|Tower on summit|
It wasn’t too hard to find some rag-chewers who I could tail end and get some quick QSOs in with.
I ended up with seven QSOs although the last QSO ended abruptly when the rig stopped transmitting. The inbuilt volt meter was showing 7.5 Volts and I’m guessing that is just too low.
Still, I had qualified the summit and worked a couple of regulars so all was not lost.
The map below shows the access track I used and directions are here.