Opening 08.02.03

After discusion with Wally VK6KZ and predicting Friday and Saturday as being THE days for ducting (thanks Wally) I decided Wednesday to go portable on Saturday morning to a place called Galore Hill about 36km west of my QTH. Grid is QF34. approx 380 m above sea level.

Friday night packing of the equipment in  the car didn't finish till 2.30am! I had planned to leave at 4.30am. But after checking the Ducting graphs for 11 pm that night I decided there was no time for sleep and left straight away.

See attached Graphs and you can see what it was like over Adelaide, Melb and Eucla. Quite impressive, almost always the ducts will get lower and thicker as the morning goes on. For a quick graph explanation of say Adelaide - at 11pm eastern time, the Duct was already at 344m and extended up to around 701 meters making it a bit over 350m thick at the time.

Check out the Duct at Eucla, about 50m from ground level and 500m thick!

Arrived at Galore Hill at 3.30am, started assembling the antenna and had all sorts of drama, with one of the boom bits getting stuck out of alignment, I couldn't shift it, but the hammer seemed to work.
It was daylight before I got on air, approx 7am. I was running 2m only, the set up consisted of a IC910, pre amp and 17 element Yagi on a 6 meter mast set up vertical pol.
I couldn't believe it when I first fired up there was signals coming from eveywhere.

 Thank you to those stations who I mentioned this to before I left who were able to come up and make the contact, VK3BJM, VK3AFW.

 Beacons heard were Gambier, Adelaide, Mildura and Geelong.

Simplex contacts of note - VK2COX at Cowra; VK3SWD at Nhill; VK5NRV at Woodside Adelaide 720km; VK5ZMB at Gawler Adelaide 735km; VK3MTV at Mildura, VK5UJ at One Tree Hill Adelaide 734km.

An interesting repeater contact, finally got into the Broken Hill repeater at 628km with VK2YVG Paul at Broken Hill. This was behind signals from 3 other repeaters on the same frequency at Albury, Adelaide and Geelong.

 Furthest repeater accessed was Pillaworta Hill, Port Lincoln, SA at 991 km.

 I have now been able to access from QF34  my home grid square, every 2 meter repeater in VK5, most from my home QTH but this portable operation topped it off.

Also good to hear from VK3AEF, VK5DJ, and VK5DK (just as the battery died).

I took some pics of the 17 ele beam set up, and from the site looking north, east, south and west. Bit of smoke haze unfortunately.

It was great to hear all the activity going on around the frequencies.