After lugging all my equipment for 50, 144, 432, 1296, 2400 and 3400 MHz from the car to the north side of the summit at Mt Ginini, it still took several hours to get set up and operational. I finally got on the air on all bands at around 6pm, after making some earlier contacts on 1296, 2400 and 3400 with VK1BL and VK2AES.
Later I made contacts were made with VK1BL/p and VK2AES/p on all six bands (3400 only with VK1BL) but conditions and activity from further afield seemed quite poor with only weak signals from a small number of other portable stations.
I was running my station from a newly purchased inverter generator. This was not a name brand but an import sold by a Victorian dealer, mostly marketed via Ebay. I was pleased that its noise performance was much better than my previous generator. However at about 9pm on Saturday night, within 20 minutes have having its fuel topped up, it slowly ran down and stopped. All efforts to get it going again were unsuccessful. I SMSd the other local field stations telling them I had a power problem. The next morning I could only pack everything up and go home.
What happens to the generator has not been resolved yet. My confidence in this particular unit is zero. I have not been able to restart it, despite following the advice of the dealer and changing the fuel to premium unleaded. I can believe it would run better, but I don’t see why it would simply fail to restart on ordinary unleaded.
I did examine the spark plug and found it was fouled considerably. The recoil starter still reveals compression is good so I don’t think the rings have given up. I suspect ignition circuit failure.
Fortunately others didn’t have this problem and went on to make more contacts. The contacts with Doug 4OE did not work out too well, with Ted VK1BL making only marginal contacts on 144. Contacts on higher bands were not possible. Conditions were simply too poor.
Better luck next time.