SOTA activation at Mt Canobolas VK2/CT-001

As part of a  trip from Canberra to Brisbane in late June 2015 I visited Mt Canobolas for a SOTA activation and added it to various tallies, including S2S and the 6/10m challenge.

My route to Orange was from Yass via Boorowa, Cowra and Canowindra.  Near Orange there was a turnoff to “Old Canobolas Road” but I had planned to use the “new” Canobolas road and continued on a few more km.   It was a straightforward trip up to the summit on a good road, no problem at all for the Ford sedan I was driving.

At the summit there are several buildings, parking areas, and a trig point in the standard NSW geodetic survey shape of a four-sided concrete pyramid.  The summit was in cloud.  Here is a detailed picture of the situation.  For better photos see Gerard’s blog.  He had the sense to visit in fine weather!


I decided to keep away from the buildings and set up to the west side of the road and downhill somewhat.  I think my operating position was close to where Gerard VK2IO operated.

Operating position with antenna partly erected

After a number of contacts on 40m I wanted to try 10m and 6m.  Phil VK2JDL was on another summit and we tried to make a contact on 10m.  Despite being relatively close signals were just too weak.  Then I tuned around on 10m and found VK6JR/p in the Kimberly region, running a 10w converted CB rig chatting to VK5s and VK3s.  I heard him say he was about to close down but I called him and was successful in making the contact though he was not receiving a big signal from me.  No problem with low signal reports, getting the contact in the log is the goal.

I called on the local 2m fm repeater without any response.  I used my phone to look at the club website to find out the sub-tone requirements and the frequency for the repeater.  I set my FT817 to use sub-tone and that should have worked ok.  The repeater was keying up, but I was unsure whether my audio was getting through.  I regretted not taking my hand held IC-V85 which I know is preprogrammed with the 91.5 Hz. (And I could have used the other radio to confirm I was getting into and successfully using the repeater.  )  Actually, with two radios I could have had a contact with myself, even using different callsigns for each radio.  Just have to be sure no-one was watching because that would have been a strange sight!

No locals returned my call which meant I could not ask them to give me contacts on 6m.  Weekdays are usually a lottery for visitors to country areas hoping for repeater contacts.  No surprises.

After all this I had used up my planned time and I packed up and headed for my overnight stop at Coonabarabran.