Wilsons Prom National Park VKFF-539 and Sparkes Lookout, vk3/vt-079, 19th July 2014

tin_mine

Starting Point

A hike in the Northern section of The Prom had been planned for some time, I had also hopped to visit a few SOTA peaks on this trip but the ban on off track walking permits meant that any activation would be invalid.

Since the planned walk would have two short days I felt it was worth carrying radio gear with a view to getting the 44 contacts required to qualify the parks for the WWFF. The only drawback was this was a mid week trip, but with the popularity of WWFF in the EU and being their Summer holidays I felt I was still in with a chance.

mtr_js_cove

MTR, SLT+, Palm Single and SOTA Beams Flight Deck. At Johnny Souey Cove

In short the WWFF activation was a flop, without the ability to Spot easily (like the SOTA Watch page provides), it was endless calls and no answer.

hunter_roundback

Looking East on the Five Mile Road

The SOTA activation was always a maybe, we were spending two nights in Tidal River after the walk so after a bit of discussion I left my walking companions to do the shopping and I head off to Sparkes Look Out.

sparkes_lookout

MTR and Palm Single, Great name for a SOTA summit

 

It was a great spot to operate with a great view, just wish I had taken photos first rather than waiting until I was packed up as the rain then reappeared somewhat hiding the view.

SOTA Beams Flight Deck with ATS, MTR and two different keys.

Field operations for the CW Op has it challenges. I had tried a few different ideas for a mini desktop so when I saw the SOTA Beams flight deck I was very impressed and ordered one.

mtr_fd_palm_2

MTR on Deck with Palm Single lever Paddle.

I have both an ATS4 and a first edition MTR. The ATS is a little bigger than the MTR and did not fit well with the MTR mounting holes. So I add two pairs of holes to allow the elastic bands to move out from underneath the ATS. They are easy to pick in the photo as I cannot drill square holes.

mtr_fd_holes_2

mtr_fd_ats4

The ATS4 is also a little longer than the MTR and has the Volume control, headphones and key socket on the right hand end. To make space I have moved the key down the deck. This is fine with the Mini-B as I use the hole for the pencil string; however I added two holes to allow me to screw down the base for the Mini Palm. I have circled these holes also and the base for the Palm can be seen in position on the other photo. My plan at this stage is too attached the mounting with 3mm screws and nuts, but my preference would be to use a 3mm screw and thumb nut to allow for simple installation in the field thus keep the deck slim when packed.

mtr_fd_palm

mini_b_screw

Mini-B with 4-40 unc thumb screw and blacks plastic washer

When using the deck with the MTR I still use one of the holes to hold down the Mini-B but I will add a couple of holes to allow me to screw down the base for the Palm paddle next to the MTR. Whilst the elastic band will hold it in place I prefer the firmer feel the screwed down base provides.