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On 6/8/16 VK7's DB, ML and HH traveled to St.Valentines Peak (VK7RVP).
The purpose of the visit was to check battery voltage levels, take measurements, install a 2m repeater and check a potentially faulty antenna system that the previous digipeater was running off.
Several different routes to the summit were explored. The usual routes bridge was washed away due to recent river flooding. Another further down the road had a locked (normally open) gate. Another potential entry point was checked but this also had a locked gate. These three tracks would of allowed driving to the bottom of the main track, and saving a further 30 mins of walking time each way.
It was decided to have a go via the public track. We left the carpark at 12.30pm, much later than anticipated. A river crossing was required, although the usual log that is used had washed down the river. Luckily an alternative crossing had been made. The summit was reached at 3.30pm by 7HH, shortly followed by 7DB and 7ML. The start of the track indicated a 4 hour return trip.
During the walk, we crossed paths with a pair of walkers who passed us on the way up, and near the summit. It was asked if they had a flashlight we could borrow in case we lost light and return to them, to which they replied they did. As they were locals it was advised by 7HH that they discuss with 7DB and 7ML further down the track about the location to return the torch.
Conveniently the walkers forgot this, and failed to mention it to Dion or Mat. In any case, 5 mins was taken for a breather and photos at the summit. There was no wind and the weather was clear at this time.
Dion and Mat started working in the hut installing the 2m repeater whilst I undid the coax seal tape on the potential faulty folded dipole. Testing in the hut with the MFJ analyzer showed an erratic SWR curve. Testing at the antenna however showed that the antenna was fine, with an R of around 43 and an X of 0 at 146.725MHz, an SWR of 1.16. The next suspected issue was a polyphaser in the hut which was replaced. The anaylzer still was not reporting what was read direct at the antenna, so on the next trip the feedline will be checked. In the meantime it was reasonable enough to run the repeater on.
Halfway through work we were circled by a light aircraft with one of a local amateurs mates piloting. Later we received aerial photos of our expedition, albeit blurry.
Dion and Mat found bad cells in the battery box, so these will need to be fixed on another trip. The 2m repeater was switched on and test reports came in. We left the site at 5pm, with the weather changing....
Light was fading and the remaining hour of the walk back to the car, including the river crossing was made with the assistance of our VX-8 handheld radios LED light feature and smartphone flashlights. We were able to depart again at 7.15pm.