Mt Tamborine is an iconic Aussie tourist destination situated in the Gold Coast hinterland. The summit is right in the middle of a suburb but fortunately there is a good lookout in the Tamborine National Park very nearby.
This activation was a good chance for me to try out my new Pico Paddle with my Elecraft KX1.
I had ordered a Pico plate as well; this is a thin plated piece of metal with self-adhesive tabs on the back. The idea is for this to stick onto whatever surface you want to mount the paddle on. I decided to mount mine on my newly made QSO board.
After erecting my squid pole to secure the end of a 24 foot long wire to, I ran out the two counterpoises and connected up the rig.
Then I began calling on 20m.
It wasn’t long before I realised the Pico plate was simply not up to the job; the paddle began moving around. The magnets were just not strong enough, even though my sending was gentle. I would need to fix this.
Anyway, the bands were in bad shape and I only managed three contacts all morning. Those were with ZL1BYQ and VK7CW on 20m, and VK4EKA on 40m. I also tried SSB with my Yaesu FT-817 on both bands but to no avail.
Back home I began modifying my QSO board.
A quick email to Palm Radio in Germany brought the suggestion that I should try using a metal plate instead of the Pico plate, so I raided my workshop and cut a piece of plate to fit. This was then hot glued into place.
Now to head back to Mt Tamborine some day to give it a go. Perhaps then I will manage four contacts and score the two points that are on offer.