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Burnaby Mountain was added to the summit list for Summits on the Air as an easy starter summit for people new to the activity. When members from our club went to activate the summit years back, I was unavailable to go and so I never did operate from the mountain. Burnaby Mountain being a single pointer, it never got on my priority list until recently. The summit is an easy activation, one I can do solo, and it will give me a new unique so I felt it was about time I got it in my log.
The day was a lovely one for outdoor activity and I set off at a leisurely time of 9:50AM to get a coffee and drive to the summit. The traffic was light and I made good time to the SFU campus. Upon arrival I drove up the wrong entrance but saw a campus security vehicle so I parked and went over to ask some directions. He wasn’t sure what park I was referring to as I had remembered the wrong name. After pulling out my iPhone with a map I had the right name and he outlined a route forward.
I travelled the streets to my hoped-for entrance but it was blocked by construction activity so I back-tracked to a street that came up on the other side of the summit. This street made its way through the residential area and I soon found the point where the road was closest to the summit. There was parking along the road and I found a spot next to the Childcare building. This location was only about 200m from the summit and already well within the activation zone, but I wanted to be as close as possible.
So with the car parked I loaded up my back pack and started for the summit. Very soon I was there and found myself in a nice park area. A short distance to the south-east was an empty picnic table so I walked over to it and decided it would be a great operating location. It was here that I decided I could well afford walking back to the car to get a taller mast to set up. So after a quick return to the car and walk back with 3 lengths of mast and a tripod, I set up the 2m yagi at around 12 feet. I was soon ready to start calling.
My first contact was with club member Ken – VE7HI who also happens to be the highest scoring chaser in the association. I worked a number more stations before taking a breather. When I started up again I noticed that the Push-to-talk seemed to get stuck transmitting and I needed to cycle the power to break it. So now I needed to perform some high-speed finger gymnastics to talk, cycle the power and listen for a response. It was quite annoying and I missed chucks of conversations. By now I had completed 18 contacts and I felt the number was high enough considering the radio issue. So I decided to pack things away.
I lowered the mast and started to loosen the nuts holding the yagi to the mast but they had jammed solid for some reason. I tried turning the wing nuts but they just wouldn’t budge. After some effort I was able to loosen them enough to slip the bracket off the mast but that was all. After trying further one of the nuts snapped off the end of the bolt! It was really odd as the nuts have not been off the bolt for months so cross-threading was not the issue. Even later at home the remaining nut was still tight and unbudging. Needing the antenna in good order, I ordered some replacement bolts and nuts so it would be ready for my next activation.
Once all was packed up I walked everything back to the car and loaded up. The drive home went quickly as traffic though heavier than on the way out, it was still quite light. It was a very pleasant location to do SOTA from, easy to reach and the area was reasonably isolated that one could set up equipment with little interference. Stringing a 20m dipole wouldn’t be too difficult as there were a few trees close by that could hold the antenna though one may want to supply a centre mast so they could work from the table. In the end is was a fun activation and I would come again when I need to get out and the bigger summits are closed with snow.