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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Electronics - A D.I.Y. WIFI extender you can build for cheap. Pt. 1

630m ... The New 'Magic Band'? by VE7SL - Steve - Amateur Radio Blog

The 'magic band' has always been associated with 50 MHz and its amazing propagation ... usually unpredictable and often without logical explanation. This past summer saw an explosion of digital FT8 activity on 6m which has, for me (and for others I suspect), eliminated almost all of the enjoyment I have found every year on this band.

With so much of the previous CW and phone activity now gone to FT8, the 'feel' of the band is just not what it once was. What I find puzzling is that so many have embraced this weak signal mode yet most of the two-way QSOs seem to be made between stations that can easily hear each other ... often at the very strong levels produced by 6m sporadic-E!

With FT8's inability to chat about antennas, rigs, propagation, locations or simply to exchange names, for me the magic has gone. Being able to hear signals build, fade up and down, or to experience the sudden arrival of bone-crushing signals from the east coast where none had existed moments earlier, is all part of what attracted me to 6m decades ago. I spent only a few hours on the band last summer, working a number of JA stations on FT8. No particular sense of satisfaction was garnered ... working a JA opening on CW is just way more exciting! 

For many, the arrival of FT8 to the magic band has opened a whole new world and from seeing so many unfamiliar call signs on 6m this summer, it seems that FT8 has brought a lot of newcomers to the band. Unlike the JAs' worked every summer on CW, almost all of the FT8 JAs' sent their QSL immediately, with almost all excitingly indicating "1st VE" ... so this has to be a good thing! I suspect, that unless the level of conventional-mode activity returns to previous levels on 6m (highly unlikely), my interest in 50MHz will slowly wane or vanish altogether ... but thankfully, there's still magic to be found elsewhere on the ham bands!

As solar Cycle 24 draws down into its final months, the deep lows that were experienced at the end of Cycle 23 are starting to develop once again. For the past few weeks, propagation below the broadcast band has been the best it has been since the previous solar quieting.

Being just below the bottom edge of the broadcast band, 630m (472-479 kHz) has seen some of the benefits of the recent round of stagnant geomagnetic activity.

While some transcontinental QSOs are regularly being made on CW, most contacts are being completed using the weak signal JT9 QSO mode. Contacts can often be completed just as the sun begins to set and staying up into the wee hours to catch east coast DX is not a requirement. Over the past few weeks my 'states worked' total has climbed to 30 and with a couple of holdouts, the QSLs have been steadily arriving.

My 630m states worked, shown in red. Map courtesy:

Last month's arrivals, in spite of the Canada Post delivery disruptions, are shown below.

The recent great propagation on 630m is well-demonstrated by last Saturday night's activity. For the previous two evenings, my JT9 CQ's (as well as QSOs) were being decoded for hours at a time by Rolf, LA2XPA in Norway. He was also hearing Larry, W7IUV, located a few hundred miles to my southwest, on the other side of the Cascade mountains in Washington state. Both of our signals would fade and trade places in Norway but often reaching audible CW levels! The problem was that neither myself or Larry could see any of Rolf's replies to us ... disappointing to us and frustrating for Rolf. 

After an hour of trying, I asked Rolf (via the ON4KST LF chat page) what he was using for a receive antenna. It turned out that his secret weapon was a 1000' beverage pointed this way ... no wonder he was hearing so well. Larry, who was using a shorter, easterly pointing BOG (Beverage On Ground) for 630m receive, commented that he also had a 1000' beverage pointed toward Europe but it was optimized for 160m and doubted that it would work on 630. Just to make sure, he plugged it into a second receiver and soon indicated that he 'might' have seen a weak JT9 trace on the waterfall, close to Rolf's frequency. 

One minute later Larry's comment was just "wow!" and the following minute he explained what had occurred. It seems that the 'possible weak trace' had suddenly skyrocketed to a -16db signal ... right at the edge of audibility! Larry and Rolf quickly exchanged signal reports and "RRs" as the first Europe-West Coast 630m QSO went into the history books ... 'wow' indeed!

Rolf reported that at his end, Larry's already good signal suddenly shot up to -5db, an easily copied CW level, before fading away for the night. Larry was pretty shocked at how quickly this strong short enhancement had occurred and we all hoped that the oft observed 'spotlight' propagation seen on 630 would move further west to VE7 ... but for now, it was not to be.

Earlier in the evening I had commented to Larry about some previous quirky 630m propagation and had suggested to him that it was probably just due to "the magic of radio" ... to which he politely dismissed with "sorry no magic, just hard work and dumb luck". Looks like he was right on both accounts, but after Saturday's excitement I think he may now believe in a little magic as well!

From Historynet: Today in History December 9

536                        Having captured Naples earlier in the year, Belisarius takes Rome.
1861                      The U.S. Senate approves establishment of a committee that would become the Joint Committee on the Conduct of War.
1863                      Major General John G. Foster replaces Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside as Commander of the Department of Ohio.
1867                      The capital of Colorado Territory is moved from Golden to Denver.
1872                      Pinckney Pinchback
            P.B.S. Pinchback becomes the first African-American governor of Louisiana.
1900                      The Russian czar rejects Boer Paul Kruger's pleas for aid in South Africa against the British.
1908                      A child labor bill passes in the German Reichstag, forbidding work for children under age 13.
1917                      The new Finnish Republic demands the withdrawal of Russian troops.
1940                      The British army seizes 1,000 Italians in a sudden thrust in Egypt.
1941                      Franklin D. Roosevelt tells Americans to plan for a long war.
1948                      The United States abandons a plan to de-concentrate industry in Japan.
1949                      The United Nations takes trusteeship over Jerusalem.
1950                      President Harry Truman bans U.S. exports to Communist China.
1950                      Harry Gold gets 30 years imprisonment for passing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union during World War II.
1955                      Sugar Ray Robinson knocks out Carl Olson to regain the world middleweight boxing title.
1960                      The Laos government flees to Cambodia as the capital city of Vientiane is engulfed in war.
1990                      Lech Walesa is elected president of Poland.
1992                      U.S. Marines land in Somalia to ensure food and medicine reaches the deprived areas of that country.
2008                      Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich is arrested on federal charges, including an attempt to sell the US Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Amateur Extra Lesson 9.1, Basics of Antennas, 11th Edition

Amateur Extra Lesson 8.3, Amateur Television, 11th Edition

Sting & Shaggy Full Concert Cologne's Kulturkirche (17.04.2018)

Build a 160/80 Meter Magnetic Loop Antenna - Part 1

The Value of Early Warning… by Samuel Culper

Happy December, everyone.
In last week’s Dispatch, I promised more information FO’s new National Conflict Early Warning System.
We’ve been using it to track the potential for political and governmental crises, the outbreak of violence and conflict, and economic or financial disruption.
Why Early Warning?
Many of us intuitively sense that there’s a huge downside risk to social, political, and economic stability over the next months and years.
But when will we see it? Are we already seeing it? Just how bad can things get?
It’s easy to ask these questions, but much more difficult to answer them.
Yet that’s exactly what I set out to accomplish.
As consumer of information, I know you don’t need more headlines.
You need to maintain situational awareness on developing or deteriorating conditions.
You need to gain a sense of what future conditions might look like. You need to know when to expect that future to materialize. And you need timely updates in an easily consumable format.
In short, you need something actionable.
And the National Intelligence Bulletin, along with our new early warning system, delivers exactly this.
Each week, we look at 16 sectors where significant risk is present or could develop. (You can sign up to receive this insight, perspective, and analysis here.)
We use these 16 sectors to identify structural issues contributing to instability that could lead to systems disruption, unrest, or violence.
We identify the accelerators driving these trends. And then we look at potential triggers.
What could produce a ‘black swan’ type of event? What might be a point of no return?
And then this information is compiled into the National Intelligence Bulletin. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can receive timely warnings, insights, and analysis here.
Here’s a quick look at part of this process. The chart below shows the 16 sectors and then a gauge of the threat level to each sector. As several days ago, 30 November (when we first published it), there were emerging threats to most of the sectors. Based on the trends, there’s likely to be a lot more red on this chart over the next two years.
Sectors with scores in the Persistent to Severe range are more likely to trigger disruption, unrest, or violence.
By tracking these scores over time, we can pinpoint the exact condition that’s worsening, and then draw conclusions about the trajectory and its possible second- and third-order effects.
That allows us to reduce uncertainty about the future. And it provides our subscribers early warning of what could happen in the future.
I do see a developing domestic conflict. Unlike tanks and bombers from previous wars, this conflict will likely be marked by widespread low level violence more akin to a gang war than a conventional war.
That’s why we call it “low intensity conflict” — it’s the gray area under a conventional war but above routine, peaceful competition. And it could last for years or decades, with the risk of developing a higher intensity.
Make 2019 the year you stay on top of these threats. Use our intelligence to gain a better picture of potential local or regional conflicts. And most importantly, prevent surprise over conditions that could have been foreseen.
Sign up to receive our daily and weekly reports plus our monthly live intelligence briefs (new for 2019) right here.
Until the next Dispatch
Always Out Front,
Samuel Culper
Director of Intelligence
Forward Observer
P.S. – These tectonic shifts in culture and politics are leading to an earthquake. You can maintain visibility on these structural risks, accelerators, and triggers of instability and violence through our Intelligence service.

Maintaining Student Interest in Amateur Radio from TAPR DCC 2018

France, Taxes, and Riots December 6, 2018 by Dan Mitchell

Maybe there’s hope for France. When GreeksBelgians, and the Brits riot, it’s because they want more handouts.
The French, by contrast, have taken to the streets to protest higher taxes. And they have plenty of reasons to be upset, as the Wall Street Journal reports.
France became the most heavily taxed of the world’s rich countries in 2017… The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s annual review of taxes in its 36 members published on Wednesday showed the French government’s tax revenues were the equivalent of 46.2% of economic output, up from 45.5% in 2016 and 43.4% in 2000. The Danish government’s tax take, which was the highest among OECD members between 2002 and 2016, fell to 46% of gross domestic product from 46.2% in the previous year and 46.9% in 2000. …The rise in French tax revenues was in line with a longstanding trend… The average tax take across the organization’s members edged up to 34.2% of GDP in 2017 from 34% in 2016 and 33.8% in 2000.
I suppose we should applaud Denmark for no longer being at the top of this list.
The tax burden on Danes is still absurdly high, but at least there is a small bit of progress (presumably because of a modest amount of long-overdue spending restraint).
Shifting back to France, the WSJ story mentions that the French president had to retreat on his plan for higher fuel taxes.
President Emmanuel Macron backed off a fuel-tax increase that enraged much of the nation and sparked a grass-roots protest movement against his government. …Before Tuesday’s climb down, Mr. Macron’s government had planned to raise fuel taxes in an effort to cut automobile pollution. …But the planned move sparked the worst riots to hit Paris in decades on Saturday, leaving the city’s shopping and tourist center dotted with burning cars and damaged storefronts. Protesters vandalized the Arc de Triomphe, rattling Mr. Macron’s administration and the country.
For what it’s worth, I’m glad Macron backed down. He actually has some good proposals to liberalize the French economy. That’s where he should be focused, not on concocting new ways to fleece citizens.
To be sure, over-taxation is not limited to France. Here are the most heavily taxed nations according to the OECD report.
Income taxes and payroll taxes generate most of the revenue, as you can see. But keep in mind that all of these countries also have onerous (and ever-increasing) value-added taxes, as well as other levies.
If I was in France (or any of these nations), the first thing I would point out is that people are getting ripped off.
A huge chunk of their income is seized by tax collectors, yet they’re not getting better services in exchange.
Are schools, roads, and healthcare in France better than they are in Switzerland or New Zealand, where the burden of government is much lower?
Or are they better in France than they are in Hong Kong and Singapore, where the fiscal burden is much, much lower?
The European Central Bank confirms that the answer is no.
Here is the data on taxes and spending for OECD member nations. For some reason, not all countries in the OECD’s tax database are included in the OECD’s spending database. Regardless, the obvious takeaway is that big welfare states require confiscatory tax regimes (with the middle class getting pillaged).
A few closing observations on this data.
  • Governments also have non-tax revenues, so red ink is only a partial explanation for the gap between spending and taxes in various nations.
  • Because of somewhat distorted GDP data, the actual tax burden in Ireland and Luxembourg is worse than shown in these numbers.
  • From 1965-present, the tax burden has increased the most in Greece. Needless to say, that has not been a recipe for economic or fiscal success.
  • The U.S. has a modest fiscal burden compared to other industrialized nations, which helps to explain why living standards are higher in America.
  • Mexico is not a low-tax nation. Like many developing economies, its government is simply too incompetent and corrupt to enforce onerous tax laws.
Circling back to our main topic, I joked years ago that the French national sport is taxation. It’s so bad that thousand of taxpayers have faced effective tax rates of more than 100 percent. Indeed, taxes are so onerous that even EU bureaucrats have warned taxes are excessive.
P.S. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that more than half the population would flee to America if they had the opportunity.

The Promise—and Complications—of Domestic Robots

The Promise—and Complications—of Domestic Robots: Consumers with expectations inflated by years of science fiction saturation might find themselves frustrated as domestic robots fail to perform basic tasks.

FDR DECLARES WAR (12/8/41) - Franklin Delano Roosevelt , WWII , Infamy S...

Here is a link to a post with pictures of Pearl Harbor:

From Historynet: Today in History December 7

Image result for Cicero
43 BC                     Cicero, considered one of the greatest sons of Rome, is assassinated on the orders of Marcus Antonius.
983                         Otto III takes the throne after his father's death in Italy. A power struggle between magnates ensues.
1787                       Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.
1808                       James Madison is elected president in succession of Thomas Jefferson.
1861                       USS Santiago de Cuba, under Commander Daniel B. Ridgely, halts the British schooner Eugenia Smith and captures J.W. Zacharie, a New Orleans merchant and Confederate purchasing agent.
1862                       Confederate forces surprise an equal number of Union troops at the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.
1863                       Outlaw George Ives, an alleged member of an outlaw gang known as the "Innocents," robs and then kills Nick Thiebalt in the Ruby Valley of what would become Montana.
1917                       The United States declares war on Austria-Hungary with only one dissenting vote in Congress.
1918                       Spartacists call for a German revolution.
1931                       A report indicates that Nazis would ensure "Nordic dominance" by sterilizing certain races.
1941                       Japanese planes raid Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in a surprise attack, bringing the US into WWII.
1942                       The U.S. Navy launches USS New Jersey, the largest battleship ever built.
1946                       The president of the United Mine Workers, John L. Lewis, orders all striking miners back to work.
1949                       The A.F.L. and the C.I.O. organize a non-Communist international trade union.
1970                       Poland and West Germany sign a pact renouncing the use of force to settle disputes, recognizing the Oder-Neisse River as Poland's western frontier, and acknowledging the transfer to Poland of 40,000 square miles of former German territory.
1972                       The crew of Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the moon, lifts off at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1981                       The Reagan Administration predicts a record deficit in 1982 of $109 billion.
1988                       An earthquake in Armenia kills an estimated 100,000 people.
1988                       Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat recognizes Israel's right to exist.
1995                       Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter after a 6-year journey.
1999                       The Recording Industry Association of America files a copyright infringement suit against the file-sharing website Napster.
2003                       A tornado in Kensal Green, North West London, damages about 150 properties.
Born on December 7
1810                       Theodor Schwann, German physiologist.
1873                       Willa Cather, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist (O Pioneers!, My Antonia).
1888                       Joyce Cary, Irish-born novelist (The Horse's Mouth).
1888                       Ernst Toch, composer and pianist.
1895                       Sir Milton Margay, the first prime minister of Sierra Leone.
1896                       Stuart Davis, painter.
1928                       Noam Chomsky, writer, linguist and political activist.
1932                       Ellen Burstyn, actress; won Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974); won Tony for Same Time, Next Year (1975).
1947                       Johnny Bench, pro baseball catcher; twice named National League Most Valuable Player, he was dubbed the greatest catcher in baseball history by ESPN.
1949                       Tom Waits, singer, songwriter ("Jersey Girl," "Downtown Train"), musician, actor (Down by Law).
1956                       Larry Bird, basketball player for the Boston Celtics.
1988                       Emily Browning, actress, singer, model; won AFI International Award for Best Actress as Violet Baudelaire in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.
2003                       Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, heiress apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Amateur Extra Lesson 8.2, Digital Protocols and Modes, 11th Edition

Amateur Extra Lesson 8.1, Modulation Systems, 11th Edition

Amateur Extra Lesson 7.4, Interference and Noise, 11th Edition

Amateur Extra Lesson 7.3, Receiver Performance, 11th Edition

From Historynet: Today in History December 6

1492                       Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Santo Domingo in search of gold.
1776                       Phi Beta Kappa, the first scholastic fraternity, is founded at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg.
1812                       The majority of Napoleon Bonaparte's Grand Armeé staggers into Vilna, Lithuania, ending the failed Russian campaign.
1861                       Union General George G. Meade leads a foraging expedition to Gunnell's farm near Dranesville, Virginia.
1862                       President Abraham Lincoln orders the hanging of 39 of the 303 convicted Indians who participated in the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota. They are to be hanged on December 26.
1863                       The monitor Weehawken sinks in Charleston Harbor.
1865                       The 13th Amendment is ratified, abolishing slavery.
1876                       Jack McCall is convicted for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok and sentenced to hang.
1877                       Thomas A. Edison makes the first sound recording when he recites "Mary had a Little Lamb" into his phonograph machine.
1906                       Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge flies a powered, man-carrying kite that carries him 168 feet in the air for seven minutes at Baddeck, Nova Scotia.
1917                       The Bolsheviks imprison Czar Nicholas II and his family in Tobolsk.
1921                       Ireland's 26 southern counties become independent from Britain forming the Irish Free State.
1922                       Benito Mussolini threatens Italian newspapers with censorship if they keep reporting "false" information.
1934                       American Ambassador Davis says Japan is a grave security threat in the Pacific.
1938                       France and Germany sign a treaty of friendship.
1939                       Britain agrees to send arms to Finland, which is fighting off a Soviet invasion.
1941                       President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues a personal appeal to Emperor Hirohito to use his influence to avoid war.
1945                       The United States extends a $3 billion loan to Great Britain to help compensate for the termination of the Lend-Lease agreement.
1947                       Florida's Everglades National Park is established.
1948                       The "Pumpkin Spy Papers" are found on the Maryland farm of Whittaker Chambers. They become evidence that State Department employee Alger Hiss is spying for the Soviet Union.
1957                       Vanguard TV3 explodes on the launchpad, thwarting the first US attempt to launch a satellite into Earth's orbit.
1967                       Adrian Kantrowitz performs first human heart transplant in the US.
1969                       Hells Angels, hired to provide security at a Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in California, beat to death concert-goer Meredith Hunter.
1971                       Pakistan severs diplomatic relations with India after New Delhi recognizes the state of Bangladesh.
1973                       US House of Representatives confirms Gerald Ford as Vice-President of the United States, 387–35.
1975                       A Provisional IRA unit takes a couple hostage in Balcombe Street, London, and a 6-day siege begins.
1976                       Democrat Tip O'Neill is elected speaker of the House of Representatives. He will serve the longest consecutive term as speaker.
1992                       The Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, India, is destroyed during a riot that started as a political protest.
2006                       NASA reveals photographs from Mars Global Surveyor that suggest the presence of water on the red planet.

Eagles Peaks and VK3/VE-123 – 10 Nov 2018 from VK3IL Blog

Allen VK3ARH had been planning a trip to try and pick up The Governor and VK3/VE-075 (an unactivated peak), so Tony VK3CAT and I decided to join him. The original plan was to do a through hike from 8 mile gap on Brocks Rd to EaglesPeaks, The Governor and VK3/VE-075. However, the uncertainty of the scrub thickness suggested that this would have been a somewhat risky undertaking. The revised plan was to activate Eagles Peaks and continue on to the Governor and then return by the same route, camping in the saddle below it overnight. It didn’t quite go as planned…
8 Mile Flat camp ground
I joined Tony and Allen on the Friday night at 8 Mile Flat camp ground where we spent a comfortable night. 8 Mile Flat is a great little camping spot right on the Howqua river, but has quite a steep access road with a small creek crossing which means it’s really only suitable for 4WDs. The flat itself is wide open, grassy and surrounded by tall eucalypts. We were on the road early Sat morning for a fairly quick drive up to 8 Mile Gap (actually no where near 8 Mile Flat!)
Tony and Allen toiling up the trail

Some of the sections of the track traversed quite narrow sections of ridge

We left the cars in the parking area and loaded up our 20kg+ packs (as we were each carrying about 7 litres of water – there’s no water where we were headed). The track up to Eagles Peaks is well marked and largely clear of obstacles. It is quite steep at the beginning and end and undulating between.

The loose scree slope requires care

The climb up the last section covers a steep scree slope where you need to be careful of your footing to avoid slipping over. It took just short of 2 hours to climb to the summit with the heavy packs. The weather was almost perfect – cool, but partly sunny and only a light breeze. On reaching the summit though, the breeze picked up and necessitated jackets to keep warm once we stopped moving.
Allen and I operating at Eagles Peaks (Photo: Tony)
The station was set up quickly with three of us working together and we were soon on the air on CW on 40m. It didn’t take long for Tony and Allen to qualify it while I worked up the courage to take over the paddles. They weren’t going to let me use the mic until I’d qualified it on CW!  So I dialed the speed down and soon managed to work the requisite four contacts. After that I was allowed the mic to complete the activation 🙂
Packing up we headed on towards the far side of Eagles Peaks and the saddle leading to The Governor. The track became very indistinct past the summit, but the direction was easy to find. There were sections of thick bush intermingled with increasingly steep ledges and steps as we headed off the summit. It was fairly slow going.
We then came to a section that was essentially all small cliffs (maybe 2-3m high). We paused and took our packs off to look for ways past this obstacle and in the process Allen’s pack decided to test out the “jump straight off the cliff” approach! Luckily it was stopped by small trees, so didn’t go any further. Eventually Tony found a way to clamber down and managed to retrieve Allen’s pack.
We considered how long it had taken us thus far and the fact that climbing up those cliffs with packs on on the way back was going to be a dicey proposition and decided to call it a day. If we had had ropes and harnesses, it wouldn’t have been too hard to get down, but that would have been even more gear to carry!
The Governor – so near, yet so far! (Photo: Tony)
We headed back up to Eagles Peaks (there’s no practical way around the sides due to even larger cliffs), stopping for lunch in a small clearing. The return from Eagles Peaks to the cars was quicker than the way up at only 1:20, but you still have to be very careful on the scree slope to avoid slips.
The track to Eagle’s Peaks
The return from Eagles Peaks
Back at the cars by mid afternoon, I decided to head back to Melbourne activating VK3/VE-123 (my first SOTA summit worth less than 8 points!) on the way out whilst Allen and Tony headed for Mt Sunday (they were planning a couple more days – see Tony’s blog for the write up here).
The end of the antenna strung along the track at VE-123

VE-123 is the highest point on Three Chains Track which starts across the road from the beginning of the Mt Timbertop walking track on Howqua Track. Three Trains Track is definitely high clearance 4WD only with some steep rocky sections, spoon drains and deep ruts.
There is a radio repeater (belonging to Geelong Grammar Timbertop campus) at the summit, but it didn’t cause any interference problems. My arrival at the summit was well timed as I saw a spot for Andrew VK3JBL over on Federation Range on 2m FM.
The view from VE-123 looking over to The Paps in the far distance
I was able to have a very clear contact with my rubber ducky antenna thanks to his beam. I was also able to work Tony and Allen on Mt Sunday on DMR simplex using just a rubber ducky antenna at each end. Having almost qualified it on 2m, I set up the KX2 and worked five chasers on 80m and one ZL chaser on 40m before calling it a day. 
I was safely back on the bitumen before dark and stopped in Mansfield for a tasty Felafal wrap from the Kebab restaurant before the long drive back to Melbourne. Whilst we didn’t achieve the original plan, it was a great day in the hills and two new summits for me.