Activation of VK1/AC-034 Mt Majura 16/07/17 (stealth strategy)

Missus’ first deployment to come and see my SOTA Activation. Under the guise of – ‘Hey Honey lets take all the dogs for a walk up Mt Majura for some good exercise and fresh air”.  I didn’t say that it was also for radio.  Hihi!

Bit of a struggle to get the 4 required contacts to make the activation.  Thank you to VK1MA, VK8GMT/1, VK1XX, VK2UK/1.

 

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Helen and the 3 Border Collies with the Canberra Airport in the distance.

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Activation of VK2/ST-001 Mt Cowangarong 08/07/17

Also known as the location of the Captains Flat weather radar. It is a nice easy drive to 8pt summit (with 3pt winter bonus).  The original plan was to head down to the Deua National Park with Andrew (VK1AD), Andrew (VK1MBE) and Al (VK1RX) who all happen to be accomplished SOTA Operators achieving SOTA Goat Status.  But as time was against me for the day I had to look for a site closer to home.  From my home QTH in Bungendore NSW it is only an hour away.

Summit to Summit
Al (VK1RX) on VK2/SM-0059 (Big Badja) on 146.500FM distance 39km
Andrew (VK1AD) on VK2/SM-059 (Bald Mountain) on 146.500FM distance 32km
Andrew (VK1MBE) on VK2/SM-059 (Bald Mountain) on 146.500FM distance 32km

Other Stations Worked
VK7CW, VK2VW, VK5PAS, VK7XDM, VKEMI, VK1KW (on 6m), VK1MA (on 6m), VK3CAT, VK5WG, VK3LED, VK5IS

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VK1VIC with Captains Flat weather radar dome in the background.

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New Award – SOTA Mountain Hunter Bronze

VK1VIC SOTA Cert Mtn Hunter

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Activation of VK2/IL-001 Mt Gibraltar 25/06/17

A new summit in a different area.  Mt Gibraltar is a 4 point drive up summit which is good for a slight deviation off the Hume Highway either on the way to or from Sydney.

But today it was extremely windy with it howling through the radio towers which made for an eerie sound.

Stations worked
VK4RF, VK3SQ, VK3MCD, VK3ANL, VK2ARH, VK3IF, VK5WG, ZL2AJ, VK3GGG, VK3FPSR, VK5IS, VK3BHR, VK2IK and VK4AAC/2 activation VKFF-0265 near Inverell.

 

Also a Dog Friendly summit.

 

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Activation of VK2/ST-034 Mt Gillamatong 24/06/17

 

Great to be back on top of a summit. Milo (English Springer Spaniel) came along for the company. But yet another beautiful winter day, full sun, no breeze and just a pleasure to sit at the trig with the radio.  Managed to set up and operate just before change of day so that chasers could get the two lots of 6 points.  It was however quiet with only working a couple of stations but still managed to successfully activate the summit. Unfortunately no S2S (Summit-to-Summit) points but did get to work operators in VK3, VK4, VK5, VK7 and two ZL (New Zealand) stations. Both ZL stations were 5/9 but they were only copying 4/1. Still a good effort for after 10AM on 10watts.

Stations worked
VK3GGG, VK 4TJ, VK5WG, VK5IS, VK7C2, ZL1BYZ, ZL1WA

Interesting Story
Whilst driving up to the end of Gillamatong Lane to park the car I noticed an old gentleman walking along the road.  I didn’t think any more of it until I commenced the ascent then recalled the story that Andrew (VK1AD) had said to me when he activated once he had met an old guy called Jack who every day for years would do the daily trek to the summit to observe the weather patterns and report back to his son based in Sydney. He was a chatty guy and told me that he would look east towards the coast from the summit to observe the types of clouds. He said  that whatever was there would then move to Sydney over the next 12 hours.  Unfortunately he said that his eye was a bit sore these days so I offered him my binoculars which made the job much easier.  What is funny is that he stands on the trig and points a satellite phone at the sky to make the phone call.

He appeared from behind the radio hut and whilst Milo was having a rest she told me someone was approaching. She was very alert to possible danger. See photo of Milo’s posture on seeing Jack approaching.

 

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Activation of VK1/AC-037 Mt Taylor 18/06/17)

After an absence of 6 months from SOTA to concentrate on university studies and being between subjects it was a good time to trek up Mt Taylor with the hand held just for a brief activation.  The weather was lovely and I got to work Chris (VK1CT), Andrew (VK1AD), Matt (VK1MA) and Roger (VK2FMEL).

Also the opportunity to take my new offsider Milo (English Springer Spaniel) out for a walk and joint activation.  Shame a lot of summits you can’t take a dog.

Here is a picture of her on the log showing Woden in the background.

Milo 20170618-1

 

 

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2016/17 Rollover & New Years Day

hnyAs is now the custom that on NYD a large number of Australian SOTA operators decide to wake up very early and head up hills for a mass activation.  Whilst many Australians are still in bed nursing a hangover SOTA operators have packed up their kit and enjoying the first day working HF with others atop mountains.

My plan for the period was to activate VK2/ST-001 (Mt Cowangarong) and VK2/SM-049 (Mt Tumanang) twice hoping to give me 32pts but alas that wasn’t to be due to underestimating the time to get between summits and also becoming a little geographically embarrassed getting to Mt Tumanang.  The plan nearly worked but a rush to activate the second summit with only 3 minutes before rollover resulted in me just throwing the linked dipole on the ground and making a poor effort of getting some height (about 1m off the ground).  Did manage to get a good contact to VK5PAS (Paul) at VK5/SE-001 but the rollover had already occurred.

The photo below is taken of VK2/ST-001 (Mt Cowangarong) which is the host site for the Captain’s Flat Weather Radio operated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. It provides an excellent weather map for the region. To view the website of the Captain’s Flat Radar ( http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR403.loop.shtml )

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VK2/ST-001 (Mt Cowangarong)
Summit to Summit – (30 minute activation)
Matt (VK1MA) on VK1/AC-008 (Mt Ginini) on 7Mhz distance 68km
Andrew (VK1AD) on VK1/AC-043 (Mt Stromlo) on 7Mhz distance 59km

Other Stations Worked
VK2EMI, VK3GGG, VK3DAC, VK5IS, VK4RF, VK4HA, VK5WG, VK5BJE/1, VK5EE, VK7LTD

VK2/SM-049 (Mt Tumanang)
Summit to Summit
Paul (VK5PAS) on VK5/SE-001 (Mt Bryan) on 7Mhz distance 994km
Marion (VKFMAZ) on VK5/SE-001 (Mt Bryan) on 7Mhz distance 994km
Mitch (VK7XDM) on VK7/WC-003 (Mt Field West) on 7Mhz distance 809km
Andrew (VK1AD) on VK1/AC-043 (Mt Stromlo) on 7Mhz distance 64km
Andrew (VK3ARR) on VK3/VE-008 (Mt Buller) on 7Mhz distance 313km
Gerard (VK2IO) on VK2/HU-093 (Mt Elliot) on 7Mhz distance 315km
Allen (VK3ARH) on VK3/VS-027 (Ben More) on 7Mhz distance 564km
Peter (VK3PF) on VK3/VG-001 (Mt Cope) on 7Mhz distance 236km
Matt (VK1MA) on VK1/AC-008 (Mt Ginini) on 7Mhz distance 68km
Andrew (VK1MBE) on VK1/ST-001 (Mt Cowangarong) on 7Mhz distance 10km
Paul (VK1ATP) on VK1/AC-039 (Yellow Rabbit Hill) on 7Mhz distance 70km
Tony (VK3CAT) on VK3/VC-037 (unknown) on 7Mhz distance 421km
Adam (VK3AGD) on VK3/VC-002 (Mt Donna Buang) on 7Mhz distance 402km
Adam (VK2YK) on VK2/MN-132 (Berrico) on 7Mhz distance 457km

Other stations worked
VK3FPSR, VK7CW

 

 

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