Category Archives: Australia

SOTA vk3/ve-237 Huon Hill 4th March 2016

Sadly, the last of the summits to be activated in my short VK ‘Road Trip’, Huon Hill (vk3/ve-237) turned out to be a whole lot of fun!

Driving across from Albury I was quickly at the start of the dirt road that would take me virtually up to the summit. driving past the new housing development at the bottom of the hill, I saw my first lot of kangaroos! (live ones that is, I have seen lots of dead ones at the side of the road!)
Did i mention I’m easily pleased? I got excited at the sight of 9 inch high penguins scurrying up a beach in Dunedin last week:)

Anyway, I digress, getting to the top, it was 37c in the shade, and i wasn’t too keen on sitting on one of the exposed viewing platforms that most other activators seem to have used. There is a picnic table, underneath a small roof that provided a little shade on the grass beside it. I didn’t have enough cable to run from here to the viewing platform, so i ended up velcro-ing the pole to the wire fence surrounding the small mast nearby. Discovering I’d left the pegs back in the hotel, i ended up just laying the ends of the dipole on the ground. . Not ideal.

bodged lash up of pole to the mesh enclosure

bodged lash up of pole to the mesh enclosure

In the shade, it was still showing 33c, but at least i was out of the sun!

Starting off on 40m, a range of vk chasers who had help qualify the previous summits did the same again, before drying up (well it was Friday evening, real people probably have better things to do!)

Switching to 20m provided lots of fun! 17 European contacts, one JA, one ZL and 2 further VK contacts ensued. Some of the European ones were particularly difficult to complete, so thanks to those who showed the patience to complete the contacts, it was appreciated.
There were, unfortunately some chasers who were just too weak, I could pick out the odd bit of audio, but not enough to get any details at all.
Half way through, a huge orangey-pink looking spider ran across the ground… no idea what it was, but having heard all about spiders here πŸ˜‰ , I moved all the stuff up onto the picnic table πŸ™‚

(Perhaps the spider was one of these Badge (Huntsman) Spiders Then again, maybe not, as they’re supposed to be nocturnal… I wasn’t going to ask it πŸ™‚

shack on the table away from the scary spiders.......

shack on the table away from the scary spiders…….

Finally briefly back on 40m for any outstanding locals who missed 40m earlier, before packing up before sunset as i didn’t have a torch with me.

view from the top

view from the top

Time Call Band Mode Notes
06:28z VK2IO 7MHz SSB s57 r32
06:30z VK1AD 7MHz SSB s57 r57
06:32z VK4RF 7MHz SSB s58 r52
06:32z VK4HA 7MHz SSB s58 r52
06:41z VK2YK 7MHz SSB s59 r57
06:50z S57S 14MHz SSB s33 r53
06:51z I5FLN 14MHz SSB s55 r53
06:52z IW2NOI 14MHz SSB s32 r55
06:54z RA3PCI 14MHz SSB s32 r57
06:55z DF1YQ 14MHz SSB s59 r57
06:56z S52KM 14MHz SSB s33 r33
06:56z F1BLL 14MHz SSB s55 r55
06:57z HA6OB 14MHz SSB s34 r55
06:58z VK4RF 14MHz SSB s59 r59
06:58z VK4HA 14MHz SSB s59 r59
07:02z ZL2AJ 14MHz SSB s57 r53
07:04z SA4BLM 14MHz SSB s46 r31
07:08z DL1EBR 14MHz SSB s32 r53
07:17z UT5PI 14MHz SSB s44 r55
07:18z ON4BB 14MHz SSB s44 r44
07:19z IK1GPG 14MHz SSB s58 r55
07:20z SV1IZY 14MHz SSB s58 r54
07:20z VK6JON 14MHz SSB s57 r57
07:25z EA4DTV 14MHz SSB s44 r55
07:26z ON4VT 14MHz SSB s33 r44
07:38z VK3PF 7MHz SSB s44 r57
07:41z VK3FQSO 7MHz SSB s59 r56
07:51z JA8RJE 14MHz SSB s57 r55

Many thanks to everyone who took their time to chase on all of the ZL and VK summits, it was greatly appreciated!

Equipment used 817nd, mp-817 amplifier and linked dipole

As an added bonus, driving back in the gathering gloom, I managed to take a pic of the roos too!

Real, live, kangaroos :)

Real, live, kangaroos πŸ™‚

SOTA vk1/ac-040 Mount Ainslie 3rd March 2016

After the successful activation of Mount Gibraltar earlier in the day it was down the Hume Highway before turning off down towards Canberra. Such a pleasure driving on roads that weren’t bumper to bumper! Only things I didn’t see, were kangaroos.. well, except the ones at the side of the road that had obviously come worse off when meeting cars and trucks πŸ™
Time was getting on,so after I’d found the hotel and checked in, I drove backup Mount Ainslie, vk1/ac-040, to the fairly large car park, with only one of two cars parked. Menacing clouds were starting to gather, and the distant rumble of thunder meant that I probably wouldn’t be on top of the hill too long!

40m into the linked dipole quickly rattled off 4 QSOs that meant, at least, that I’d qualified the summit, and had it as a ‘complete’ too, which was nice!
Switching to 20m provided another 2 QSOs on the linked dipole.

hf setup, ends of dipole in the trees

hf setup, ends of dipole in the trees

A further one qso back on 40m before I wimped out and pulled down the dipole, putting the 2m moxon on the pole for 3 further 2m fm QSOs

Tiny moxon antenna on the pole

Tiny moxon antenna on the pole

After numerous ground strikes from lightning, getting visibly closer, I hastily decided enough was enough and packed up, apologies if I missed anyone.

Time Call Band Mode Notes
05:22z VK3PF 7MHz SSB s58 r44
05:24z VK3CAT 7MHz SSB s59 r46
05:25z VK1MA 7MHz SSB s58 r34
05:27z VK3LED 7MHz SSB s57 r53
05:46z VK4RF 14MHz SSB s21 r41
05:47z VK4HA 14MHz SSB s21 r41
06:04z VK2IO 7MHz SSB s58 r57
06:20z VK1MA 144MHz FM s59 r59
06:29z VK2COW/M 144MHz FM s59 r59
06:32z VK1LWW 144MHz FM s59 r59

I would have liked to have stayed longer, but safety comes first!

angry clouds, bit like the UK, but with warm rain ;)

angry clouds, bit like the UK, but with warm rain πŸ˜‰

Equipment used 817nd, MPP-817 amplifier, linked dipole (For HF) 817nd, moxon 2m antenna (for VHF)

SOTA vk2/il-001 Mount Gibraltar 3rd March 2016

Only a couple of days left before I leave the southern hemisphere πŸ™ so it was time for a couple of easy vk activations!
Both virtually drive on summits, so that was niceΒ  first one, just off the Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne, vk2/il-001, Mount Gibraltar, I drove past the gate to the many transmitting towers, so I did have to walk up to the activation zone. I was stopped by a couple of tourists who wanted to know where the viewpoint was.. they said they thought I would know as i looked like a “professional walker” ( Huh?. They’d obviously been out in the sun too long! Damned tourists…. oh.. yes… err… πŸ˜‰ )
Anyway, there appeared to be a lot of work happening on one of the towers, installing another dish, so i kept out of the way, finding an old tree to bungy the pole to, one end of the linked dipole in a tree, the other wrapped around a rock on the ground.


pole bungied to the tree, rig on the ground being investigated by ants πŸ™

The RF noise from the transmitters made things a little difficult in hearing chasers, my reports to most being significantly worse than the reports i received in return, however, all QSOs were successful in the end, 10 on 40m, and a further 6 on 20m.

It was quite ple:)asant, in the shade of the trees, the thermometer showing 32c, a nice change from 32f πŸ™‚

Time Call Band Mode Notes
00:29z VK2YW 7MHz SSB s33 r55
00:32z VK2IO 7MHz SSB s33 r55
00:34z VK2YK 7MHz SSB s58 r58
00:36z VK2UH 7MHz SSB s48 r58
00:38z VK3PF 7MHz SSB s44 r42
00:39z VK1AD 7MHz SSB s22 r57
00:51z VK5CZ 14MHz SSB s53 r53
00:57z VK5PAS 14MHz SSB s44 r57
00:59z VK5WG 14MHz SSB s33 r55
01:01z VK4RF 14MHz SSB s58 r55
01:01z VK4HA 14MHz SSB s58 r55
01:05z VK5IS 14MHz SSB s21 r52
01:13z VK3LED 7MHz SSB s47 r59
01:19z VK1AT/P2 7MHz SSB s22 r53
01:21z VK4RF 7MHz SSB s21 r55
01:22z VK2NP 7MHz SSB s45 r54

Quite an enjoyable time in the shadows of the trees,many thanks to all the chasers.
Rig was the 817nd, with the MP-817 Amplifier,into a linked dipole, not too far off the ground.
After close to an hour playing radio, it was time to pack up, and make my way down the Hume Highway again to Canberra