Summits on the Air is an International program which encourages Radio Amateurs to operate from the top of designated summits around the world. I am the current area manager for VK5 SOTA which became active in the SOTA program 01/10/2012. I got so much help from Wayne VK3WAM to map and record the summits for South Australia and prepare the Summit List and local ARM. Because SOTA is now active in vk5 there is not much for me to do but report problems to the MT in the UK. I spend my time activating Summits On The Air and I have 50 Summits on my list to try to visit once a year. I need to gain permission from land owners every time to visit those summits on private property. I also buy a parks pass every year for access to the summits in National Parks. To activate as many summits on my list as possible entails 8,700 km of driving and around 180km of hiking. Of all the summit I visit only a few are drive up types with roads to the top. My kit includes a KX3 and Link Dipole for 40/20 m with clip on extensions to give the 80m band. I have added an FT 817 to my stable of SOTA rigs which is fun to operate and does a great job with the link dipole with clip on extensions for 80m . I have in recent times made an End Fed Half Wave antenna with 1 link just below the 30m band to give good VSWR on 17m giving me 7 bands on the one antenna from 40m to 10m. It seems to work very well times I have used it. Quite easy to deploy having the feed point end on my walking pole and the carbon extendable pole off at the end of the wire. I have experimented with wires and tuners of various sorts and configurations but always come back to a link dipole as high as possible to do the job. During the down turn in propagation those compromised antennas are fun to try but not as good as the bench mark resonant dipole. When you go to a lot expense to drive, then pain to hike these summits you need the best antenna and band to make a score. Nothing worse than wasting a far percentage of your RF in some “wonder tuner antenna config” that hardly radiates and your Chasers can’t hear you to make a score. That’s my tip.
Well on 25th of May 2019 I finally qualified with 1000 activating points to make Mountain Goat.
In order to reach that score I had to visit 263 summits with a average of 3.8 points per activation.
My first summit was Mt Horrocks 01/10/2012 and as I came close to 1000 points it was fitting to finish off with Mt Horrocks as my Award Summit 6.5 years later. It was a coincidence that by the end I only needed 2 points to make Mountain Goat so good old vk5/se-012 was the summit. Among the local chasers we agreed to make Nev VK5WG qso number 4 as my qualifying score in honor of the contribution he has put into chasing SOTA activators. Nev is one of my most reliable and determined chaser during my time activating to this point, I recon it would be only a couple times that i have gone out activating and not work Nev it was always hard to leave the summit without Nev in my log. Dale VK5LD and John VK5MJC were logged on my first activation and also the Qualifying activation. Last but never least I thank all the land owners for access to their properties so I could take part in SOTA, thanks again.
vk5cz / MG ..
Typical SOTA shack .
We see some special views and countryside from Summits
My vehicle for go anywhere places, Holden Colorado LX .
Rigs ic 706 for HF ic 2720 for VHF.
You get to suffer butt rot in some amazing places, air cushion essential kit.
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Cheers Ian vk5cz ..
Just found your SOTA blog here, Ian. Nice reads! But how about snakes up there…?
Hello Ramon tnx question.
I have now done over 400 activations on SOTA and I think I have only ever seen 2 snakes when hiking to a summit. This is quite remote desert country and snakes can’t survive out there very well would probably be the main reason.
That should indeed be the reason. Good to know you’re quite safe up there, then :0)