Hill vk5/se-006

Hill se-006 is an unnamed Summit in the SOTA program, we often have Summits like this and just refer to them by the SOTA reference. After an un eventful dusty drive back from Waite Hill we found Hill se-006 just east of Whyte Yarcowie up a dead end road into the property. We saw many Kangaroos here I recon its the most I have seen in one mob in a long time . The track to the summit was quite easy to get along and we headed up to the top of the hill picking a line along the saddle which was quite easy this time. One thing that was new was we had to take a sledge hammer and our own picket into the activation zone as this hill has not trig or trees. We did find a Box Thorn bush on the western edge so we set up there.

Waite Hill Hill SE-006 15 022 Looking north.

Waite Hill Hill SE-006 15 023 View to our morning summit .

Waite Hill Hill SE-006 15 024 View south from the edge of the summit wind farms way off to south.

Waite Hill Hill SE-006 15 025 Hugh setting up we had a great take off point and antenna was up high.

Waite Hill Hill SE-006 15 026 Working the pile up.

Hugh made a nice score this time on 40m with band conditions still a bit hard on the closer in stations so I just went to cw when my turn came about. I worked several of my faithful chasers in vk 2 3 4 7 with vk7cw Steve sending with his side winder key which sounds like a bird singing in a tree to me. I don’t hear many on this type of key but as Steve is a master of it, it sounds really nice, bit like a bug key but better I think. Being early morning in Europe I went on 20m cw and straight away had a pile up of EU stations chasing with good signals so it was great to be among the dx after a long spell of poor conditions or timing on the summit. John vk6nu found me this time as well which was my only vk station on 20m and 40m was no good to the west, so glad you found me John. After the rage died down and I run out of EU chasers I went back to 40m ssb to find Nev waiting for me on the ssb frequency and to our surprise he was 20 over 9 this time but an hour before there was no chance of a qso at all. In the quiet location on the summit Hugh could hear Nev but he was not responding to us so we put it down to really high noise and low signal at his end. Adrian came up as well as he was waiting there as well to see if we came back to ssb from cw.

We travelled 360 km this trip which is shorter than usual but with band conditions much better it ended up being a great day out.

Thanks to our band of chasers and land owners for the tracks and Hill.


Waite Hill vk5/ne-066

Waite Hill is a great summit, the highest point in the Porcupine Ranges east of Terowie. Hugh and I left early in the morning to head there as we had two summits for the day planned . It was my turn to give the Colorado a run at some 4×4 this time and we saw many Kangaroos and Emus on the way so we had to be careful along the roads not to hit them.

Waite Hill Hill SE-006 15 004 Ready for the challenge climbing this one it is very steep and rocky right from go.

Waite Hill Hill SE-006 15 005  Hugh is off picking the line I have my hat on backwards looking up.

Waite Hill Hill SE-006 15 020 The summit is up here somewhere, it was about an hour hike.

Waite Hill Hill SE-006 15 007 Waite Hill Summit highest point in photo.

Waite Hill Hill SE-006 15 011 Sleepy Lizard using a rock for a pillow getting some sun.

Waite Hill Hill SE-006 15 013 The top.

Waite Hill Hill SE-006 15 017 Hugh in the pile up .

We had reasonable conditions on 40m for a change but the skip was still quite long, Hugh was able to work Paul vk5pas but the rest were interstate and Mt Gambier contacts. I made 4 qso on ssb then Tony wanted a cw qso so I went to cw mode and worked another 5 stations. One thing I did not realise when Hugh was on air my KX3 was set to about 3 Watts as I had been testing it in my shack last week and forgot to reset the output power. But we got enough to qualify and get the job done then a steady hike back down to the ute and a bite of lunch before the 4×4 track back to good roads which takes about an hour with Hugh working off the soreness opening gates this time.

Thanks to all the chasers for the contacts and land owners for the tracks and hills.


Afternoon of SOTA “Out East”

Once we had lunch sitting under a nice  Southern Cyprus Pine, we got Mitsi under way as best we could on the station tracks mostly around 60km per hour across blue bush country. It was probably 50km of these tracks with gates to get up as far as Yunta before we could hit the Black Top. The mobile phone had been on flight mode for quite a while in the morning so once we got back to service we had to deal with emails and txt messages re what time we may make Nackara Hill. Hugh had Mitsi on the speed limit + on the black top to catch up some time as we had to travel about 40km back down south again then head out west this time to the hill. It was a over grown track into the base of the hill and a big steep climb to the top which we had to walk because a lot of wash outs prevented us from getting up to a saddle which would have been a good launching spot.

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 020

Great view out to where we were in the morning I think the bump way off in the distance is Pualco Range.

After much leg burning we made the top, it sure pays to zig zag as best you can and some times you pick up on a contoured sheep track .

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 022 Not sure what happened to this trig point but it is a bit knocked around .

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 023 There was a big mob of flies around here so we moved back a way to get protection and find a sheoak tree to put up the squid pole.

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 025 This old tree has seen it all.

Hugh went first this time and made a nice score then I did also with a nice amount of 40m cw chasers but still no short skip . We both made a S2S qso with Andrew VK1NAM who was keen to pick up our unique summit for the first time and that was the only S2S we made on this trip.  These differing propagation events are becoming a problem for chasers inside the first 100 km or so, we just can not hear one and other .  40m was really good to vk 1 2 3 4 and only stations several 100km away were able to be worked. I worked Amanda VK3FQSO with a perfectly readable signal and she was running 1 watt of power which was an opposite extreme to others we could not hear with higher powered stations. Really hard conditions lately and I hope it is not a sign of what is to come as the cycle really starts the down turn.

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 021 Typical view of the area rocks, saltbush, spinifex and low mallee scrub where it is not as windy and can survive is this harsh old land of ours.

Thanks to all the chasers for giving us the contacts sorry to those who missed out even though we knew you were out there trying. Thanks to Hugh’s good work for liaising with land owners re permission, and off course said land owners for the tracks and hills.

cheers for now

De Ian vk5cz ..


Morning of SOTA “Out East”

Out of Bed 4.30 am on Friday 11th to get organised to meet Hugh at his house to reload Mitsi for our journey to Pualco Range vk5/ne-107. This time after much investigative work from Hugh he found an easier way to get there, last year we just kept travelling east across the salt bush plain when the track run out. We entered into sheep station country east of Mount Bryan and followed some good dirt roads for about 50 km before out first fence line track to the entrance to the summit paddock which is about 40 square miles. The track  inside the paddock was in good order and some creek crossings had been fixed and we made the northern side of the summit in about 3 hours from Hugh’s house.

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 001 That’s the summit in the back ground we are on a ridge line here gaining altitude before the main assault there are big Yacca’s growing here and lots of spinifex grass and a few Mallee trees.

We huffed and puffed for another kilometre along this ridge then it got steep and lots of rock ledges to pick a way through, Hugh is the lead goat on these climbs and is good at reading the terrain to find a way.

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 007   Hugh is on a mission.

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 006   I need a spell and to run some guts off, fancy taking the photo as I exhaled.

Great view out to the west from here, we are just over half way to the top.

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 008  The stone Cairn has collapsed on the trig but we made it.

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 013 Hard at it working my faithful following on cw I managed to get 4 on cw and 4 on ssb so qualified on each mode then handed over to Hugh while everyone was still interested.

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 011 Hugh making a score, it was windy so ear buds were needed, the wx was  a very pleasant day not too hot.

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 005 View out East, we need to investigate if that hill is not a summit also.

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 009 View to the South.

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 010 View east along the range from the top .

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 012 The antenna Sota beams 20/40 link dipole 8m hi and KX3 at 10 watts.

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 015 A Brachyscome bush in full bloom , pretty harsh environment to survive in but I must say the country looked nice and as lush as it can . Lots of Kangaroos with young Joeys so they must know the season is good, saw a few ferrel goat but not many .

Pualko Kanaka ridge 2015 014 I recon these are the biggest Yaccas I have ever seen they must be hundreds of years old and still look nice and healthy.

Well not much else to say about this one but I was relieved to find 40m in fairly good shape as we have had bad conditions for my last two activations barely qualifying at times. 20m to vk4 was really good on cw . Thanks to all the chasers and sorry to those in the short skip zone we could not work.

Thanks Hugh for all the ground work finding permission from land owners and a way to get there easier than last time well done. We travelled some good made roads, fence lines and station tracks with lots of gates to open and close it was a way to keep my body loosened up jumping in and out of Mitsi.

Lets head off the our next activation Kanaka Hill in the afternoon.

cheers from Ian vk5cz and Hugh vk5nhg ..


Barbed Wire Bill


Barbed Wire Bill

VK5FWMA Bill Northeast passed away last week at the age of 89.

We had a funeral for him at the Laura Civic Centre on the 1st of September. I am sure he would be very glad to see so many of his radio friends turn up to see him off to the other radio shack.

Deano VK5HOG made the trip from Adelaide, VK5HAE Pat came across from Whyalla, Bruce VK5BMC came from Kadina, Brett VK5ZII came from Wallaroo, Mike VK5MCB came from PT Pirie .

Rodger VK5NWE from Booleroo Centre, John VK5FMJC and Mick VK5FMMC from Crystal Brook and Hugh VK5NHG from Farrell Flat were there as well to join our family and friends for the service and cup of tea after.

Brother Bob VK5FB and I VK5CZ were pleased to catch up with everyone and I was glad to be able to hand on Dad’s gear for someone else to get some use of.

Barbed Wire Bill is a long story as anyone who made a QSO with Bill soon found out as he came to terms with repeaters which he more often than not timed out with his long winded tales about his life in the Centre of the Universe which is Stone Hut. He took great delight in telling those city folk to get a road map out and have a look because most of them had never heard of Stone Hut let alone slowed down when passing through it. Bill had been talking from Stone Hut for several years on the CB radio and when the Foundation Licence was started he got his licence about a week before he turned 80 years old and we set up some antennas and he hit the ham bands . One thing that bothered him was a couple hams he met on 40m denied ever being on 27 mhz but Bill recognised their voices from the CB days and he had them cold he had a qsl card or a photo of them on the wall . Bill being the fella he was,was never ashamed of his background or anyone else’s for that matter, no topic was off limits we heard all about the doctor’s visit if we wanted to or not or that thieving so and so who charged a fortune for a car service or new tyres and so on. He was a regular on the 3.618 mhz morning net and as the others gave up on that net Pat, Deano and the two Johns would come on to make conversations most days. I would be kind of reminded if I was busy at work and missed a call from him every morning on 2m to hear yesterday’s news again but I guess that’s what it’s like.

The Barbed Wire Bill story was from a cartoon my sister made of Bill with his hat and corks keeping the flies off sitting out in the scrub block talking on his then illegal CB radio. The antenna was a dipole made from 300 ohm tv feeder and once split down the middle the wire still had those plastic separation sections on it and strung up between two trees it looked like barbed wire. So you can say Bill was one of the early portable operators but as many CBers who care to admit had to operate that way back then living in fear of the RI turning up for a visit. Most Radio Inspectors in reality probably had better things to do.

Vale Barbed Wire Bill

WC 26, MA 271, VK5FWMA .

SK ..