Three Summits At Yunta

We got to Yunta for lunch about 2pm after a long bush track drive from Pualco then we headed for Waroonee Hill but the station track was getting too wet.  As we unloaded getting ready  to start the hike we noticed a big black rain filled cloud coming across some distance away so we bolted for the property boundary and was chased be a heavy shower of rain which produced about 11 millimetres. This terrain turns to soup very quickly, if we had that much rain in Clare it would hardly make any difference, Mitsi became covered in red mud but we got to the better roads in time. That was all we could do for the day accept maybe some public relations at the pub and settle down for the night .

Next morning we headed out to vk5/ne-095 a summit the locals call The Bluff and took a well made road this time to avoid the mud.

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This one is going to hurt as we work our way up the water way then climb even higher to reach the rock pile on top. The goats like this hill so we had a well worn track some of the way and made to top in about 40 minutes .

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Hugh is a good hiker and I just puff along behind once he has found the best line, this must be about half way up the water way.

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This is a view out to the north across the salt bush country, me having a rest.

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Working the pile up on 40m as there was a cw contest raging on 20m . I did have a listen for a couple JA activators but could not hear them on 15m and the contest was quite strong there as well.

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Hugh on ssb working plenty of Chasers,  I worked some CW to cater for all the chasers .

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Farewell to the bluff for another season and back to Mitsi way down below.

Thanks to the chasers

On to Oulnina Park to go to Oulnina Hill vk5/ne-071

This summit is about 5 km south of the homestead which is located in a really nice wooded valley which is unlike the saltbush country around Yunta . We need the 4×4 to get along the ridge for this summit and Mitsi did it easy really although we shifted a few large rocks that would have damaged under the vehicle if we tried to drive over them.

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This is a very nice summit and this ledge is very near where the track goes along the top so we activated near by with this great view . Lots of contacts again on 40m with really strong signals,I set the KX3 on 5 watts and got s9 reports all over .

Once again Hugh handled the ssb chasers and I did some cw and ssb this time, Nev got home from work in time to catch us on this summit.

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Hugh working the pile up. This is the first time we have been able to activate and enjoy the view from this side of the summit the last two times we have been here the wind from the north west was very strong so we had to go down a bit on the eastern side in a more scrubby area out of the wind.

WX was nice just a bit chilly and the flags were filled out nicely.

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Can’t get much better than this thanks to all the chasers.

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Gently down into the valley we go, no problems for Mitsi just some rolly rocks under foot, but generally plenty of traction.


Sunday Nackara Hill vk5/ne-081

After a nice breakfast and refuel we headed south on the Barrier Highway for about 30 km to the small extinct rail siding of Nackara where we turn west to head for the summit. This is a big lump of dirt which is mostly tree less with rocky outcrops on the eastern edge so we need to work our way around the side then weave up the south side to the top. It is probably only a kilometre to walk but took a while with sore legs from yesterday. Great view in all directions and we could see all the summits we intended or did actually activated over the previous days.

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That’s it’s prominence right there.

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Mitsi way down there after about 40 minutes of ankle burn I made the top .

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Looking South West from out shack, VK5RMN is out there somewhere.

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WIA Broadcast was full scale from VK5RMN easily 120 km away not sure how far really but I was able to get a signal back into the call back to VK5MCB net controller.

Once again band conditions were great to the eastern states on 40m but the locals had trouble hearing Hugh when we first started. We could just hear VK5MCB when he came on to talk on 40m and he made no response to Hugh’s answer. So we gave up thinking vk5’s were out for the activation, Hugh had enough qso’s to qualify , then 10 minutes later I worked VK5BJE WG NTT MCB IS all at 5/9 plus signals on ssb . The interstate stations were still strong as well so I made some cw qso’s as well once the ssb chasers died down.

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Great spot to activate from out of the wind behind the rock ledge, we both got plenty of qso’s for the 3 days so thanks everyone.

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Nice to have a mix of ssb and cw qso with a special mention to VK6NU on 40m cw and pleasant surprise call from VK5PF John on two occasions this trip.

Great weekend away activating we did watch out for some of the VK9 portable stations but often we were travelling when they were on or we had our phones on flight mode to save out battery in the marginal phone coverage area. So we often got back to the network to see a txt msg of an activity we missed.

Now we have to work out when we can go back to catch up the rainy day summits we missed.

Cheers all thanks for reading


CZ e e



Pualco Range SOTA 2016

Today started quite early leaving Farrell Flat by 6am to get on the road heading for Pualco Range VK5/NE-107.

Hugh had a different way of getting there this time with less bush track and better roads considering the rain we have had this week. We still had some bush tracks and gates to deal with but it was a very pleasant trip this time with lots of wild life along the way.

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One of the gates we go through

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Old Man Emu running along side at about 50 km per hour.

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Working my way across this stony saddle .

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Hugh is of picking a line to the summit.

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Amazing old Yacka grass trees here they must be very old these are about 2m tall.

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We did not find many chasers today Hugh could only find 5 contacts on ssb and I found 6 on cw.

We stayed on 40m and did not stay on the summit long because it started to rain. Sorry to those who may have been listening on other bands but I am a bit fussy about getting water in my KX3 .

We had to travel about 50 km of station tracks to get to Yunta so we could head out to the next summit for the afternoon activation. Once again the rain stopped us activating the second summit as the tracks were getting very wet and slippery and the land holders don’t like their tracks cut up with 4×4 vehicles so we  got off the sticky roads as quick as we could.

Thanks for all the qso’s when on Pualco Range a great summit to visit.

Brown Hill Range and Hallett Hill

Well I am finally back into some regular SOTA activating most weekends.

The first activation was Brown Hill Range VK5/SE-004 and I had the pleasure of some company with Halima this time. She had to keep the hounds under control as Rocky found a rabbit under the stone wall and that kept him entertained for most of our visit. The old rabbit just stayed put in his possy out of harms way and there was no need to restrain an attack from Rocky who is fond of chasing Rabbits, but its mostly exercise he rarely catches them.


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Halima has her hiking shoes on and a substantial lead on the dogs, the white and black spotty dog is Jack and Rocky is the other Tenterfield Terrorist looking content to be out and about.

Band conditions were really quite good and because it was ANZAC day I used the AX prefix as did many others when we remembered to say it instead of the call sign you are used to using.


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Several Summit 2 Summit QSO’s were achieved on this occasion as many other activators were out taking part in ANZAC Day Holiday. Probably the best contact was VK6NU on 40m CW, I usually need to work him on 20m so it tells how conditions were that day. S2S with Brian VK3MCD on VK3/VE-019 Hugh VK5NHG on VK5/SE-010 Peter VK3PF on VK3/VT-046.

Not mentioned in my Title for this blog is another summit I went to a week later which was South Hummocks  which was my first attempt at a movie with my new GoPro camera . Boys and Toys you know the drill.

South Hummocks VK5/SE-017

This summit has had some work done with the removal on the shot up trig point and the usual blue poles have replaced it so no a nice area to put up the Squiddy. With the excitement I forgot to take my trusty old camera so I have no photos of the activation. Once again I had a great mix of QSO’s with many vk’s on 7 mhz ssb and another great S2S on 14 mhz ssb with ZL3CC on his first activation and his first S2S with VK . While I had the link dipole on 14 MHZ I worked some more vk zl then some eu and ja staions on cw before returning to 7 mhz cw to find even more chasers, then finally using the same antenna on 21 mhz I worked N7 Ja and vk6nu on cw just to fill up my note book nicely. One thing I also noticed on this summit the, small ants were not active this time they chased my around to a couple spots last time I was there biting and getting in my clothes.

Now back on track.

Hallett Hill VK5/SE-003

No sooner set up I found the couple of parks activators had gone clear so I was able to use 7.090 they were chatting when I was driving up the summit track. This track is a very nice drive and you travel several kilometres along the top of the range.


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Most of the turbines were working as the wind was quite steady but not too strong.

I was able to activate without my wind jacket and woolly hat so WX was really nice. A really good pile ups on 7 mhz ssb and cw with a S2S with Tony VK3CAT on VK3/VT-040 on cw and I had the pleasure of a call from some new activators this time. VK5PCM running 2 watts on ssb, his antenna was in the roof of his house but I was able to hear him quite clearly with no noise at my end. VK5BUG came up and we had a QSO using his bug key and it just sounds so good on cw to listen to. I made the joke with him I thought is was a bird singing in the bush when I first heard it.

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This poor old land scape is a bit eaten out and dry and could do with some rain .

I had a good time working 40m ssb and cw with vk’s then on 20m I got some more vk’s and dx to Europe with a S2S with 2E0YYY on 20m ssb. Tony VK3CAT was also trying to bust the EU pile up for a S2S so I hope he was successful.

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Thanks for reading

CZ ee

Down Under FYBO

Down Under FYBO – Freeze Your Butt Off Contest

Sunday 26th June ..




The main purpose of this contest is to encourage portable operations during

cold and possibly wet and windy weather conditions. This is best demonstrated by the

Portable and FYOB  categories attracting a multiplier to reward participants for their

extended efforts.


  1. Dates & Times

1.1. The contest will begin Sunday 26th June 2016 at 01.00hrs UTC.

1.2. The duration of the contest is 5 hours.

1.3. The contest will end at 06.00hrs UTC.


  1. General

2.1. Participation is Limited to Licenced Radio Amateurs .

2.2. All operations are to be in accordance with these simple rules.

2.3. This contest is for single operator stations only.

2.4. Given that operating the transceiver is the primary function in the contest it must

be done by the holder of the amateur radio station licence; any or all secondary

functions may be performed by another person. This includes any task from logging

to getting the coffee.

2.5. Holders of more than one call sign MUST use only ONE call sign for the duration of

the contest.

2.6. Fully automated operation is not permitted.

2.7. Computers may be used for logging purposes and CW / data communications.


  1. Categories

3.1. Home Station

3.1.1. The registered Home location of an amateur radio call sign.

3.1.2. Fixed Clubroom stations can join in the Home Station section.


3.2. Portable Station

3.2.1. Any portable station operating independent from mains power supply.

3.2.2. The portable station must be self-sufficient and use independent antenna systems not mobile whips fixed to campers or caravans.

3.2.3. Portable locations can include structures such as park benches, shelters, campers and caravans.


3.3. FYBO Station

3.3.1. A FYBO station needs to operate totally portable and independent from the above infrastructure of the other sections.

3.3.2. A “carried in” Tent or Boffy bag or Ground Sheet is considered OK to protect persons and equipment taking part in this category.


  1. Permitted Bands and Emission and Contact Modes

4.1. Taking into account any exceptions listed below, any station-to-station contact

using any band or any emission mode permitted by the amateur radio licence is


4.2. EXCEPTION #1 – The IARU agreement does not allow the use of the 10, 18 and

24MHz bands for contesting purposes.

4.3. EXCEPTION #2 – Only Station-to-Station simplex contact using any natural

propagation method is permitted. The use of repeater, duplex, transponder or

satellite operations is not permitted.

4.4. EXCEPTION #3 – The use of the 2200 and 630 metre bands is not permitted.



  1. Contacts

5.1. On all bands, repeat contacts can be made providing 1 hour has passed since the first or previous QSO.

It does not allow immediate contacts using a different mode on the same band.

5.2. Suggested calls:

“CQ Contest”, “CQ FYBO”, “CQ FYBO Contest”. FYBO is pronounced “fibe-oh”.

5.3. A valid exchange consists of RS(T) followed by a 3 digit contact number and State you situation being Home, Portable or FYBO

5.3.1. The first contact number to be 001 and each successive contact to be given

the next incrementing number e.g. 002, 003, 004 ….. to ….. 999.


  1. Scoring

6.1. CONTACTS – One point per contact regardless of the mode.

6.2. MULTIPLIERS – After calculating the above total contacts add on the total minutes you operated in the 5 hour period, then multiply that tally by the number of repeat hourly QSO’s .

6.3. OPERATING PERIOD – Total is 5 hours or 300 minutes but if you break for more than 60 minutes within that time span it would be considered you stopped taking part.

6.4. STOPPED OPERATING –  The last logged time before 60 minutes break between a QSO would be considered your last minute in time to use as a Score.

6.5. EXAMPLE LOG SCORE – 20 different stations worked, plus amount of minutes to participate 300 multiply by number of duplicate QSO’s. Let’s say you worked 15 of the 20 contacts at least 3 times as duplicates your final mutiplyer would be 45.

6.6 FINGERS CROSSED – 20 + 300 x 45 =







  1. Submitting your log

7.1. All logs are to be received by the contest Manager no later than 14 days after the

end of the contest.

7.2. Electronic Logs

7.2.1. Use of electronics logging is accepted. Files exported as text (.txt) files are preferred

7.2.2. Electronic loggers print a summary of the results including your claimed

7.2.3. Send logs email attached to

You will receive an acknowledgement when receipt of the log has

been confirmed.

7.3. Paper Logs

7.3.1. Calculate your claimed score using the header provided and post to FYBO

W.I. Northeast

PO Box 144

Clare 5453


  1. Contest Results

8.1. Results will be published 60 days after the close of the contest at

My word press blog site

  1. Contest

10.2. The Down Under  FYBO Contest coordinator Ian VK5CZ invites as many as possible to take part and hopefully enjoy themselves .

10.3. The FYBO Contest Managers and Coordinators thank all participants for their

interest in the FYBO Contest.