Mount Bryan And Dutchmans Stern

Got away to a good start this morning and decided to try the newly found dirt road short cut to Hallett which cuts off quite a lot on the trip out east. I changed plans a bit with an over night stay in Orroroo, that way its only about an hours drive to The Dutchman in the morning, so I activated at Mount Bryan on the way. The farmer lets me use the 4×4 track to get to the back of Mt Bryan and that saves a 5 km hike for the activation. The weather was overcast and quite cold but it did not rain this time like last year and a strong wind was blowing. The track up has been graded recently so no issues getting there although the road was a bit washed out in one place on the side of the hill.

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Parked the SOTA transporter and made the short walk about half of a kilometre to the activation zone on the eastern side out of the wind.

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Too windy here but a great view out east this is near the trig.

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The wind was quite strong I needed ear buds to hear the radio properly.

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Perched on the edge on the Eastern side it’s a great take off to the Eastern States as I had great signals into vk7 vk4 vk3 vk2 vk1 on 40m ssb . I had to brave the strong wind and go back up over the western side to make a 2m simplex qso with vk5wg who was not hearing me on 40m but we made the swap on 2m. I always take the 2m half wave AREG antenna these days and connect it to my vx8g to make sure I can work the locals if there is no short skip on 40m.

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No answer to a CQ on 15 or 20 m cw today not sure if bands were dead, as I did not watch or listen for long on these bands as I was getting the shivers a bit.

My shack for the activation, shot some GoPro but its full of wind noise.

Thanks everyone for the contacts and all the S2S as well really good conditions on the longer skip today.

On my way to Orroroo I had some spare time so I looked up another land owner about permission to get up on Coomoroo Hill as I thought I was passing through their property on the walk but as it turned out I was not trespassing.

Arrived at the Dutchman’s car park about 7 am with some frost still on the ground meaning it was going to be a nice sunny day 0nce it warmed up .

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This is the start of my journey of about 15 km round trip. I usually go up to the top on the down track, it is further but an easier grade over all and closer to where I head bush.

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Saw several Kangaroos feeding on the frosty grass on the way up who where very tame and did not get too far out of my way when passing by.

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The hill in the back of the picture is at one more to go once I get there but I have to follow the walking track further on from here, just stopped to get another kangaroo in the shot.

So up we go and turn south at a GPS reference i have saved in the e trex  near the small pile of rocks I placed there last year.

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Into the bush I go and I discovered an old grown over fence lying in the bush but it is very dense and no real track to follow. Once I get over about 700m asl the She Oaks are not as thick and the walking is a bit easier.

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Now I am above the She Oaks and can finally get a view towards Quorn .

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This is my first view of the western side of the range Port Augusta is down there some where and the Summit is still about 2 km south from here and I can now pick my way along the western side of the range where less bush grows as it is more exposed to the wind. But my camera is playing up again and it won’t let me take any more photos.

I reached the Summit a little earlier than my Alert time so I experimented with 2 m and my hand held but only managed to make a qso with VK5KLV Les via RMN repeater . I tried to call Nev VK5WG simplex but I did not get a signal into The Brook. VK5FANA told me after I got home he could hear me in Arthurton on Yorks but did not have the off set switched out so I did not know he was there and by the time he worked it out I had given up on 2m and went to set up HF.

The VK SOTA party was in full swing when I got my stations set up using the link dipole and KX3 and made contact with 10 other operators on summits in vk1 2 3 and 4 home stations on 40m. The band was really hard work with no short skip at all everyone was having the same problems and I did hear two conversations on the same frequency oblivious to one and other. The only vk5 I worked on 40m was Tom VK5EE in the south east of the state but I did make an unusual contact with Paul VK5PAS on 80m phone of all bands. I saw the spot for him on my phone and tuned the kx3 to my 40m dipole and worked him with hard copy but we made a swap for the S2S. It was 11 30 am, well into the middle of the day and my swr reading was higher than the power out put on the rig so i must have been only getting a few watts out the antenna. I called cq on 15 and 20 but again no answer so I packed up and headed along the range north to meet up with the walking track to take me back down to the ute.

Stop Press

I was checking out my camera when I got home and i found that the sd card was not clicked in properly so that is why the memory full warning was on my camera and only letting me take about 10 photos at a time. It may have been dropped the other day and i don’t treat it very well either so no wonder it was playing up.

Thanks to all the chasers.

73 from Ian vk5cz

CZ ee




Summits for July 2016

Hello everyone I have been a bit slack lately since the FYBO contest I have only managed to get 3 summits done for July as the weather has been really wet and cold so access to some of the properties has been impossible.

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This is My FYBO set up where I sat for 5 hours making contacts. Set up in the scrub block near home and the path is an old Mountain Bike track we made a few years ago for training and having a bit of fun. Sitting under this shelter for 5 hours is a similar pain as riding my bike around here, just another form of torture.

On with SOTA , my first activation for July was Hill NE-041 up from Mambray Creek on the western side of Mount Remarkable National Park. This is my hardest hike for the season as it goes from 140 m asl in the car park to 810 m asl at the top in about 5 km.

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This is guna hurt !!

Setting out from the park it will take me 3 hours to get there .

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View of the Summit a way to go yet from Black Hill lookout which is now up to 480m asl after about 1 hour of the hike, I am in need of a water stop and rest.

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Buggered would be a way to describe how I feel here after 3 hours I finally made it to the top with a bush bash off the walking trail to get the last bit.

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It’s a bit awkward to set up the squidy on this hill this is the only clear area, so this was the best i could do.

Had good contacts on HF with a S2S to VK2AOH on 40m cw and worked most of the band of faithful chasers on 40m ssb and cw with JS1IFK on 15m cw who has chased me a few times now. I took the half wave 2m vertical as well so I was able to get  2m simplex contacts to VK5WG and VK5IS who were hard to hear on 40m ssb.

Just for interest I took my heart rate monitor I use for cycling and I reached 140 bpm at one time during the walk considering my Maximum is around 156 for my age.  Of the 3 hours time to make the top I spent 40 minutes stopped to rest or drink but it is really hard to gauge as the cycling gps has to be moving faster than 3 kph to record the trip. Just a gauge really all I know is it hurt, it’s a hard won 6 points.

The next SOTA weekend was Mount Cone on the Saturday and The Bluff on the Sunday.

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Mount Cone is a windy cold exposed summit north of Burra . An easy summit for me to get to in the Colorado with the track up there for other services.

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Not much to slow the wind down up here looking north to Mt Bryan and only a short walk up to the smaller hut from the GRN compound. I had to set up behind the hut at the top to keep out of the wind and try to stay warm.

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I had very good conditions on 40m both ssb and cw and bagging 2 S2S as well to vk3cat and vk3byd this time.

I also made some good contacts to vk2 and vk6 on 21 mhz cw and 14mhz ssb. I worked every mainland state except vk8.

Thanks to all the chasers.

Sunday I was off to Laura to meet up with Dave vk5dmc who had a trip to RMN and ATV broadcast sites so I hitched a ride to the cross road near Go Cart Track and walked south along the Walking Trail to the summit of the Bluff.

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After the big bushfire up there a couple years ago it is not possible to get on top of the ridge any more because the under story is now regrown so much. I used a burnt out post on the side of the road to hold my squidy this time and crouched in the bush as best i could.

2015-12-26 14.25.38

This activation went well with qso’s on 40m ssb and cw once again, vk’s on 15m cw and JS1IFK  on cw, more vk’s on 20m cw to vk6 and vk3 . S2S with vk1ma and vk2oah .

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This was my operating position at the side of the road I had a nice big rock to set the rig up on and it was a very pleasant day sitting in the sun shine. Dave was still busy at the repeater site so I made the 3 km walk back down to my ute when I was finished.

Thanks to all the chasers thanks for reading.

Ian vk5cz ..