Waroonee and Karkala Summits.

WAROONEE HILL VK/NE-102.

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Hugh and I finally got the chance to get back to Yunta and claim the two summits we missed on the last trip there when it rained heavily and the tracks were closed. Hugh’s wife Kate came this trip also, she is also a good bush walker and enjoys recording native plants and birds in the area. I spent some time walking with her on the way to the summit and I got a wealth of botanical names for all the plants and which bird was singing at the time. I must say I can’t remember much of what she told me but it made me take notice of the different bird calls you can hear if you pay attention. There was a real “pile up”of birds at times mostly smaller ones but we did hear a smaller Falcon and saw a Wedge Tail Eagle cruising over head .

Waroonee Hill was the first summit and we arrived in good time to make the summit close to Spot time .

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This is as far as the track goes so we walk along the bottom edge of this massive rock up lift which is right along the summit and it is probably about a 2 km walk to make the Summit.

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Once you get on the ledge it doesn’t take long to gain altitude and the going is a steady one as the goats make a track to follow some of the way.

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Kate could tell you the names of all the bushes here but I forgot, this cliff must be 80 to 100 m high .

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Hugh checking out the cairn which has some interesting names of people who have been here over many years previous to us first visiting here 3 years ago.

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This trip I used some wire extensions added to the 20/40 link dipole to get on 80m which worked well as I was able to get through to VK5FANA VK5WG and VK5IS on 3.6 mhz at that time of the morning.

On 40m Hugh and I went Tag team on the microphone to make our contacts that way we could each make calls with all the chasers who were about at the time. Most times on these activation’s it is often hard for the second operator to find anyone .

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My Go Pro walking stick, I have been working on getting better at posting video on F B with mixed success. Now that one is in the log off to the next summit we head.

Thanks to all the chasers on 40 and 80 metres.

KARKALA RIDGE  VK5/NE-104.

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When we arrived at Yunta that morning I had 215 km on the trip recorder in my Ute and when we got back to Yunta to refuel and head home I had 298 km on my Trip recorder so that works out to be 83 km of travelling on station tracks between summits and we were always on the same property. We did not 4×4 to Karkala this trip it seemed quicker to walk up the side of the hill than take extra time slow going on the rocky track along the ridge to the top.

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Parked the SOTA transporter in the shade and had lunch before heading off on our hike to the top. Those Hella Roo Cookers are great for night driving.

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Up there is the goal and Kate is setting the pace this time, Hugh and I were checking the lines on a track we could see off on the other ridge that may lead to the top. But its a nice day for a walk .

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Setting up Hugh’s gear this time to give it a work out, a very dry rocky summit with Waroonee Hill way off to the south on Hugh’s left shoulder. We are able to use the steel guy support post for the repeater station antenna tower to support the squidy. This repeater was very busy with the Tetalpa Property Jackaroo’s doing a muster on Motor Cycles this weekend keeping in touch about the mobs of sheep and locations around there. They mount remote head UHF radios on the bike and have a vox set up in their helmet and ride and chat at the same time passing logistical information among themselves.

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Good to give the IC 703 a run this time with a steady pile up on 40m we even got good signals into vk5 this time on 40m. Hugh went first this time and made several contacts and when someone spotted us I took on a steady pile up for a total of 9 minutes then it was over.

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Kate questioned our sanity about driving a 500 km round trip for about 30 minutes radio time with a couple bush walks thrown in. The Jury is still out but SOTA fever does funny things to mere mortals.

Thanks everyone from Hugh and I for the contacts this trip.

Regards and thanks for reading my Blog.

Ian

CZ ee

 

 

 

Last SOTA in Quorn 2016

During  August I was able to activate a new summit Mount Benjamin and Mt Arden as the last two summits I can go to around Quorn for the 2016 season. There are still at least 4 near by but I am still working on finding the land owners to try to increase the amount of summits while using Quorn as a great place to stay. If I had permission for them all it would be a total of 11 summits but at this stage I have 7 so got to be happy with that.

Mount Benjamin

What a great rock uplift like so many of the formations around Quorn with a bowl in the middle. I started the climb from the eastern side and got on top of the rim without too much effort then stayed on top and slowly worked my way west around the rim to the highest point on the far western side. It would be about 3 km of scrub bashing with no defined tracks to the top to find an amazing rock up lift at the very top and a great view out to the west .

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Lots of rocks low bush and native pines grow here.

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This is a view to the northern part of the bowl with Mount Arden off in the distance.

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Slowly getting to the top bit of a goat track now to follow.

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Then suddenly you come to the western edge and can go no further without wings.

That is the entrance to Warren Gorge down below .

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I did climb up that rock and add to the pile after my activation.

When I got set up it was a very nice sunny day ideal conditions to be out on the summit , the 40m band was very busy with the Light House weekend in full swing as well but I managed to find a clear frequency to get things under way.

I worked 3 Light House stations first just by tuning around as I could not get a phone signal to put up a spot until someone else kindly spotted me then I started to get my band of faithful chasers on ssb and cw.  Conditions were quite good I was even able to work some closer more local stations for a change on 40m .

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This was my shack for the day a lot of fallen old timber here among the rocks but enough room to run out the 40/20 dipole.

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This is a photo I took once I had left the summit from the road to Argadels my night camp ground.

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Here is a shot from halfway to Mount Arden showing the prominence of Mount Benjamin a great summit and spectacle once you are there on top.

I would like to thank the land owners Bob and Elaine for showing me the best place to start my hike on their property and them welcoming me back any time .

Thanks to the chasers .

I am working on editing the GoPro movie I made and will post on FB if it works out.

Buhd Northeast is my FB page.

Mount Arden

After leaving Mount Benjamin i arrived at The Argadels late in the afternoon and booked in to the accommodation

with Malcolm and Judy , who are kind enough to let me 4×4 to Mount Arden with out charge . So enough time for a practice run in the afternoon to Mount Arden to find lots of euros out feeding in the afternoon sun and some of them very tame, not really hopping far away as you drove by.

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A great start to the day with frost on my Colorado and no wind which is good for Mount Arden.

I got some good GoPro on the way up but of course it does not look half as steep as it really is, I have driven up there 5 times now and I was trembling this time too at the top. But the track is a lot smoother these days than my first trip up a few years ago.  My Colorado does it easy in second low on the climbs just let the old 3 litre chug away and feel for traction and momentum .

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Great view of all those other summits I have to walk to around Quorn,it sure is nice to be able to drive to one now and then.

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Just enough wind to fill the flags on my antenna support.

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Nice operating spot here and again the 40m band was very busy with Light House activations going on, I was able to have a quick chat with Paul and John who were operating from Kangaroo Island. Band conditions were not as good as Saturday with several stations all talking on the same frequency at once. I had to stick to my guns on 40m SSB but managed to get my chasers among the rest. Being QRP as well probably made me hard to read among the more powerful stations. Thankfully the SOTA operators are more skilled at this portable operating and do it more often rather than once a year coming out with all guns blazing across the bands. I tried out my add on wire extensions for 3.6 mhz this time to make a qso with VK5WG as we had no comms on 7 mhz and they worked well . I made up the extensions last weekend and tried them in my back yard so I knew it would work. A simple alligator clip on the extension wires and clip onto the end of the 40m dipole leaving the string in place and running out further works well. From memory it was about 9.6 metres extra either side is needed .

Seeing it was such a nice day up there I did some SOTA and called into the 40m CW net and caught up with my old CW mate VK2COX and later found VK2AOH and VK3BYD for a S2S qso on 40m CW . Then i worked VK5CWL on 40m SSB at the light house and caught up with Paul VK5PAS and John VK5EMI .

 

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Track looks easy on the way down .

Thanks to all the chasers and others I was able to communicate with over the weekend.

Thanks to Malcolm and Judy for great hospitality and the use of tracks to the summit.

Thanks for reading my Blog, cu next time.

Ian.

CZ ee

 

 

Lagoon Hill SOTA Activation

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Great little summit this one with a very hard climb for the last few hundred metres to the top, but I have to first follow the fence line to reach the easement to the summit, put the hat on backwards and head for the clouds. In this case the weather was good so no clouds today but an ankle burner just the same.

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It takes about an hour from the ute to the top.

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Thick bush and rocks all the way no real path .

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Finally made it to the top with good band conditions on 40m, with the RD contest in full swing for the final hour of their contest. I made several contacts with stations on 40m ssb and swapped reports with SOTA chasers and RD contesters, there was no alternative the band was just too busy to find a quiet frequency on either ssb or cw . The RD swap was easy just RST and number of years licenced which for me is 36 years.

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This was my shack for the activation with nice sunshine and very calm wind conditions, I made a S2S with ZL3CC on 20m ssb along with ZL2AJ and a cw qso with ZL1BYZ .

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Working the pile up and getting some vitamin B as well.

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My last view on the way down before the real decent starts .

Thanks to the chasers

Cheers from Ian vk5cz

CZ e e

Down Under FYBO 2016 Results

The time has come to publish the results for the Down Under FYBO for 2016

The contest was trialled and run on 26th of June this year which seemed to be ideal weather for the contest with snow in some states and lots of rain in South Australia this winter.

We had entries for 2 of the 3 categories set aside for the contest and with out re writing the rules here no one entered a log for the portable section only logs for the FYBO and Home Station were submitted. Some FYBO operators took part in the contest in Parks and others on Summits I also received a log from a Station set up on the Beach and others just out in Bush land, a good selection of “walk in” type activity.

There was some confusion about the importance of the hourly repeat contact for some as the multiplier but I was able to check the logs and adjust scores accordingly .

So the winner for the Home section was Nev VK5WG who made 14 Qso’s during the full time of the contest and because he maintained that hourly repeat exchange 12 times he was able to collect 12 multiplier point which boosted his score to 3768 points being the top score for the Home station section.

Top Score for the FYBO section was Paul VK5PAS who made 151 Qso’s during the full time of the contest and maintained the hourly repeat exchange 50 times to use as his multiplier to give him a score of 22,550 points.

During my time in the contest I worked 8 SOTA peaks as a chaser,  4 Parks as a chaser , 1 operator on the beach 12 different home stations and 1 dx station from Europe.

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Home Station section

CALL         DURATION        QSO        MULTIPLIER      SCORE


VK5WG          300           +          14    x      12                           3768

VK3FQSO     292             +         34    x      11                           3674

VK3CAT          45              +           5    x        0                               50

VK7CW            33              +          6     x       0                               39

FYBO section


CALL        DURATION       QSO         MULTIPLIER      SCORE

VK5PAS    300            +       151     x         50                      22,550

vk5cz          300            +        52     x         19                         6,536

VK2IO        152             +        44     x         14                         2,744

VK6NU       209            +        18     x           3                            681

VK2IB          130            +        21     x           3                            453

VK3JBL       102            +        14     x           2                            232

VK3YE           70            +        12     x           0                              82

VK3BYD        65            +          8     x            1                              73

VK3ARH        46           +           5     x           0                              51

VK3XV           23            +           9     x           0                              32


Congratulations to the highest scorers and thanks everyone for taking part, thanks to those who submitted  a log .