Peaked Hill

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Morning drive out this morning to meet Hugh again to finish off our weekend of SOTA around Orroroo one of my favourite places to stay . As you can see the grass this year is very high and extremely dried out now so we decided not to go to Black Rock for the afternoon activation. The temperature was rising all the time as we started to walk to Peaked Hill and was it 33 c by the time we got off that summit .

Peaked Hill is only a 2 point summit but a tough climb through the rocks near the top and it took about 45 minutes to walk in from the Ute. We found an old track which will take us further next time in the winter but it was hard to find and overgrown for this time of year.

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This is about half way up looking back to the west at the Olladie Hills another summit we don’t have access too.

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This is my view from the top looking at Black Rock and Depot Hill summits we had to let them go this year but hope to get to activate there next year in a better part of the season.

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Great summit to activate but not a lot of room for the antennas, my 80m extention wires were almost running along the ground but we managed to make contacts.

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My KX3 had a baby !! no not really its Hugh’s KX2 which I like very much, we just have to spend a bit more time with the hand book and sort out some SOTA frequencies in memory and learn a bit more about it’s functions.

I do like the larger internal speaker it is much better than the KX3 speaker which rattles around in the tin box if you are not careful on the AF control or a really loud station calls unexpectantly. So I am still raving about this KX2 rig, still like my KX3 and won’t be buying one just yet, but of course leaving my options open.

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A sign from above I think its telling me it’s too hot today.

We only had 4 qso’s each on 80m and did not stay on the hill for long due to the rising temperature.

I had trouble with the internet on my phone as well it was losing the internet connection, I had to drive south of Orroroo on the way home before I could get access to cancel the afternoon activation.

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Happy smiling red faced KX2 owner , we did get some sun burn on this trip.

This is my last trip up north until next year so time to concentrate on some other activity for a few months, I can feel withdrawals for SOTA already.

Thanks everyone for you interest in my blogs and I hope to be back soon.

Regards

Ian vk5cz ..

 

 

 

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Marchant Hill and Eke Hill 2016

Met Hugh at Bendleby this morning to head out to the first summit along the station tracks.Hugh had a plan to drive another track to save some walking but unfortunately one creek crossing was washed out and too deep to get across so we set out from the same place as last year. This is a hard hike with lots of smaller hills and gullies to make it hard to head straight to the summit.

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Sheering quarters holiday cabins at Bendleby Range property the owners kindly let us 4 wheel drive on their tracks for no charge. We gave my Colorado a run today, tracks are easy going nothing to hard except one creek crossing that stopped us.

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Hugh with his trusty GPS setting the pace again .

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After many smaller hills and gullies the trig point is in sight it took us nearly 2 hours to hike about 4 km so it’s pretty hard going.

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Finally though we made it to this old trip point the wind was strong but nice and cool with full cloud cover helping to keep the flies away.

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Hugh hard at work trying to find a chaser who were a bit slow to start with but we finally got some contacts on 80 and 40 to both qualify. I was able to give the KX2 a run on cw this time and I must say it is great.

On the way back to the Ute we made a different path making it shorter back to the flat lands the hiked along a fence line on the track we could not access . It proved if we could drive that track to the end the summit is about half the walk but still hard slog.

After lunch we headed to Eke Hill on the southern side of the property so we had to drive about 30 km of more tracks to get there. I only engaged 4 x 4 for a short while on a rough section near the parking spot.

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I always enjoy this part of the hike to Eke Hill up to the top of this water way is about half way.

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Looking back from where we started we are now on the shelf above the water way.

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Amazing views to the south.

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and the north

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Hugh working the pile up on 40m

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I got to work some cw and ssb today. Good conditions on 40m with lots of chasers.

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Good bye to Eke Hill until next time

Thanks to the chasers and the Luckcraft Family for the use of their tracks and hills.

Thanks to Hugh for more ground work following up permission and access .

Thanks for reading

Ian

CZ e e

Price Hill 2016 VK5/NE-056

This week in November Hugh and I finally got the chance to get back up north and finish off these out standing summits on our list. I have a cabin in the Orroroo Caravan park and the air conditioner was very nice when I got back this afternoon. Early this morning I went to The Bendleby Ranges property to meet up with Hugh as he was staying there in the sheering Quarters accomodation. Its about 50km extra for me to travel but I like this cabin here and it can be a good escape from hay fever that has been bothering me for about 6 weeks this year.

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While I was waiting for Hugh I had a chat with Ian VK5IS on 3.680 mhz using my trusty old Hustler set up with good signals on the band this morning . Hugh came along and we headed for Price Hill about 30 km further up the track and met the station manager who was busy fencing when we turned up. He was a very nice fellow and he knew about Amateur Radio from when he was a boy scout as he had taken part in several JOTA camps. After a rather long chat and showing him my KX3 he agreed it was a lot smaller than the big Valve radios he remembered from his scouting days.

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As you can see the grass is very thick long and dry, we were very careful not to park the hot vehicle in the long grass and seeing the track was completely over grown we decided to walk from here.

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Hugh was setting a great pace and we were still not sure how far it was, but Hugh’s GPS said about 3 km so we just had to head in the general direction as long as we gained height as we went. The summit is further south from the hill in the back ground of the picture so finding the best way there is always a bit tricky on a first time visit.

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Break through at last the summit range is in the back ground and Hugh is on a Goat track now so that should take us up into the higher parts of the range . Typical stony rough terrain for the Flinders with low trees and native grasses and lots of Spinafex Grass to stick in you through your jeans.

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Its a nice feeling when you finally reach the top of a range and you can see even further beyond the sight of a steep climb in front of you , This is my view towards West and Quorn is way off in the blue hills, my other favourite SOTA destination. We then had to walk about 1 more Kilometre along the top of the range to arrive at the old fallen down Trig that is now used as a Roo shelter on a windy day.

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Had the shirt undone , as it was not cold but we did have a nice breeze from the south east direction causing us to find a spot on the western side to set up as it was probably too windy right on top.

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The Solar Panel runs a UHF CB repeater on channel 1 which was quite active and very handy for the local land owners to keep in touch on their daily jobs around these large Pastoral properties.

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Hugh is the proud owner of a KX2 which we were able to give a run this activation . As we got to the summit a bit later than we thought the gang of chasers on 80m were all doing other things so we made no qso on that band.

But after much calling we finally attracted some chasers but not many, Hugh just making 4 qso’s and I made 6 after him. That is a bit too close for comfort .

I must say I like the KX2 it works just like my KX3 in lots of ways but it has a better speaker that can handle higher output or volume levels so even with quite a strong wind it was easy to hear everyone. Getting a few of the function buttons worked out and turning off a few unnecessary settings was achieved without the hand book . One thing with the Tune button being used for a second function it can take you into a menu if you push and hold instead of tapping it for a short period of time. I think the KX3 with two fold out legs makes it more stable when perched on a rock too as the KX2 only has one fold out leg and the stiff mic cord can make it easy to pull the radio off its footing if you are not careful.

On the hike back down we took a different way trying to find a track that might give more chances to drive in a bit closer but we found the track was washed out quite badly with lots of short sharp creeks running across out path and it was 4 km to walk back so our more line of site way up was shorter and no harder.

Bit of a foot note here near the end, I called this summit Price Hill which is it’s rightful name but in the SOTA summit list it is named Prince Hill which I will request an update soon.

Thanks to the chasers and thanks Hugh for organising the permissions for the properties and thanks for reading my Blog.

Regards Ian

CZ e e