Well first of all Roger has upgraded his licence to VK5WE and was keen to try some of the SOTA action going on locally as he has been a chaser now for a few years. I got permission from Michael and Tony to do two summits on the same day and to prevent any long hike burn out on His first try we activated a couple “drive ups”. Well we did walk about 100 metres to each summit but nothing too strenuous, summits were vk5/ne-047 Mt Jay South in the morning and vk5/ne-049 Maurice Hill in the afternoon. The band conditions being how they are we started out on 3.6 mhz first on both summits to work the locals who were lined up to give Roger his first contacts and make sure he qualified.
It was very windy and cold on this exposed hill top but great views across Spencer Gulf to the west and some great open plains views out east.
We both made lots of contacts on 3.6 and 7 mhz and I had some chasers on cw as well as ssb.
The summit off to the north is Mount Brown .
We finished up and headed to the next Summit after a slow 4×4 trip back down and a coffee on the road side after the last gate.
Maurice Hill is also quite exposed with great views all the way around and a steeper 4×4 climb to get to the top.
Neat summit this one with an old hut left to the elements so we made good use of the star picket to hole up the antenna.
Nice spot to settle into the pile ups as the wind had dropped out and it was a very enjoyable stay on Maurice Hill this time. We worked the usual crowd on 3.6 mhz and we both had a good pile up of chasers on ssb and cw on 7 mhz.
On behalf of Roger and Myself thanks to all the chasers for the nice activation’s.
Thanks to the farmers for the use of the tracks and hills
Thanks for reading my Blog.
Ian vk5cz ..
After Grape harvest and the first rains for Autumn it is considered safe to go to the Lochiel Repeater site to do a battery check and kick out any mice who make the hut home. The repeater was in good order with the sealed lead acid battery these days there is no need to be testing it and top it up with water. I just swept out the mouse doings and found 4 mice asleep on top of the Icom power supply keeping warm, so they got a rude shock to be shunted out the door into the cold. The door is opened by the power company every so often and the contractor does not set up the bottom seal on the door properly to stop the mice getting in.
Bumbunga Hill is SOTA summit VK5/SE-015 so Hugh and I decided to get a couple 1 pointers done while we were there.
Setting up on the western side of the summit by this log was a good place to activate and get some protection from the wind.
It’s almost normal now to start the activation on 3.6 mhz first so we can work the locals more easily then progress to higher frequencies . I only managed 5 qso’s for the activation and Hugh made about the same number on 80/40 m ssb. I did try to work my Japanese friend again S2S but we could not make the swap as signal levels were too low on 15m although I could hear him some of the time but the qsb made it fail.
Hugh working through his small pile up then pack up and off to
South Hummocks VK5/SE-017
Hugh and I had a short walk through the scrub for this one and got set up and the next activation under way.
Even at 02.00 UTC it is still possible to QSO locally on 80m, Hugh made contact with Paul VK5PAS/Mobile and the other VK states were much stronger on 40m by the second activation.
I was able to work some chasers on ssb and cw this activation with good signals into vk2 3 4 5 6 7 and a S2S with VK2NU on VK2/HU-047 in the Hunter Valley zone. VK2NU is a new activator for me to work and we had two QSO on ssb and then on cw later.
Thanks to the farmers for access to their land .
thanks for reading my Blog.
Ian vk5cz ..
Work in Progress
Grape Harvest is now finished and all Blocks picked and into the winery.
It’s time to get among some SOTA summits in the NE region, Quorn is one of my favourite places to stay while activating. First Summit will be Mt Remarkable VK5/NE-010 an 8 pointer so worth the effort to make the 6 km hike to the summit. I was looking forward to try the newly made trail which is shorter to the top but it is closed for some reason so I had to do the long hike again.
Wot The !! this amazing critter welcomes you at the start of the trail, believe it or not that face is made from a piece of tree knot and the body is also wood, the wings are made from a wind mill propeller .
Getting under way nice and early it takes a good 2 hours to make the summit and I made it right on track with 2 hours walking time and about 20 minutes of spell and photo shots.
Cathedral Rock is a popular place to visit if you are not on a mission, it is a very large Rock with a hollow cave like centre.
Looking out east about half way to the top,cloud is slowly lifting.
You cross several of these Screed Slopes on the way, this is around 700 m asl and by now I am well and truly
This was the last photo I was able to take because my New F#####g camera battery died again just like on my last activation. I only charged it the night before so it must be crook and needs replacing Halima is on the case for me.
Well my activation started well I set up at the large pile of rocks on the Summit hoping to hear Mot JP1QEC whom I know was activating at the same time. I put up the 15/17m dipole and sure enough lots of Japanese stations were on the bands but no Mot to be found. I worked 3 other JA S2S stations and 4 JA Home stations on 15m CW then ZL1BYZ ZL2RX K0RS and VK5IS . Still no Mot, even though I saw his spots on SOTA watch so not sure why we never crossed paths because he said on FB he worked some DX chasers. It was time to move to 40m to find no NVIS to anywhere so I changed to 3.6 mhz to try to find my local chasers who were having trouble to hear me in their high noise levels on 7 mhz. No room and lots of short bushes on the summit I could just set up the 40/20m dipole. Just for the hell or in desperation I run the 80m extensions out across the top of some of the low bushes no more than a metre off the ground and there they all were at really surprising signal levels. I worked VK5WG VK5IS VK5MBD and VK5NWE with great signal levels. After 15 Qso’s and only one chaser VK3CTM on 40m ssb I packed up and made my way back down to the Ute and headed for Quorn to Recharge everything ready for the next day .
Thanks for reading my Blog
Ian vk5cz ..