I’ve fallen a little behind in maintaining my blog, so I will try to catch up over the next little while.
On the 19th of July, I headed up to Bendigo and gave a SOTA talk at the Bendigo Amateur Radio and Electronics Club. There was quite a lot of interest. I had previously telegraphed my intention to go out and activate a few summits the next day. A few guys from the club looked past the not so good WX forecast, although chances were it would be cold with a few showers, rather than heavy rain.
Joining me on this trip was:
- Phil VK3BHR
- Ray VK3YAR – who also kindly put me up on the Friday night, and
- Col VK3LED
As it is a little while since the actual activation, I can’t remember everyone who accompanied us.
Mt Kerang VK3/VU-010
Proceedings opened with this nice little summit. The summit requires access over private land, and look at the following photo of the gate as to how to make the necessary arrangements:
Ray had already arranged to obtain a key, so we were able to drive to the summit. It is a walk for an hour or so if vehicle access cannot be arranged.
The summit itself is quite open. We proceeded down the north side to lose about 30m vertical and then turned around to head up, making sure we had carried all of our gear with us.
Here’s a few pics of proceedings from the summit:
The interesting thing about Phil’s rig is that it is a self-built, self-designed rig. Might be a bit heavy for some SOTA work, but impressive nonetheless.
Mt Korong VK3/VU-012
Next up was Mt Korong, after a quick stop at a fish and chip shop. This is on a public reserve, however there is not a maintained track to the summit. The forest is reasonably open. There are some nice views from this summit.
My end-fed half wave on 40m, plus the 2m colinear were in action at the summit.
The terrain is quite open lower down, so the best bet might be to park at the main car park. There is a track marked on some maps, but this is very faint and we did not follow it. Nonetheless, it is likely to be easier to head straight up from the car park, rather than trying to traverse in along the ridge from the west. This is a good mountain for those not so experienced in off track walking to get started.
Mt Tarrengower VK3/VN-023
After Mt Korong, the guys were looking for an easy one. There is a sealed road to the top. We parked down a little, and did a little trip down a valley to ensure we were low enough to be out of the activation zone on the way to the top.
Proceedings were similar to Mt Korong, with my end-fed, the 2m colinear and Phil using an inverted V on 40m.
Mt Ida VK3/VU-009
With that, I bid my Bendigo friends farewell, and headed for Melbourne, but via Mt Ida. I expected to get there well after dark and would try activating on 2m only. Access to this summit is quite easy in taking the road nearly all the way to the top. It looks to be within 25m vertical of the top, so dropping about 10m from the car park would be advised. The road in from the Northern Hwy can be a little easy to miss in the dark when coming from the south.
It was fully dark during this activation. I operated from on the corner of the fenced area using the 2m colinear. A highlight of this activation was a 2m FM contact with some enhancement with VK2KRR near Wagga Wagga.
With that, I packed up and headed back to Melbourne.
Regards, Wayne VK3WAM