While the rest of the family lazed around during a camping trip, I decided to have a day on the hills. I selected two nearby summits that had not been previously activated.
Mt Concord VK3/VN-018
This summit is at the southern end of a long ridge that can be seen from the Maroondah Highway on the way to Mansfield. Many SOTA activators will have gazed on this range on their way to higher hills in Victoria’s north east. It was now time to get this summit activated.
The summit is on a road reservation. This is not fenced. I used Nicholsons Rd from the highway for access. This is a high quality gravel road until point 738904. It is a bit rough from there, but still worth going up about 500m or so. From here it begins to climb quickly. I proceeded on foot. The formed road goes off to the left onto private land. The road reservation, plus the public land of Molesworth Bushland Reserve to the right gives access up to the top of the hill. It means leaving the formed road at the gate into the private land and continuing to climb to the right of the fence. Its a climb of about 350m over about 1200m, so it is quite steep. I didn’t mind the steep climb, as I had a series of tough activations planned in the following week.
I had also loaded a detailed map from land.vic.gov.au to show the location of the road reservations. From the top of the climb, it was clear that the road reservation was not fenced, instead one of the two land owners was using it. From the map, it was the farmer to the west, rather than the pine plantation to the east. So, I stayed to the west of the fence and proceeded southwards towards the summit. There was a track on the wrong side of the fence, but I stayed away from this due to this being likely on private land.
The summit itself has a trig point and I operated from there. I used the 7m heavy duty pole to mount the “random wire”, but had more success with the end fed. I suspect that my wire direct to BNC connector is perhaps not the best approach as it is subject to load. Instead, I want to look at a BNC connector where I can screw the wires in.
There were some nice views from up on top.
There were no real views to the east because of the pine plantation.
Mt Concord has a limited life in the Summits on the Air program. The summit is actually 647m high, not 697m. There is another spot to the north that is higher on this plateau system, and it will be the replacement of Mt Concord in due course. This won’t be for a while as it is not in the current round of summit changes.
Proctor is located south of Bonnie Doon to the west of Lake Eildon. I accessed it from Alexandra and the road into the Frazer section of Lake Eildon National Park. Skyline Rd skirts the western edge of the park. Proctor is located to the north of the park, and there is good 2wd road access into activation zone. I setup in part of the road reservation and again used the end fed antenna on 20 and 40, using the internal ATU of the KX1 to tune for 30. It did this quite easily.
Conditions were mostly fine, apart from a sharp shower that came through. I continued operating through the shower by putting the rig underneath my backpack. One does not need to see too much when keying CW. I lent over the (paper) notebook to keep it from getting wet. The shower was short and then it was back to fine sunny conditions.
Regards, Wayne VK3WAM