Thanks to the fine efforts of Wayne VK3WAM, Paul VK3IH and others the RSGB Summits On The Air, SOTA, program has made its way to Australia.
SOTA encourages portable operation from summits. To qualify as a summit the hill needs to be meet certain conditions and it is then placed on the SOTA list.
At present SOTA only operates in VK3 but work is being done to get other states recognised as well.
Wayne has identified 609 summits in Victoria that fit the criteria SOTA and this would have taken a lot of work. Well done Wayne and thanks for your efforts.
Details of the SOTA program can be found at http://www.sota.org.uk/
There is also an Australian SOTA Yahoo Group where both chasers and activators can exchange ideas and comments.
So far there has been a few summits activated including my effort on Sunday at Mt Dandenong. Here I was able to combine an SOTA activation with a Keith Roget Memorial National Park Award activation. I set my FT7 and my portable switched inverted vee antenna up just out of the Mt Dandenong Observatory, just in the Dandenong Ranges National Park and within the activation zone of the summit.
I was able to add 7 QSOs to my log. On 40 m I worked five VK3s and one VK1 station. On 20 m I worked only one station in Switzerland. I had the FT7 set up on a tree stump powered by a 7 Ah sealed lead acid battery.
This activation scored me two points. The first award level is 100 points. So I have a fair way to go.