Last Sunday I got up early and headed off to activate SOTA summit VK3/VT-040 Spion Kopje. This summit name has a typo on the VK3 summit list and is shown as Spion Kipje. Either way the pronunciation of this summit is not as it seems. It is pronounced as SPee on KEE op.
Access to the base is via Limberlost Rd which heads south from the Yarra Junction – Noojee Rd, about 12 km from Noojee.
The start of the ‘track’ to the summit is about 30 metres west of the junction of Limberlost Rd and Outlook Rd.
The ‘track’ is very overgrown and makes its way up and over some big pieces of granite where it is difficult to tell where the ‘track’ enters and exits. In places it is marked with blue tape in the trees and occasionally red or orange paint on the rocks.
Once on the summit setting the inverted vee was a challenge as the steep edges of the summit and the heavy growth made me wish I had brought up a vertical. Things may have been easier just a little lower down but working right on top, even when you don’t need to, has a certain attraction to it.
I managed to get the inverted vee in the air and set for 40 metres but 15 minutes of calling got no results. I later learned of a geomagnetic storm that had caused propagation on 40 metres to be poor. Many stations had reported poor to no signals on Saturday and Sunday.
As Glenn, VK3YY, was also out on a SOTA activation, I had packed a 2 metre antenna as well. I put up the end fed vertical dipole on a second pole and gave 146.500 a few calls. I quickly had three QSOs on 2 m FM and then, after a tip off from Peter, VK3PF, I caught Glenn at Federation Range on 40 m. That gave me four QSOs before the UTC day change as well as some chaser points from Glenn.