Activating Mt Matlock VK3/VC-001 and Mt Useful VK3/VT-016

Operating position mt Matlock

Mt Matlock operating position

Last Sunday, 29 December 2013, I took my wife’s car for a drive in the hills and headed for the highest summit in the VK3 Central group, Mt Matlock VK3/VC-001.

Traveling via Warburton I arrived at Mt Matlock just before 11:00 am and drove to the top just to have a look around. I then drove well out of the activation zone and parked the car about 1 km from the summit. I was traveling light and loaded the radio, battery, antenna and throw weight into an over the shoulder laptop bag and headed back up.

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Mt Matlock spotter’s tower

Access was easy and I set up about 100 metres from the fire spotters tower. I was on air about 11:40 am with my first contacts being Summit to Summit QSOs with Kevin VK3KAB and Trevor VK3ATB over at Trapyard Hill VK3/VT-005 on 40 metres. After working the usual chasers I tried 12 metres and worked 4 stations including Summit to Summit with Sam VK2AFA on One Tree Hill VK2/NT-013. I also made 3 QSOs on 20 metres.

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Stock warning

After finishing on Mt Matlock I checked the map for where I could head next. Mt Useful VK3/VT-016 is not too far away. There is a road between Matlock and Walhalla with Mt Sellma Rd turning off it. Although marked as Four Wheel Drive only the road is passable in the dry in a two wheel drive. Any sign of rain or snow however and I could see the road becoming very slippery and difficult to traverse.

I traveled past Mt Selma, having activated it just before Christmas, and headed on toward Mt Useful VK3/VT-016.

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Cattle on road side

Near Mt Useful are signs warning of wandering stock. They are right, as I came across two herds of cattle grazing on the edge of the road way. Anyone traveling between Mt Selma and Mt Useful should take head of these signs.

I parked the car at the end of the Mt Useful access track and walked up, again setting up about 100 metres from the fire spotter’s tower.

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Mt Useful spotter’s tower

The trees in this area are quite low so my antenna was not the best. I still managed many QSOs on 40 m, 12 m and 20 metres including a Summit to Summit QSO with Bernard VK2IB at Mt McKay VK3/VE-007.

After two previous attempts, Aug 2013 & Dec 2013, I have now activated Mt Useful.



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