Two SOTA activations & 10 summits chased.

Low antenna at Pretty Sally

Sunday last week saw me heading off to the bush for a site visit to checkout a camp site for the upcoming Hoadley Hide. I had loosely planned to stop at the SOTA summit Pretty Sally on my way out but a little sleep-in saw me without enough time.

I was however able to chase a few operators on other summits while I was traveling between Melbourne and Heathcote.

After the site visit I made my way back to Pretty Sally, catching a couple more activators on the way, and activated Pretty Sally.
I parked my car just out of the activation zone and walked a few hundred metres up to a shaded patch on the side of the road nearest the summit.

Foolishly I had left my 10 m squid pole in the car so I made do with just throwing the antenna itself over a branch about 4 metres off the ground. Not ideal but it got me 9 contacts in short time, including two Summit to Summit QSOs with VK1 operators.

Area map at Mt Disappointment

From Pretty Sally I headed over to Mt Disappointment for a SOTA and Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award activation.
Locating this operating position is tricky as the Kinglake National Park only extends partly into the Mt Disappointment activation zone and most of it is fenced off as water catchment area. After consulting the map at Blairs Hut Picnic Area I was confident I could meet the requirements of both awards. I parked the car and grabbed my gear and walked out of the activation zone. Then came back into the zone and set up just south of the corner of Harris Creek Rd and Board Rd. This area was burnt during the Black Saturday bush fires in February 2009 and is slowly recovering.

Detailed map showing National Park in blue

From here I made 9 QSOs including one on 15 metres.
I then headed home stopping along the way to chase another VK1 summit activator.

Burnt trees from four years earlier

I was using my new logging app which worked almost flawlessly. One small error in the ‘distance and direction from Melbourne’ function (now fixed) and, of course, a revised list of things to be added that may be useful, such as being able to review and edit past QSOs from the list and having the output files named by local date rather than UTC date.

Thanks to VK1RX, VK3YY, VK1NAM, VK1DI and VK3HRA for providing summits activations to chase.


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