Lagoon Hill summit, VK5/ SE-008

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I activated Lagoon Hill on the 20th April, 2013, after I had been to Mount Horrocks summit.

Lagoon Hill is 689 metres ASL and is worth 4 points.

Lagoon Hill is located about 138 kms north of Adelaide, and about 30 kms north east of the town of Saddleworth.  It is located close to the Apoinga Lagoon (was completely dry) and Energy Australia’s Waterloo wind farm installation.

The summit is located on private property.  Access is via Mollers Gap Road.  Travel east on Mollers Gap Road over Apoinga Road, and take the first dirt track on your left.  Go to the end of the track and you will come to a cockies gate on your right.  Go through the gate and drive through the paddock.  You will reach a fenceline where the scrub starts.  I parked my car here and then walked to the north slightly and then up the hill.

The climb up here is NOT easy.  There is NO track leading to the summit.  It is bush bashing through the scrub, which is made hard by the fact that the hill is steep and very rocky.  It took me about one hour to get to the top and it was hard yaka !  Ended up with a few cuts & scratches.

However once you reach the top, you are rewarded with magnificent views.  The view from the top is absolutely spectacular.  There is a trig point at the top but it is not easy to find as it is surrounded by thick scrub.  There are plenty of operating spots as the mountain is covered in large rocks and small trees and scrub, so there are plenty of options for securing a squid pole or antenna.

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I found a comfy spot and set up the gear.  As I sat admiring the view and chatting on the radio, a few Wedge Tailed eagles were soaring above the cliff face.  I don’t think they were eyeing me off ! ?

I had a total of 20 QSO’s on 40m & 20m.  This included a few DX contacts into Europe & the UK on 20m, who were receiving my QRP signal quite well.  Unfortunately I ran out of time and I knew I had a hard climb down, and definitely didn’t want to do it in partial darkness.  Oh well !

An interesting QSO for me that afternoon was with Nev, VK5WG, who is getting on in years now.  This was originally his father’s call sign.  I remember often hearing VK5WG when I was a short wave listener in my teenage years (some 35 years ago).

Stations worked were:- VK3MRG/p; Robby VK5VRD/qrp (5 watts); Peter VK3ZPF; Tony VK3CAT; Ernie VK3DET; Ian VK1DI; Andrew VK1NAM; Glen VK3YY; Al VK1RX; Nev VK5WG; Richard VK3TXD/qrp (10 watts); Daniel VK5DF; Rhett VK3GHZ; Andrew VK2UH; Bernard VK3FABA; Doug VK3FDRE; Ian VK5CZ/m; Darren VK3FDJT; Francisco EA7ISH; and GB2VEF.

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A really enjoyable sunny afternoon and a great view that I won’t forget.

Mount Horrocks summit, VK5/ SE-012

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On Saturday the 20th April, 2013, I activated Mount Horrocks summit, VK5/SE-012 in the mid north of S.A.

Mount Horrocks is 610 metres ASL and is worth 2 points.

It is located about 132 kms north of Adelaide, and about 27 kms south of Clare, in the Clare Valley in the mid north of South Australia.  The Clare Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions and is best known for Riesling wines.

The summit is located on private property owned by Mr. Jock GOSS, Mobile. 0428 439 072.  Jock is very friendly and only asks that he be contacted first prior to entering his property, and gates are shut behind you as he has sheep grazing on the property.

To get to Jock’s property, turn down Queltala Road in the town of Watervale’s main street, and then left into Springvale Road.  If you are like me, it’s hard to drive through this great wine country and not stop off for a sip.  Travel along Springvale Road for about 2.6 kms heading north, and then turn right into the vineyard before the sharp left bend.  There is a small red firetrack sign on the gate.  Follow that track right up to the top of the vineyard, and then through an old iron gate.  After a bit of bushbashing in your car, then travel under some trees to another gate which will be on your right.  Go through the gate and follow that track to the top along the ridge.  Just follow the red Fire track signs.  There are some spectacular views of Watervale & Leasingham at this point.  Then go left through the iron gate which is right at the top.  It is about a 1 km walk from that point to the summit.  The walk is very easy and is a slow incline, and follows a dirt track.

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There are 2 radio communications towers at the summit, providing radio & broadband coverage.

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I initially set up close to the towers using what appears to be the base of the old trig point to support my squid pole (this consists of 3 blue poles).  But I was really disapointed when I turned on the FT-817nd and had an S8-9 noise floor.  So I pulled down the gear and moved further north and set up again a few hundred metres away.  Fortunately the noise floor dropped, but it was still S3-4.

I used some large rocks to prop up the 7m squid pole and also to sit on.  It was fairly comfortable, and not too hot, and view was terrific.  There were a few gum trees on the top of the summit, not to far away from my operating spot, should it get too hot.

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I made a total of 9 QSO’s, including a Summit to Summit (S2S) with Al VK1RX/p.  This was only my 3rd S2S, so it was great to make contact with Al, who was a very good 5/5 from the ACT (and 5/5 back from Al).

Stations worked were:-Al VK1RX/p (SOTA VK1/ AC-034 Mt Majura); Glen VK3YY; Andrew VK1NAM; Bernard VK3FABA; Matt VK1MA; Peter VK3ACJ; Peter VK3ZPF; Dale VK5DC; and Ian VK1DI.

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It was a fairly quiet morning for me despite conditions appearing to be quite good.  Many of the normal ‘chaser’s weren’t around the place.  But I was just happy to get the 4 qualifying QSO’s and the S2S with Al was a real bonus for me.