Mount Cone, VK5/ SE-002

After activating VK5/ SE-009, Ian VK5CZ and I drove north of Burra, and onto the Goyder Highway and then north on the Barrier Highway.  About 10 kms north of Burra we turned right onto Mount Cone Road and travelled right to the very end of the road which leads to a homestead.

Mount Cone summit is located on private property owned by Mr. Simon ROWE.  He is one of the founders of T&R Pastoral company, which is the largest beef and lamb trader and processors in South Australia and one of the largest family owned in Australia.  There is another Mount Cone located 100’s of kms away down south on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

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We then followed a dirt track across some paddocks leading up to the summit, busbashing in my Falcon XR6.  We parked the car about 300 metres from the tower at the summit, and climbed up hill the rest of the way, which was a steep but fairly easy climb up the dirt trail.

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The view from the top of Mount Cone is really quite amazing.  You can just see the tops of the Flinders Ranges and Mount Bryan is clearly visible to the north.  The big wind farm on the tops of the hills is out to the west, and the town of Burra is clearly visible to the south.  It is a great take off out to the east

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Again, Ian and I set up to stations.  He used his Elecraft KX3 and an end fed antenna.  I used my little Yaesu FT-817nd and my BandHopper 40m/20m linked dipole.  I secured it to a wooden fence post with an occie strap.

No wildlife seen on the hill, except for a large wedge tailed eagle who was keeping a watchful eye on us.  The only animals were cows grazing on the hills.  As Ian said to me, they must be the fittest cows in the mid north of S.A.

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It was absolutely blowing a gale up here.  Incredibly windy and it was a real challenge to keep the squiddies from collapsing….which happened quite a few times.  They were certainly bending in the wind, almost as if we had a squid on the end of each of them !

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I ended up with a total of 39 QSO’s.  This included quite a bit of DX on 20m SSB into the USA and Europe.  Another highlight was a summit to summit QSO with Marshall VK3MRG/p, who was on top of Pretty Sally (so to speak), VK3/ VC-034.  It was also great to make contact with David VK5KC, and John VK5BJE, who were both operating portable from the Scott Creek Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills, as part of the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award.  Both had terrific signals up to the mid north.

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Thanks also to Wayne, VK7NET, for putting me on the DX cluster.

Stations worked on 40m were:- David VK5KC/p; John VK5BJE/p; Matt VK1MA; Peter VK3PF; Graham VK5KGP; Trevor VK5ATW; Andy VK5LA; Ernie VK3DET; Warren VK3BYD; VK3JM; Peter VK3ZPF; Shaun VK5FAKV; Bernard VK3FABA; VK3MCD; VK3ANL; Al VK1RX; Mike VK5MCB; Darren VK3FDJT/p; Ian VK1DI; Steve VK3MEG; David VK3KR; Peter VK2NEO; Col VK5HCF; Craig VK3CRG/p; Marshall VK3MRG/p (s2s); VK5KFB; Roy VK5NRG; Ray VK3NBL/p; Greg VK2GJC; Dean VK2FLYS; Steve VK4KUS; and Stephen ZL4CZ.

Stations worked on 20m were:- Brian ZL2ASH; John EA7BA; Wayne VK7NET; KD6BZN; Gil IK2KRZ; Keith M0WYZ;  and Joe WA4JUK.

I filmed a bit on top of the hill with my i-phone, and I’ve placed it onto You Tube.  It can be found at …..

This was the end of 2 enjoyable days for me.  I journeyed back the 2 hours to my home qth in the Adelaide Hills.  And after the bed at the Burra pub, I certainly enjoyed the hot bath and climbing into my own bed that night.

VK5/ SE-009

Following my activation of Tothill Range, VK5/ SE-010 on Saturday 18th May, 2013, I headed up to Burra and booked in to the Burra Hotel.  Certainly not the Ritz, but it was okay for the night.  The beer and the bundy was cold at the bar, which was the main thing.

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The following day I got up bright and early, and had my bowl of Corn flakes and coffee, and then met up with Ian VK5CZ, from Clare, out the front of the pub.  We then headed south to un-named summit, VK5/ SE-009.  We had a bit of difficulty finding the summit because of dodgy internet coverage and the fact that we had been told this summit was Steins Hill.  It turns out definitely not to be Steins Hill, which is further to the east from VK5/ SE-009.

The summit is located on private property owned by Mr. Paul THOMPSON.  Access is via Princess Royal Road which runs off the Barrier Highway, just out of the town of Burra.  The trig point on the top of the summit is quite visible from the road.

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We entered Paul’s land via a cockies gate and travelled across the paddock to an old quarry, and parked the car here.  From that point it was about a 2.5 km walk to the top of the summit.  The climb is not too bad.  We tried to follow the sheep trails as they seem to know the easy way up these hills.  Quite a few kangaroos were seen on the way up.

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After reaching the top we set up the antennas in fairly trying conditions.  It was blowing a gale on the top of the hill. No wonder they are trying to put more wind towers up here !  The westerly that was coming in was certainly getting the the squiddies to lean to the east.  I set up my 40m/20m dipole close to the trig point and used a pile of rocks to prop up the squid pole.  Ian used an old fence post to secure his squid pole.

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The views from the top are quite good, particularly down to the south and up to the north.  There is an experimental wind tower on the top of a nearby hill.  It is planned for this range to host another series of wind farm towers.  They are everywhere up here in the mid north.  There is a trig point on the summit.  I found the warning of a 20 pound fine for interference to the trig quite interesting.  There are no trees on the top of the actual summit.  It is rocky and quite bare.

I jumped onto 40m first, while Ian tried his luck on 20m CW.  As was the case with the activation the day before, my first contact was a Summit to Summit with Ian, VK1DI/p on VK1/ AC-038 Mount Tuggeranong.  Ian was 5/5 and I received a 5/3 back.  Ian was kind enough to allow me the frequency and what followed was a mini pile up.  I also had 2 more S2S QSO’s.  The first being with Marshall VK3MRG/p on Mt Macedon VK3/ VC-007, and the second with Al VK1RX/p on VK1/ AC-019.  A real pleasure to bag some more S2S contacts.  That is always the highlight of any SOTA trip for me.

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I ended up with 20 QSO’s, all on 40m SSB.

Stations worked were:- Ian VK1DI/p (s2s); Ernie VK3DET; Ed VK2JI/p; Rod VK2LAX/p; John VK2YW; Fred VK3JM; Marshall VK3MRG/p (s2s); Al VK1RX/p (s2s); Matt VK1MA; Peter VK3PF; David VK5KC; Shaun VK5FAKV; Peter VK3FPSR; Andy VK5LA; Ken VK7KKV; Allen VK3HRA/m (enroute to another summit); Col VK5HCF; Geoff VK2GM; Peter VK3ZPF/p, and Colin VK3LO.

After a few hours on the top of the hill, Ian and I headed down.  Again on the walk down, lots of kangaroos were seen.  Ian and I then drove into Burra for a bite to eat, and then headed north for our next summit…..Mount Cone, VK5/ SE-002.

I took a bit of video with my i-phone on the top of the summit, and I’ve placed it on You Tube.  It can be found at …..