I am now a Shack Sloth

Yesterday morning, Saturday 29th June, 2013, I woke up quite excited as I was sitting on just under 950 points as a Chaser.  I knew that there was going to be quite a few activations during the day, and fingers crossed, this would hopefully take me over the 1,000 point mark.

My first contact of the day was with Wayne VK3WAM/p, who was on Mount Ritchie.  The SOTA goat bleated on my i-phone, so I rushed up to the radio room and spoke with Wayne.  A good start with another 8 points to add to the tally.

At the end of my QSO with Wayne, Andrew VK1NAM, asked me to QSY up 5, and I obliged.  I  had a good chat with Andrew, only to find out that he was very close to Shack Sloth as well, and he too, was hoping for a good day.

And at 0258 UTC I tipped over the 1,000 point mark, after speaking with Peter VK3PF, who was on Mount Selma, VK3/ VT-013.  The number 013 wasn’t unlucky for me in this instance.  Thanks Peter.

And by the end of the weekend, I had 18 SOTA QSO’s, and I am now sitting on 1,058 points.

And I also found out that Andrew VK1NAM had nudged over the 1,000 point mark.  So congratulations to you Andrew.

My first ever SOTA contact was with Mike, 2E0YYY/p, on 1st December, 2011.  He was portable on Moel Famau summit, GW/ NW-044, in Wales, and I was lucky enough to work him on 15 m SSB.   This was my first ever exposure to SOTA.  I hadn’t even heard about the SOTA program before this.

It took another 5 months to pass, 22nd May 2012 in fact, before I would get my next SOTA contact.  And again it was with Mike, who was using the special call of 2Q0YYY/p.  This time he was on Shining Tor summit, G/ SP-004, in England.  I had an enjoyable QSO with Mike on 20m SSB.

My first Aussie SOTA contact was on the 10th June, 2012, with Wayne VK3WAM, who was portable on Triple Peak, VK3/ VW-005.

Between May 2012 and December 2012, I worked a total of 29 activators and reached 155 points.  The Victorian VK3 Association had kicked off earlier that year, in February, but it was not until May, that I was bitten by the SOTA bug.

My interest really hightened with talk that South Australia was going to join the SOTA brotherhood, and in October the VK5 Association kicked off.  Thanks to Ian VK5CZ and Wayne VK3WAM.

But it has been this year, 2013, that SOTA has really soared here in Australia.   Activations in VK3 really took off, and in February, 2013, the ACT VK1 Association also joined the fold.  So far in 2013, I have worked a total of 210 stations for a total of 901 points.

Thankyou to all the guys who have made the effort in going out to activate a summit.  Now that I have also become an Activator (started in March this year – 26 activations), I know that it is not just as simple as going out to climb the nearest hill.  There is a fair bit of organisation and determination involved.  But it is a lot of fun.  For me, nothing beats getting out in the bush, going for a walk, getting fit, and enjoying the hobby of amateur radio at the same time.

The following stations appear in my Chaser log:-

Wayne VK3WAM; Ron VK3AFW; Allen VK3HRA; Peter VK3ZPF; Peter VK3PF, Andrew VK1NAM, Ian VK5CZ, Rik VK3KAN, Matt VK1MA, Andrew VK1DA, Marshall VK3MRG, Al VK1RX, Ernie VK3DET, Ian VK1DI, Peter VK1IRC, Glenn VK3YY, VK3FMDV,  Kevin VK3KAB, Warren VK3BYD, Rhett VK3GHZ, Brian VK3MCD, Andy VK5LA, Darren VK3FDJT, VK3XJM, VK3CBV, Chris VK3QB/VK9, Brenton VK3CBV, Glen VK1FB, Mark VK3DEE, Mark VK3PI, Ray VK3YAR, and Andrew VI100ACT.

Other than my 2 DX QSO’s with Mike, I’ve been lucky enough to work a total of 10 other DX SOTA activators in Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, and Greece.  And every one of those has been a real thrill to get in the log.

I hope that the rest of 2013 and the future, sees a lot more activity from South Australia, VK5.  To date, there has only been a handful of activators, which is a little disapointing.

I’ve enjoyed every minute of Chasing and again thanks to all you guys who have made the effort of climbing to the top of a summit.

Now that I am a Shack Sloth, I can try to concentrate on my Activations.

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