On Sunday morning, my 4th QSO on Hogshead Hill, VK5/ NE-051, was with Ron, VK3AFW. By working Ron I qualified for the summit, and in turn surpassed the 100 point mark as an Activator. I have applied for the certificate from SOTA and really look forward to receiving it.
I started activating back in March this year and in the past 6 months I have activated 35 unique summits on the Fleurieu Peninsula, in the Adelaide Hills, on the Eyre Peninsula, in the Mid North, and up in the Flinders Ranges. I’ve had a ball. I’ve visited places that ordinarily I probably wouldn’t have gone to.
It has not been easy. Most South Aussie’s are geographically challenged when it comes to SOTA. Unfortunately because of where our summits are located, a lot of driving is involved for the vast majority of us. In fact my last SOTA trip, on the weekend, probably involved about 1,000 km of travel. And to make it a little bit more difficult, most of the summits are on private property, which requires a bit of digging around.
But fortunately almost all of the farmers have been terrific and very helpful. Ian VK5CZ and I are slowly building up a database of land owners and creating partnerships with them, so it will be easier for the next lot of keen VK5 activators that come along.
It has been great to be able to combine a love for the bush, some exercise (it doesn’t seem to be paying off on my waistline), and the hobby of amateur radio. Even my wife Marija is happy, and she has accompanied me on quite a few activations.
Thanks to everyone who has called me whilst I’ve been on a summit. I’ve worked into all the States of Australia and quite a bit of DX on 40m & 20m, which is always a thrill with just 5 watts & a simple dipole antenna.
A long, long, long road ahead before I get even close to Mountain Goat. But I’m up for the challenge.
Below is a certificate I made up and have sent to Ron VK3AFW, thanking him for tipping me over the 100 points. The photo is of a Kookaburra that decided to perch itself on the top of the squid pole.