On Monday 8th October, 2013, with Rod VK5KFB and Steve VK5AIM, I attended the Strathalbyn Agricultural Show, which is a typical country show. We set up a small amateur radio display at the show on the edge of the oval under a marquee.
The display included a Yaesu FT-817nd, Steve’s portable Yaesu station, a Yaesu VX-6R hand held, a Hi Mound CW key, a selection of QSL cards, a selection of amateur radio awards, some portable antennas, and promotional material.
We did put up a 40m/20m linked dipole supported on a 7m squid pole secured to the tow bar of my car, and tried our luck on 40m, but the noise floor was S8-9, so that put a halt to any contacts. Unfortunately there were so many nearby generators running, and power lines, that it made any radio activity impossible.
During the day between about 10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. we had about 25-30 people visit the marquee and collect some promotional material on the hobby of amateur radio, and chat with us. Many of these seemed genuinely interested in obtaining their amateur radio licence. So here’s hoping a few more amateurs join our ranks.
On Sunday morning, 6th October, 2013, I headed down to the Fleurieu Peninsula for the 1 year VK5 Summits on the Air (SOTA) anniversary. My wife and I had been to a wedding on Saturday, so we were both moving a bit slowly on the Sunday morning. A wholesome Maccas meal was our start of the day after leaving the motel in Adelaide where we had stayed the night. We then headed down Main South Road through the southern suburbs of Adelaide, and then down to the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula through the towns of Myponga, Yankalilla, Normanville, and Delamare.
I was intending to activate 2 summits near Melrose in the southern Flinders Ranges, however I had overbooked with the wedding, and I did not want to do the 300 km drive north on Sunday morning with a ‘hangover’. So I settled on VK5/ SE-016 which is situated near the little town of Delamare, about 100 km south of Adelaide. It is a 1 point SOTA summit.
The Fleurieu Peninsula is located south of Adelaide and was named after the French explorer and hydrographer Charles Pierre Claret de Fleurieu by the French explorer Nicolas Baudin as he mapped the south coast of Australia in 1802.
After entering the sleepy hollow of Delamere, I turned left onto Range Road, and then right onto Dog Trap Road. About 4 km along Dog Trap Road, you reach the intersection with Three Bridges Road, and Tent Rock Road. This is the location of the summit which is the highest point on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The trig point is located in a farmer’s paddock, on the eastern side of Tent Rock Road, just slightly south of Three Bridges Road.
I managed to get to the summit about 20 minutes before the UTC rollover, so I quickly set up my gear, right alongside of Tent Rock Road. I strapped the squid pole to a wooden fire ban sign using a couple of octopus straps. Tent Rock Road is a dirt road which runs into the nearby Deep Creek Conservation Park, and it conveniently runs north and south, so I strapped the legs of the dipole to the farmer’s fence on the western side of the road, so the antenna was propagating east-west. There was a large amount of traffic travelling passed me on their way to Deep Creek CP, and I got quite a few strange looks as I sat on a blanket on the ground alongside the fire ban sign. Next time I activate this summit and it is a busy public holiday or weekend, I will definitely bring some headphones. It was very noisy with the passing traffic.
After setting up, I quickly turned the radio on with about 10 minutes before the UTC rollover, to find the 40m band extremely busy with lots of SOTA Activators and Chasers. So I tuned to 7.105 and put out a call to be greeted by Roy VK5NRG with a good strong signal. Ed VK2JI/5 who was portable on Mount Lofty summit VK5/ SE-005 was my 2nd contact. Well done to Ed for travelling to South Australia for the anniversary. This was followed by Tony VK3CAT with an excellent 5/9 plus signal. I continued to call for a while on 7.105, but sadly no one came back, so I tuned around the band hoping to get a 4th contact before the new UTC day. On 7.090 I heard Al VK1RX/2 who was on Livingstone Hill, VK2/ SM-093 so I gave him a shout (5/7 S and 5/5 R).
I then sat on 7.085 and worked a further 5 stations before the UTC rollover:- Ernie VK3DET, Ron VK3AFW, Peter VK3FPSR, Craig VK5LI, and Peter VK3PF.
After the UTC rollover I worked a further 33 stations on 40m SSB. This included a total of ten Summit to Summit contacts with Ian VK5CZ/p on Mount Horrocks VK5/ SE-012; Al VK1RX/2 on Livingstone Hill VK2/ SM-093; Andy VK5LA/p on Cone Hill VK5/ SE-002; Allen VK3HRA/p on Mount Sarah VK3/ VE-032; Andrew VK1DA/p on Mount Cowamgerong VK2/ ST-001; Col VK5HCF/p on Mount Burr VK5/ SE-019; VK2IB/p on Mount Jergyle VK2/ RI-004; Marshall VK3MRG/p on Mount Sarah VK3/ VE-032; and Matt VK1MA/p on Devil’s Peak VK2/ ST-003 (on both 40m & 20m).
I also spoke with Peter VK3YE who was pedestrian mobile on the beach in Melbourne. Peter had a good 5/5 signal and was a very nice copy as always with his pedestrian mobile set up. And I had a second pedestrian mobile contact, this time with Perrin VK3XPT. Although Perrin’s signal was much lower (just 5/3) he was still very readable.
And I also received a call from Terry VK3UP/p who was portable in Great Otway National Park (5/6 both ways).
I also had a few QRP callers including Peter VK3FPSR, Bernard VK3AMB, Ron VK3AFW, and Roger VK5NWE. All of whom had great signals. The noise floor was very very low so I could hear a pin drop (other than the traffic noise).
I then QSY’d to 20m and was hoping to get some contacts into VK6 & VK4. And to my pleasure, my first contact was with Mike VK6MB. This was followed by Matt VK2DAG, John VK7XX with his normal booming signal, Ian VK1DI, Mike VK4MRB, Neville VK2SF, and Matt VK1MA/p who was Devil’s Peak VK2/ ST-003.
Thanks to John VK7XX who placed me on the DX cluster. Sadly I did not receive any DX calls. Although I did hear lots of USA activity with the Oceania DX Contest.
The following stations were worked before the UTC rollover on 40m SSB:-
Roy VK5NRG; Ed VK2JI/5 (SOTA); Tony VK3CAT; Al VK1RX/p (SOTA); Ernie VK3DET; Ron VK3AFW; Peter VK3FPSR; Craig VK5LI; and Peter VK3PF.
The following stations were worked after the UTC rollover on 40m SSB & 20m SSB:-
Peter VK3PF; Peter VK3YE/pm; Andy VK5AKH/p; Andrew VK1NAM/m3; Peter VK3FPSR; Bernard VK3AMB/qrp; Ron VK3AFW/qrp; Tim VK5AV; Colin VK3UBY; Ernie VK3DET; Tony VK3CAT; Roy VK5NRG; Shaun VK5FAKV; Perrin VK3XPT/pm; Nev VK5WG; Ian VK5CZ/p (SOTA); Larry VK5LY; Al VK1RX/2 (SOTA); Andy VK5LA/p (SOTA); Scott VK7NWT; Mal VK7XS; Allen VK3HRA/p (SOTA); Terry VK3UP/p (KRMNPA); Andrew VK1DA/p (SOTA); Col VK5HCF/p (SOTA); VK2IB/p (SOTA); Brian VK5FMID; John VK5TD; Roger VK5NWE; Trevor VK5ZTJ/m; Marshall VK3MRG/p (SOTA); Matt VK1MA/2 (SOTA); Ivan VK5HS/m; Mike VK6MB; Matt VK2DAG; John VK7XX; Ian VK1DI; VK4MRB; Neville VK2SF; and Matt VK1MA/2 (SOTA).
I have added a video to You Tube of the activation…..