Mount Dundas, VK3/ VS-045 was my second activation for the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program for Monday 17th November, 2014. Mount Dundas is located about 309 km west of Melbourne, and about 16 km north west of the little town of Cavendish.
Image courtesy of mapcarta.com
Mount Dundas is 459 metres above sea level, and is worth just 1 SOTA point. It is an easy summit to access, with a dirt road, leading all the way to the top where there is a large array of telecommunications equipment, including a digital TV broadcast site. According to SOTAWatch I am the only operator to have activated this summit, which I’m a little surprised by considering the easy access.
Image courtesy of mapcarta.com
Access to the summit is via Dundas Gap Road, which runs off the Natimuk to Hamilton Road, just out of Cavendish. There is a dirt road leading to the summit which is suitable for 2wd vehicles. I parked the car a little down the dirt road, and walked a few hundred metres to the top of the summit, so that my final access into the activation zone was by non motorised means. I set up on the eastern side of the telecommunication equipment, and was pleasantly surprised when I turned the radio on to find that there was not a lot of interference from the conglomerate of antennas at the site. There really aren’t too many other options here, as the terrain drops away quite dramatically from the summit peak on all sides, and the surrounding scrub is very thick.
Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
As I left my car I heard Rob VK2QR operating from a summit, so I quickly set up my gear and gave Rob a call on 7.090. Rob was a good 5/8 signal and was sitting on the top of VK3/ VE-023, a 10 pointer in north eastern Victoria. I received a 5/8 signal report back from Rob. It appeared that the 40m band had improved since my activation at Mount Rouse. Amen to that!
Rob kindly gave me the frequency following our QSO, and it wasn’t long before I had a good flow of callers from VK2, VK3, & VK5. My second contact was with Peter VK3PF, followed by Bernard VK2IO, and my fourth qualifying contact was with Bernard VK3AV. It was certainly not as hard going as Mount Rouse, which was great. Although there was still a bit of QSB on the signals.
A few contacts later, I was called by John VK2AWJ/3 who was portable in the Burrowa Pine Mountain National Park, VKFF-069. John was a good 5/4 and I received a 5/5 signal report from John. This was followed by a contact with Rick VK3EQ, who was on top of McCarthy Spur, VK3/ VT-039, a 6 pointer. Although Rick’s signal was very weak (5/1), I was able to copy him without any difficulty.
I went on to work a further 14 stations on 40m. I didn’t try 20m as promised, as the weather was less than ideal, and I still had two planned park activations, and a big trip ahead of me to get back home to the Adelaide Hills. So I am sorry to any of the VK6’s.
After 35 minutes on the summit, I had a total of 26 contacts in the log, including two Summit to Summit (S2S) contacts and one Victorian National Park contact.
The following stations were worked:-
Below is a video of the activation…..
After getting mobile from the summit, I worked Rob VK2QR/2, who was portable on Mount Murray, VK3/ VE-025. I was just about to enter the little town of Cavendish when I spoke with Rob, who was a good 5/7 into the mobile (5/7 received from Rob).