2015 WIA AGM

On Friday evening 8th May 2015, I headed to King O’Malleys Hotel in Canberra for the first ‘informal’ gathering of the weekend for the attended the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) Annual General Meeting (AGM).  The feed was great, the bundy was cold and it was terrific to catch up with a number of hams, including many of the VK1 locals.

On Saturday morning 9th May 2015, I attended the WIA AGM, which was held in the Poseidon room at the Hellenic Club in Canberra.  A great venue.

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A number of awards and presentations were made on Saturday morning, and I was very surprised to be issued with a Presidents certificate for my involvement in the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  It came as a great surprise.

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At lunch time, Peter VK3PF displayed to a very interested crowd, one of his home brew antennas.

Following lunch, there were a number of presentations on a variety of topics.  This included a presentation on the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program by Andrew VK1NAM.

After Andrew’s presentation, I delivered a quick 20 minute presentation on the World Wide Flora Fauna program.  Hopefully it inspired a few more park activators and/or hunters.

The day wrapped up at about 5.30 p.m. at which time Peter VK3PF convinced me into accompanying him to Mount Ainslee for a quick 2 m SOTA activation.  I will report on this in a little more detail in another post.

More information on the 2015 WIA AGM can be found on the WIA website at…..

http://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2015/20150520-22/index.php

And more information on the award recipients on the day can be found at…..

http://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2015/20150521-2/index.php

After our quick SOTA activation, I headed back to the Hellenic Club for the WIA Annual Dinner which was held in the Poiseden Room.  The meal was very nice and there was a guest speaker from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).  Towards the end of the evening, it was announced that it was proposed that the next WIA AGM would be held on Norfolk Island.  This excited a lot of people, including the SOTA & parks activators and hunters present in the room.  Norfolk Island has a nice SOTA peak, and the whole island is also VKFF-392.

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Mount Ginini, ACT, VK1/ AC-008 and Namadgi National Park VKFF-377

After sharing a story or two with the guys at Bulls Head, Andrew, John, & I, hit the road again and headed for our second summit and park for the day…… Mount Ginini VK1/ AC-008, which is also located in the Namadgi National Park VKFF-377.

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Above:- Map showing the location of Mount Ginini.  Courtesy of mapcarta.com

Mount Ginini is 1,760 metres above sea level and is worth 8 points for the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program.  The summit is located in the Brindabella Ranges and is located on the border between the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and New South Wales (NSW).  The summit is the eighth highest mountain in the Territory.

For this activation we drove right up to the very top of the summit and walked to our operating spot, a short distance away.  Although it was a little less windy up here compared to Mount Coree, it was a lot colder.  In fact very cold!  Four (4) degrees celsius.

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Above:- Mount Ginini.  Image courtesy of http://www.sota.org.uk

For this activation we ran QRP 5 watts into a linked dipole.  John VK5BJE started off first, adopting his yoga position, and had soon racked up 10 contacts, thus qualifying the summit for Summits on the Air (SOTA) and the park for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  I then tried my luck on 40m and had soon also accrued 10 contacts on 40m including three summit to summit contacts: Andrew VK1NAM on Mount Stromlo VK1/ AC-043, and Onno VK6FLAB and Marc VK3OHM both portable on Mount Coree VK1/ AC-023 (the mountain we had just come from).

Andrew then asked if I would like to try 20m.  I didn’t hesitate as I was hoping that I could reach 44 contacts for the Namadgi National Park.  I had ten contacts from the last activation, so with the ten on 40m here on Ginini, I just needed another 24 contacts.  So down came the squid pole and out came some of the links in the dipole.  We tuned to 14.244 but the frequency was already in use.  In fact it was Danny OT6V who was portable in a WWFF park, Mosterdpot, ONFF-447.  Danny had a few European callers but I patiently waited and gave Danny a call and managed to make contact.  Although Danny’s signal was not all that strong, we were able to hear each other very well (5/5 both ways).  For more information on Danny’s activation, have a look at the following……

http://www.on4vt.be/

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I then moved up to 14.250 and put out a number of CQ calls, and these were finally answered by Bruce VK4YS.  This was followed by a call from Dwight VE7BV in Canada, who was kind enough to place me on the DX cluster.  This resulted in a number of callers from Europe and North America.  I would also like to thank the other 3 stations that placed me on the DX Cluster.  It is a big help to drag in callers when this is done.

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It was so cold on the summit that Andrew and John went back to the vehicle and the warmth of the heater, while I braved the elements, and kept on working the DX on 20m.  But it became that cold that I could no longer hold the pen in my hand, so it was time to pack up and head home.  I am sorry to those stations that were still calling when I went QRT.  It was just way too cold.

By the time we had packed up the gear and got back into the car, the temperature had gone down to 2 deg C (as can be seen in the photograph below).

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I worked the following stations:-

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I would like to acknowledge and thank Andrew VK1DA who kindly took John and I out for the day.  It was a pleasure to meet Andrew ‘in the flesh’.  I had spoken with Andrew many many times previously on air, but this was the first time we had ever met in person.  Again, thanks Andrew.

References.

Wikipedia, 2015, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Ginini&gt;, viewed 13th May 2015