After leaving the SERG Convention on Sunday afternoon (7th June 2015) I drove up to the Blue Lake at Mount Gambier for some mobile action. My mobile set up is an Icom IC-7000 and a Codan 9350 self tuning antenna mounted on the read of my Toyota Hi Lux.
As I was driving around the edge of the lake, I heard Tony VK3VTH on 14.311. Tony was portable in the Dergholm State ParkVKFF-756 in the far west of Victoria, about 390 km west of Melbourne. Tony was working into Europe, and was a little weak, but as this was a unique park for me, I thought it was worth giving him a call. It took a little while to get through the European pileup, but eventually we made it (5/3 sent and 4/1 received).
Above:- The Blue Lake at Mount Gambier.
I then changed bands to 40m and worked Paul VK3HN who was portable on SOTA peak, Mount Gordon, VK3/ VN-027 (5/7 sent and 5/5 received). I then spoke with Peter VK3ZPF who was calling CQ for the VK Shires Contest. Peter had a beautiful 5/9 signal.
I then pulled up at the Valley Lake lookout, and I had a further two SOTA contacts. The first was with Rod VK2TWR who was portable on Wullwye Hill VK2/ SM-085, east of Jindabyne. And the next was with Allen VK3HRA who was portable on VK3/ VW-017 North Burranj Range, in the Black Range State Park VKFF-751.
I then tuned up the band and found Ian VK1DI calling CQ from another unique VKFF reference area for me, the Dunlop Grassland Nature Reserve, VKFF-839. This is one of the newly added VKFF areas to the WWFF program. Ian had a nice strong 5/8 signal and he reciprocated with a 5/8 signal report for me.
I then changed over to 20m and started calling CQ on 14.275. Almost immediately my CQ call was answered by Jos ON4ATK in Belgium (5/7 sent and 5/5 received). This was followed by Ted VK4AVG (5/9 sent and 5/8 received). But things dried up after this with no further takers.
So I tuned across the band and spoke with Theo OT4A in Belgium (5/9 sent and 5/7 received), Dan S59N in Slovenia (5/8 sent & 5/6 received), Jose EA3NG in Spain (5/9 both ways), and Tom DJ7ZZ in Germany (5/9 both ways).
I finished off the afternoon with another SOTA contact. This time with Matt VK2DAG who was portable on SOTA peak, Bakers Downfall Hill VK2/ NW-006, not far from the famous Hanging Rock.
It was time to head back to Mount Gambier and a quick shower and off to the SERG Convention Dinner held at the Scout hall. It was nice to try out the new antenna on the vehicle and get a bit of DX in the log.
After trying to make myself beautiful I headed back to the scout hall in Margaret Street at Mount Gambier, and listened to a sum up of the weekend by the SERG President, Tim VK5AV, followed by a very interesting talk on Surface mounted components, and then the presentation of certificates for the National Fox Hunting Championships. I then enjoyed avery nice meal in the adjacent hall consisting of soup, Roast Chicken, and Apple crumble. I even won a bottle of nice red in the raffle, which was quickly consumed over dinner.