Sota Activation – VK2/SM-065 Box Ridge (times 2)

IMG_8899This xmas holidays period has seen quite a bit of Sota activity in VK1/VK2 and VK3 areas. Many people have made the effort to operate portable on all kinds of summits. The sota rules allow you to only claim one summit a calendar year for activator points, and each summit can only be claimed every UTC day. New years day activations create a special chance for an activator to work across the UTC day and year and claim two lots of points. The sota email forum had lots of people planning to head out, so I looked for a relatively easy (car accessible) summit near where we were camping and headed off.

I had chosen Box Ridge VK2/SM-065, just south of Jindabyne, on a dirt road in the Paupong Nature Reserve. We headed off with the aim of arriving around 10:30am (23:30UTC).

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The road ended with a gate and a sign, that advised it was a private road with no insurance and a locked gate at the far end, (about where the nature reserve started) but didn’t deny permission to cross (a right of way to these other properties), so we continued through the gate and up the hill to see how far we could get.

The road continued past a number of houses/shacks and the “locked” gate was open, left of the road was private property, and the right side now in the nature reserve. We continued into the nature reserve proper, the track a little rougher.

The track dropped quickly before climbing the final summit, I ended up near the intersection of Thornybush and Ventnor Trails. This was at 1256m, From the main road, the track heads north and south at this point, both are a short walk down and outside the activation zone, following Ventnor trail is less steep, and I took this before heading back into the zone to set up.

The kids and Chrisitne stayed near the car and explored the local bush.

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I attached my squid pole antenna to a national parks sign that advised of a locked gate ahead, and fired up the radio, using a cut off tree stump as a little table. Finally getting on the air at 23:45UTC, 7090Khz and the surrounding frequencies were bursting with activity as many poeple worked Summit to Summit and regular chasers also exchanged contacts, I kept moving up the band looking for a free spot and managed to work seven stations before the end of the UTC day/Year, six of these were S2S contacts.

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UTC Day and year changed, and the activity started again, with the frenzy returning. I was able to work another eleven stations, nine of which were S2S contacts.

My only mistake for this activation was setting up on an ants nest, i spent the next hour trying to brush off the critters, just small annoying black ants, luckily not bull ants/biting ants..

I did try 14MHz after the UTC day change over but did not have any luck on that bad. Conditions were average and even the ~15mins between repeat contacts saw performance change markedly. with reports changing rapidly.

Thanks to all those who made the effort to activate summits and hopefully we all managed to give each other lots of activator and chaser points.

This one is easy, given you have a competent car, the road is ok for a soft wheel drive, (eg. subaru forester) or something more capable, id not recommend it in a 2wd, but it would be fine (if the track was dry, and you went slow, just rough and rutted in places) and the walk is easy on the good fire trail.

Pre UTC New Years Day Activity

Time Call Band Mode Notes
23:49z VK3MRG 7MHz SSB 51/51 s2s vk3ve014
23:50z VK3HRA 7MHz SSB 52/ 43 s2s vk3vs002
23:52z VK1RX 7MHz SSB 55/52 s2s vk2st034
23:57z VK3ARR 7MHz SSB 51/54 s2s vk3vc030
23:58z VK1NAM 7MHz SSB 51/51 s2s vk1ac038
23:59z VK3AFW 7MHz SSB 31/52 s2s vk3ve008
23:59z VK3FPSR 7MHz SSB 55/51 thanks peter

Post UTC New Years Day Activity

Time Call Band Mode Notes
00:02z VK1RX 7MHz SSB 53/55 s2s vk2st034
00:05z VK3MRG 7MHz SSB 31/51 s2s vk3ve014
00:07z VK3YSP 7MHz SSB 41/50 s2s vk3vc014
00:09z VK1NAM 7MHz SSB 51/51 s2s vk1 ac038
00:17z VK3ANL 7MHz SSB 41/45 s2s vk3vc034
00:22z VK3PF 7MHz SSB 31/31 s2s vk2ri035
00:22z VK1DI 7MHz SSB 51/51 s2s vk1ac039
00:24z VK2IO/M 7MHz SSB 55/51
00:25z VK3ARR 7MHz SSB 53/51 s2s vk3vc030
00:26z VK3FPSR 7MHz SSB 55/21
00:49z VK2FPJR 7MHz SSB 57/53 s2s vk2il002

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