Sota Activation – VK3/VS-051 Mt Clay

I had to head to Portland for some work earlier in the week, and threw the gear in the back of the car in case I had time for another quick activation. The drive is near enough 5hrs from home, and the proposed summit again had a site my employers gear is based on, so I was again able to combine the activation with a site audit and some other tasks.

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The weather was predicted to be biblical, and it didn’t disappoint, a large low pressure system was on its way and very heavy rain and extremely strong winds abounded. I had planned to catch the mountain on my return trip tuesday afternoon, but as i got nearer to portland, i realised mid monday was my only hope.

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I turned off the highway and headed up the road to the summit, a good dirt road through the state forest, you can enter the area from a number of directions. I drove up the access road to the summit and parked the car below the gate. I walked down the hill, dodging the rain bands that kept passing, (a look at the radar showed I had a small window to get setup and activate before the next rain arrived) and turned back to quickly qualify the distance then back to the summit marker. I haven’t really properly organised my dipole setup, i need to get some properly cut ropes for the dipole ends and also some tent pegs for my backpack to give me something to tie off. The summit was bare, and the options for supporting the dipole were very limited, in the end, I tied the wires off on some thistles, this gave them ~50cm of ground clearance, but not ideal!.

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I powered everything up and put out a call, I was able to work 13 stations in 8 mins, before the clouds grew dark and ominous again and I had to start to pack up. I quickly put everything away, did my site audit on our equipment shelter and walked back to the car as it started raining again, and very quickly became a torrential downpour!

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I headed back down the hill and on into portland, where I encountered a large hail storm (3 times over the afternoon) and the following morning 130km/hr wind gusts and some pretty nasty weather. Luckily I had found a small window to activate.

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Thanks to all who appeared to work me on a mid day / week day activation.

Tuesday afternoon, after my tasks in and around Portland had been completed, I had to head back Via VK3/VS-048 Mt. Rouse. This time I didn’t have an opportunity to activate as I had tasks to undertake, was battling the furious wind, rain and a fast approaching sunset. The wind was so bad, when I arrived at the summit, the SES were on the tower trying to secure the roof of the fire look out tower that had pealed itself off in the wind. Ill have to come back!

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Date:23/Jun/2014 Summit:VK3/VS-051 (Mt Clay) Call Used:VK3BQ Points: 1 Bonus: 0

Time Call Band Mode Notes
03:12z VK3CAT 7MHz SSB 59/57 thanks tony
03:13z VK3PF 7MHz SSB 59/57 thanks Peter
03:14z VK2TWR 7MHz SSB 59/55 thanks Rod
03:14z VK3DET 7MHz SSB 59/59 thanks Ernie
03:15z VK1MA 7MHz SSB 58/54 thanks Ian
03:16z VK3TB 7MHz SSB 58/56 thanks Ian
03:17z VK5WG 7MHz SSB 58/56 thanks Nev
03:17z VK3FQSO 7MHz SSB 57/59 thanks Amanda
03:17z VK2UH 7MHz SSB 58/55
03:18z VK3BHR 7MHz SSB 58/59
03:18z VK5CZ 7MHz SSB 57/55 thanks Ian
03:19z VK2IO 7MHz SSB 55/32
03:20z VK37FMPR 7MHz SSB 57/59 thanks Mark

 

 

 

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