Sota Activation – VK3/VS-036 One Tree Hill

I’ve spent a couple of days recently in Ararat with work, a town in Western Victoria. We had been deploying a piece of telco equipment. By coincidence, Peter vk3zpf another active sota participant was assisting me with this work, though I’m sure he will claim I was being a manager and watching with a clipboard!!


I had my sota gear in the car in case I had a chance to activate the lookout/hill at the edge of town called one tree hill. My stay in Ararat turned out to be longer than planned. But this allowed me a chance Late Thursday afternoon before heading back to Melbourne to get a quick activation in.

Thursday had been very cold with passing rain showers. So cold these showers were mostly sleet and hail, but as I headed up the hill I had some patches of blue sky. The road takes you to a lookout/picnic area, then a dirt track heads along the ridge from this spot. I continued along the ridge, keeping an eye on elevation and the summit as i progressed. I parked the car below the final peak and walked down the hill a little way to ensure I was out of the activation zone before heading up a steep fire track to a clearing at the top where I set up my gear. (the car wouldn’t have made it up this last steep bit anyway)

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 I had had my new end fed antenna with my as an easy and quick install and was testing this out. I didn’t want to hang around too long, and as such my setup wasn’t ideal, with the squid pole resting against a tree and the ~12m of wire running as a V up and down from the squid pole. It worked but next time I will set up the antenna a bit better.

I was also testing my new microphone speech compressor, but the consensus was some RF feedback (I suspect some of the issues were the end fed antenna, the poorly setup install, not enough earth, and improper adjustment on the radio for the microphone).

When i arrived at the top of the hill, my little thermometer clock was showing ~6 degrees, and as the operation progressed, this dropped to ~4. I could have spent more time adjusting and optimising the setup, but on the top of a cold hill in western Victoria wasn’t the time nor place for such an operation.


A quick activation with 14 contacts and i packed up before heading back down the short hill to the car, as I arrived, some drops of rain were starting to fall, and soon afterwards, this became sideways hail and sleet. I was just in time.

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Thanks all who put up with my RF feedback’ed audio and helped with the activation. (3 Andrews in 14, it truly is summits of the Andrew!)

Date:17/Jul/2014 Summit:VK3/VS-036 (One Tree Hill) Call Used:VK3BQ Points: 2 Bonus: 0

Time Call Band Mode Notes
06:07z VK3PF 7MHz SSB 57/59 thanks Peter
06:08z VK3EK 7MHz SSB 59/56
06:09z VK3AFW 7MHz SSB 59/59 thanks Ron
06:10z VK3CAT 7MHz SSB 59/59 thanks Tony
06:10z VK3ARR 7MHz SSB 58/58 thanks Andrew
06:11z VK5WG 7MHz SSB 57/55
06:12z VK3IS 7MHz SSB 55/57 thanks Ian
06:12z VK3BHR 7MHz SSB 57/53 thanks Sue
06:14z VK1NAM 7MHz SSB 55/58 thanks Andrew
06:17z VK3OHM/4 7MHz SSB 51/52 thanks Marc (in central QLD)
06:21z VK2XD 7MHz SSB 59/43
06:25z VK2IO 7MHz SSB 57/52 thanks Gerard
06:26z VK3UH 7MHz SSB 57/54 thanks Ken
06:27z VK2UH 7MHz SSB 57/57 thanks Andrew


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