Sota Activation – Mt Buninyong VK3/VC-018

Sunday 19th was the Ballarat Ham radio clubs annual Hamfest!. I had walked past an item at the event last year and regretted it, so packed up the car and grabbed my big child Nathan, and we went for a daddy/son day out – road trip – Hamfest – Sota Activation!.

Nathan had a busy radio weekend , participating in JOTA saturday afternoon as well. We will have to work on his F call!. Though at 6, he is still a little young!


We had fun at the Hamfest, a number of people said hello to Nathan, having heard him in the car or in the background when I have used the radio or activated sota, I’m sure he was a little surprised so many people knew who he was.I found the item i was after, and then we had a special lunch before a play in a local ballarat adventure park before a trip unto Mt Buninyong VK3/VC-018. I have worked this summit previously this year so the activation points didn’t count, but I enjoy portable HF and decided to activate it again just because.

We arrived at the summit to a SOTA traffic Jam, Given how near to Ballarat this mountain is, a number of Hamfest attendees had the same idea and had made their way up to this summit. Nathan and I gave the set up operators some room and went for a walk to the look out tower and then out of the activation zone before we set ourselves up away from the others beside the lookout tower base.

Conditions were woeful! and thats being nice!. An X Class solar Flare was crashing into the earth as we set up and HF was stuffed. All of us struggled to get even 4 contacts! See the below video for an idea of its impact!

It took a long time to get my four contacts, but I did manage, trying 20m and 40m and SSB and CW, I even called on FM 2m. By this time Nathan had had enough and wanted to pack up, but we made 4 contacts, including one S2S and headed home.


SUMMARY: X-ray Event exceeded X1
Begin Time: 2014 Oct 19 0417 UTC
Maximum Time: 2014 Oct 19 0503 UTC
End Time: 2014 Oct 19 0548 UTC
X-ray Class: X1.1
Location: S15E55
NOAA Scale: R3 – Strong
Potential Impacts: Area of impact consists of large portions of the sunlit side of Earth, strongest at the sub-solar point.
Radio – Wide area blackout of HF (high frequency) radio communication for about an hour.

Date:19/Oct/2014 Summit:VK3/VC-018 (Mt Buninyong) Call Used:VK3BQ Points: 0 Bonus: 0

Time Call Band Mode Notes
03:12z VK1RX 7MHz SSB 41/41 s2s vk1/ac-039
03:23z VK2YK 14MHz SSB 51/51 thanks adam
03:43z VK3FQSO 7MHz SSB 58/55 thanks amanda
03:44z VK3FLAK 7MHz SSB 57/55 thanks bob

2 thoughts on “Sota Activation – Mt Buninyong VK3/VC-018

  1. Hi Andrew,

    I set up in the Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park right in the middle of the CME. I only managed 4 contacts as well, and they were really hard work. I tried both 40m and 20m and both were DEAD!



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