Australia Day offers the opportunity to use a special callsign, Australian hams are allowed to use the prefix AX instead of VK on a handful of days throughout the year.
I had to be in and around Melbourne this Australia day weekend with work commitments but had tentatively talked the family into a trip to a local summit for a Sota activation. My alert on Mt Donna Buang was put up in hope, however this did not eventuate and instead we decided to head down the coast to Arthurs seat. (but only before a lunch treat at a pho restaurant in Springvale – how Australia day!)
We arrived after lunch and wandered down the track leading to the Matthew Flinders Cairn before walking back into the activation zone. The picnic tables and grass area were pretty busy with people having picnics so i headed south away from most people and found a quiet corner of the grassed area by the trees and set myself up.
Christine and the boys were with me, but they headed off to the playground while I setup.
Once going, I found another active summit and worked them, then decided to give 2m and 6m a try (being so near Melbourne) I spotted and called on 144.200, i had 2 contacts on 2m SSB, then headed to 6m, and worked another 3 stations on 52.200 SSB. I was using a ⅝th handheld vertical telescopic whip I have on the ft817 sitting on the ground, so the performance of this antenna was less than ideal, but it worked. I have a small portable 3 element 2m beam in the shed left over from my fox hunting days, I should get that out/going! 😀
By now, Christine had walked back over to the station and i told her it was her turn to activate and qualify for the summit, I connected up the 40m dipole and sat and wrote her log and assisted her as she worked through the contacts, she is getting better at understanding what she needs to do and say to make it a valid contact. She had easily qualified and the kids wanted her back at the pack so they left me and I continued to work the stations.
the AX3 callsign can be a bit of a tongue twister with combinations of callsigns flying back and forth between stations.
After the 40m stations were exhausted, i adjusted the link dipole for 20m and put out some calls. I worked 3 stations on 20m, including a VK6, always nice to give those guys some sota points, its a long way on 40m for them.
By now the kids had played on the playground for around 1hr but were beginning to want something else to do, so I packed up and we walked to the main lookout to see over the bay. Then as promised, headed back down the hill and the boys got an ice cream before heading home!. Thanks to all the chasers.
Date:26/Jan/2015 Summit:VK3/VC-031 (Arthurs Seat) Call Used:AX3BQ Points: 1 Bonus: 0
And Christine’s log
Date:26/Jan/2015 Summit:VK3/VC-031 (Arthurs Seat) Call Used:AX3FCEK Points: 1 Bonus: 0