Sota Activation – VK3/VT-060 Mt Oberon 2015

Last weekend, we took our annual family short holiday pilgrimage to Tidal River camp ground in Wilsons Promontory. Each year, we head to this lovely spot for a couple of days away to celebrate Nathan’s birthday. This year he was 7..

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I always con the family into a quick Sota activation as part of the trip, just above the camp site is Mt Oberon, VK3/VT-060. However this summit is anything but quick, on the weekends you have to catch the Bus (that has moved, its now in the visitor centre carpark at today river) up to the saddle carpark, and then walk up the access road. *last year I posted photos of this bus timetable and some bus (transporting) website linked to it and its about the most viewed image on my website in 2014..

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It’s a ~3.8km walk. the sign says 3.6km, and it rises 363m as it winds its way up the mountain. This year, the weather was warm, but not as hot and horrible as last years effort, we even got some light rain half way up as the overcast weather dumped on us. It took around 65 mins moving time to get to the top.

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 Nathan and I got to the top quicker than Christine and Toby, and I set off to climb the last little section up the stairs and setup, but first Nathan and I checked out the lookout and enjoyed the view.

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I headed back down the path a little and into the bush to set up the antenna out of the way, it was rather windy on the top of the hill (its ALWAYS Windy) in wilsons prom!..

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Once set up and I fired up the radio and called CQ, a good selection of stations worked, but down a little, the VK3 Guys had a sota day at Moorabbin Ham club some some of the regular chasers were not around. Christine wandered over to where I was set up and I handed her the microphone and she was able to work her 4 stations and qualify for the summit as well.

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The kids and Christine finished their lunch and started to head back down the hill, while i made sure I worked everyone available, Peter VK3PF who was in Tasmania SMS’ed me to let me know he would be on in around 15mins so I waited for him before I packed up and headed back down the hill.

A friend in Melbourne who chases grid squares on 144Mhz had been keen to try and work me from the summit, its QF30 on Mt Oberon, and its almost never activated. I had sms’ed him and let him know I was on the summit, but he was late to see the message and called me as I was already down the steps and last bit, however, this didn’t stop me finding a clear(it) spot and pulling the radio out (and a telescopic 2m ⅝th) HT vertical and trying him on 144Mhz. I could just hear Alan in the noise but he couldn’t hear me with my 5w. If he had have been 10mins quicker on his call we might have managed the contact with me on the top of the hill in the clear, maybe next year.

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Im quicker down the hill without the kids and caught them up at the mid way point chair. Then we continued down the hill back to the bus and back to the campsite (and via the shop for an ice-cream to celebrate our walk).

IMG_5598All up, a nice but steep climb on an easy path, and just under 10km round trip, moving time of just on 2hrs, slow, but we had the kids with us, thanks to all who we worked. The rest of the trip was spent swimming and relaxing and just having a nice time. Though we did have to pack up the camper in the rain.

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My Log

Date:07/Feb/2015 Summit:VK3/VT-060 (Mt Oberon) Call Used:VK3BQ Points: 2 Bonus: 0

Time Call Band Mode Notes
00:45z VK3FCEK 433MHz FM Christine
01:03z VK3EK 7MHz SSB Rob
01:04z VK3AGD 7MHz SSB adam
01:05z VK3FMHY 7MHz SSB Michael
01:05z VK3LED 7MHz SSB
01:07z VK3NBL 7MHz SSB ray
01:10z VK3YB 7MHz SSB Brenton
01:12z VK3AFB 7MHz SSB paul
01:14z VK1MA 7MHz SSB matt
01:15z VK3ANL 7MHz SSB nick
01:38z VK3ARR 7MHz SSB Andrew
01:45z VK3PF/7 7MHz SSB Peter
01:46z VK3BYD 7MHz SSB
01:47z VK3DET 7MHz SSB
01:51z VK3ZLT 7MHz SSB Alan
01:53z VK3DAC 7MHz SSB Fred

And Christine’s Log

Date:07/Feb/2015 Summit:VK3/VT-060 (Mt Oberon) Call Used:VK3FCEK Points: 2 Bonus: 0

Time Call Band Mode Notes
01:20z VK3EK 7MHz SSB
01:21z VK3TCX 7MHz SSB
01:28z VK3LED 7MHz SSB
01:30z VK5TN 7MHz SSB
01:32z VK3ANL 7MHz SSB

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