Sota Activation – VK3/VU-011 Mt Major

I had some work to do in Shepparton the other day, and on the way home, took my lunch break on a summit!

Mt Major is a small bump east of Shepparton, its located on land that is owned by Melbourne University. The summit has a LOT of commercial tv, fm radio, mobile network and other communications towers scattered around it. My employer has a site on the hill, so I took the opportunity to pop into our shelter and undertake a site audit/check while playing on HF.

Normal access to the summit is limited to foot/mountain bike traffic and the hill has been turned into a mountain bike park, with lots of well marked trails. I had a key for the gate so was able to head up the hill *see Australia’s laziest sota activator! And what a gate, never seen so many locks on a gate before!



I drove up the access road and parked the car at my companies comms compound. I grabbed my gear and headed down a mountain bike trail to get out of the activation zone, before turning around and heading back up the hill to the Trig Point. The mountain is bare, and the wind was cool, the clock/thermoter shows 10 degrees as I once again set up the new 40m dipole, given how successful it had been the other day on mt donna buang.

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At the trig point, some low benches had been built for the mountain bike riders and I took advantage of one of these to setup my gear off the ground, it also worked well as a pole support.

I was trying to be more organised and walked out the legs of the dipole, using some mountain bike trail market posts to tie the ropes too, but my organisation didn’t pay off, i had made one leg a little too short, and as I started to extend the squid pole, i discovered I was pulling against the rope, the squid pole complained and one of the segments fell back into the base tube, this in turn hit the base and cracked, then jammed as I tried to feed the rest of the pole back inside itself. So much for my $10 squid pole!, thankfully I was able to get all the bits out and put it back up in such a way that it didn’t have too much impact on the activation, but the pole is now only good for spare parts.

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The dipole really performs much better than the random wire and i made a quick activation, working some new stations, the weekday crowd is different to a weekend. Not long after I had setup, I had to pack up and head home, thanks for everyone who came up to work me.


Date:17/Jun/2014 Summit:VK3/VU-011 (Mt Major) Call Used:VK3BQ Points: 1 Bonus: 0

Time Call Band Mode Notes
05:27z VK2JDL 7MHz SSB 58/58 S2S thanks Phil
05:30z VK2IO 7MHz SSB 57/58 thanks Gerard
05:31z VK1RX 7MHz SSB 59/59 thanks al
05:33z VK2KEV 7MHz SSB 59/55
05:34z VK2HV 7MHz SSB 43/59
05:38z VK3VIN 7MHz SSB 57/58 thanks ian
05:47z VK5PAS 7MHz SSB 59/59+++ thanks paul
05:48z VK7LTD 7MHz SSB 58/57 thanks tony


2 thoughts on “Sota Activation – VK3/VU-011 Mt Major

  1. Great write up Andrew and being able to open the gate is the lazy way up. I remember my first visit to Mt Major when it was still a working farm and one needed to dodge the cows on the access road up. There was still a lot of locks on the gate but not as many as now.

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