Today, Sunday 27th July was the VK1 SOTA mass activation day. I indicated I would activate Mount Lofty, VK5/SE-005, in the Cleland Conservation Park, and for a short time attempt to become an honorary VK1!
I can look out our family room window and see Mount Lofty. Most days Mount Lofty is visible, but over the last few weeks there have been many days when it has been shrouded in cloud. Even though, as the RF travels, at least by ground-wave, we are only about eight kilometres away, the weather is different at Mount Lofty compared with Scott Creek. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) even provides a district forecast for Mount Lofty. The Bureau predicted winds from the North West of about 45 kilometres per hour: and they were! Nevertheless, tucked away in our favourite activation spot on the north-eastern side of the summit, it wasn’t too uncomfortable. This was my third activation of Mount Lofty summit and the activation spot in on the Heysen Trail. This is the famous walking trail which traverses the State from Cape Jervis (the departure point for the Kangaroo Island ferry) to Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges, a total of 1200 kilometres. It was VK5PAS, Paul, who showed me this spot and there were many walkers who gave me a wave and lots of trail bike riders were struggling up the hill or going fast in the opposite direction. Mountain bikes are permitted in the Cleland Conservation Park on this section of the trail, but it is a trial and it is subject to review. I suspect that the Park authorities will be concerned about erosion.
I was able to set up and get on the air at about 23:19 UTC and the 40 metre band was really busy with SOTA stations. Here is my log for the 40 minutes before UTC roll-over. It was great and thanks to all of the operators who gave me a call. I managed 31 contacts, including 15 summit to summit contacts.
|23:21z||VK3ARR/P3||7MHz||SSB||VK3/ SE 018|
|23:28z||VK3FPSR||7MHz||SSB||Peter at Cobram|
|23:48z||VK3YSP/P3||7MHz||SSB||Joe, French Island NP|
|23:56z||VK3FOWL/P3||7MHz||SSB||Julie, French Is NP|
After 00:00 had gone by I enjoyed another burst of activity, totalling 34 contacts, including 14 summit to summit contacts.
|00:43z||VK5NQP/P5||7MHz||SSB||David, Sandy Creek CP|
|00:50z||VK3FIAN||7MHz||SSB||Ian, East Bentleigh|
I said on air to at least one VK1 station, VK1NAM/P1, Andrew, that the mass activation day was a great idea and thanked him for his part in getting it organised. I have not checked the VK1 blogs, but I suspect that many of the amateurs would be activating summits already activated this year and thus would not accrue additional activator points. Sadly the same is true in my case.