Mount Lofty, VK5/SE-005, Cleland Conservation Park, 27th July 2014

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.

Time Call Band Mode Notes
23:20z VK3ANL/P3 7MHz SSB VK3/VU-002
23:21z VK3ARR/P3 7MHz SSB VK3/ SE 018
23:23z VK1RX/P1 7MHz SSB VK1/AC-025
23:24z VK3MCD/P3 7MHz SSB VK3/VE-006
23:26z VK3YY/P3 7MHz SSB VK3/VC-002
23:28z VK3FPSR 7MHz SSB Peter at Cobram
23:29z VK3PF 7MHz SSB Peter
23:30z VK3FQSO 7MHz SSB Amanda
23:31z VK2YK 7MHz SSB Adam, Newcastle
23:33z VK3BHR 7MHz SSB Phil, Bendigo
23:34z VK3MRG 7MHz SSB Marshall, QRP
23:35z VK3WE 7MHz SSB Rhett
23:37z VK2GAZ/P2 7MHz SSB VK2/CT-082
23:39z VK3CAT/P3 7MHz SSB VK3/VC-030
23:41z VK3XL/P3 7MHz SSB VK3/VC-031
23:42z VK3AFW/P3 7MHz SSB VK3/VC-007
23:42z VK1DI/P1 7MHz SSB VK1/AC-023
23:43z VK1MBE/P4 7MHz SSB VK4/SE-094
23:44z VK6MB 7MHz SSB Mike
23:45z VK5WG 7MHz SSB Nev
23:46z VK2DMT 7MHz SSB Dean, Ulladalla
23:47z VK5LY 7MHz SSB Larry
23:48z VK3YSP/P3 7MHz SSB Joe, French Island NP
23:49z VK1MA/P1 7MHz SSB VK1/AC-042
23:50z VK5FTRG 7MHz SSB Tom, Millicent
23:52z VK3PI 7MHz SSB Mark
23:53z VK1NAM/P1 7MHz SSB VK1/AC-032
23:54z VK3HRA 7MHz SSB Allan
23:56z VK3FOWL/P3 7MHz SSB Julie, French Is NP
23:57z VK2AET/P2 7MHz SSB VK2/NR-038
23:58z VK3DET 7MHz SSB Ernie, Ballarat

After 00:00 had gone by I enjoyed another burst of activity, totalling 34 contacts, including 14 summit to summit contacts.

Time Call Band Mode Notes
00:00z VK3IL 7MHz SSB David
00:02z VK3PF 7MHz SSB Peter
00:03z VK2FAJG/P2 7MHz SSB VK1/AC-038
00:07z VK3PI 7MHz SSB Mark
00:08z VK5TX/P2 7MHz SSB VK2/MN-067
00:10z VK3DAC 7MHz SSB Fred
00:15z VK3AFW/P3 7MHz SSB VK3/VC-007
00:15z VK2UH 7MHz SSB Andrew
00:18z VK3EK/P3 7MHz SSB VK3/VT-041
00:19z VK1RX/P1 7MHz SSB VK1/AC-025
00:20z VK3WE 7MHz SSB Rhett
00:28z VK2AFA/P2 7MHz SSB VK2/MN-067
00:32z VK3FKSA 7MHz SSB Bandar
00:36z VK3WG 7MHz SSB Nev
00:37z VK3CAT/P3 7MHz SSB VK3/VC-030
00:38z VK3FPSA 7MHz SSB Peter
00:39z VK3ARR/P3 7MHz SSB VK3/VC-018
00:41z VK3XL/P3 7MHz SSB VK3/VC-031
00:43z VK5NQP/P5 7MHz SSB David, Sandy Creek CP
00:44z VK1DI/P1 7MHz SSB VK1/AC-023
00:46z VK3CBV 7MHz SSB Brenton
00:48z VK5IS 7MHz SSB Ian
00:50z VK3FIAN 7MHz SSB Ian, East Bentleigh
00:52z VK2IO/P2 7MHz SSB VK2/CT-082
00:54z VK3MCD/P3 7MHz SSB VK3/VC-006
00:55z VK3BHR 7MHz SSB Phil
00:56z VK5FAKV 7MHz SSB Shawn, Renmark
00:57z VK3DET 7MHz SSB Ernie
00:58z VK5CZ 7MHz SSB Ian
01:02z VK5FTRG 7MHz SSB Tom, Millicent
01:08z VK5TD 7MHz SSB John
01:10z VK3AV 7MHz SSB Bernard, VK3AMB
01:21z VK2SWD/P2 7MHz SSB VK2/CT-019
01:23z VK1NAM/P1 7MHz SSB VK1/AC-032


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.

Mount Lofty, VK5 SE 005 & Cleland Conservation Park, 1st June 2014

Today on the first day on Winter, when the heavens threatened rain and it was cold, VK5PAS Paul and I, with twelve budding SOTA and Parks activators, travelled to Mount Lofty and then, later in the morning to Belair National Park, to encourage these new comers to pick up the microphone and call CQ SOTA or CQ Parks. It wasn’t the day for Paul and I to activate the Parks, but, when I was invited to operate I did and was delighted to work four stations on Paul’s FT817 on 20 metres: VK5ZAR, Arno; VK2IO, Gerard; VK2KTT, Paul and VK5YX, Hans.

This was my second activation of Mount Lofty and it was an enjoyable day. Paul and I previously activated this summit from the same spot on 6th November 2013. Both Paul and I hope that some of the newcomers, including two brand new amateurs with Foundation Calls, will continue with their endeavours and become regular chasers and perhaps even activators.

Father’s day at Horsnell Gully and Cleland Conservation Parks

ClelSpring arrived today magnificently! Twenty seven degrees C was predicted and the Bureau got it right! I decided I would activate a couple of parks in the Adelaide Hills. My choices were Horsnell Gully CP and Giles CP, adjoining parks and situated in the foothills  near Adelaide, so near to Adelaide in fact, that fingers of suburban development knock at the front door. I arrived and set up at Horsnell Gully a little before my projected time and enjoyed contacts with VK3MRG/p, Marshall at 03:49, 5 and 1 both ways and VK3UBY, Colin at Mildura at 03:53, 5 and 9 both ways. Then there was a break despite me calling CQ. I suspect too many of the regular chasers were involving themselves with their families: perhaps a more appropriate thing to do, especially for those with families nearby. At 04:22 I had a contact with VK5KC, David; VK3FLAG/p at Altona Park, barely satisfactory as Richard’s antenna was too low. Then followed, VK3YY/QRP, Glen; VK5PAS, QRP, Paul at home; VK3FLAG/p, Richard, better this time; VK3EJ, Gordon at Cobram and finally, one of the regular chasers, VK5FMID, Brian from Mt Gambier. Thanks to all who helped me lock this park away for 2013. It is greatly appreciated. It was time to move and I decided that more of the same, sitting in the sun  and getting burnt was not good: I gave Giles a miss and decided to move to a higher place: Cleland CP and under the tall gums and not far from Mt Lofty.

My set up at Horsnell Gully CP

My set up at Horsnell Gully CP

Aboriginal Heritage

Aboriginal Heritage

I was at Cleland for an hour and at 05:56 had a contact with VK5LY, Larry; VK5PAS, QRP, Paul at home; VK5ZLT, Alan at Keith; VK3NML, Ray at Melton, VK2NMO, Chris at Gunnedah; VK2FKYM, Jeff and VK3AFW/m, Ron at 06:56. Thanks to all for the contacts and Ron, VK3AFW/m, was very happy to get another park.