Saturday, 25 February 2017

WWFF VKFF Honour Roll 400 areas award

Noticed on the WWFF website I've managed to contact 400 VKFF parks, so applied for the next VKFF award VKFF Honour Roll 400 areas. Promptly received from the VKFF awards manager Paul VK5PAS. Nice photo of the 12 Apostles in Victoria.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

WWFF Mount Painter Nature Reserve VKFF-0853

After my SOTA activation of Mount McDonald in the morning returned home for lunch, and as as still a nice sunny day decided to activate a nearby WWFF park, Mount Painter Nature Reserve, VKFF-0853.

Parked off Coulter Drive in Cook and walked up the access track, past the horse paddocks. Entered the park.

Some good views along the track over Belconnen to the North. Tall buildings are residential apartments around Belconnen town centre. One Tree Hill, a SOTA summit on the left.

Climbed up to the water tank near the summit.

Once past the tank the track continues to the summit. Trig can be seen. I didn't go to the summit as not a good spot for radio, lots of joggers, walkers with dogs coming and going all the time.

There was a seat nearby suitable for radio. Black Mountain, a SOTA summit and also a WWFF park with its tower in the background.

Set up the squid pole on the seat. It was very windy, the squid pole threatened to topple but kept up.

Shack on the seat. With the wind I ended up holding onto it most of the time while operating...

Got on 40m. Worked Paul, VK5PAS/p first for a Park to Park contact, he was in VKFF-1688 Brownhill Creek Recreation Park. A first activation for this park. A good S7, although a lot of static in the background from a storm somewhere.

Found a clear frequency and spotted myself on ParksnPeaks website. A steady stream of park hunters.

VK5FANA Adrian
VK7DW, Andrew
VK3PF, Peter
VK2IO, Gerard
VK3ZPF, Peter
VK3FPSR, Peter
VK5MAS, Andrew
VK5FTCT, John.

Tried 20m. Even though I could hear European signals coming in on the long path had no luck working anyone, a call from RA3PCI but he didn't reply back. To be expected as only using 5w...

I did make a contact with VK2LX, Grant in Bungendore though, a good S8.

Around 5 pm the wind seemed to be getting even stronger, so packed up. 13 contacts, so need to revisit this park sometime for the 44 needed for a WWFF point.

SOTA Mt McDonald VK1/AC-048

With a cooler Sunday than it has been recently, 20c instead of the 35-40c temperatures last week, decided to get some exercise and do a local SOTA summit, Mt McDonald VK1/AC-048. Noticed last time I drove past the start of the walk a new track was now open, so wanted to give it a try.

Drove from home to the car park for the walk, off Brindabella Road. There is now a sign on the Lower Cotter Catchment reserve here.

A close up of the sign showing the track to Mount McDonald

Previously had to walk along Lookout Road then climb up. Followed the new track until it joined the road up to the mountain, close to the Cotter Catchment lookout.

Followed the road up to the top of the mountain. Good views over the Bullen Range to the South.

Reached the top, trig and remnants of the fire lookout tower. Looking East to Mt Stromlo and Canberra.

Set up the squid pole on a leg of the trig.

Looking back from the other end of the dipole, tied to a bush near the tower.

Shack on the tarp at the base of the trig. Got on 40m. The band was not that good, signals down with lots of static. Also some intermittent buzzing, think from a nearby power pole, luckily only about an S3.

Started with local Matt VK1MA, strong as usual. Then several of the usual chasers from VK1, VK2, VK3 and VK5. Most only S4 or so. Paul VK5PAS called me with a good S8 signal.

After 40m dried up switched to 20m. First contact Paul VK5PAS again, this time 59+! Very strong on 20m. Worked John ZL1BYZ and Jacky ZL1WA both good S9 signals. Ian VK5CZ a good S7, and local Andrew VK1AD S9.

Headed down at midday. Noticed a sign on the way down close to the top, 1.8 Km by the lookout track, and 2.5 Km by the old management road. So a 0.7 Km saving with the new track.

Track log confirmed the distances. 700 m shorter walk now. Dark blue the new walk, light blue the old road route.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

SOTA Mountain Goat Trophy

Today in the post received from the UK my trophy for SOTA Mountain Goat, an engraved glass Ice Block.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

peakery website

Read recently on Paul VK5PASs blog about a website called peakery. Check it out at

This may be of use to SOTA activators. As noted by Paul there are a lot of peaks missing, several of the VK1 SOTA summits are not there, eg Mount Majura. I recently got this added by the peakery administrators. Most of the ACT border summits seemed to have been moved to NSW, I found Bimberi Peak, VK1/AC-001 delegated down to the 17th highest peak in NSW? Also several interstate peaks in every other Australian state are wrongly included. For a while Mt Bartle Frere in North Queensland was the ACTs highest peak!?

Anyway as a massive job to catalog every peak on the planet not too bad an effort, and managing to get it looking better. Currently the map of the ACT peaks as follows:

The blue mountains are ones I haven't logged anything for yet, the red one is Bimberi Peak, now showing at the highest peak in the ACT after my input. The green ones are peaks I have activated and logged a report for. Hovering your mouse over each peak shows any photos taken, an example shown is Mount Majura.

As well as Paul VK5PAS noticed Rod VK2TWR has added some notes and photos to the nearby peaks. With more user input this should prove a useful tool for SOTA activators, or anyone wanting to climb mountains.