Having spent a lot of Saturday in the shack hoping to chase the enthusiastic ( it was rather wet!) team of SOTA activators gathered at Mt Hotham – and the propagation gods were not in the mood, today I ventured south along the Monaro Highway to Livingstone Hill VK2/SM-093. A relatively easy summit located on private property, but the land owner allows us to leave our vehicles at the gate and walk up to the summit.. I departed home at about 0815, – poor planning – I required a quick stop to get some petrol and the life-essential Maccas coffee enroute. By 10am local I was all set up.
The summit is covered in long grass and thistle, and billions of tiny insects that thought I had been delivered by Uber-Eats… Aerogard seemed to do the trick! Employed the ground sheet for some shade to protect the KX2 and FT-817 from the sun.
Contacts were anything but prolific, but at least 40m did open up to VK3 – so it was great to grab some S2S. On 20m the pesky Woodpecker HF Radar kept spoiling the fun.. I was called by a station in the USA W6JP California ……. but just after I sent my RST, in came the Woodpecker ( as I call it) and it completely obliterated his signal – and by the time the interference had gone off to bother someone else, my US contact was gone, and an incomplete QSO….. Oh well.. Such is life. I did try for a while to get him back!!
Livingston Hill is easily accessible, an easy walk from the car… yet is worth 6 ( YES SIX!!!) SOTA Points… It makes no sense to me – when not far away is an absolute BRUTE of a summit called Mt Tennent VK1/AC-025 ( still closed following the fires), that takes me several body and spirit breaking hours to ascend – yet is worth just 4 points.. Some of the local VK1 1-pointers require a longer and steeper hike than today’s stroll…. (Tuggeranong Hill, Mt Taylor, Bullen Range , One-Tree Hill)…. So I think I will spend more time going to VK2 summits – more “Bang for the Buck!!” 🙂
It is what it is – FUN! Thanks to the my S2S contacts – Andrew VK1AD on Ginini, Chris VK1CT on Black Mountain , Andrew VK1DA on Mt Hotham, and Mark ZL3AB Mt Guy, and my Chasers – Matt VK1MA ( always there it seems- thanks Matt!), John ZL1BYZ , Ian VK5CZ, Ian VK5IS, Paul VK3HN, Rob VK2MZ , Gavin ZL1BBW with a MASSIVE signal!!, Roly ZL1BQD, and a valiant effort by Jeffery W6JP – but alas, I could not log you – darn Woodpecker!! 🙂 ( Yes, I recorded most of the activation to video and on replay I have amended the missed call to W6JP ….)
Till next time