A few months ago, discussion started around the idea of holding a seminar event to discuss and share learnings of SOTA and Parks activations. The date decided was the weekend of October 24 and 25, with the Wagga Amateur Radio Club offering to host the event. Initial feedback suggested that a good crowd of around 40 might be possible – in the end, the number was around 15 (IIRC).
Friday 23 October 2015
I had a specialist appointment in Melbourne on Friday morning, so it was an early start. After the appointment, I dropped into the WIA office for a brief chat with Fred VK3DAC, Vice President and Acting Executive Officer. Next was a short visit to Strictly Ham, but the item I was looking at purchasing was not in stock. I then spent some time discussing issues relating to Amateur Radio magazine with our production house over a cup of coffee before finally heading off up the road.
The trip up through Yea, Yarck, Benalla and on past Wangaratta was a steady one, noting that there were many police cars around, with a number of Outside Broadcast vans in Yea – the search was on for the two Stucco brothers who were wanted by Police in several states.
I completed only a single activation on the trip up to Wodonga on the Friday – another visit to the Chiltern – Mount Pilot National Park.
Chiltern – Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620
I drove around to the Honeyeater Picnic Area and set up at the edge of the car park area.
Greg VK2GJC was first in the log on 40 m. It took 22 minutes to accumulate 15 Hunters. I spent 15 minutes calling on 15 m aftyer spotting myself, with no replies. I then swapped to 20 m, working John VK6NU, Gerard F1BLL, Luciano I5FLN and Robert VK2XXM. With no further calls ciming in, I swapped back to 40 m for another 8 Hunters.
27 contacts were made, enough to increase my tally for the Park to 46 unique Hunters, making the Park now qualified for WWFF.
I packed up and headed for Wodonga for the night.
Saturday 24 October 2015
I was up early and on the road, heading past Albury and up the Hume Highway to Holbrook to stop at the Bakery to grab some breakfast. I then made my way up to Cookardinia and towards Wagga Wagga, then east on O’Briens Creek Road to Wrigleys Road and into Livingstone National Park. This was not necessarily the shortest route, but it was chosen to maximise the time available to activate in the Park by allowing me to grab breakfast on the run, as it were.
Livingstone National Park VKFF-0292
I set up at the edge of the car park at the northern entrance to the Park. Perhaps not a wise choice, as there was poor mobile phone coverage. I later told Paul VK5PAS of the poor coverage at the car park. I noted on Sunday that Paul set up further into the Park, up on one of the ridges.
Paul VK5PAS/2 was first in the log, with a booming signal from nearby Mt Flakney VK2/RI-025. I worked 49 contacts, almost all on 40 m. I had one contact on 15 m – Paul VK5PAS/2 mobile. I had responses to calls after spotted myself on 20 m. I had 48 unique Hunters in the log, so the Park was qualified.
As time was running out, I packed up and headed to Wagga Wagga and the WARC clubrooms.