Wednesday 12 September 2018
I was free again to go and play radio. In the morning I attempted to post an Alert on SOTAwatch, but kept getting a message that VK3 was not a valid Association! Instead, I posted an Alert for the first Park on ParksnPeaks.
I headed east from Wodonga towards Corryong and turned off to approach the first target.
Black Mountain VK3/VE-093 1202 m 8 points plus seasonal bonus
Burrowa – Pine Mountain National Park VKFF-0069
The approach is via Jeffcott & Jewel Rd and then Black Mountain Track. The road was in good condition, with the final section signposted as “4WD only”. With an appropriate vehicle, you can drive into the Activation Zone and park only 100 m from the actual summit. I needed only a short walk to set up at the summit marker.
When I opened SOTAwatch on the ‘phone, I saw a Spot from about 25 minutes earlier from a Japanese activator, so set up on 20 m CW. I listened whilst stringing out the ends of the antenna, with nothing heard. Regardless, I called on the frequency several times. Nothing was heard from Japan, but John ZL1BYZ replied – thanks John. After several minutes of calling, I swapped to 80 m CW and spotted myself. Garry VK2GAZ was the only callers. After more calls with no responses, I moved up the band to call in the SSB segment and was called by John VK2YW. After working John on SSB, we completed a contact on CW. Next on SSB was Robin VK2VN/p followed by Steve VK3KTT, who I also worked on CW. Next was a long chat with Ray VK3RW and then Marcus VK5WTF/p in VKFF-1086. With no more responses to calls on 80 m, I moved to 40 m to work seven more stations. It took an hour and twenty minutes for 16 contacts – it was another slow day.
With no more responses, I packed up and retraced my route to the car and back to the highway.
I drove towards Corryong and turned left to Cudgewa and Tintaldra, then east on Murray River Road before turning south onto Ranch Road to climb to the next target.
Mount Mitta Mitta VK3/VE-138 988 m 6 points
Mount Mitta Mitta Flora Reserve VKFF-2400
Mount Mitta Mitta is also known as Mount Mittamatite. The actual summit is inside a fenced compound containing various radiocommunications facilities, including air navigation services. The fenced compounds at the summit and on the nearby knoll are excluded from the Reserve. One needs to find a location outside the fenced area that is inside the Flora Reserve boundary and inside the activation zone.
I started on 80 m SSB, making two contacts on SSB and one on CW. Several minutes of calling was again unproductive, so I swapped to 40 m CW 15 minutes about 25 minutes after the first contact. 15 minutes of calling yielded five contacts. I then moved to SSB for two more contacts, including Marcus VK5WTF/p in VKFF-1086. Last in the log was Steve VK3KTT on 40 m CW. 11 contacts qualified the Reserve for VKFF. I called it quits and packed up. I returned to the car and drove back down Ranch Road to a saddle well down the hill but also well inside the Regional Park boundary.
Mount Mitta Mitta (Mittamatite) Regional Park VKFF-0974
I again started on 80 m SSB, working Geoff VK3SQ and Steve VK3KTT. A further twenty minutes of calling was unproductive. I swapped to 40 m SSB and soon had seven more contacts in the log. I changed back to 80 m, working two contacts on SSB and five on CW. With 16 contacts in the log, I shut down and around 0640Z.
It then retraced my route back to the bitumen, to Tintaldra, Cudgewa and back to the Murray Valley Highway and then back to Wodonga.