Arthurs seat VK3/VC-031 activation for the VK1 Mass activation day 27th July 2014

Well what a day I had. Got to Arthurs seat early and was set up by 8.30 am. I decided to test out a home brew Buddy pole and compare it to a light weight link dipole I will be taking to the UK next week.

home brew buddy pole

Here is the Buddy pole clone set up for 40 meters. I made a few contacts with it but found although the rx signal strength was similar to the link dipole my reports were usually quite a few S points below what I was giving. When I use the link dipole signal reports seem to be about the same both ways. So although it does work, it seems for 40 meters at least the link dipole works better and is a smaller and lighter package to carry around.


Here is the shack on Arthurs seat with the link dipole complete with ultra light  6.3m squid pole (note the bend in it) in the fore ground. The Buddy pole is on the other side of the table.

I worked 63 stations of which 24 were summit to summit contacts.

So the end result is that the buddy pole is staying home and the link dipole will be the antenna I use in the UK. The batteries are now charged again, the gear bag is packed ready to go..UK here I come…. look out


Activation of Dingo ridge VK3/VC-028

Well I did get to activate Dingo Ridge on Sept 14 and managed 17 contacts, sorry no pix of the operation site, I seem to have misplaced them.

I walked up to Dingo Ridge from the Petigrew road side. It took me about 1.5 hours to get to the top mainly due to my lack of fitness.

Any other activators please note that Dingo Ridge is private land and the owners (and their neighbors) will report any motorized vehicles that try to access the ridge. Walkers horses and mountain bikes are quite welcome to use the area.

On the walk up I came across a Koala walking down the track towards me, he didnt seem to afraid and took refuge in a small gum tree about 2m above the ground just on the side of the track. The walk up is quite steep to start with but levels out about the 1/2 way mark to the top. At the top it is quite heavily treed so there are plenty of supports for your favorite wire antennas etc. Not much of a view though due to all the trees in the way.

On the way back to the car I came across 3 goats sunning themselves on some rocks, they were not phased by my presence just like the Koala.

This was my first solo SOTA activation. I will post some pix here when I find them.

MT Sarah SOTA operation VK3/VE-032

As part of a camping trip into Wonnangatta Station I decided to take the opportunity to activate a couple of summits. The first one being Mt Sarah.

The journey from Wannongatta to Mt Sarah took about 2.5 hours which was about 1 hour longer than I estimated, but we got there in the end.

Myself , Robbie VK3EK , His wife Didith and George VK3GWK all made it to the top of Mt Sarah. It was an easy climb from Tea Tree Range track up to the top as there is a vehicle track all the way up.

The top of Mt Sarah is a grassy clearing surrounded by a ring of dead trees (just the thing to hang antennas from).

VK3XL SOTA from Mt Sarah

My setup was a FT817ND running from a 5Ah Gel cell and an end fed half wave dipole for 40. I have a 9:1 unun and a small L match that I use to make the rig happy with the high impedance load.


Robbie VK3EK also operated his first SOTA activation from here as well

VK3XL and VK3EK Sota Mt Sarah

Thanks to the 17 chasers I managed to work from Mt Sarah and those who stuck around to work Robbie for his first SOTA activation

While we were on top of Mt Sarah I checked the SOTA finder app I have on my android phone and noted that there was another summit near by. It turned out to be what is known as the Heliport about 4.5km south of Mt Sarah. (VK3/VT-023).So we set off to see if we could find it. After overshooting the turn off we back tracked thanks to SOTA finder app alerting us to our lack of navigation skills.

The walk up to the heliport is quite easy as there is a fairly good 4WD track up from the turn off. We parked the cars and headead off. The weather was closing in and we had to be quick if we didnt want to get wet.



DSC01775 DSC01774 DSC01778 DSC01773

1. The setup at VK3/VT-023

2. Me operating from VK3/VT023

3. Robbie VK3EK operating from his second Sota

4. Just before it started raining


Well from the look of the sky in the 4th photo you wouldn’t think the weather was too bad, but not long after that was taken the heavens opened and I still had a few chasers calling me, so with the aide of George (VK3GWK) holding a coat over my head to shelter me and the rig from the rain we managed to work them all. 12 stations in 10 minutes. Thanks to all the chasers for making it all worth while.



VK3XL’S Ham radio blog

SOTA Mt Johnston 2013-07-27 22-56-03

Hi all and thanks for stopping by. This is my first attempt at a Blog page so go easy on me.

As you can guess I am an Amateur radio operator from my blog title.

My main interests are HF operating, mainly SSB, but do get involved in some digital modes as well. Since moving to Narre Warren I have been able to increase my activities and now am working on VHF and UHF SSB.

Recently I have become active in SOTA operation and plan to use this blog to document my activations.

The picture above is me operating from Mt Johnston (VK3/VG122) in East Gippsland.  Kieren VK3BTV ( Bad Tempered Victorian) looking on.

Others not visible in the scene but who were present were in no particular order

Robbie VK3EK and Didith his wife

Peter VK3NPI

George VK3GWK

George VK3QP

Gerard VK3GER