SOTA

2020 with COVID-19

25/1/20VK3/VC-039 (Mount Gisborne)
26/1/20 VK3/VC-007 (Mt Macedon)
5/2/20 VK1/AC-040 (Mt Ainslie)
7/2/20 VK2/MN-176 (VK2/MN-176)
7/2/20 WWFF Sherwood Nature Reserve (VKFF-1996)
16/5/20 VK3/VC-024 (Mt Beckworth)
29/5/20 VK3/VC-032 (VK3/VC-032)
7/6/20 VK3/VS-050 (Mt Leura)
14/6/20 VK3/VS-004 (Mt Langi Ghiran)
14/6/20 WWFF Langi Ghiran State Park (VKFF-0760)
20/7/20 VK3/VC-018 (Mt Buninyong)

COVID-19 has slowed up activating this year.

There has been restrictions to movement since March. Whilst there were fires in central Vic, nothing like horror in the East, the Parks were close so there has not been a lot of activating going on.

We live in the country so spared the complications in Melbourne. Currently there are Level 3 restrictions in place. Cant go and visit people. Can get out to exercise. The virus is active in regional Victoria its not just a city thing.

These restrictions impact access to parks. Some parks are still closed due to fire damage, and others closed to control peoples movement. The Alpine is closed whilst the Grampians restricted.

Have been working from home since March so chasing the activators that can get out when I’m not in meetings.

Backyards on the Air BYOTA, launched by Mark ZL3AB and Geoff ZL3GA whilst ZL was in lockdown. Basically set up your station in the backyard and gain contacts. I left my antenna up only to discover Roos had gone through and tangled the legs breaking the top of squid pole.

BYOTA

these ones;

There are opportunities with local summits but given the key wording of the restrictions is ‘Essential’, you have to pick the right time. I do not want to be explaining why I’m out so currently keeping head down.

25/1/20 VK3/VC-039 (Mount Gisborne)
26/1/20 VK3/VC-007 (Mt Macedon)

VK3/VC-039 (Mount Gisborne)

Popped across to pickup VK3/VC-039 (Mount Gisborne) and VK3/VC-007 (Mt Macedon). Again close summits. Mount Gisborne is new to VK3 and a great place to operate from. Mt Macedon was busy. I had the police come and check me out. There was a break in at the compound but once they saw what I was up to left me be.

5/2/20 VK1/AC-040 (Mt Ainslie)

VK1/AC-040 (Mt Ainslie)

Canberra was covered in smoke from the fires to the south. Apparently the grasslands were so dry the fire was ignited from the heat from helicopter landing lights. There was no way I was going into the bush. Picked up VK1/AC-040 (Mt Ainslie) on CW and FM taking to locals. Have been talking to all these people for years and now in the backyard. Declared a State of Alert so we though best to get out and head up to brothers.

Brother lives the other side of Coffs harbour. As we drove up from ACT we were driving through areas burnt by recent fires. Used the freeway to bypass Sydney and then is started to rain.

7/2/20 VK2/MN-176 (VK2/MN-176)
7/2/20 WWFF Sherwood Nature Reserve (VKFF-1996)

VK2/MN-176 (VK2/MN-176)

On VK2/MN-176 with my Dad supporting the pole. This summit is behind my brothers. It was wet. They received over 300mm in the four days we were there. There was a break in the weather so snagged VK2/MN-176. Access is via good roads but would not want to be there should there be more rain. Attempted to activate Moonee Beach Nature Reserve (VKFF-1966) however the rain was so heavy you could not hear in the car and no way was able to get out to operate. Went back to Colin’s and had Red instead.

16/5/20 VK3/VC-024 (Mt Beckworth)

VK3/VC-024 (Mt Beckworth)

View from VK3/VC-024 (Mt Beckworth) back to Ballarat. Mt Bunnyiong and Mt Warrienheip in the distance. Mt Beckworth is a great spot. Its 40 minutes away. You park at the base and then a good walk to open summit. Again a lot of traffic. A bloke looking for the cliffs. They are on the other side, not my area of interest. People walking dogs. The ends of the antenna are yellow so nice and visible.

29/5/20 VK3/VC-032 (VK3/VC-032)

VK3/VC-032

VK3/VC-032 is the other side of Ballan. Drive in on good roads. Run the antenna across the clearing. Bring a star picket in the car and bingo, solid setup.

7/6/20 VK3/VS-050 (Mt Leura)

VK3/VS-050 (Mt Leura)

View from VK3/VS-050 (Mt Leura) back to Monique’s, Mt Elephant in the background. Access to Elephant is not difficult normally. Mt Leura was busy. Ran antenna along the slope to avoid walkers.

14/6/20 VK3/VS-004 (Mt Langi Ghiran)
14/6/20 WWFF Langi Ghiran State Park (VKFF-0760)

VK3/VS-004 (Mt Langi Ghiran)

Picked up a Park to Park with VK4KC in VKFF-1528 whilst navigating in VKFF-0760 to activate VK3/VS-004. Langi Ghiran Picnic And Camping Area is a well equipped spot and just before the turn to drive up Easter Creek Track.

This is all 40M or 80M CW. Enjoying the CW. There are enough chasers and starting to recognise chasers by their code. It really is an elegant practice. Proving convenient on busy summits but am thinking of printing up cards to hand out.

Still got Warrienheip up my sleeve but 2020 has been slow going….. fire, floods, virus, what’s next ?

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