I have used four different radios for my Parks and Summit activation’s.
By far the majority have been done with either of my two KD1JV rigs the MTR and ATS4. Both these rigs run on little power and their compact size makes them quite portable. Batteries are external and if required the ATU is also external. This does make set up a little more time consuming but does provide other advantages such as rig cannot be turn on by accident in the pack, and an external ATU allows the active part of the antenna to be placed a little bit further away from the operator.
ATS4a and MTR 2 bander
I always had an interest in small portable radio’s
During the early 80’s I obtained a photocopy of a 1972 QST article by Wes Heywood W7ZOI of his Mountaineer CW transceiver, this unit was a crystal locked transmitter with a tuneable DC receiver.
QST August 1972
When the boss called to tell me I was off to Tassie (VK7) the first thing I did use the Local Sites Tool on Parks and Peaks to check the SOTA and WWFF opportunities.
A two day seven summit trip in the Victorian Alps.
Left, unnamed (vk3/ve-023) Right, The Twins (vk3/ve-017)
I had notice that a number of summits sat on or near the Australian Alpine Walking Track.
In particular, Mt Speculation, Mt Despair, The Razor, and The Viking. Also nearby were Mt Cobbler and the un-named summit VK3/VE-103.
After talking with Allen VK3HRA we hatched a plan to visit these summits. This would require 4 nights camping. Initially I thought we would need to spend three nights away from the car but as it turned out the access to Camp Creek was easy four wheel drive leaving just the night out at Viking Saddle.
This area is changeling country and one should not go unprepared. Wayne VK3WAM joined us at short notice and his “local” knowledge made navigating easier.
Having three operators on one summit can make things interesting, particular when chasing summit to summit contacts.
This is a beautiful area of the Victorian Alps and I would recommend anyone who has the legs for to visit these summits.
Lake Cobbler would make and excellent base camp for a number of day trips which would easily pick up, VE-103, Mt Cobbler, Mt Speculation, and Mt Despair.
I had the opportunity to slip in a SOTA activation on a trip to Wagga Wagga, after seeking some local knowledge I selected Galore Hill.
Turn Off on Narrandra Lockhart Road
This is a lovely spot and I would recommend it for a Winter / Spring activation, when the wild flowers are also out.
Ian VK1DI has a great post on the site discussing access. here.
I have used a few different configurations for packing and operating with the MTR rig.
Generally they revolved around a plastic storage box and either holding the key and note book or using a variation of the Sota Beams Flight Deck to support them. Continue reading