October 2017 trip to VK5

Two SOTA’s and a Park

St Mary Peak vk5/ne-001

St Mary Peak is the highest peak in the Flinders Ranges. It is also one of the few SOTA peaks in the Flinders that is accessible via marked walking track.

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Summit Marker

Whilst it may only 14.6 Km return via the outside trail, it is still a fair walk with two steep sections which involve a bit of rock scrambling.

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Radios for Goats

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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.

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ATS4a and MTR 2 bander

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Wilsons Prom National Park VKFF-539 and Sparkes Lookout, vk3/vt-079, 19th July 2014

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Starting Point

A hike in the Northern section of The Prom had been planned for some time, I had also hopped to visit a few SOTA peaks on this trip but the ban on off track walking permits meant that any activation would be invalid.

Since the planned walk would have two short days I felt it was worth carrying radio gear with a view to getting the 44 contacts required to qualify the parks for the WWFF. The only drawback was this was a mid week trip, but with the popularity of WWFF in the EU and being their Summer holidays I felt I was still in with a chance.

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MTR, SLT+, Palm Single and SOTA Beams Flight Deck. At Johnny Souey Cove

In short the WWFF activation was a flop, without the ability to Spot easily (like the SOTA Watch page provides), it was endless calls and no answer.

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Looking East on the Five Mile Road

The SOTA activation was always a maybe, we were spending two nights in Tidal River after the walk so after a bit of discussion I left my walking companions to do the shopping and I head off to Sparkes Look Out.

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MTR and Palm Single, Great name for a SOTA summit

 

It was a great spot to operate with a great view, just wish I had taken photos first rather than waiting until I was packed up as the rain then reappeared somewhat hiding the view.