SOTA activation at South Black Range VK2/ST-006 to complete the MG award

Leaving Canberra at 7am and heading out via Hoskinstown to the South Black Range summit, I was ready by 8:30 am to make contact with a group of SOTA enthusiasts back in Canberra.  The plan was to first use 146.5 fm to make local contacts with whoever was there.  Then go to 1296 MHz ssb to make a few contacts there, and then go to the HF bands.

Right on time, Andrew Vk1AD spotted himself on showing he was set up and ready for the morning’s contacts with a group of SOTA trainees at Mt Stromlo.

Also Matt VK1MA, Al VK1RX and Ian VK1DI were on other summits.  These four operators were on air on the first day of SOTA in VK1, 1st Feb 2013 and we were all on air when each of us have qualified for the 1000 point Mountain Goat award.

We made our contacts and after the 4th contact, several goat bleats were heard on my radio.

Rock, cairn and Trig at South Black Range

The unique shape of the VK2/ST-006 hilltop. The cairn and trig are on top of a huge rock.

I then moved to 1296 and made contacts with Andrew VK1AD and Bill VK1MCW.  The contact with Bill was made on CW as a first for 1296 SOTA in vk1.

After that it was 80m and 40m.  Conditions were favouring longer distances on 40m and it was necessary to use 80m to make contacts into Sydney or into the Melbourne area or any points closer in.

After spending several hours on the summit and getting colder all the time, it being only just above freezing point, I was suddenly surprised by hearing a voice.  There was Matt VK1MA walking towards me grinning and offering me a Mountain Goat ale.  We are lucky in Australia to have a boutique brewery that has produced this very aptly named ale.

After completing the activation and packing away, Matt helped me carry all the equipment back to the car down the hill a bit, then I headed off to Mt Cowangerong to make it a double activation for the day.

Looking happy having completed the Mountain Goat summit

the operating position at South Black Range. tripod for 1296 antenna at rear.


Guyed mast at Cowangerong

Setup at Mt Cowangerong. 2m halfwave on the left attached to a tree, the guyed pole on the right supporting the HF wire antenna.

The doublet wire used for HF contacts at Cowangerong can just be seen here, at the top of the telescopic mast

Comments (7)

Allen VK3ARHAugust 7th, 2018 at 16:57

Congratulations Andrew, you’ve earned it.

Andrew DavisAugust 7th, 2018 at 17:18

thanks Allen, you’ve been a regular in my log, so thanks to you too!

DavidAugust 7th, 2018 at 18:25

Congratulations Andrew on the MG – hopefully I won’t be too far behind you.
David VK3IL

Paul VK5PASAugust 7th, 2018 at 19:32

CONGRATULATIONS Andrew. A terrific effort.



Andrew DavisAugust 7th, 2018 at 21:03

Thanks David, hoping to catch you on some of yours. Conditions and timing have been against us lately. Good luck.

Andrew DavisAugust 7th, 2018 at 21:04

Thanks Paul, great to catch you and Marija on the day.

vk5bjeAugust 8th, 2018 at 07:41

Hi Andrew, such dedication! Congratulations on the achievement.
John D

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