VK2JI – SOTA in VK2 – 8th. September 2013 VK2/SY-0001 Canoelands Ridge first activation.

The preparation.

As I had already done a “reccie” on Canoelands a few weeks previously, this should have been an easy activation, however after my “reccie” I checked and unfortunately the spot I had used would not be valid as between the actual summit and my spot the ground dropped under the 25m activation zone. So I had to find another spot. I was not eager to get to the actual summit with it’s 33KV electricity tower sitting on private land. I did a “flood” on Google Earth and it turns out that a lot of land prior to the summit falls into the activation area. Using Google Maps – Street view option I search along the ridge and found an area that I took to be a water treatment plant of some sort with easy access from the road. As you’ll see on the video below this was NOT a water treatment plant however my choice of location could not be too bad with a microwave relay tower located across the road.

In any case an early start was needed to get to Canoelands prior to UTC change-over and allowing for the fact that my chosen spot might not work out to be correct. Canoelands is about a 2 hour drive from my home so a 7am departure was needed.

The VK2JI/P operation.

As it turned out the trip took a little less time and the spot I had chosen turned out fine and I was operational before my posted time of 9am local.

This is another EASY summit, literally drive up, walk out and back into the activation area with your equipment, set-up and operate. A good option for a first time activator and in fact one of only two SOTA summits in the Sydney Metro region of the VK2 association.

As well as 40m on this trip I intended to try to get some 30m contacts, but was not to be with the FT-817 not putting out any power on that band and displaying “TX error” at one point. I also tried 20m with unfortunately no contacts. It looks like I’m going to need to go out later in the day to get 30m or 20m contacts I think. The 30m issue in the radio was fixed after a reset to factory default settings after returning home, so it’s ready for the next time.

Activity was good and after working a lot of stations both before and after UTC change-over including several summit-to-summit contacts, I took a few photos for the blog before leaving ahead of a light shower coming across the area.

I also managed to record Ian VK1DI/P working a couple of stations on 40m, but being on my own, was unable to find a way of videoing any of my own QSOs.

In conclusion, it was a successful day. Once again proving out the equipment so that I will be able to take the absolute minimum and know it will work when I get to activate a more difficult summit.

Stations worked – all on 40m.

Colin VK3UBY

Peter VK1IRC

Brenton VK2MEV



Paul VK5PAS/P3 (S2S)

Rhett VK3GHZ





Matt VK1MA


Andrew VK1DA/P (S2S)

Al VK1RX/P2 (S2S)

Glen VK3YY

Marc VK3PI

Owen VK7OR


Fred VK3JM

Peter VK3YE/ Pedestrian Mobile on the beach

Andy VK5LA

Michele VK3FEAT/P

Marshall VK3MRG/P (S2S)

Ian VK1DI/P (S2S)

(most of these worked twice once before and once after UTC change over).

Thanks to all Chasers and activators for making this an enjoyable and successful day.