Justin, VK7TW, reported yesterday on the SOTA Australia Yahoo Group, that Tasmania (VK7) is now expected to go live as a SOTA association on October the first.
Of all the Australian states and territories, VK7 is the last that is practical for SOTA. The only remaining VK prefix not a SOTA association is VK0 and that is Antartica, so I can’t see any SOTA activations happening there (I could be wrong but …).
It is just amazing how quickly all VK States have joined the global SOTA award scheme. Of course a lot of work in preparing the data in Australia took place by the association and region managers and their helpers but we should also thank the Management Team who throughout all of these actions have given support and been willing to work to get the data tidied up in time for some quite tight implementation date targets.
I am again amazed at how well this scheme works and wish the scheme all the best as it grows and grows!
There are some issues with the data that preclude it being uploaded now. It may well be that the data is fixed real soon but it’s unlikely we’ll have it uploaded on October 1st. Not having database or SOTAwatch support is a pain but doesn’t normally stop an association starting. I’ll leave confirmation that VK7 will be live (with or without database support) to the summits team (Jim G0CQK, Csaba YO6PIB, Peter ON4UP & Eirc KU6J).
The data is now fixed so VK7 is good to go for 1st of October, any operation after that will be valid for SOTA, just have to wait until database upload is finalized before contacts can be entered into the database.
Out of interest, I looked at Macquarie Island when working on the VK7 mapping. I looked as most VK0 areas are effectively administered from Tasmania (via ANARE). From my examination, there are 2 valid summits on “Macca”. From memory & only a quick look at the available maps (but not the SRTM data), there are probably 2, perhaps 3, on Heard… Perhaps that explains Justin’s comment many months ago to the SOTA_Australia group - “Should I include VK0?”
Any volunteers to do the mapping project for the VK-claimed Antarctic continent sector?
I suspect that the problem is that the “WIA” is really a small organisation, with only a small paid staff and many volunteers undertaking most of the tasks. So what was needed was to find at least one individual for whom the ideals of SOTA created a spark. Otherwise, the messages were effectively falling on deaf ears.
I must admit that I had seen the occasional reference to SOTA reading RadCom (I am also a member of RSGB), but was too busy for the spark to take hold. It was a different story in the middle of 2012 however, and then in early 2013. What did I get myself into when I looked at the old maps from bush walks in SW Tassie??
VK0 would be interesting to map and activate. How do you account for the ice in a summit’s data? If you are more than say 200M above the summit becasue of ice are you then still in the activation zone?? Cetrainly there will be many a peak down south that wont have the ice as a problem.
Anyway I’m looiking forwrd to claiming some VK7 summits when I am down there this Xmas. Thanks to all invovled in getting VK7 up and running.
Re accessible VK0 peaks. It is possible to sail a private vessel to Heard Island (Anzac Peak and Mawson Peak) and McDonald Island (one peak) south of Perth and also Macquarie Island (several peaks) which is south of NZ. The latter has a web cam so you can see the weather there. A few adventurers have done the trip under sail in the last 20 years. You would be able to anchor and get fresh water but need the permission of the Aust. Ant. Div. to overnight on shore or to climb any of these peaks. Amateurs do go there regularly as part of AAD expeditionary staff and have climbed some of the peaks so SOTA activation while unlikely isn’t impossible.
Let me be clear that the reason I used the word “expected” is because there can always be something at the last minute - and please note I am not one of the team involved in this work.
I was just “blown away” to find another VK state being part of the global scheme in the near future, that I wished to highlight the great work done by all involved from when VK3 first came on-line to the present day (about 3 years I think).
OK on the comments that I may be wrong and perhaps VK0 will become part of SOTA in the future (perhaps as an extension to VK7), that really would be a rare contact, given that operation would not be from a base with all facilities but portable in a hostile (cold) environment.
In the mid 2000’s IIRC two VK3’s said they were going to start a VK SOTA association, no doubt inspired by the UK messages. I sent them an email saying “I’m in” and then later “What’s happening?”. No reply to either. I really did not know what was involved and perhaps these guys didn’t either and the project became stuck. Being busy with my work and weak signal work meant I did not pursue it further and continued to drive to hilltops and operate from the car when there were field days and when I had time.
Then along came Wayne. Wayne VK3WAM that is. With great determination and skill he put the VK3 submission together. The rest as they say is history.
I’ll be attempting to activate VK7/EC-045 Cape Lodi for tomorrow’s opening! I’ve spoken with some locals, and they reckon it’s the easiest one to get to from where I am.
Assuming the weather is not as awful as today (it’s supposed to be less rainy, just cold and windy), I hope to be up and running at 00:00 UTC, and will have probably 90 minutes to get my 4 contacts! I’ll start on 7.090 or thereabouts, and try 14.300 or so.
It was probably Paul vk3ih, I was in touch with Paul some time ago after finding he was looking into SOTA. That was triggered by a mention on the UK microwave mailing list by Richard G3CWI about SOTA, roughly mid to late 00s and I followed that up to find out what SOTA meant, if not “state of the art” which was my first thought. Paul is the “owner” of the SOTA_Australia group so continues to play an important role in SOTA down under.