SOTA – Mount Marulan VK1AD 2017 QRP Update #6

Monday 24 April 2017.  Mount Marulan VK2/ST-039 868 metres ASL, Southern Tablelands NSW

Mount Marulan fire trail ‘G98’ starts at the end of Tickner Valley Road (@700 metres ASL), it’s an extension of Tickner Valley Road albeit with a different name.   The public access G98 fire trail is hidden from view behind a clump of trees, you need to get out of your car to see the beginning of the trail.

This is my first attempt at Mount Marulan, it should be fun 😉

The ascent is 196 vertical metres over 2.1 km taking 40 minutes to walk.  The summit is marked by a Trig Station (see photos).  Start by heading west for 400 meters climbing 80 metres, duration 10 minutes.  After a steep climb you will see a G98 sign on your right.  At the G98 sign turn left, that’s south, to join the ridge line fire trail.  Head south-south-west for 1.7 km to the Trig station, duration 30 minutes.  I used Telstra mobile phone services combined with APRSdroid SSID VK1AD-5 to show my progress.

I am using a Garmin 64S portable GPS unit to record details of my walk.  In advance of today’s walk I prepared a track route using Garmin BaseCamp with OzTopo map software.

Mount Marulan – Tickner Valley Road track overlay on OzTopo 10m contours

Mount Marulan G98 GPS track log overlay on OzTopo

First 400 metres of the G98 trail is steep (30% gradient) climbing 80 vertical metres

Mount Marulan G98 track profile

Mount Marulan G98 ascent data

Photos: © Copyright 2017 Andrew VK1AD

Beginning of G98 public access trail overgrown with pine trees.

Start of the G98 fire trail heading west – 08:40 am

After climbing the first 60 metres turn left and follow the trail marked G98.  Do not turn right here, turn left.

G98 marked fire trail at S34.77309° E149.92143° – turn left here

The view as you turn left heading south.

Turning left – the view of the trail heading south to join the ridge line

a comfortable stroll along the ridge fire trail

large termite mound – squid pole is shown for scale

Vintage stone Trig Station common is some parts of NSW.

Mount Marulan Trig Station

Mount Marulan Trig Station set in about 3 metres from the fire trail

Ample space on the summit for an 80m 1/2 wave inverted V dipole.  I used a small pine tree as support for my 7m telescopic pole.

VK1AD SOTA shack at Mount Marulan VK2/ST-039 at 868 metres ASL

close up of the SOTA gear, FT-817ND power output is 5 watts

Best SOTA chaser contact of the day was with Thomas NQ7R in Arizona answering my CQ SOTA call on 17m 18.145 MHz.  🙂

Summit to Summit QSOs:  Wade VK1FWBD at Black Mountain summit Canberra

SOTA to VKFF Park QSOs:  Paul VK5PAS and Marija VK5FMAZ both at Hogwash Bend Conservation Park (VKFF-0892)

I attempted one low power 0.5 watt SSB QSO on 30m 10.130 MHz with Rick VK4RF

Extract of VK1AD SOTA Activator Log:  24 April 2017 Mount Marulan, duration 1 hour

Time Call Band Mode Notes
23:38z VK4RF 7MHz SSB Rick s59 r59
23:38z VK4HA 7MHz SSB Rick s59 r59
23:40z VK1FWBD/P 7MHz SSB Wade s54 r52 S2S VK1/AC-042
23:42z VK3CAT 7MHz SSB Tony s59 r46
23:44z VK3ARH 7MHz SSB Allen s58 r57
23:45z VK3HRA 7MHz SSB Allen s58 r57
23:50z NQ7R 18MHz SSB Thomas s53 r42  Arizona North America
23:54z JH1OCC 18MHz SSB Yuu s58 r32
23:59z ZL1BYZ 14MHz SSB John s59 r55
00:01z ZL1BYZ 14MHz SSB John s59 r55
00:03z ZL1WA 14MHz SSB Jacky s59 r57
00:04z VK4RF 14MHz SSB Rick s59 r57
00:05z VK4HA 14MHz SSB Rick s59 r57
00:06z ZL3JD 14MHz SSB Phil s57 r57
00:06z ZL3CC 14MHz SSB Andrew s59 r53
00:07z VK6NU 14MHz SSB John s55 r51
00:11z VK1FWBD/P 7MHz SSB Wade s53 r51 S2S VK1/AC-042
00:13z VK1RX/3 7MHz SSB Al s59 r53
00:17z VK3TKK/M 7MHz SSB Peter s58 r53
00:20z VK3FRAB/P 7MHz SSB Damien s59 r53
00:23z VK4EKA 7MHz SSB Dougal s58 r55
00:24z VK5FANA 7MHz SSB Adrian s58 r56
00:27z VK3YY 7MHz SSB Glenn s58 r56
00:28z VK4ARW 7MHz SSB Ross s59 r57
00:33z VK4RF 10MHz SSB Rick s59 r55 me 0.5 watts
00:33z VK4HA 10MHz SSB Rick s59 r55 me 0.5 watts
00:40z VK5FMAZ/P 7MHz SSB Marija s58 r58 VKFF-0892
00:41z VK5PAS/P 7MHz SSB Paul s58 r58 VKFF-0892
00:45z VK3CAT 7MHz SSB Tony s59 r57

5 thoughts on “SOTA – Mount Marulan VK1AD 2017 QRP Update #6

  1. Excellent stats and directions with pictures! A great way to get those thinking about SOTA “over the edge” and into it!

  2. Didn’t know there were any you hadn’t activated, Andrew! Nice post.
    Grant VK4JAZ

  3. Thanks for sharing the experience. It’s just like here, except our hills are not so high HAHA. The trig points are always just off the path in the trees, though your trig point is more impressive than our little Belgian blocs of concrete. One thing we d have to watch out for here is tics. You get a lot here in the forests when the weather starts to warm up, I already had one from ON-021 but i was sitting on the floor. 73 Stephen ON5REV

  4. Hi Andrew,

    Super signal, 5/8, into the Hogwash Bend Conservation Park VKFF-0892 & 5CP-092, with your 5 watts. Marija and I were running 10 watts into the 80/40/20m linked dipole. We were set up about 30 metres from the waters edge of the mighty Murray River, watching the water skiiers and the majestic Murray River Princess paddlesteamer going passed our operating spot.

    Well done on your continued use of QRP Andrew.


    Paul VK5PAS & Marija VK5FMAZ.

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