I found myself accompanying my XYL Helen to another Harp Gathering – this time in Launceston at the replica Swiss village Grindelwald over the long weekend celebrating 8 Hour Day. I contacted the repeater team through Tony VK7YBG from the Northern Tasmania Amateur Radio Club (NTARC) of which I am a member and they were planning a trip up to the repeater site at Mt Arthur. I offered to help them carry equipment, etc up to mountain in return for a SOTA activation!
Tony VK7YBG and the author set off with car packed and picked up Andre VK7ZAB along the way and visited David VK7JD to pickup some heliax and equipment needed. Off along the Lilydale road until the turnoff to the Mountain Road and we picked up Colin VK7ZCF and Peter VK7ZPE who met us at the turnoff.
Heading up Mountain Road and given the 4WD we were in we could drive to the end of the track to a small corrugated tin hut that has information about Mt Arthur.
We headed up each with a roll of heliax around us, a new wind generator, test equipment and antenna pole. You head through fagus forest, there are a few areas where you need to clamber up rock shelves as you ascend about 600m from the carpark.
Mt Arthur is host to many many repeater and radio station sites all over the plateau. The first you get to is the NTARC site, you then continue to the old fire spotting tower and on to the cairn at the highest point going past many other repeater sites and radio station sites.
The weather was spectacular with blue skies and no wind! In fact we couldn’t test the new wind generator as there was no wind! According to the NTARC crew it is usually blowing a gale on Mt Arthur!
Whilst the NTARC crew did their maintenance the author setup his SOTA station and made 13 QSOs. Thanks to all who contacted me.
With the maintenance completed we made our way back down with much less equipment and coax!
A huge thank you to the NTARC crew for chaperoning me up Mt Arthur and for all the amateurs who contacted me.
Whilst in the Launceston area I made a trip out to the Tamar Island reserve and came across stump jump plough embedded in an old Oak tree on the highest point of Tamar Island. The tree has grown around the plough and therefore has obviously been there for many years. I find this fascinating and if anyone has any information or a story about the plough the author would be very interested.