Seeing I was at Melbourne Airport, it was only a relatively short drive to Mt. Macedon for a quick activation. The only radio I had with me was a VHF FM handheld and a 5/8th vertical antenna. The summit of Mt Macedon is fairly broad and the plan was to drive out of the activation zone and walk to the summit. There is a picnic ground about 500m or so on the right side of the road before you get to the summit, but this turned out to be still in the activation zone, so I walked down a bush track until clearly out of the activation zone and walked up a walking path back to the summit. See “P” for picnic area on map below for parking area and path to clear the activation zone. Was set up by 9am.
The commercial radio towers on the site were causing a little receiver de-sense, so it was best to keep out of the antenna lobes. Although I tried several locations at the summit for best take off to the Melbourne, signals were well down on expected.
Worked Peter, VK3PF while he was mobile on the way to an activation. Tried to work Wayne, VK3WAM from several locations around the loop road, but could not hear anything.
The third contact was into the Barossa Valley which is a distance of some 590km when doing a gridsquare distance between PF95MK and QF22HO . Not bad for a 5W hand held and an omni directional antenna. Must have been some ducting going on. Worked, VK3PF, VK3KAN, VK5PJ, VK3CAT and VK3AFW. Thanks guys.