Looked like Easter Monday was going to be quiet on SOTA after all the activity over the past couple of days, so Mt. Vinegar looked like a good one to do. The walk is about 5km from the Acheron Way or there are some logging roads that can get you closer.
As I had walked quite a bit yesterday, thought it best to drive close for the activation. Wayne, VK3WAM had some success with Carters Gap Rd, so I followed this road from the Acheron Way, it is well a maintained 2wd track, probably for the logging trucks.
See the screenshot from the tablet with the route. Carters Gap Rd. T intersects with Road 8 where there is a fair bit of logging in progress. Road 8 is shown as a 4wd road, but it is fine for a 2wd with hardly any ruts etc. Unfortunately there is one spot (marked “bog”) where the road was chopped up, possibly from some heavy machinery that became bogged. I spent a little time here getting my car through. There were plenty of bits of sawn logs and rocks to get some traction on. On the way back gravity assisted getting through this bit. The rest of the road was fine and you could drive all the way to a locked gate that is only about 600 metres from the summit.
To make sure I wasnt in the activation zone, I drove back until I was well out of the activation zone (~1km or so from summit).
The good old end fed half wave antenna for 7MHz was set up on the squid pole and gave a call on 7.090. In the 40 minutes of activation there were 14 contacts with a gap in the middle for lunch. Towards the end, it was looking like rain and the temperature was dropping so packed up and headed back down the track.
Photos were taken with an old phone so the quality isn’t too good. A good operating location, no noise and no nearby towers. The activation was just using the internal LiPo battery in the FT-817, had a couple of spares but didn’t take too much out of the internal battery while operating.
Didn’t see anyone or any cars on the road after leaving Acheron Way.