20 – 22 October 2023

1st Castlemaine Pioneer Venturers – Mt Tarrengower - VK3 FGAP

A wonderful opportunity to combine two past-times. Scouting and historic vehicles.

The main reason for this portable JOTA site is to allow the youth members a positive chance of being able to ‘talk’ to another JOTA station even when the airwaves are quiet. An easy and relaxing location atop one of our local mounts in central Victoria – Mt Tarrengower. Radio people be aware that I’m still in Radio Kindergarten but am keen to learn and not make too many mistakes. Luckily I have a small group of amateur enthusiasts who support me in this endeavour.

I’m hoping to be active/available on air from midday Saturday to 11-12 midnight Saturday 16th Nov 2021. Being Covid conscious, if you’d like to visit please bring your mask unless you are contacting me on air then follow the guidelines in your ‘radio shack’.¬†

The red vehicle in the cover photo is a 1954 Fordson PMG van. The PMG linesman’s van is in remarkably good original condition for its age given that it has a fabric insert in the roof. This vehicle was used in and around central Melbourne and only had 19,000 miles on the odometer when I acquired it. Contact me if you’d like more information about the van or our Club for small Ford vehicles.

The day began very cool temperature wise. We had some fuel problems with the little Anglia Sports car. Once at the top of Mt Tarrengower we admired the views briefly then set up the cars for a quick photo shoot. Soon after I bade goodbye to my son Tristin and two other Rover friends who helped get the cars there for the shoot. Finally I set up the portable antenna and made a makeshift ‘radio shack’ in the cabin space of the PMG van. It wasn’t too long before I had contact with the Kerang JOTA site and spoke to a number of Cubs and Scouts (James, Matthew, Charlotte, Zoe, David to name a few). They seemed to be enjoying the activities the leaders and operators had to keep them occupied. During the day I had a visit from another local amateur operator who gave me some¬†

much needed guidance along with the ongoing help from the operators at Kerang. Equally I had many visitors to the mount who came to talk about both the radio and the historic vehicle. Pleasantly I had a visit from Paul from my car club and spent quite a while chatting and freezing in the brisk breeze. I lasted until 9:30pm when my knees were shaking far too much for my liking and I packed up the portable radio gear and drove down the famous Tarrengower Hill Climb that was to be on this weekend except for COVID restricting many visitors and cancelling the event. All up – a great day with lots of talking both to JOTA Scouts & Cubs and visitors to the mount alike and I learned considerably more about using Amateur Radio. Next time the Aircon should be switched off!