I had been in the NE for a week, plus I had an engagement in Melbourne on Friday evening, so it was time to head south east.
Friday 20 April 2018
After having said my farewells to family members, I was on the highway heading towards Melbourne by around 0930. My engagement was not until 1930, so I had plenty of time. I had committed to arriving mid to late afternoon at my host for the evening, so that needed to be considered in the mix.
I decided to activate a Park near Wandong, so simply headed south on the Hume Highway. As I was nearing the exit for Wandong, I decided that I might also attempt Mount Disappointment. I purchased some lunch in Wandong and then headed around to Disappointment Road. I reached Blair’s Hut picnic area and found the road ahead closed “due to roadworks”. As I only had time available for a quick activation, I decided against the short walk to the summit and returned back towards Wandong.
Wandong Regional Park VKFF-0979
Car is needed when activating many Parks to ensure that you are inside the Park boundaries. In this Park, some road reserves are excluded from the Park, so it is not as simple as setting up beside any track or road. I had previously considered using Radio Road as an activation site, but it had a locked gate at its start. I continued a little further and parked off Pattons Track.
Rob VK4AAC/2 was first in the log at 0240Z on 40 m. 30 minutes of operating yielded 17 contacts on 40 m, including a Park to Park with Bill VK4FW/p in VKFF-1492. I tried listening for Mitch VK3XDM on Mt St Leonard, but could not hear him on either 2 m nor 40 m. We arranged to try 80 m and made the contact. I worked another 5 stations on 80 m before returning to 40 m for another 5 contacts. Calls on 20 m yielded no results. 28 contacts in the log for the activation, so this one will need to be revisited another day to reach WWFF tally requirements.
I packed up and headed back towards Melbourne, with heavy traffic on parts of the Western Ring Road. I safely arrived at my destination and had plenty of time to chat and enjoy dinner with my hosts. I then headed off to visit the Melbourne Electronics and Radio Club to talk about portable operations, including SOTA and Parks. That talk was well received and I hope that it encourages some of the members to try portable operating, perhaps even in a Park or on a SOTA summit.