A visit to ARNSW

Sunday 26 May 2019

The WIA Conference sessions continued on Sunday at AR NSW in Dural. I drove up myself, arriving a little after 0900K. I grabbed my SOTA back pack and walked across to the SOTA stand – a shelter plus two tables and a couple of chairs. Also in attendance were the key organisers Andrew VK1DA and Compton VK2HRX, plus Gerard VK2IO and a little later John VK2YW and Adam VK2YK. Liz VK2XSE was also in attendance and there were plenty of interested visitors.

You can find a collection of photos from Gerard VK2IO and Andrew VK1DA at:

Lunch was provided courtesy ARNSW and a caterer – three courses for lunch.

There were a couple of technical talks scheduled for the afternoon, mainly relating to digital modes on VHF & UHF and repeater linking. I decided to leave to activate the closest SOTA summit. John VK2YW decided to join me. I topped up my water bottles and we drove our own vehicles up to the summit, a trip of about 35 minutes.

Canoelands VK2/SY-001
Marramarra National Park VKFF-0307

There are areas of the Activation Zone (AZ) of the summit that intersect with the Marramarra National Park. I had checked the areas before leaving home by using Google Earth and the flooding technique. There is an area that is inside the AZ and inside the Park opposite 27-29 Canoelands Road, which is where we headed and set up the station.

We set up the ZS6 BKW antenna and used two folding camp chairs facing each other. With John’s assistance in stringing out the antenna legs, we were quickly up and connected to the radio. I saw that Adam VK2YK was on 40 m in VKFF-1162, so dialled up his frequency and waited for a chance to call. A Park to Park contact was the first in the log. We started handing the microphone & KX2 between each other, so that John could also work most of the Hunters who called. After 23 minutes, I had 15 in the log and John was happy to simply listen – un less another Park or summit station popped up. Compton reported that he had lost the signal on 40 m. I had heard him call and had replied, but had no response. We had a pause in callers on 40 m SSB, so I quickly hanged to 80 m SSB and soon had Compton in the log, plus three more, including Adam VK2YK/p now in VKFF-0272.

I swapped to 80 m CW and soon had five calls in the log – summit qualified for CW. I then moved up to 40 m CW and worked six stations. I moved back to 40 m SSB. It was about this time that John decided to depart. A few minutes later I worked John VK2YW/m: I had just worked Mike VK6MB/3 in VKFF-0420 and John called. John was a little confused, as he was not aware that I had called Mike on his frequency. John worked Mike and I gave John a quick report and received a reply – a very quick contact, and I thanked Mike before moving to a clear frequency. I continued calling and soon had 44+ contacts in the log. I continued to just before 0600Z, when I started to pack up. I saw that Andrew VK1DA/2 was on air from VK2/CT-043, so worked Andrew for a S2S and took a few more calls before packing up. I ended up with 55 contacts in the log in just less than two hours of operating. This was another SOTA Unique and a Complete, plus a first activation of the Park for me.

I packed up and drove back to my hosts’ home. After some discussion, we walked to the local Bowling Club for dinner of Chinese food. Overall, it had been an interesting weekend with some radio therapy included.

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