WWFF Park to Park Award 544

Another step in the WWFF Park to Park Award – 544 Park to Park QSOs.

Thanks to all the Activators and the WWFF administration team members.

VK3PF_P2P_A544s

P2P 544 certificate

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JAFF Hunter Bronze Award

Another certificate in the WWFF Awards system:

Japan Flora & Fauna Hunter Award Bronze for working 11 different Japanese Parks.

All of the contacts were made using CW: 3 on 20 m, 6 on 17 m and 2 on 15 m. Contacts made over the period October 2016  until 5 May 2019.

Most of these contacts were SOTA contacts.

Thanks to the operators in Japan that I managed to work:
Takeshi JS1UEH
Katsushige JP3DGT
Akira (Mot) JP1QEC
Noboshige (Nobi) JA1JCF
Minoru JL1NIE
Seiji JG4LCS

Again, thanks to the WWFF administration team.

賞状 hunter gold 44 基データ

JAFF Hunter Bronze Award certificate

 

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Another step in the global WWFF Hunter Awards

I recently checked LogSearch and found that I had qualified for another step in the global WWFF Hunter Awards: 1444 references worked. Most of the references worked are from Australia, with a small number from overseas.

Thanks to all the Activators and to the entire WWFF administration team.

VK3PF H-01444s

Hunter certificate for 1444 References worked.

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A trip to Tarwin Lower

I had done most of the proof reading task for the magazine and needing to wait for the changes to be done before a final check, so I decided to head out to a couple of Parks for some radio therapy.

I had done some jobs at home and worked three Parks and a ZL SOTA station prior to the UTC day rollover. I stopped at the local bakery to grab some lunch for later, then headed to Boolarra, Mirboo, Meeniyan and on to Tarwin Lower.

Tarwin Lower Flora Reserve VKFF-2447

VKFF2447_Sign

The Park sign on Fauna Park Road, with the start of the walking track

The Tarwin Lower Flora Reserve is located on the south east corner of the village of Tarwin Lower. It can be accessed off Walkerville Road. On the western boundary, along Fauna Park Rd, I found the start of the one kilometre Manna Gum Loop Track which circles the reserve and provides a leisurely walk through the native bushland. Several seats are available along the walk.

The Reserve had not previously been activated for VKFF/WWFF.

VKFF2447_WalkMap

Sign with map of the walk

The Reserve includes Scented Paperbark (Melaleuca squarrosa), Swamp Paperbark (Melaleuca ericifolia), Red-fruit Saw-sedge (Gahnia sieberiana) and Tall Sword-sedge (Gahnia clarkei) amongst other species.

I also checked out the eastern boundary, which has a track going into the SE corner of the Golf Club. I reached a closed gate with a restricted access sign. Just short of the gate was an opening in the scrub beyond the actual reserve boundary. I chose to stop and set up here, as I was away from power lines.

Once set up, I checked ParksnPeaks and saw that there were a couple of Activators out, so I quickly started tuning to their frequencies and awaited my chance to call. First in the log was Neil VK4HNS/p in Maleny National Park VKFF-0690. Next was Mark VK4SMA in D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129. I found that 7.139, mid-way between Neil and Mark, was clear and was about to spot myself when Gerard VK2IO/p in Ganay Nature Reserve VKFF-2607 called me. I then spotted myself and started working stations. I had another 16 stations in the next 20 minutes.

I moved down to 40 m CW and worked nine stations in 20 minutes, including another Park to Park (P2P) with Gerard VK2IO/p.

Next it was up to 40 m SSB to catch Rob VK4AAC/2 in Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF1785.

I then dropped down to 80 m SSB to work Mike VK6MB/3 and Ken VK3UH.

Next band was 20 m, with SSB first, resulting in four more in the log. I then moved down to CW for another three stations.

I returned to 40 m SSB and worked 11 stations in 10 minutes. I now had 50 in the log and decided to close the station and pack up.

VKFF2447_OpSiteView

The Reserve viewed from the operating site

The next Park was only 7.2 km away, so took only a few minutes to travel to the next destination.

TarwinLower

Google Earth image showing the Parks

Bald Hills Creek Wetlands Reserve VKFF-2259

This is another Reserve that had not yet been activated for VKFF/WWFF.

From Tarwin Lower, travel in a southerly direction along Walkerville Road, then turn left into the unsealed Bald Hills Road. At about 4 km from the turn off, turn left into the access track to the car park.

BaldHillsS

The entrance track and Park sign

There is a large unsealed car park a short distance inside the gate. Near the start of a walking track, there is a large display board under a small shelter, plus a couple of picnic table which could be used as operating tables if not in use by others.

The area is largely gently rolling sand hills, with most of the country cleared post European settlement. The Boonwurrung and Gunai / Kurnai peoples inhabited the area, leading a hunter gatherer roaming lifestyle. They occupied the area for at least 6000 years.

European settlement saw extensive clearing of vegetation and drainage works in the swampy country – the Tullaree Swamp, of which only about 10% remains.

The Bald Hills Wetland Reserve was declared in 1987, with 135 hectares of habitat. The Reserve is largely sand ridges which support open woodlands of Bog Gum, Messmate and Narrow Leaf Peppermint with a heath understory. The swampy areas and creeks    have thickets of Blackwoods, Swamp and Scented Paperbarks.

The Bald Hills Wind Farm is located on the hills near the Reserve.

BaldHillsWindFarm

Part of the Bald Hills Wind Farm

I chose to set up in the car park, with a line over a tree branch at about 8 m to support the ZS6BKW.

Once set up, I had my rather late lunch… First in the log was Rob VK4SYD/p in VKFF1639. Next was Scott VK4CZ/p in VKFF0666. I moved down to 7.144 and started calling. I soon had Neil VK4HNS/p in Maleny National Park VKFF-0690 calling. In 18 minutes I had a total of 14 in the log. Next was Gerard VK2io/p, still in Ganay Nature Reserve VKFF-2607 but now on SOTA summit VK2/MN-060. The next 10 minutes saw another 10 stations in the log. With no more callers, I moved down the band for CW. First in the log was Gerard VK2IO/p, still on his summit. Another five callers followed.

I moved down to 80 m SSB and worked seven stations in the next 15 minutes. I saw a Spot for Greg VK4VXX/6 in a Park, so quickly switched to 20 m SSB and soon had Cape Le Grand National Park VKFF-0078 in the log.

I returned to 40 m SSB and worked another 12 stations in the next 13 minutes. That brought the total to 54 stations in less than two hours of operating. I packed up the station and locked the vehicle before heading off for the 15 minute walk to the bird hide overlooking the wetlands.

BaldHills_Panorama2s

The wetlands in Bald Hills Creek Wetlands Reserve late in the afternoon

I returned to the car park via the Management Vehicle access track before starting the drive home.

Thanks to all who called me today: two new Parks for the Hunters, both qualified for WWFF.

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Koonwarra and Stony Creek

30 April 2019

I had been busy working on the May-June issue of Amateur Radio magazine over the last couple of weeks, together with writing a review of the IC-9700 VHF/UHF transceiver. The local power distribution company had advised of a power outage for maintenance on Tuesday 30 April from 0815 until 1600. I guess that I could have done things around the garden at home, including cutting the grass which has finally started to grow again after some much needed rain….. With the weather forecast for fine day after some morning fog, I decided that I needed a day of radio therapy and to activate a couple of “new” parks in South Gippsland.

I was a little slow off the mark, despite waking before the alarm went off. Power was lost just on 0900K (2300Z) and I finished the few tasks needed before starting the drive.

I headed to Mirboo North and then to Leongatha, then down the South Gippsland Highway to the hamlet of Koonwarra.

Koonwarra Flora Reserve VKFF-2350

The Park is in two segments, on the edge of Koonwarra village. The total area is 13.42 ha. The Park had not previously been activated, so it would be a new Park for the Hunters.

I decided to have a look at the north east boundary adjacent to Swan Road. At the eastern end of the Reserve, I found a track along a mown area running along the SE boundary.

KoonwarraNCR_Sign

Sign off Swan Road with the track to the left

I drove along this track and then along another that penetrated into the Reserve. I parked and set up at a track junction, with the car blocking about 80% of one track.

KoonwarraFR

Google Earth image of the Reserve with operating site marked

I set up with the ZS6BKW raised by line over a tree branch, with the apex at around 11 m. I used the IC-7300 sitting on the tail gate of the Ranger. I spotted myself at around 0025Z on ParksnPeaks and started on 40 m SSB. The first 20 minutes saw 12 contacts in the log. I then moved up the band to work Gerard VK2IO/p in VKFF-1976. We were about to swap modes to CW when I heard people close by – a teacher and a group of about 10 youngsters out for a walk along the tracks through the path. My feedline was across the remaining section of the track not blocked by the vehicle. I invited the teacher to simply lift the feedline and walk under it. I invited the students to gather around to see what I was doing and briefly explained WWFF and VKFF and where stations were located that I had made contacts so far. I then tried calling Gerard on CW without any luck – I think that he was working other stations. After I answered some questions, including “how did I get the centre of the antenna up near the tree branch”, the teacher gave the group a “hurry up”, as they had already spent more time than planned on their walk.

KoonwarraStation

The station in VKFF-2350

As they were leaving, I called Gerard on SSB and then we worked on CW. I then dropped down to 80 m and worked Geoff VK3SQ on SSB & CW, together with Ken VK3UH, Steve VK3KTT/VK3MEG  (SSB & CW) and Peter VK3FPSR. Next up was Mike VK6MB/3 in Mount Buffalo National Park VKFF-0339.

I then moved up to 20 m to again work Gerard VK2IO/p, then back to 40 m to catch Mark VK5MK/p on Pinkawillinie Conservation Park VKFF-1079. I returned to 20 m SSB and worked nine stations in the next 10 minutes.

I dropped back to 40 m SSB to work John VK5FLEA/p in Little Mount Crawford Forest Natural Features Reserve VKFF-2884, one of the new VK5 Parks added over Easter. I moved to a clear frequency and soon had a further seven contacts in the log. John VK4TJ called again and suggested that we try 30 m. I explained that the antenna was not a good match, but we tried anyway. I soon had John in the log for contact number 44, with John’s extra callsigns providing a couple of buffer contacts… I decided to pack up and to head to the next Park.

I returned to the South Gippsland Highway and headed to Meeniyan to grab some lunch and then toward Stony Creek.

Stony Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2197

I followed Stony Creek Road until it did a dogleg across the Rail Trail. The start of Frankcom Road looks like a private entrance, but the road leads in to a Recreation Reserve which looks like it is no longer in use. The Recreation Reserve surface had plenty of recent cow pats and the “pavilion” building is looking run down.

The Reserve is another that had not yet been activated. The Reserve is small at 1.213 ha. Whilst planning, I could see from Google Earth that the Reserve appears to have dense vegetation coverage, which I found to be the case once on site. I explored along the north-eastern boundary beyond the pavilion and found a section with a few square metres of reeds and grass.  There was enough room to set up a table and a chair inside the boundary.

StonyCkNCR

Google Earth view with operating site marked

StonyCkOpSite

Operating site was beside the fence post on the left, inside the Reserve boundary

I parked the car and proceeded to set up, with a table and chair just across the fence inside the boundary and a squid pole strapped to a fence post. I set up the pole and antenna first, from outside the boundary, but with the antenna and pole inside the fence line. I then climbed over the fence and finished setting up the station. I again used the IC-7300 but used an 18 Ah LiFePO4 battery.

I was about to spot myself and saw that Mike VK6MB/3 was still active in Mount Buffalo National Park VKFF-0339. Mike was the first contact in the log. Next was John VK5FLEA in Little Mount Crawford Forest Natural Features Reserve VKFF-2884. I moved to a frequency between Mike & John and spotted myself. I soon had plenty of Hunters calling, working 19 stations in 18 minutes. Things then slowed down. I dropped down the band and spotted on 7.032 CW. I soon had our in the log, including Gerard VK2IO/m.

I moved back up to SSB and worked another three stations before I saw that John VK5FLEA/p had moved to CW. I dropped down the band and managed to work John. I then returned to SSB and managed to work Liz VK2XSE/p in Murrumbidgee Valley National Park VKFF-0554. Liz had gone into the Park with her elderly mother for a short visit as a break from the Nursing Home. I am sure that the bush would have been a welcome change on a day of pleasant weather.

I moved up to 20 m CW and soon had three contacts in the log. With no more callers, I moved up to SSB higher up the band. This resulted in seven more contacts.

I dropped down to 8-0 m SSB to gain three more contacts before I returned to 40 m SSB. I worked another six stations over the next 15 minutes. I now had 49 in the log – Park qualified.

StonyCkSign

The only sign that I notice – looking a bit run down

I spent a few minutes listening for a SOTA station in the UK, but could not break through to make a contact. So I packed up and started the trip home.

Thanks to all who hunted me today, especially those who I worked on multiple bands and modes.

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Another step in the VKFF Hunter Honour Roll

Over the last few weeks, some activators have been very busy travelling to some of the newer Parks or visiting Parks previously activated that I have missed hunting. On checking the wwff.co website Logsearch facility, I found that I had reached the next step for VKFF Hunter Honour Roll: 1400 references worked.

Thanks to all the Activators for getting out there to activate the Parks. Thanks also to the VKFF admin team.

VK3PF VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 1400

The VKFF Hunter Award Honour Roll 1400 certificate

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The April VK – ZL – JA – EU S2S “party”

6 April 2019

A number of amateurs had been planning for a S2S event on the first Saturday of April: late afternoon for the VK operators and early morning for the Europeans. After waiting to see what the weather would do, I considered activating Mount Tassie.

I got a little tied with some tasks at home before I headed off from home at about 1540 local. I changed my mind and headed to the closest peak, with a shorter travelling time.

Mt Houghly VK3/VT-049  698 m 2 points

The approach track is becoming very crowded, with regrowth encroaching significantly – enough to add more scratches to the surface of the vehicle. I drove up to the shallow saddle close to the saddle, only about a metre below the trig. The area at the trig has lots of blackberries, so I set up close to the western knoll, strapping a 12 m squid pole to a bust to hold up the ZS6BKW doublet. I used a recently purchased 18 Ah LiFePO4 battery and the IC-7300 at around 30 watts, set up on a folding table and a comfortable folding chair.

I was all set up and check the spots on SOTAwatch. I soon had Andrew VK1AD/p on Mount Ginini VK1/AC-008 in the log – the first S2S contact for the day. I moved down the band and soon had Geoff VK3SQ calling, followed by Rik VK3EQ/p on Mount Buller VK3/VE-008.

I called for a few more minutes before changing up to 40 m CW to work Grant VK4JAZ/p on Tennison Wood Mountain VK4/SE-117. I listened around for some other activators without any success. I moved back to 80 m SSB to work Wade VK1MIC/p on Mount MacDonald VK1/AC-048. I then decided to try some more CW and spotted on 80 m. This soon had Ron VK3AFW in the log, followed by at least two callers at the same time at about the same strength. I simply waited until they both finished and sent “?”. Next was Bernard VK2IB/3 on Mount McKay VK3/VE-007, followed by Warren VK3BYD. Further CQ calls yielded no results.

I moved up to listen for JP3DGT on 15 m CW but heard nothing. I then went to 40 m CW to listen for some of the Europeans. I called IW2OBX/p on I/LO-278 without success. He was very weak – 339.

Back to 40 m SSB to work Marija VK5FMAZ/p and Paul VK5PAS/p in Loch Luna Game Reserve VKFF-1723. I listened around trying to hear & work some of the Europeans who were spotted, without success. I saw Wal VK2WP spotted on CW, so spun down and waited for a chance to call him. I soon had him in the log from VK2/CT-007. Next was Bill VK1MCW/2 on Bobbara Mountain VK2/ST-044 on 40 m CW. Next was Sam VK2GPL/p on SSB from Mount Solitary VK2/CT-056, followed by Gerard VK2IO/p on Mount Elliot VK2/HU-093. I moved up to 30 m CW to work John VK6NU/p on Mount Randall VK6/SW-039. I listened around for others spotted before heading back to 40 m to work Mike 2E0YYY/p on Shining Tor G/SP-004: the contact was hard work due to QRM at both ends. I listened to Helen VK7FOLK/p and Jon VK7JON/p on Mount Gnomon VK7/NW-062, but they were weak and I could not be heard by them.

More listening around on 40 m and 20 m with few workable signals heard. I did manage to work Katsu JP3DGT/3 on 20 m CW. I heard a couple of European stations at weak signal strength but could not break through to work them. The last station worked was David VK3IL/p on Mount Winstanley VK3/VE-036 on 40 m SSB – not strong, but in the log. I then spent several more minutes listening and calling weak EU stations, without success. It was getting cold and the sun was low, so I decided to pack up and head off the hill.

Thanks to all who organised and those who participated in the event.

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Two parks near Woodside

Friday 29 March 2019

The weather forecast for Gippsland was looking good until late afternoon on the Friday. At the usual informal gathering at the radio club on Thursday night, I asked Ross VK3NRB if he was interested in another day out playing radio in the field. Ross was willing, so we arranged to meet at my house on Friday morning.

We set off via the local Bakery and then to fuel up the car. We then headed past Loy Yang, Gormandale and on towards Yarram. That was when some frustration started: slow traffic from before Gormandale and over the climb up Powers Hill. Then a long stretch of 40 km/h roadworks, with at least 10 minutes stationary at the traffic control point. Then the three slow cars in front of us also took the turn we needed. Ahh….. One must be patient!

When almost down to Woodside, we turned south into Old Rosedale Road and travelled 4.2 km to the southern edge of the target Park.

Woodside Flora Reserve VKFF-2491

I believe this was a first activation. I had checked out this park on a previous trip in this area and was aware of a track along the southern edge of the reserve. We drove in about 400 m along the track, disturbing a mob of kangaroos as we proceeded. We found a spot close the top of a small sandy rise and parked off the track. Many of the trees had obvious marks on their bark of animals rubbing against them – probably made by deer.

WoodsideFR

View from close to the operating position

I tossed a line over a tree branch and Ross assisted in running out the ZS6BKW antenna. I again set up using the tailgate of the Ranger as the operating table. I spotted myself on ParksnPeaks at 0051Z and started calling on 40 m SSB.

Tony VK7LTD was first in the log and the calls started coming in. Ross went for a walk out of the Reserve with the KX2 and an unshielded dummy load – enough RF was radiated to enable us to make a contact. After about 15 minutes, I changed to 80 m SSB to work Mike VK6MB/3 at Erica – Mike could not hear us on 40 m. After working Mike, it was back to 40 m SSB. We both worked Paul VK5PAS, followed by Ian VK5CZ. Next was Mike VK6MB/3, this time slightly better than on 80 m – strange propagation! I continued calling on 40 m and worked Allen VK3ARH on VK3/VC-032 on SSB and then CW, plus Ian VK5CZ on CW. I made steady progress and soon had 44 in the log, with Steve VK3KTT/VK3MEG in the log on SSB and CW, and Allen VK3HRA on CW. I dropped down the band and worked Gerard VK2IO on CW. I then tried 20 m CW, working Alan VK2MG and John VK4TJ. I had 49 in the log, plus Ross had at least 10 contacts, so we started packing up at around 0230Z. During the activation, I ducked out of the Reserve to work Ross still inside the Reserve, so managed to Hunt the Park on the same day as I activated.

VKFF-2491

Google Earth view from the west

We retraced our route back to Old Rosedale Road and then into Woodside, then north-ish on the South Gippsland Highway. We then turned west into Boundary Road and into the next Park.

Mullungdung Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2406

I have activated this Park previously, but I am not aware of any activations by others. The idea was to get another activation towards a Boomerang Award, plus allow Ross to activate the Park.

We set up just off a track, around 300 m from the southeast corner of the Park. I again used a line tossed over a tree branch and the antenna was strung across the track, with apex at around 10 m up, so we were unlikely to cause any issues should anyone come along the track. As it turned out, we saw nobody whilst there, apart from some trucks travelling along Boundary Road travelling to and from the quarry nearby.

VKFF-2406

Google Earth view from the south east

I spotted myself at 0306Z for 20 m CW – convenient, as that was the setting on the radio when I switched it on. I heard Allen VK3ARH calling – very weak, but I made out the callsign eventually. I responded, but Allen must have been having difficulty hearing me, as we did not complete the contact. I soon had Gerard VK2IO and John VK4TJ in the log. After I called a few times with no responses, I moved up to 20 m SSB. I soon worked Gerard and John again, followed by several others.

I moved down to 80 m SSB and worked Mike VK6MB/3, Allen VK3ARH on SSB & CW, and Ross from outside the Park. Next was up to 40 m CW for Alan VK2MG, Allen VK3HRA and John VK4TJ with his extra callsigns. I moved up to 7.144 MHz and soon had another 12 contacts in the log, including Steve VK3KTT. I dropped down to 80 m again to work Steve on SSB and CW, plus Ken VK3UH on SSB. Back up to 40 m SSB again for another seven contacts to bring the total to 47 for the Park. Ross had his 10 contacts, so we started packing up at around 0440Z.

We headed back out to the South Gippsland Highway and then worked our way back to Churchill, arriving home about an hour after leaving the Park.

It had been another good day out playing radio. Temperatures had been in the high 20s all day, but we had enough breezes for things to be comfortable.

Again, thanks to all who worked us during the day.

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The “Hillbillies” Hamfest and a Park on the way home

Sunday 24 March 2019

The Eastern & Mountain District Radio Club (the “Hillbillies”) annual Hamfest (formerly White Elephant Sale) was coming up. I again had volunteered to man a table to sell WIA merchandise, particularly the Callbook.

The day required an early start from home. Ross VK3NRB arrived before the planned departure time, so we were under way on time. The drive to Heathmont was uneventful. I had a brief stop at one of the Service Centres on Eastlink for a coffee and ran into a couple of amateurs whilst waiting for the coffee to be made. Back onto the toll road and on to Heathmont. Parking at the venue can be tight, but we found a spot in the shade. After unloading the various boxes of books and other stock, we headed up to the venue and started setting up a simple display table.

The morning went reasonably well, with around a dozen Callbooks sold plus some other stock. There was lots of discussion with other amateurs. We had no luck in the door prize or raffle draw, but there were around 300 in attendance, so a small number of prizes means low chances of winning.

After the raffle draw was completed, we packed up and loaded the remaining stock in the car and head back to Eastlink and then south to Wellington Road. We then headed to the east and worked our way around to the target Park.

Upper Beaconsfield Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2219

I had visited this Park back in November 2017, working 15 stations on a very hot week day with poor HF conditions. It was a diversion on a trip to Melbourne for a task long forgotten.

The easiest place to access this Park is using the car park at its northern end, at 65   St Georges Road Beaconsfield Upper. The entire car park is inside the Reserve, so find a spot to park and set up the station within the car park and/or adjacent Reserve beyond the car park fence. The site is located at a reasonable height, with views to the south west towards Port Philip Bay and Mornington Peninsula through the trees.

VKFF-2219

Google Earth of the Park from the NE

I tossed a line over a tree branch and we soon had the ZS6BKW antenna up with the apex at around 7 m. I set up the station using the tailgate of the vehicle as the operating table. I was running the IC-7300 connected to the auxiliary battery in the vehicle, with the IC-7300 set for 30 W most of the time, but occasionally turning up the power to help out callers who were having troubles hearing me.

On switching on, I give a short call on 7.144 MHz and worked Tommy VK2IR. Ivan VK5HS also called me, so he was soon in the log. I was about to spot myself and saw a 10 or 15 minute old spot for Alan VK3ARH/p in Grampians National Park VKFF-0213. I dropped down to the CW end of the band and heard a “?”. Although I did not yet have the paddle plugged in, I used the memory on the radio to send my call and quickly moved to plug in the paddle…. The response came back at high speed & I got VK2 but missed the suffix. I soon had the call and had Tommy VK2IR in the log on CW. A quick call on CW yield no response, so I returned up the band for SSB.

As I was about to start calling, Tony VK3XV/5 popped up to ask if the frequency was in use, so Tony was soon in the log from VKFF-0888. Tony moved up the band and I started calling CQ. Next in the log was Ray VK4NH, followed by a string of callers including John VK5FLEA/p in VKFF-0877 and Allen VK3ARH/p in VKFF-0213. Allen was a tough copy but we made the contact. After a few more calls, I moved down to 7.032 MHz CW and worked John VK4TJ and Alan VK2MG. I moved back up to 7.144 MHz to work three more callers before moving to 80 m SSB when I had no replies to calls. Fifteen minutes on 80 m yielded six calls, including one on CW.

I moved back up to 40 m SSB and saw a spot for Gerard VK2IO/p in VKFF-0272. I waited for a chance to call and soon had Gerard in the log. Next was a surprise – John VK2YW in Wagga Wagga at good strength. The contact was surprising due to the relatively close distance and the lack of other closer in stations worked on 40 m. I then worked Adam VK2YK and then moved to see if I could hear Jon VK7JON from Bay of Fires. John VK2YW was worked Jon but I heard nothing of Jon…. Frustrating! John assisted in attempting to make contact, but no go. Jon did not have an antenna for 80 m, so that possibility was eliminated.

I moved up to 20 m CW and called for several minutes to work only Scott VK4CZ. I moved up the 20 m SSB and worked Peter VK3ZPF, the only other activator of this Park to date, thus giving Peter a Complete for the Park. Peter suggested trying higher bands, and we soon had each other in the log on 15 m and 10 m. Andrew VK3FIX was the last contact before I decided to switch off at around 0440Z, just less than two hours since we switched on. I had 50 contacts in the log.

Ross assisted with the pack up and we were soon on the drive home.

Thanks to all the hunters and the other activators for the contacts. I am sure that I missed several activators during the morning, but had a good afternoon of radio fun.

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Ada Tall Trees Reserve VKFF-2253

Saturday 23 March 2019

Saturday was wet and windy in the morning. I had been considering heading out to support the South Australian National and Conservation Parks Awards anniversary weekend. With the rain, I decided to chase for a while from home, working several stations. Late in the morning I checked the weather forecast and the weather RADAR. It looked like the rain would be clear of my intended target Park by time I arrived on site. I packed the required items into the vehicle and headed off at about 1240 local time.

I drove west to Nilma, then north through Neerim South and worked my way up to the Park via New Turkey Spur Road. Federal Road passes through the Reserve, with around 120 metres of the road inside the reserve boundary. I parked close to the lowest point in the road, roughly in the middle of that section of the Reserve.

AdaTallTrees

Operating site in Ada Tall Trees Reserve. Thanks to Google Earth.

I managed to toss a line over a branch at around 15 m and soon had the ZS6BKW with the centre at almost 14 m high. The rest of the antenna was strung out and the station assembled on the tray at the rear of the vehicle. The major problem with this operating site is that you are well away from major roads AND in a low gully, so there is no mobile phone coverage. I would need to rely on Hunters to spot me.

I switched on and had a quick hunt around on 40 m SSB. I worked John VK5FLEA.p in VKFF-0790, followed by Andy VK5LA/p in VKFF-0372 and Tony VK5MRT/p in VKFF-1767. I settled on 7.135 and soon had more callers.

Further Park to Park contacts included:
Adam VK2YK/p in VKFF-1410,
Gerard VK2IO/p in VKFF-2784,
Alan VK5AR/p in VKFF-0022,
Peter VK5PET/p in VKFF-1767,
Mike VK6MB/3 in VKFF-0764,
Paul VK5PAS/p in VKFF0791,
Tony VK3XV/5 in VKFF0805,
Hans VK4YX/p in VKFF-0890,
David VK5DG/p in VKFF-0793,
Adrian VK5FANA/p in VKFF-0813,
Andrew VK5MR/p in VKFF-0935,
Angela VK7FAMP/p and Tony VK7LTD/p in VKFF-1147,
Lesley VK5LOL/p in VKFF-0890, and
Jon VK7JON/p and Helen VK7FOLK/p in VKFF-1152.

I also worked Matt VA3OZI/VK2 on VK2/IL-002.

I moved down to 80 m SSB to work a couple of locals plus Steve VK7CW on CW before returning to 40 m for only one more contact. In just over two hours I  had managed to make 53 contacts, so the Park was now well qualified.

I packed up and headed back to Neerim South. I decided against a second activation as I was feeling a little weary and tomorrow required an early start, so simply headed for home.

A good fun afternoon of Park radio activity. Thanks to all who worked me during the activation.

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