WWFF Activator 209 certificate

Today I received my latest activator certificate for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  It is issued for having activated 209 different WWFF reference areas and having made 44 QSOs’ during those activations.

Looking at WWFF Logsearch (as of 21st June 2018) I have activated a total of 236 parks, but I have fallen short of achieving the required 44 QSOs for the ‘global’ WWFF program in some of those.  So my current total is 211 parks where 44 QSOs were obtained.

Thankyou to all of the WWFF hunters and thankyou to Friedrich DL4BBH the awards manager.

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A week of VI50IARU3

Between Monday 11th June 2018 and Sunday 17th June 2018 I had the privilege of operating as VI50IARU3.  This is a special call to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Region 3 of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).

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During my time with the call I operated from home and also activated one summit for Summits on the Air (SOTA), and four parks for World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF).  Unfortunately work got in the way on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

I ended up making a total of 631 contacts on 10m SSB, 15m SSB, 20m SSB, 40m SSB, 80m SSB, & 2m FM.  I found band conditions pretty tough at times, particularly with the DX.  I only had the one real opening to Europe on the long path on 20m.  I did not work any Japanese or Asian stations on 15m which is very unfamiliar.  Propagation just wasn’t there.

But despite the average conditions I did work a total of 26 different DXCC entities:

  • Alaska – 1
  • Asiatic Russia – 1
  • Australia – 531
  • Belgium – 2
  • Canada – 1
  • Croatia – 2
  • Czech Republic – 1
  • Dominican Republic – 1
  • European Russia – 1
  • Germany – 2
  • France – 9
  • Greece – 2
  • Hawaii -1
  • Indonesia – 6
  • Italy – 5
  • Japan – 6
  • Netherlands – 1
  • New Zealand – 27
  • Poland – 1
  • Portugal – 1
  • Romania – 1
  • Serbia – 1
  • Spain – 2
  • Switzerland – 1
  • Ukraine – 1
  • USA -23

The map below shows my contacts around the globe using VI50IARU3.  I worked 16 of the 40 CQ Zones, and 13 IOTA entities.

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I worked 14 of the 50 US States.  This was a mixture of contacts on 40m SSB & 20m SSB.

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Most of my contacts were around Australia, with New Zealand in 2nd place.  I also worked a few stations in Indonesia.

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On Tuesday I had a short opening on the long path on 20m into Europe.

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I think the most interesting call logged was HI8RD in the Dominican Republic on the 40m band.

I had a great time with the call and would like to thank Fred VK3DAC for giving me the opportunity of using the call.  I would also like to thank everyone who called me.

Don’t forget….there is a special QSL card available (downloadable only) and also a special Award on offer.  Details can be found by clicking on the link on the VI50IARU3 QRZ.com page.

Monarto Conservation Park VKFF-0828

After leaving Mount Lofty we headed east to the Monarto Conservation Park VKFF-0828 hoping to log some more stations using the special VI50IARU3 call sign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of region 3 of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).

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As we drove east we could see blue sky which was very promising.  Sadly that didn’t last for long and we soon had a huge downpour of rain.  It wasn’t looking good to be sitting out in the park.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Monarto Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Once we got to Monarto the weather had started to clear somewhat, but not enough for me to sit outside of the vehicle.  We set up the 20/40/80 m linked dipole and operating from the comfort of the Toyota Hi Lux.

Our operating location was our normal spot in the carpark off the Ferries McDonald Road.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the Monarto Conservation Park showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

We started off the activation on the 40m band.  First in the log was Bill VK4FW/p who was activating the King Conservation Park VKFF-1572.  After logging Bill we moved down the band to 7.130 and I called CQ.  Andrew VK2UH had followed me down and was logged with a strong 5/9 signal.  Next up was Peter VK3PF, followed by Ray VK3NBL, and then Brett VK2VW.

I logged 40 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 VK7 and VK8.  This included another Park to Park, this time with Nik VK3NLK/2 in the Murray Valley National Park VKFF-1178.

I then moved to the 20m band and called CQ on 14.310.  Greg VK4VXX/8 had followed me up from 40m, and was first in the log.  Next was Snow VK4FE.  But despite a number of further CQ calls I had no further takers on that band.

So to finish off the activation I called CQ on 3.610 on the 80m band.  I logged 13 calls on that band from VK2, VK3, & VK5.

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I ended up with a total of 55 stations in the log for the activation.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4FW/p (King Conservation Park VKFF-1572)
  2. VK2UH
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK3NBL
  5. VK2VW
  6. VK2IO/m
  7. VK2KEL
  8. VK4NH
  9. VK4DXA
  10. ZL4TY/VK4
  11. VK3NLK/2 (Murray Valley National Park VKFF-1178)
  12. VK2NP
  13. VK4SMA
  14. VK4VXX?8
  15. VK3MDH/m
  16. VK3ZPF
  17. VK5KLV
  18. VK3FMKE
  19. Vk2HPN/m
  20. VK7RN
  21. VK5FMWW
  22. VK4WJW
  23. VK3ANL
  24. VK2KMI
  25. VK3SQ
  26. VK5TRM
  27. VK5FANA
  28. VK3FSPG
  29. VK3MPR
  30. VK3GGG/p
  31. VK3PMG/p
  32. VK4SOE/p
  33. VK4FW/m
  34. VK4TJ
  35. VK2ABN
  36. VK3ARH/m
  37. VK5TS
  38. VK3VAR
  39. VK7FRUS
  40. VK3VGB

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4VXX/8
  2. VK4ME

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK5GJ
  4. VK3GGG/p
  5. VK3PMG/p
  6. VK5FMLO
  7. VK5KC/m
  8. VK3FMKE
  9. VK5MRT
  10. VK3PDG/p
  11. VK2NP
  12. VK3DET
  13. VK3PF

Mount Lofty VK5/ SE-005 as VI50IARU

On Sunday 17th June 2018 I activated Mount Lofty summit VK5/ SE-005 using the special VI50IARU3 call sign.  This was an impromptu activation.  I had wanted to get out to do something portable that day, but the weather was miserable.  However by 1.00 p.m. there was some blue sky appearing, so Marija and I packed the 4WD and headed for Mount Lofty, which is also located within the Cleland Conservation Park 5CP-042 & VKFF-0778.

We decided to try to activate the summit on 2m FM using my little handheld, Yaeu VX-6R.  Along the way we telephoned John VK5BJE who kindly placed a post on the Facebook page of the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society.  Many thanks John.

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We were all set up and ready to go on the summit by around 1.30 p.m.  First in the log was Marija VK5FMAZ who had remained in the car as it was too cold and windy for her initially.  It was then fitting that I was able to log John VK5BJE at nearby Scott Creek.  Arno VK5ZAR followed and he had a very strong signal.  Next was John VK5OI in the southern suburbs, followed by Steve VK5SFA (very strong), and Kym VK5FKYM in the southern suburbs.

But that was the extent of calls sadly.  I thought more people may have called, but perhaps they couldnt hear me.

Marija and I were hoping to activate the summit on HF as well, but just when we thought the weather had cleared, the heavens opened up and it started raining again.  Plan B.  Head to the Monarto Conservation Park on the other side of the Mount Lofty Ranges, where it may be a little clearer.

I worked the following stations on 2m FM:-

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Mount George Conservation Park 5CP-147 and VKFF-0784

On Wednesday evening (13th June 2018) I headed to the Mount George Conservation Park 5CP-147 & VKFF-0784 for an evening activation using the special call of VI50IARU3.

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The Mount George Conservation Park is located just a short drive down the South Eastern Freeway from my home.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Mount George Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I have activated this park many times previously for both the WWFF program and the VK5 Parks Award.

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Above:- Aerial view showing the Mount George Conservation Park, looking back towards Adelaide.  Image courtesy of google maps.

I set up in my normal operating spot, in the picnic ground at the end of Mount George Road.

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Above:- Map of the park showing my operating spot.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

It was quite a miserable night weather wise and I had to retreat to the vehicle on a number of occasions.  I kicked off the activation on 3.620 on the 80m band.  First in the log was John VK4TJ with a strong 5/8 signal, followed by Tony VK5TT and then Ivan VK5HS.  Despite there being strong static crashes on the band, I had a steady flow of callers and ended up logging a total of 22 stations on 80m in 35 minutes, from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, VK7 and VK8.  It was great to speak with Owen ZL2OPB/VK5 who has just moved to South Australia.  And also Wayne VK6JR/8 who was about 100 km west of Alice Springs.

I then headed to 7130 hoping to check into the 7130 DX Net, but it had already closed due to poor band conditions.  But I did log my good wife Marija VK5FMAZ.  Unfortunately I soon started to experience Indonesian interference, so I moved up the band to 7.180 where I logged 7 stations from VK3, VK4 & New Zealand.

I then moved back to 80m and called CQ on 3.615 logging a total of 5 stations from VK3 and VK6.  But callers dried up, so I tuned across the band and booked into the North East Victoria ARC Net where I logged 6 stations.  I then tuned across the band and found another group on 3.600 including Mark VK2PH.  I logged 5 stations on that frequency, before deciding it was just too wet and windy to continue the activation.

It was time to pack up and head back home to the warmth and out of my wet clothes.  I had a total of 46 contacts in the log and had hopefully given some more people the opportunity of logging the special call of VI50IARU3.

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK4TJ
  2. VK5TT
  3. VK5HS
  4. VK3UCD
  5. VK5PL
  6. VK3HJ
  7. VK2NP
  8. VK3JL
  9. VK3ZPF
  10. VK5KLV
  11. VK5NM
  12. VK3PF
  13. VK3VVC
  14. VK3LCB
  15. VK5YX
  16. VK6JR/8
  17. ZL2OPB/VK5
  18. VK6POP
  19. VK5FMAZ
  20. VK6DW
  21. VK3GYH
  22. VK7ROY

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5FMAZ
  2. ZL1TM
  3. VK4NH
  4. VK4FDJL
  5. VK3ZPF
  6. VK3GGG
  7. VK3PMG
  8. VK3TKK/m
  9. VK3ARH
  10. VK3GGG
  11. VK3PMG
  12. VK3FSTU
  13. VK6HRC
  14. VK3ANE
  15. VK3CM
  16. VK3MXT
  17. VK3BPH
  18. VK2MOP
  19. VK3AHR’VK2PH
  20. VK5VST
  21. VK5NJ
  22. VK3FMKE
  23. VK3KWB

 

 

 

Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park 5CP-085 and VKFF-0888

We left Bool Lagoon and drove about 10 km to Bournes Bird Museum, which contains an amazing collection of around 600 birds.  The bird specimens are generally from road kills or birds that have flown into power lines.  Marija and I met with Marion, the owner of the property.  She had kindly opened up the museum for us and explained in detail the history of the museum and her father Jack Bourne’s passion.  Not only are there birds, but there are reptiles, mammals, and a bird egg collection.  We highly recommend a visit here.

Marija and I then headed to the Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park 5CP-085 & VKFF-0888 for a quick activation, as the weather was turning nasty.  The park is about 25 km south of the town of Narracoorte, and 359 km south east of Adelaide.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park is 202 hectares in size and was proclaimed as a Fauna Reserve on 8th June 1967.  Further land was added on the 27th April 1972 and the area was proclaimed as the Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park.  Additional land was again added on 4th November 1993.

In 1985, the area covered by both the conservation park and the adjoining Bool Lagoon Game Reserve was added under the name “Bool and Hacks Lagoons” to the List of Wetlands of International Importance maintained by the Ramsar Convention.

Birds SA have recorded a total of 111 native birds at the park including Pacific Black Duck, Australian White Ibis, Swamp Harrier, Superb Fairywren, Australian Magpie, Willie Wagtail, Buff-banded Rail, Spotted Harrier, Red Wattlebird, Southern Emuwren, Striated Fieldwren, and Restless Flycatcher.

Some of the birds we observed are shown below

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We drove back into the park via Bool Lagoon and soon reached the park, which is located to the northeast of Bool Lagoon.  The park is well signposted.

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There is a niced lawned area here with picnic tables which would have made an ideal operating spot on a sunny day.  But we had very average weather and pulled up the Toyota Hi Lux close to one of the benches, to provide a bit of a windbreak.

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Above:- Map of the park showing our operating spot.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer

I started off the activation, and again used the special call of VI50IARU3.  I called CQ on 7.144 and this was answered by Geoff VK3SQ, followed by Brenton VK3YB, and then Eric VK7EV.  Band conditions were quite good and it didn’t take long for a little pile up to commence.  I logged a total of 23 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 and Vk7, before the weather closed in and it started to rain.  But more concerning was the thunder and lighting.  It was a quick retreat to the vehicle and a break in operating until the weather had cleared.

During our activation we had some interested onlookers.

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Once the weather had cleared, Marija and I set up again and removed the links for the dipole, and headed to 14.310 on the 20m band.  First in the log there was Gerard VK2IO/p in the Queens Lake State Conservation Area VKFF-1771.  I logged a further 6 stations from VK2, VK3 and VK4, until callers dried up.

So I headed to the ANZA DX Net on 14.182 and checked in.  I worked 11 stations on the net from VK1, VK2, VK4, VK8 and New Zealand.

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I now had 41 contacts in the log and was just 3 short of qualifying the park for the global WWFF program.  Marija and I again lowered the squid pole and inserted the links so we could operate on the 80m band.

Marija called CQ on 3.610 and this was answered by Adrian VK5FANA with a very strong signal.  Within 10 minutes Marija had her 10th contact in the log, qualifying the park for VKFF.  Contact number 10 was with Geoff VK3SQ.

I then put out some CQ calls on 80m and it wasn’t long before I had contact number 44 in the log, with a QSO with John VK5BJE.

Marija and I had 59 contacts in the log between the two of us and it was time to pack up and hit the road, as we still had a substantial drive home ahead of us.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3YB
  3. VK7EV
  4. VK3ZPF
  5. Vk2RP/m
  6. VK2BDR/m
  7. VK2VW
  8. VK5IS
  9. VK2JNG/p
  10. VK2KJJ
  11. VK5KLV
  12. VK5VC
  13. VK4TJ
  14. VK3AWG
  15. VK3PF
  16. VK7FRJG
  17. VK7RM
  18. VK2PKT
  19. VK4FDJL
  20. VK4FARR
  21. VK2AHF
  22. VK7FMAC
  23. VK2QK

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Queens Lake State Conservation Area VKFF-1771)
  2. VK2LEE
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK4ME
  5. VK2NP
  6. VK2HPN
  7. VK4FE
  8. ZL2GLG
  9. VK2RI
  10. VK4NBP
  11. VK4LMB
  12. VK1TX
  13. VK2HOT
  14. VK4XCS
  15. VK8KMD
  16. VK7XX
  17. ZL4QJ
  18. VK4SWE

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5VC
  3. VK5BJE
  4. VK3PF
  5. VK3SQ
  6. VK3GGG
  7. VK3PMG
  8. VK3UCD

On the way home we stopped off at one of our favourite hotels, the Riverside Hotel at Tailem Bend, and enjoyed a great meal (as always).

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References.

Birds SA, 2018, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/hacks-lagoon-conservation-park/>, viewed 19th June 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacks_Lagoon_Conservation_Park>, viewed 19th June 2018