On Sunday 13th April, 2014, I headed over to the Belair National Park for the PR4Amateur Radio expo. Myself and 5 other trusty volunteers from the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society (AHARS) had organised a small display at the National Park.
I arrived at the park at about 9.00 a.m. and started setting up on Gums Oval 1, which is just inside the main gates off Upper Sturt Road. I put up my 40m/20m linked dipole, supported on a 7 metre squid pole.
I was joined by Paul VK5PH whilst I was setting up. Paul had brought along his trailer with a 10 metre pump up mast. Shortly after we were joined by Roy VK5NRG, David VK5AAH, Kim VK5FJ, and Tony VK5KAT.
Our first contact for the day was with Peter VK3ZPF who was portable on SOTA peak, VK3/ VC-029. This was followed by a contact with Andrew VK1NAM/2 who was portable on SOTA peak Mount Cowangerong, VK2/ ST-001.
We then propped on 7.105 and put a few CQ calls out. First taker was Ian VK5CZ who was running QRP 7 watts. Ian had a beautiful strong 5/9 signal coming in from the Clare Valley. Peter VK3YE then called in who was pedestrian mobile on Chelsae Beach, running QRP 5 watts and using an end fed antenna.
Contact was also made with Andrew VK1DA on SOTA peak Mount Majura, VK1/ AC-034, Erwin VK3ERW on SOTA peak Huon Hill VK3/ VE-237, and Andrew VK3ASC portable on SOTA peak Mount Jack Range, VK3/ VE-090.
We also managed some park to park contacts for the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award. Those contacts were with Larry VK5LY who was portable in the Telowie Gorge Conservation Park, and Gordon VK5GY who was portable in Kyeema Conservation Park.
We made contact with VK3ER who was also portable for PR4Amateur Radio.
I then decided to head over to 20 metres and try my luck. Our first DX contact was with OL4A in the Slovak Republic, and this was followed by a contact with Vlad 4Z5IW in Israel. I then chose a clear frequency on 14.302 and started calling CQ DX and was called by Hans VK5YX. This was followed by Peter VK2EVB who was pedestrian mobile at Coffs Harbour. A pile up into Europe then followed after being spotted on the DX cluster.
Sadly we did not have many members of the public visit us. Unfortunately DEWNR were not prepared to hand out our promotional amateur radio brocuhures, which really limited our exposure. Their rationale was that it was ‘advertising’. However we did have about half a dozen visitors that were amateurs who were not active who wanted to see our operation.