My final park for Friday 6th June 2014 was the Mount Scott Conservation Park, which is located about 22 km east of Kingston in the South East of South Australia. The park was constituted in 1972 and covers an area of about 1,238 hectares.
The park is located on part of the South East relict beach dunes which run north west and south east. These ranges are generally less than 30 metres in height and are roughly parallel to the present coastline.
A variety of different native animals can be found in the park including the Red necked wallaby, Western Grey kangaroo, Silky mouse, and Common Wombat. Numerous bird species are also located within the park including the endangered Mallee Fowl.
The park and the nearby small summit of Mount Scott are named after John and Charles Scott, pioneers of South Australia. The summit is located just to the east of the park and is just 67 metres ASL. So it is a long way from qualifying for the Summits on the Air program.
I accessed the park via Mount Scott Road, a dirt road off the Desert Camp – Kingston Road.
Reedy Creek abuts the south western boundary of the park. Where the road crosses the Reedy Creek you can view the remains of a 90 feet long bridge that was built in the 1850’s to span the Reedy Creek. The bridge served as the main outlet for heavily laden bullock wagons between the Tatiara district and Port Caroline at Kingston between 1856 and 1910. The remaining logs are approximately 160 years old. There is a plaque at this location.
I set up in a little cleared area off Mount Scott Road, and erected the 40m/20m linked dipole supported by the 7 m squid pole. Again I used the Yaesu FT-450, and 40 watts. The transceiver was powered by my 44 amp hour power pack.
My first contact was with Matt VK1MA who had a very strong 5/9 plus signal. This was followed by active park hunter Brian VK5FMID, and then Stan VK3BNJ who had become a regular in my log during the day.
I worked three VK4s during this activation which was very pleasing. My first Queensland contact was with Owen VK4FADW who was 5/5 and gave me a 5/7-8 signal report. Next up was Bruce VK4MQ who was running a Codan transceiver and just 20 watts (5/7 both ways). And the third contact was with Glenn VK4FSCC (5/5 sent and 5/7 received).
I also had two QRP contacts. The first was with Greg VK5GJ using his home brew QRP transceiver and next was Peter VK3PF.
The noise floor within the park was non existent. The only annoyance on the 40m band was the Over the Horizon Radar (OTHR) which was quite strong. There are lots of anecdotal stories of where the OTHR originates from, but I would love to truly know one day.
After operating in the park for about 40 minutes I had a total of 20 QSOs in the log. The sun was setting and I still had a good drive to get to Mount Gambier. I also wanted to avoid as many kangaroos as possible.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:
Matt VK1MA; Brian VK5FMID; Stan VK3BNJ’ Col VK5HCF; Scott VK7NWT; Owen VK4FADW; Max VK3MCX; Greg VK5GJ; Nev VK5GW; Nigel VK5NIG; Bruce VK4MQ; Arno VK5ZAR; Glenn VK4FSCC; Allen VK5FD; Greg VK5ZGY; Ike VK3CVD; Michael VK3HAU; Ron VK5VH; Ray VK3NBL; and Peter VK3PF.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources South Australia, ‘Small Inland Parks of the South East Management Plan’, 1994.
Cockburn, R, ‘South Australia. What’s in a name?’, 2002.