Mark Oliphant Conservation Park

After the Scott Creek Conservation park, I travelled to the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, which is located about 14 km south east of Adelaide in the Heathfield/Ironbank area of the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills.

Screenshot 2014-11-12 09.20.21

Map courtesy of mapcarta.com

I last activated this park in July 2013.  For information on my prior activation and information on the park, please see my precious post at…..

https://vk5pas.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/mark-oliphant-conservation-park/

This park was originally known as the Loftia Recreation Park.  It was renamed in honour of former state Governor Sir Mark Oliphant’s contribution to conservation, and to reflect the conservation status of the land.  It contains a small remnant parcel of high quality forest that is characteristic of the native vegetation of the higher rainfall areas of the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.  The park is about 178 hectares in size.

I have fond memories of this park.  A number of years ago I worked at Stirling for many years, and we often would hold our annual Christmas show here in the park.  A section of the park was leased as a recreation area.  There was a beautiful oval, BBQ facilities, tennis courts, and a kiosk.  However, this no longer appears to be the case.

Sir_Mark_Oliphant

photo courtesy of wikipedia

For my last activation I set up off one of the walking tracks off Evans Drive.  This time I set up off Scott Creek Road in the old Recreation area.  Sadly, this area appears to have gone to rack and ruins.  The former oval is no more and the area was quite run down.

Screenshot 2014-11-12 09.20.06

Map courtesy of mapcarta.com 

My first taker on 40m was Greg VK5GJ, again operating QRP 5 watts with his home brew transceiver.  This was followed by Peter VK3YE who was operating portable from Chelsea Beach with a 1/4 wave vertical antenna.  I again had a number of QRP callers including Les VK5KLV/p at Blanche Harbour with 5 watts, Nick VK3ANL/p running 5 watts, Peter VK3TKK also running 5 watts, Reuben VK7FREU/p running 5 watts, Peter VK3PF running just 1 watt, and Amanda VK3FQSO on just 1/2 watt (5/7-9 QSB).  The strongest caller of the day was Peter VK5NAQ from the Mid North of South Australia with a 30/9 signal.

There was quite a bit of QRM on the frequency with some very strong signals coming in from Europe.  It was noticeable that the noise level on 40m was much lower than normal.  It was extremely quiet.  That combined with the non existant man made noise floor from the park, made conditions on 40m: EXCELLENT.

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After operating on 40m ssb for about an hour and ssecuring 26 contacts in the log, I ventured over to 20m and put out a number of CQ calls.  However, my only taker was Adam VK2YK.  I tuned across the 20m band but there were not too many strong European signals.  And those that I did hear calling, were calling CQ contest for the JIDX contest.  So I decided to pack up and head home for my roast lamb.  I had a total of 27 contacts in the log from VK2, VK3, VK5, & VK7.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. Greg VK5GJ/qrp
  2. Peter VK3YE/p/qrp
  3. Peter VK5KPR
  4. Andrew VK3ARR
  5. Brian VK5FMID
  6. Rod VK5VRB
  7. Les VK5KLV/p/qrp
  8. Nick VK3ANL/p/qrp
  9. Peter VK3TKK/qrp
  10. Nev VK5WG
  11. Allen VK3HRA
  12. Reuben VK7FREU/p
  13. Justin VK7TW/p
  14. Tony VK3AJW
  15. Peter VK3PF/qrp
  16. Grant VK2LX
  17. Amanda VK3FQSO
  18. Chuck VK2SS/p
  19. Ian VK3VIN
  20. Shaun VK5FAKV
  21. Matt VK3FORD
  22. Phil VK3BHR
  23. Paul VK7CC
  24. Andrew VK2UH
  25. Peter VK5NAQ
  26. Adam VK2YK

The following station was worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. Adam VK2YK

 

References

National Parks South Australia, 2014, <http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_Park/Browse_by_region/Adelaide_Hills/Mark_Oliphant_Conservation_Park&gt;, viewed 12th November 2014

Scott Creek Conservation Park

Last Sunday (9th November, 2014) I headed out to the Scott Creek Conservation Park (CP), which is situated about 30 km south of Adelaide.

Screenshot 2014-11-12 08.32.22

map courtesy of mapcarta.com

I last activated this park in September, 2013.  For full details on that activation and lots of information on the park, please have a look at my previous post.  The park has a very interesting history, and my previous post is well worth a read….

https://vk5pas.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/scott-creek-conservation-park/

The last time I activated the park, I operated from the old Almanda silver mining area.  This time, I headed to the high part of the park, off Mount Bold Road.  This is a beautiful drive through this area, with the thick scrub of Mount Bold Reservoir on one side of the road, and the Scot Creek CP on the other side.  I parked the car at one of the entry gates, and walked about 30 metres down Cup Gum Track and set up my fold up table and deck chair under the shade of some large gum trees.

Screenshot 2014-11-12 08.33.50

map courtesy of mapcarta.com

I set up the linked dipole for 40m and tuned to my promised frequency of 7.095.  However, this was in use, so I slipped down to 7.090 and started calling CQ.  I was almost immediately greeted by Amanda VK3FQSO with a beautiful 5/9 signal.  This was followed by Peter VK3PF who was runnign QRP, with just 1 watt.  Peter was a good 5/5 signal and was easily readible with the non existent man made noise floor within the park.

A number of other stations called me using QRP during this activation.  They included Les VK5KLV who was portable at Blanche Harbour near Port Augusta.  Les was running his Yaesu FT-817, 5 watts and a linked dipole, and had a very nice 5/9 signal.  Regular QRP park hunter, Greg also called in, using just 5 watts from his home brew transceiver, with a good 5/8 signal.  Andrew VK3ARR running QRP 5 watts also called me, with a good 5/8 signal.  And then Nick VK3ANL, also running QRP 5 watts, from the backyard of his house, doing some antenna experimentations.

I was also fortunate to get one park to park contact during this activation, with Gordon VK5GY, who was operating from the Bullock Hill Conservation Park on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

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After working 20 stations on 40m in VK2, VK3, and VK5, I qsy’d to 20m and put out some CQ calls on 14.310 mhz on 20m.  My first caller was Manuel CU3BL in the Azores Islands.  Manuel was an excellent 5/9 signal and I received a 5/7 from him with my 40 watts.  My only other caller on 20m was Dave VK6SG operating from a Mens shed in Western Australia.

So, after just a little over an hour in the park I had a total of 22 contacts in the log.  It was time to head off to the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, just a short distance away.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. Amanda VK3FQSO
  2. Peter VK3PF/qrp
  3. Nev VK5WG
  4. Les VK5KLV/p/qrp
  5. Gordon VK5GY/p (Bullock Hill CP)
  6. Greg VK5LG
  7. Phil VK3BHR
  8. Greg VK5GJ/qrp
  9. Peter VK5KPR
  10. Andrew VK3ARR/qrp
  11. Brian VK5FMID
  12. Tom VK5FTRG
  13. Stuart VK5STU
  14. Nick VK3ANL/qrp
  15. Chris VK2SR
  16. Kevin VK3VEK
  17. Steve VK3VM
  18. Peter VK3TKK
  19. Peter VK2NEO
  20. Ivan VK5HS

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. Manuel CU3BL
  2. Dave VK6SG