Yesterday (Saturday 6th December, 2014) I headed to the Swan Reach Conservation Park (CP), which is located about 167 km north east of Adelaide, and about 10 km west of the town of Swan Reach.
Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
The park covers an area of about 2,017 hectares and encompasses an area of gently undulating country. It consists of typical mallee vegetation. The park is home to a large variety of birdlife including Wedge tailed Eagle, Purple-crowned Lorikett, Mallee Ringneck, Australian Owlet-nightjar, and Singing Honeyeater. A large number of native mammals can also be found including the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat, Western Grey Kangaroos, and Red Kangaroos. A large number of native reptiles are also found here including Central Bearded Dragons and Gould’s Goannas. I did not see any wombats but certainly saw quite a few kangaroos.
I last activated the Swan Reach CP on the 11th May 2013. Please have a look at my previous post for information on that activation…..
I turned right onto a dirt road, off the Sedan-Swan Reach Road, and travelled south. After travelling south for a km or so, I then found a small track running off to the east, and drove down the track until I found a small clearing, where I set up my gear. Again for this activation, I used my Yaesu FT-450, 40 watts, and a 40m/20m linked dipole, supported on a 7m squid pole.
Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
My CQ call was responded to by Stuart VK5STU with a strong 5/9 signal from the north eastern suburbs of Adelaide. This was followed by Arno VK5ZAR and then Steve VK3SRB mobile at Mitcham in Melbourne. Steve had a terrific 5/9 signal from his mobile.
I had a few good QRP contacts whilst in the park. The first was with Ian VK3VIN who was running his little Argonaut transceiver on just 3 watts. Ian was a good 5/7 signal. We tried out ‘how low can we go?’. Ian dropped his power down to just 1 watt and I was able to receive his signal 5/5, without any problems. I lowered my power down from 40 watts where I was 5/9, to 10 watts and received a 5/8 signal report. I then lowered the power output down to 5 watts and received a 5/6-7 signal report from Ian.
I then worked Greg VK5GJ in Meadows, in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges. Greg was running just 5 watts and was 5/5. And my last QRP contact was with Peter VK5NAQ, who despite running just 5 watts, was 5/9 plus to Swan Reach. Peter always has a terrific signal.
After an hour in the park, I had a total of 17 contacts in the log from VK2, VK3, & VK5.
The following stations were worked:-
- Stuart VK5STU
- Arno VK5ZAR
- Steve VK3SRB/m
- Ian VK5KKT
- Ian VK3VIN
- Peter VK3PF
- Steve VK3FSWB
- Col VK5FCDL
- Mike VK3ZMD
- Andy VK2FBAC
- Nev VK5WG
- Barry VK3MBW
- Ron VK5VH
- Greg VK5GJ
- John VK5FTCT
- Peter VK5NAQ
- Bruce VK2FBJM
National Parks and Wildlife Service, 1983, ‘Conservation Parks of the Murraylands (western Plains) Management Plans