This afternoon I travelled to the Mount Magnificent Conservation Park (CP), which is about 8km north east of the town of Mount Compass, on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula, about 58 km south of Adelaide. This is a veery scenic drive from my home qth at Mount Barker, through the towns of Echunga, Meadows, and then on to Prospect Hill.
Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
I last activated this park in July, 2013, so today’s activation was another 1 point for me for the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award. Here is a link to a post re my previous activation…..
Mount Magnificent CP was established in 1972, and is about 90 hectares in size. It protects a small area of remnant bushland. The major feature of the park is the 380 metre high Mount Magnificent, which sadly does not qualify for the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program), as it does not have the required ‘prominence’. Despite this, there are excellent views from the top. The famous Heysen trail passes through this park and links the nearby Finnis Conservation Park and the Kyeema Conservation Park to the north west.
The park is full of a variety of native wildlfie, including Western Grey kangaroos. And there were plenty of these to be seen.
I set up on the eastern side of the park, on the western side of Mount Magnificent Road. I was not all that far from the south eastern corner of the park. Part of the fenceline here had collapsed from the weight of falling branches from the gum trees, so access to the park was very easy. I set up my fold up table and deck chair, about 5 metres in from the boundary fence.
Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
Prior to calling CQ I had a quick tune around the 40m band and I found Paul VK1ATP portable on SOTA peak Mount Majura, VK1/ AC-034, calling CQ on his own on 7.090 (5/7 both ways). That was a nice way to start the activation for me.
I then went up to 7.095 and starting calling CQ and this was immediately responded to by Arno VK5ZAR, and then Les VK5KLV in Port Augusta. Les is becoming a real regular park hunter now, which is great to see. I was then called by Stuart VK5STU who was portable in the Sandy Creek Conservation Park. Stuart had a very strong 5/9 signal, and it was great to be able to get a ‘park to park’ contact. Mick VK3FAFK from Stawell then called in and he was kind enough to place me on the parksnpeaks site.
A few QSOs later I was called by Andrew VK1NAM/3 who was portable on Arthurs Seat, VK3/ VC-031. And then a little further down the log I was called by John VK5BJE who was portable in the Greater Bendigo National Park, which qualifies for the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award (KRMNPA) and also qualifies for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program. Greater Bendigo NP is VKFF-623.
After working a total of 22 stations on 40m SSB, I lowered the squid pole and removed the links and headed up to 20m. I called CQ on 14.205 and this was answered by Jeremy VK4EVE, with a strong 5/9 signal. Sadly, a Japanese station moved in on 14.206 and that was the end of that. I tuned across the band and found Juha EA8/OH1LEG who was calling CQ. I gave Juha a call, and to my surprise, he responded. I only received a 5/3 signal report from Juha, but I was very pleased that I was able to make it to the Canary Islands. I kept tuning across the band and then worked Lauro IK4GRO (5/8 sent and 5/5 received).
I headed back to 40m and tuned across the band and found W1AW/KH6 calling CQ on 7.183. He was not busy so I gave him a call. After a number of attempts with my call sign, we made a valid contact. The SOTA Goat app on my iphone bleated and I saw that there was a spot for Andrew VK3JBL/6. SO I headed back up to 20m, and although it was a bit of a struggle, I was able to make contact with Andrew (3/4 sent due to the static crashed and 4/5 received). I haven’t worked that many VK6 summits, so I was very pleased to make contact with Andrew.
I went on to work Orlando, EA8CCQ, in the Canary Islands. orlando was using a rotary dipole, and we were able to have a comfortable QSO (5/9 sent and 5/5 received).
It was starting to get a bit cool and the local time was just after 7.00 p.m. so I decided to pack up and head home. As it was, it was a very slow drive, as the roads were covered in kangaroos.
After 2 hours in the park I had a total of 28 QSO’s in the log.
The following stations were worked:-
- Paul VK1ATP/p (SOTA)
- Arno VK5ZAR
- Les VK5KLV
- Stuart VK5STU/p (park to park)
- Mick VK3FAFK
- Nev VK5WG
- Peter VK3TKK
- Andrew VK1NAM/3 (SOTA)
- Matt VK1MA
- Hans VK5YX
- Tom VK5EE
- Nick VK3ANL
- Andrew VK3ARR
- Grant VK2LX
- Brian VK5FMID
- John VK5DJ
- John VK5BKE/3 (KRMNPA & WWFF)
- Robin VK5TN
- John VK5FTCT
- Peter VK5NAQ
- Richard VK5ZRY
- David VK5HYZ
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
- Jeremy VK4EVE
- Juha EA8/OH1LEG
- Lauro IK4GRO
- VK3JBL/6 (SOTA)
- Orlando EA8CCQ
Department of Water, Environment and Natural Resources, ‘Parks of the Fleurieu Peninusla’, 2011.
Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Magnificent_Conservation_Park>viewed 21st Dec 2014