“Out and about in VK5”

In November, 2014, I commenced a newsletter called ‘Out and about in VK5’.  The newsletter is released at the end of each month, and is related to amateur radio activity in South Australia (VK5), centred around the following:-

  • Summits on the Air (SOTA)
  • VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award
  • World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program
  • portable oepration
  • QRP
  • pedestrian mobile.

Screenshot 2015-01-12 22.35.58


I welcome any news and photographs relating to the subject material.  Without your constributions, the newsletter will not survive.

I have an email list and distribute the newsletter to those amateurs interested.  If you would like to go on the mailing list, please drop me an email at….


Or alternatively, I upload the newsletter to the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Scoiety (AHARS) website at….


And it can also be found on the VK5 Parks award website at…..


See below, the first 3 Issues…..

Out and About Issue 3 Out and About Issue 2 Out and about in VK5 Issue 1

Out and About Issue 2

Out and About Issue 3

Chasing European activators


I am on holidays at the moment, which means I can stay up a little bit later when I choose to.  And I did that over the weekend, working a few European SOTA activators on both the long path and the short path.

On Saturday evening (10th January 2015) I spoke with Pablo EA1QL, on 20m on the long path.  Pablo was on the top of SOTA summit, Monxagre, EA1/ AT-204.  Pablo was kind enough to send me an email with some photos from the activation (see below).

The Monxagre summit is 662 metres ASL and is worth 2 SOTA points.  It is located in the Spain (North West) Association, and the Asturias Region.

Screenshot 2015-01-12 21.59.20

Map courtesy of google maps.

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Image courtesy of http://www.wikiloc.com/

Pablo was running a Kenwood TS-840, about 50 watts, and a home brew monoband Delta loop antenna.  Pablo was powering the radio with a 12v 8 ah battery.

It was a challenge to get through to Pablo, as breaking through the European ‘wall’ of SOTA chasers was quite difficult.  But once I did, Pablo and I were able to hear each other ver well.  I know that Andrew VK1NAM has mentioned previously, the issue of many European SOTA activators not listening for further afield.  I have felt the same frustration, but I have found that perserverance generally pays off.  Not always though!

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Charleston Conservation Park

Yesterday (Sunday 11th January 2015), my wife Marija and I decide we had enough of being indoors doing paperwork, including Marija’s mum’s tax.  So we headed out to the Charleston Conservation Park, which is located not far from our home.  To get to the park we travelled out via the little town of Nairne, and then just before reaching Woodside, we turned right onto Pfeiffer Road and headed north.  This took us passed the Country Fire Service Aircraft Operations Centre.  This is where a number of Fixed Wing Air Tractors are based, along with a number of helicopters.

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We continued along Pfeiffer Road and then turned into Lewis Road, and then right into Bell Springs Road and headed east.  This is a very beautiful part of the Adelaide Hills.  The park is a few km up Bell Springs Road on the southern side of the road.


map courtesy of mapcarta.com

I have activated the park twice before.  Once back in 2013 and then again in 2014.  For information on the park and those activations, please have a look at my previous posts…..



Charleston Conservation Park preserves a pristine remnant representative of the transition between the wetter stringy bark forests on the western side of the Mount Lofty Ranges and the drier mallee woodlands to the east.  A large diversity of flora and fauna are represented in the Park including at least seventy-six bird species.

I set up in the same spot as previous activations, which was the south eastern corner of the park off Bell Springs Road.  There is a track here which allows enough space to set up the dipole.  It is very hard in other parts of the park, because the scrub is so thick.

With the help of Marija we set up the fold up table and deck chair, and the 40m/20m linked dipole, supported on the 7 metre telescopic squid pole.

Screenshot 2015-01-11 23.30.41

image courtesy of http://au.geoview.info

I called CQ on 7.095 and this was answered by Greg VK5GJ who was running QRP again, with just 5 watts.  Greg was a good 5/8 signal, however he was not as strong as I have heard him previously.  I was then called by Roy VK5NRG with a nice strong 5/9 signal, and then Peter VK5KPR at Port Augusta with his normal strong 5/9 signal.

I had just 1 other QRP caller during this activation, and that was Norm VK5GI, who was running his little home brew transceiver and 5 watts.  I also spoke with parks stalwart Peter VK3TKK who was mobile.  I had one more mobile contact and that was with Bill VK5MBD who was mobile on the Port Wakefield Road, about 5 km north of Dublin.  Bill was on his way home to Red Hill in the Mid North, after shopping in Adelaide.  I was also called by Giles VK5FFAA who was trying out a new antenna.  I explained the VK5 Parks award to Giles, and don’t be surprised if you hear Giles calling CQ from a park soon.

After the callers slowed down on 30m I lowered the squid pole and removed the links in the antenna for 20m.  I went to 14.310 and put out about 6 CQ calls with no takers.

So after about 90 minutes in the park, it was time to pack up and head home for a roast and a nice red.  I had a total of 24 contacts in the log on 40m ssb from VK2, VK3, VK5, & VK7.

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The following stations were worked:-

  1. Greg VK5GJ (qrp)
  2. Roy VK5NRG
  3. Peter VK5KPR
  4. Arno VK5ZAR
  5. Stuart VK5STU
  6. Norm VK5GI (qrp)
  7. Mick VK3FAFK
  8. Giles VK5FFAA
  9. Peter VK3TKK/m
  10. Richard VK5ZRY
  11. Tom VK5EE
  12. Andrew VK2UH
  13. Paul VK5FUZZ
  14. Jeff VK5JK
  15. Les VK5KLV
  16. Bill VK5MBD/m
  17. Peter VK5BWH
  18. Jim VK5TR
  19. Nev VK5WG
  20. Peter VK7ALB
  21. Peter VK5NAQ
  22. Nigel VK5NIG
  23. John VK3FPUP
  24. Bruce VK5BMC



Australian Heritage Places Register, <http://www.heritage.gov.au/cgi-bin/ahpi/record.pl?RNE7606&gt;, viewed 11th January 2015