Mount Remarkable National Park VKFF-360

After leaving the Winninowie Conservation Park, I travelled south along the Augusta Highway and then travelled east along the Mambray Creek into the Mount Remarkable National Park.  The park is located about 60 km south of Port Augusta, and about 260 km north of Adelaide, in the southern Flinders Ranges.

Screenshot 2015-02-07 15.53.22

I have activated this 16,000 hectare park previously, and have climbed the Mount Remarkable summit, but I had never activated the park at the Mambray Creek section.  The park entry fee was paid online, and I entered the Mambray Creek section and found a quiet parking spot on the northern side of road, amongst the scrub.

Screenshot 2015-02-07 15.52.29Prior to activating I walked over to the old Baroota Homestead ruins.  This area was once part of the might ‘Baroota Run’ which was established in 1851, and flourished for 12 years.  South Australia then suffered devastating droughts for a number of years.  Following the break in the drought, flooding rains and extreme cold followed.  This resulted in the death of thousands of sheep, and with them, the owners livelihoods.

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I ran the Yaesu FT-857d for this activation, with 40 watts output and the 40m/20m linked dipole.  I had the entire campround  area all to myself.  It was a beautiful mild night, with an almost full moon.  And no mosquitos.

I started off on 20m first and I was hoping to work some European DX and give the Europeans the opportunity of working a new park for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  But I was to be sadly disapointed.  I called and called CQ  on 14.250 with no takers, until finally, Jim VK2QA responded (5/9 both ways).  But I was not spotted and called CQ numerous times after this with no takers.  So rather dejected, I tuned across the band and spoke with Franc F5PAU (5/8 sent and 5/5 received).  I then found Paul VK2HTM calling CQ with a booming signal from Sydney.  Paul also gave me a 5/9 signal report in return.  It was nearly 0900 UTC (7.30 p.m. SA local time), so I had probably left my run for 20m a little too late.

So it was off to 40m that I headed.  And my first contact there on 7.142 was with the same station I had first made contact with on 20m, Jim VK2QA in Lane Cove.   I worked a further 14 stations in VK2, VK3, VK4, & VK5, until a very strong CW signal came up on frequency calling me.  Wow, was this going to put me to the test.  It was Jack, VK5CJC.  I managed to stumble my way through and exchanged signal reports with Jack.  This was the first time I had ever had a CW-SSB contact whilst in a park.

Following my contact with Jack, I worked a further 3 stations on 7.142 until callers dried up.  I tuned across the 40m band and heard WWFF park activator and hunter, Rob VK4FFAB in QSO with Shaun VK4NSP and Glen VK2FQSL/p, so I called in to say hello.  After working Rob, Shaun, and Glen, I went up to 7.167 and called CQ.  The first responder was regular park hunter, Ron VK3JP with his usual very strong signal.  About 8 QSO’s later, after being placed on the DX Cluster by John, VK5NJ, I was called by Bill W1OW in Massachusetts in the USA.  Bill and I had a successful contact (5/7 sent and 5/5 received).  And then to my surprise, ten QSO’s later I was called byTom K2WCT in New Jersey in the USA (5/8 sent and 5/3 received).

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I went on to work a number of other VK’s including my good mate Greg VK8GM in Alice Springs, and a handful of VK6 stations including my buddy Ted VK6NTE with his normal very strong signal.  My last contact on 40m was with Damien VK2XDL.

I had a quick listen on 20m for Jack W1FDY on the Southern Cross DX Net, but all I heard were some of the local VK’s talking about how the band had not yet opened to the States.  So I decided to ‘pull stumps’ and head back to Crystal Brook.  I had a total of 50 contacts in the log, which I was very happy with.  Although I was a little disapointed that I did not work the expected DX on the 20m band.

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. Jim VK2QA
  2. Franc F5PAU
  3. Paul VK2HTM

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. Jim VK2QA
  2. David VK5KC
  3. Brian VK5FMID
  4. Roger VK4YB
  5. Jim VK5JW
  6. John VK3HJD
  7. Doug VK2FMIA
  8. Ian VK5CZ
  9. Tom VK5EE
  10. Peter VK3ZPF
  11. John VK5BJE
  12. Richard VK5ZRY
  13. Nev VK5WG
  14. Chris VK2SR
  15. Peter VK3TKK
  16. Trevor VK5ATQ
  17. Arthur VK5AAR
  18. Peter Vk5FLEX
  19. Sg\haun VK4NSP
  20. Rob VK4FFAB
  21. Glen VK2FQSL/p
  22. Ron VK3JP
  23. Colin VK3ZZS/m
  24. Tom VK5FTRG/m
  25. Gavin VK3MLU
  26. Tony VK2RI
  27. Ray VK3NBL
  28. Chris VK5FCHM
  29. John VK5NJ
  30. Bill W1OW
  31. Ian VK3VIN
  32. James VK1DR
  33. Steven VK7PSJ
  34. Tony VK3AAT
  35. Mark VK3YYR
  36. Tony VK5TT
  37. Geoff VK5HEL
  38. John VK5FTCT
  39. John VK5FABC/m
  40. Tom K2WCT
  41. Nill VK5MBD
  42. Tom VK5FTRG
  43. Doug VK2FMIA
  44. Phil VK5NPP
  45. Greg VK8GM
  46. Owen VK5HOS
  47. Larry VK6NOL
  48. Charles Vk5FBAC
  49. Mick VK4GMH
  50. Adrian VK5FANA/qrp
  51. David VK5ADO
  52. Peter VK6DC
  53. Doug VK3YQS
  54. Ted VK6NTE
  55. Ian VK3VIG/5
  56. Damien VK2XDL

The following station was worked on 40m CW:-

  1. Jack, VK5CJC

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