Cromer Conservation Park

Last night I activated the Cromer Conservation Park, about 7 km north of the little town of Birdwood in the Mount Lofty Ranges.  It is about a 25 minute drive north from my home qth.  The nearby town of Birdwood, formerly known as Blumberg, is famous as it is the home of the National Motor Museum.  The park is situated about 50 km north east of Adelaide.

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Map courtesy of

I have activated this park a number of times before (2013 & 2014).  Click on the links below to read about my prior activations…..

Cromer Conservation Park which was proclaimed in 1976, is about 50 hectares in size and conserves a remnant parcel of vegetation.  The park represents one of the largest contiguos native remnant vegetation parcels within the Upper Torrens catchment area.  It is home to a large amount of native animals and birds.  And I saw quire a bit whilst I was in the park including Western Grey kangaroos and emus.  Wild deer are also found in the park.

I headed for my normal operating spot which is just inside gate 1 off Cromer Road, just pass Lucky Strike Road.  Although the scrub within the park is very thick, there are some cleared areas here and a track, so there is plenty of room to stretch out a dipole.  I had inadvertantly left my squid pole holder at home, so I improvised and secured the 7 metre squid pole to the stump of a small sheoak tree with an octopus strap.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 1.51.01 pm  Map courtesy of

I could not get onto my nominated operating frequency of 7.095 as the Kandos Group was still running on 7.093.  So I headed up to 7.098 and called CQ.  My first contact was with Nev VK5WG at Crystal Brook, followed by Peter VK3TKK mobile (with a beautiful 59 signal), Col VK5HCF in Mount Gambier, and then  Les VK5KLV in Port Augusta.  I worked a further 6 stations from VK3 and VK5, until some VK2 stations came on on the same frequency and started having a chat.  I boxed on through the QRM and continued to work a number of stations in VK3 and VK5.  Clearly these guys could hear the other stations working me.  I know who these individuals are.  They appear to have a ‘sked’ on 7.098 on a daily basis, and they will not move for anyone and speak in Italian I believe.

After working a total of 18 stations on 40m, I lowered the squid pole and removed the links in the dipole so that I could operate on 20m.  My first contact there was with VK7FG on Flinders Island OC-195, off the coast of Tasmania, who was working split on 14.260.  Chris VK3FY was at the mic and had a very very strong signal.  This was followed by a contact with Franc F5PAU on 14.180 who was a very strong signal from France.  The band seemed to be in very good condition, so I decided to call CQ on 14.193.

My first taker there was Gerry VK7GK, and this was followed by a contact with my good friend Will ON4WDL in Belgium.  I met Will last year during my visit to Europe.  This was followed by a call from Don G0RQL who is a regular SOTA chaser and park hunter, and then Kevin VK6AB who was portable at Albany in Western Australia.

I was spotted by AK4AT and VK3PMG on the DX cluster and this resulted in quite a large pile up of stations from Europe, the United Kingdom, and Australia.  I worked stations in VK2, VK4, England, Belgium, Germany, Canary Islands, United States, France, Ireland, Wales, Netherlands, Estonia, Russia, Sweden, and New Zealand.

It was starting to get dark and the 20m band was closing.  The wildlife was also out and about.  At one stage I had a number of Western Grey kangaroos around me, along with numerous emus.  I worked a total of 50 stations on 20m and then headed back to 40m where I booked in to the 7130 DX Net.  Conditions on 40m were also very good.  I worked a total of 12 stations on the Net including William FO5JV and Bill W1OW, and a number of VK’s and ZL.

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After the Net I headed to 7.150 and called CQ.  This was immediately answered by Joe VK3DXJ, followed by Keith VK5FEKH, and then Rob VK2XIC.  Not long after being on the frequency a JA station came up and started calling CQ.  Fortunately he had no takers and moved off the frequency.  But it wasn’t long before another JA appeared and this time their signal was very strong.  My mate from Alice Springs, VK8GM, came up and tried to get through to the JA on multiple occasions but couldn’t seem to make it.  If the Japanese station couldn’t hear Greg with his high power and good antenna, then clearly he couldn’t hear my tiny signal with my very meagre dipole.

In any event, it was getting late and very cold.  It was now down to 7 degrees C.  So I packed up the gear and headed home with a total of 99 contacts in the log.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. Nev VK5WG
  2. Peter VK3TKK/m
  3. Col VK5HCF
  4. Les VK5KLV
  5. Greg VK5GJ (qrp)
  6. Peter VK5KPR
  7. Mick VK3PMG
  8. Adrian VK5FANA (qrp)
  9. Amanda VK3FQSO (qrp)
  10. Jim VK5JW
  11. Phil VK5RM
  12. John VK5BJE
  13. Tom VK5FTRG
  14. Robin VK5TN
  15. Arno VK5ZAR
  16. Brett VK3FLCS
  17. Fred VK3FTAD
  18. David VK5NQP
  19. Chris VK2UW
  20. William FO5JV
  21. Bill W1OW
  22. Rob VK4FFAB
  23. Colin VK4FAAS
  24. Geoff VK5HEL/p (Poonthie Ruwe Conservation Park)
  25. Paul VK7CC
  26. Brian ZL2ASH
  27. Mal VK5MJ
  28. Roy VK7ROY
  29. John VK6AG
  30. John VK2FALL
  31. Joe VK3DXJ
  32. Keith Vk5FEKH
  33. Rob VK2XIC
  34. Theo VK5MTM
  35. Greg VK5ZGY/m
  36. Ron VK3JP
  37. John VK5FTCT
  38. Shaun VK6PAL
  39. Tony VK3FMRC
  40. Drew VK2FROX
  41. Steve VK3MEG
  42. Andrew VK3FABE
  43. Ian VK3VIN
  44. Peter VK3FPSR
  45. Steve VK5SFA
  46. Gavin VK4FGCW
  47. Paul VK5FUZZ
  48. Greg VK8GM
  49. Stephen VK7PSJ

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK7FG Flinders Island
  2. Franc F5PAU
  3. Will ON4WDL
  4. Paul F2YT
  5. Don G0RQL
  6. Kevin VK6AB/p
  7. Peter VK2APS
  8. Des G0RBD
  9. VK6QM
  10. Peter VK2NEO
  11. Swa ON5SWA
  12. Marnix OP7M
  13. Bill VK4MWG
  14. DJ8QP
  15. Chris G0TSQ
  16. DK2BS
  17. Greg VK8GM
  18. DF1YQ
  19. DK4RM
  20. EA8TL
  21. AE7KB
  22. DL5WW
  23. F4EPR
  24. Alek VK6APK
  25. Les VK2CPC
  26. Steve MW0ZZK
  27. EC7DZZ
  28. PD0ARI
  29. Mauro IW1GGR
  30. ES5QD
  31. PE1NCP
  32. Mike G0HWK
  33. EI2KC
  34. Steve G0KIK
  35. Jeff GW3UZS
  36. Ted VK6NTE
  37. Bado DF7UB
  38. Paul VK2NHD/m
  39. Paul VK2HDX
  40. John F4FEP
  41. James VK6NJW
  42. Sergey RA3PCI
  43. Bruce ZL1BWG
  44. Jim VK2LC
  45. Dan SM6CNX
  46. Lee VK2LEE
  47. Les VK2CPC
  48. Stew VK4SC
  49. Ray VK4NH/p

One thought on “Cromer Conservation Park

  1. Nice job with the park activation and getting the word out there. ,Could not hear you on 40 in the afternoon, but heard you loud and clear on 20 meters. 5 & 9 on the dx net, didn`t check in , the net was a bit crowded. Hope to work you from Cromer CP another day.

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