Riverland Radio Club get together

On Saturday morning (18th April 2015) after a nice hot coffee in the motel room at Barmera, Marija and I got on the road and headed off to the historic Overland Corner Hotel where the Riverland Radio Club were holding a get together.  It was a very cold morning, but fortunately there was no rain.  We had a nice view out across Lake Bonney from our motel room which was the Barmera Lake Resort.  We were quite refreshed as we had a relatively early night on Friday night.  We had dinner at the Barmera Hotel which we can highly recommend, and then spent the remainder of the night in the motel room watching the AFL footy on TV.

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It is a short 29 km drive out to Overland Corner from Barmera.  We travelled out of Barmera along the Morgan Road and then turned on to the Goyder Highway and headed west.  We then took the turn off to the hotel which is Old Coach Road, and travelled along the dirt down towards the hotel.  As it was early in the morning (7.00 a.m.) the kangaroos were out in force, so it was pretty slow going.  In fact at one stage we had a Western Grey kangaroo bounding alongside of the 4WD who then decided to jump in front of us and slipped on the road surface directly in front of us.  No damage done to the vehicle or the kangaroo I am pleased to report.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Overland Corner Hotel in the Riverland.  Map courtesy of mapcarta.com

The New South Wales gold rush struck in 1851 and there was a large movement of people heading north to the goldfields via the Overland Corner area.  And then two years later, river trade commenced with the first wood fueled paddle steamers coming through.  It wasn’t long before a large woodpile was being maintained at Overland Corner.

Due to the increasing population in the area, a number of cattle duffers, escaped convicts and a handful of bushrangers, the South Australian Government established a small police post at Overland Corner in 1855.

The Overland Corner Hotel was built in 1859 and is the oldest surviving building in the Riverland region of South Australia.  The pub’s original construction was almost entirely of locally available materials, including limestone, red gum and native pine timbers, a dirt floor and thatched roof of river reeds.  The hotel was initially a little rough bush inn and was situated on a vital stock route from New South Wales.  It catered to drovers, explorers and other travellers.  The limestone used for the construction of the hotel was 15 million year old limestone from the nearby quarry.

The Brand Brothers, Henry, William, George, and James, who emigrated to Australia from Kent in England in 1851, were commissioned by John Chambers, the enterprising pastoralist, to build the Overland Corner.

The hotel became a staging point for mail coaches on the run between Wentworth in New South Wales, and South Australia.  The first publicans licence was issued in April 1860.   By the mid 1860’s, grape vineyards and garden produce was being grown on the rich alluvial river flats, and Cobb & Co coaches stopped at Overland Corner.  Business was booming, and during the 1870’s a number of other buildings were established, including a wheelwright and blacksmith, a post and telegraph office, and a new police station.

In about 1879 an underground tank was dug and it was discovered that there was an old aboriginal burial ground 3 metres beneath the building.

The Overland Corner Hotel was purchased by the National Trust of South Australia in 1965.

overland cnr pub

Above:- The location of the Overland Corner Hotel in close proximity to the River Murray.  Image courtesy of mapcarta.com

There is a very interesting marker on one of the outside walls of the hotel showing the water level during the 1956 Murray River flood.  This flood occurred due to higher than average rainfalls in Western Queensland and heavy rains in the proceedings three months in Murray catchment areas.  The river peaked 12.3 metres at nearby Morgan.  Some areas were flooded up to 100 km from the natural flow of the river.  peaked at 18.01 metres at Overland Corner.

There is a very good walking trail that takes in the hotel and many of the historic areas nearby, but unfortunately Marija and I didn’t have enough time to do this.  But we will be back.

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When we arrived at the hotel at about 7.15 a.m, there was already a small but very keen gathering of amateurs and their wives.  Ivan VK5HS had the BBQ going and was cooking up some sausages and bacon and eggs.  So after some introductions to those that were already present, we enjoyed a very nice bacon and egg sandwich and a nice hot coffee.  We then took the opportunity of getting a group photograph of this keen early morning bunch.

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As the morning progressed, more and more amateurs and their wives arrived at the Overland Corner Hotel.  There was also a wedding planned later for that day.  None of our group either!  So there was quite a bit of activity getting the marquee at the back of the hotel prepared.

At 8.30 a.m. local time, Ron VK5MRE fired up the radio and kicked off the Saturday morning net for the Riverland Radio Club on 7.078 on 40m.  A small marquee had been erected just on the western side of the hotel and this is where Ron ran the net from.  A number of us who were at the gathering had the mic handed over to us for a round on the net.

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At the conclusion of the net, I fetched myself another cup of coffee.  It was still pretty chilly.  I also took the opportunity of having a bit of a walk around the hotel which certainly contains a lot of history.  It was particularly interesting to view the marker on the hotel’s outside wall for the 1956 flood.  If we had been there back in 1956, we would all be underwater and blowing bubbles.

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Shortly after the conclusion of the net, a small car boot sale was held.  Marija was closely watching me to ensure that I wasn’t spending any $$$.  Although I was very tempted by an old Communications receiver being sold by Adrian VK5AJR.  Ron VK5MRE also had a very well kept Yaesu FRG7 communications receiver up for bids as well.

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We then had a bit more of a chat with more arrivals at the get together, and at 11.00 a.m. the hotel opened up, so Marija and I took the opportunity of having a look through this very historic hotel.  There is a small room which contains a large amount of memorabilia.  There was even an olf CW key in there.  After we had finished looking through the hotel, I broke the ‘midday rule’ and ordered a can of Bundy and coke.

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A lot of people had arrived by this time, and with some significant amount of organisational skills by Ron VK5MRE and Marija, we managed to get everyone in place for a group photograph in front of the hotel.

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We all then enjoyed a very nice meal out in  the beer garden alongside of the hotel.  I had a schnitzel which I must stay was one of the nicest ‘Schnitties’ I had in a long time.  It was a beautiful sunny late morning/early afternoon at times, and in fact I had to choose a nice shady spot to get out of the sun.

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Time was marching on and it was almost 1.30 p.m.  I had posted on parksnpeaks and the VK5 Parks Yahoo group that I was going to activate the Pooginook Conservation Park and the Murray River National Park that afternoon.  So it was time for Marija and I to say our goodbyes and hit the road.   Pooginook Conservation Park, was about 23 km west of Overland Corner, along the Goyder Highway, so as much as I would have liked to have stayed a bit longer, we really needed to make a move.

After leaving the hotel, we took a quick photo opportunity stop on the dirt road.  It was a nice view back to the south west overlooking the hotel itself and the Murray River.  When we hit the bitumen on the Goyder Highway, we took a quick stop to have a look at the old Overland Corner cemetery, and from there, briefly stopped again on the southern side of the Goyder Highway to view the hotel and Murray River.  This spot sits up quite high, so the view to the south was quite spectacular.

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This get together was a very enjoyable morning and afternoon.  It was great to put a face to the call sign of many amateurs that I had spoken to many times over the years.  I certainly hope this is going to be an annual event held by the Riverland Radio Club.

References

Barmera Visitor Information Centre, ‘Historic Overland Corner’.

Brookfield Conservation Park, VKFF-822

On Friday 17th April, my wife Marija took an early minute from work and I took a PDO from work, as we intended to travel up to Barmera in the Riverland region of South Australia, where had booked in to the Barmera Lake Resort for 2 nights.  Why were we heading up there?  Well, the Riverland Radio Club had organised a get together at the historic Overland Corner Hotel on Saturday 18th.

We left home at about 2.30 p.m. and travelled east to Murray Bridge and then north through the little towns of Cambrai and Sedan on Ridley Road.  We continued north on the Blamchetown Road until we reached the Sturt Highway.  This is the busy highway which links the Riverland region of South Australia with Adelaide.

The weather was not looking good.  It was pouring with rain as we left the Adelaide Hills, and the rain continued, although much lighter as we headed into the more desolate areas of the Murray Mallee.

We took a short stop here at a locality called Annadale, to have a look at the old site of the hotel at Annadale, which operated between 1876-1956.  There is nothing left now, but I could only imagine the number of beers that were drunk in that pub over the years on this busy stretch of road.

DSC_0002We then took a short stop a bit further up the road to view a monument relating to Goyders Line.  Monuments to Goyders Line can be found throughout South Australia.  In 1865, Surveyor General, George Woodcrof Goyder marked on the map of South Australia, a line delineating drought affected country.  The line which passes through the area on the Sturt Highway became an important factor in settlement in the State, being regarded as an indicatio of the limits of lands considered ‘safe’ for agricultural development.

We continued east on the Sturt Highway and stopped at the Brookfield Conservation Park for what was to be a quick activation.

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Above:- Map showing the location of Brookfield CP.  Map courtesy of mapcarta.com

Brookfield Conservation Park is a large park and consists of 5,534 hectares.  It is located about 130 km north east of Adelaide.  The park was a gift to South Australia from the Chicago Zoological Society to conserve the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat, which is the South Australian fauna emblem.  The park is also home to Fat-tailed Dunnarts, Western Grey kangaroos, echidnas, emus, and Red Kangaroos.  There is prolific bird life in the park including the rare Bush Stone-curlew, the nationally vulnerable Malleefowl, Ground Cuckoo-shrikes and Australian Owlet-nightjars.  Another striking bird that is found in the park is the White-winged Fairy-Wren, which is an amazing blue in colour.  The park also contains a large variety of reptiles.  The park itself is gently undulating limestone country.

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Above: The very colourful White-winged Fairy-Wren.  Image courtesy of http://www.conservationvolunteers.com.au

The park was originally a sheep station known as Glen Leslie Station.  But in 1971 the property was purchased by the Chicago Zoological Society for conservation of the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat as mentioned above.  The park was originally named the Brookfield Zoo Wombat Reserve, and it was gifted to the Government of South Australia in 1977.  The park was proclaimed as the Brookfield Conservation Park, two years later, in 1978.

The park is now managed by Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) who undertake a range of volunteer activities both in the park and in the surrounding area.  The CVA have a focus on the research of threatened species.

Access to the park can be made by conventional vehicle, however some areas are restricted due to research on the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat.  As Marija and I had a time limit, and the fact that the weather was lousy, we pulled in to a rest stop area and parked the car there.  I then jumped over the wire fence and set up the fold up chair and table, using one of the fence posts as an anchor point for my 7 metre telescopic squid pole.

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Map courtesy of mapcarta.com

For this activation I ran the Yaesu FT-857d powered by the 44 amp hour power pack, and the 40m/20m linked dipole supported on the top of the 7 metre squid pole.  I used 40 watts on 40m, and when I headed over to 20m, my output power was a huge 70 watts.

This was also the noisiest activation I have ever undertaken.  We were only a short distance from the busy Sturt Highway so we had to endure the constant noise of the Highway traffic, including the big B double trucks. For those overseas that might be reading this, a B-double is made up of a prime mover which pulls two semi trailers, which are linked by a fifth wheel and can be up to 26 metres long.

I headed up to 7.144 and called CQ.  I was asked during this activation and a few times later in the weekend, as to why I was operating on 7.144

My first contact was with Adrian VK5FANA at Arthurton on the Yorke Peninsula, following by Graham VK5GW, Mick VK3PMG at Stawell in western Victoria, and then Ivan VK5HS at nearby Renmark.   About ten minutes into operating, I started experiencing some QRM from 7.146.  I tuned up there to hear that it was a net, and it was very clear that they were not going to move.  So I decided not to push the issue and took the opportunity of QSYing to 20m.  I am sorry to those that were still calling, but the QRM was just too bad and I was running low on time.  I had 18 contacts in the log from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, & VK5.

I called CQ on 14.311 and this was pretty much immediately answered by Dick VK7LDK, followed by Albert S58AL.  A mini pile up ensued with a number of callers from Europe, the UK, the Caribbean, and North America.  I even managed to work my very good mate Marnix OP7M in northern Belgium (5/9 sent and 5/8 received).

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So, after a little longer than expected in the park, I had a total of 63 contacts in the log, including 42 DX stations from Slovenia, Puerto Rico, Italy, Belgium, Spain, France, England, Slovak Republic, Germany, Romania, Ireland, Ukraine, Hungary, and Alaska.

I know that there was still a huge number of stations calling when I went QRT.  But I am terribly sorry, as it was starting to drizzle with rain again, and it was getting dark.  We were also running very late to get to our destination at Barmera.  So I again apologise to those that were calling and didn’t manage to get Brookfield Conservation Park in the log.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5GW
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK5HS
  5. VK3OHM
  6. VK2NEO
  7. VK5ZAR
  8. VK5FCHM
  9. VK3HRA
  10. VK1DI
  11. VK1NAM
  12. VK5HAG
  13. VK3AV
  14. VK2FMIA/p
  15. VK5NQP
  16. VK5ZLR
  17. VK4FFAB
  18. VK3DBP
  19. VK7LDK

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. S58AL
  2. PA3EPA/VK6
  3. UT5PI
  4. KP4CAR
  5. I5FLN
  6. IZ0UIM
  7. IZ1JMN
  8. OP7M
  9. IZ2IHO
  10. IZ5JMZ
  11. OP4U
  12. IK1GPG
  13. ON4VT
  14. EA4DTV
  15. IK1DFH
  16. F5OUD
  17. G3SVD
  18. EA1DR
  19. VK2IO
  20. ON5SWA
  21. OM7OM
  22. DF1YQ
  23. YO8TK
  24. IZ1UIA
  25. HA8CE
  26. EA3MP
  27. IK2YXH
  28. EI8BLB
  29. UR7ET
  30. DF7GK
  31. IZ5YHD
  32. IT9UCS
  33. IK2TTJ
  34. EA4JJ
  35. HA0LG
  36. EC7DZZ
  37. EA1DFP
  38. F6EAS
  39. HA0IH
  40. DL1EBR
  41. F2YT
  42. AL7KC
  43. IW2NXI
  44. F8GQO

References.

Conservation Voilunteers, Brookfield Conservation Park-At the Edge

Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Parks of the Riverland.

National Parks South Australia, 2015, <http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_park/Browse_by_region/Murray_River/Brookfield_Conservation_Park&gt;, viewed 20th April 2015

WIA AGM in May 2015

The WIA AGM weekend in Canberra is to be held between Friday 8th May 2015 – Sunday 10th May 2015.

More information on the 2015 WIA AGM can be found at…..

http://www.wia.org.au/joinwia/wia/2015agm/

I will be attending the AGM and delivering a short presentation on the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  See below….

Screenshot 2015-04-16 12.41.27The talk with have emphasis on the participation of Foundation operators, as this year, 2015, is the 10th anniversary of the Foundation licence here in Australia.

I would be very keen to hear from any Foundation operators who have been involved in the WWFF program, and also the VK5 Parks program.  Please send me any comments to my email address at…..

vk5pas@wia.org.au

 

2nd year anniversary results

Here are some results from the activation weekend for the 2nd year anniversary of the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award, sponsored by the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society.

The weekend was held on Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th March 2015.

There were a total of 111 park activations, and of those 81 were unique parks (in other words different parks).  South Australia was well represented with parks being activated in the Far North, the South East, the Riverland, the Adelaide Hills, Kangaroo Island, the Adelaide metropolitan area, and the Yorke Peninsula.

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Above:- Tom VK5EE and Col VK5HCF in the Big Heath CP in the South East

A total of 41 amateurs took part as activators.  Below is a list of those who headed out into the field:-

  • Chris VK4FR/5
  • David VK5AAH
  • Andy VK5AKH
  • Tim VK5AV
  • Doc VK5BUG
  • Ian VK5CZ
  • Tom VK5EE
  • Alan VK5FAJS
  • Adrian VK5FANA
  • Gary VK5FGRY
  • Peter VK5FLEX
  • Bob VK5FO
  • Tom VK5FTRG
  • Norm VK5GI
  • Greg VK5GJ
  • Gordon VK5GY
  • Col VK5HCF
  • David VK5HDW
  • Geoff VK5HEL
  • David VK5KC
  • Andrew VK5KET
  • Peter VK5KX
  • Lesley VK5LOL
  • Bill VK6MBD
  • Matt VK5MLB
  • Andrew VK5MR
  • Nigel VK5NIG
  • David VK5NQP
  • Roy VK5NRG
  • Keith VK5OQ
  • Peter VK5PET
  • Mark VK5QI
  • Steve VK5SFA
  • Hans VK5YX
  • Tony VK5ZAI
  • Arno VK5ZAR
  • Greg VK5ZGY
  • Richard VK5ZRY
  • Paul VK5PAS

More than 3,000 QSOs were made by the activators all around Australia and throughout the world.

Martins Washpool CP

Above:- Greg VK5ZGY in the Martins Washpool CP

I would like to thank all the amateurs who took part in the weekend, both park activators and park hunters.

A special thanks to Tony VK3VTH/5 and Tim VK3MTB/5 who crossed the border to activate South Australian parks.

It was very pleasing to hear a number of first time park activators including Greg VK5GJ and Norm VK5GI, who activated parks on the Fleurieu Peninsula, and Roy VK5NRG who ventured out with David VK5KC.

Congratulations also to the five Foundation operators who took part as activators.

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Above:- with Richard VK5ZRY in Point Davenport CP on the Yorke Peninsula.

Other notable mentions go to Chris VK4FR/5 who travelled over to Kangaroo Island, OC-and put a number of quite rare parks on air.  Also to husband and wife team, Greg VK5ZGY amd Gabbie, who activated multiple parks in the South East.Many of the parks that were activated also qualified for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program, with a number of activators taking advantage of the good conditions and working DX on 20m.  They made many European, UK, and North American park hunters very happy.

More information on the VK5 Parks Award can be found at….

http://www.vk5parks.com/

Below is the audio from the WIA National broadcast with the weekend’s results…..

And here is the audio from the VK5 local news……

An afternoon with Larry VK5LY

Yesterday (Friday 10th April 2015), I headed down to the Hampstead Rehabiliation Centre to catch up with my old mate Larry VK5LY.  Larry is very ill, and is recovering from major spinal surgery.

The afternoon was all about getting Larry up on air.  He is sadly missed from the airwaves, and all those that know Larry, know that he was a very active VK5 Parks activator before his very unexpected illness.  And I know that when Larry returns home in a few weeks from hospital, it will be very hard to keep him out of those Riverland parks.

We headed out to a nice little lawned area just a short distance from Larry’s room.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, and we had access to a nice shady spot on the lawn.  For this activation we used my Yaesu FT-857d and my 40m/20m linked dipole.  I even had the solar panels out to charge up the 44 amp hour power pack.

Larry’s first call was from Tom VK5EE down at Mount Gambier, followed by Adrian VK5FANA in the Yorke Peninsula, and then Larry’s great mate, Ivan VK5HS in The Riverland.  The first three callers were from various parts of country South Australia.  Larry had a steady flow of callers, including David VK5KC who was mobile in Victoria.  And Larry also scored two park contacts.  The first being with Gordon VK5GY in the Mount George Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills, and then Mick VK3PMG in the Mount Arapiles State Park.

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Larry ended up with a total of 15 contacts in VK1, VK2, VK3, & VK5.  Not bad at all considering this was a Friday afternoon.

Thanks to everyone that called.  I will be activating with Larry again in the very near future.

Larry worked the following stations:-

  1. Tom VK5EE
  2. Adrian VK5FANA
  3. Ivan VK5HS
  4. Gordon VK5GY/p (Mount George Conservation Park)
  5. David VK5KC/3
  6. John VK5BJE
  7. Mick VK3PMG/p (Mt Arapiles State Park)
  8. Andrew VK1NAM
  9. Arno VK5ZAR
  10. Tony VK3CAB
  11. Nev VK5WG
  12. Fred VK3DAC
  13. Paul VK3DBP
  14. Rod VK5VRB
  15. Andrew VK2UH

 

Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park, VKFF-781

On Sunday 4th April 2015, I headed out to the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park, which is located in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’, east of Adelaide.  Kenneth Stirling CP is one of the newly added parks to the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program– VKFF-781.  Although I have activated this park many times previously for the VK5 Parks award, this was the first time I would activate the park for the WWFF program.

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Above: Map showing the location of the Kenneth Stirling CP.  Map courtesy of mapcarta.com

This is a very interesting park. Not only because it consists of four completely autonomous sections, but also due to its history.

The park consists of four separate sections:-

  1. Wotton Scrub
  2. Filsell Hill
  3. White Scrub
  4. Burdett Scrub

I have spoken with Bill Filsell from Filsell’s Apples, which has been a family business operated since 1903. The Filsell Hill section is named after the Filsell family.

However, the park in its entirety was named in honour of Kenneth George Stirling.

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image courtesy of Graham Churchett

So who was Kenneth ‘Ken’ George Stirling? Well I have been fortunate enough to get in contact with a gentleman called Graham Churchett, who knew Ken, and this is what Graham had to say…..

The Environment Committee was a sub committee of the Town and Country Planning Association composed of the following:

Ron Caldicot, Dr John Coulter, David Strahle, Alwin Clements, Ray Holliday, Miss Erdley, Dr Peter Guldhurst, Ken Stirling, Ralph Middenway, Elise and Gordon Gardner and myself.

This committee was active across a broad spectrum of planning and environmental issues but it was not until money was given anonymously to the committee, and we employed Ron Caldicot as a Project Director, that some monumental changes occurred.

At the time the State Planning Authority was headed by Stewart Heart and sitting on the authority were developers and others who naturally pushed through every approval to further line their pockets at the expense of the environment and common good. The committee pressured the government and Ron was appointed to the Authority and in a short time the rules were changed to exclude those with vested interests. 

With the help of the Natural History Society we brought about the protection of the wedge tail eagle, and Improved planning laws.

In May 1980 tragedy occurred. David Strahle, a gentle, dedicated man and one who worked for a better world suddenly died due to a massive heart attack. We were all stunned, he was only in his 45th year.

In 1973 we were again shocked when Ken Stirling died from a heart attack when jogging by the uni bridge.  He was only 38.

Ken, and all of us for that matter, were appalled at the scarring taking place in the north Flinders by EX Oil and Ken knew more of what was going on as he was employed by two of Australia’s largest mining companies before joining Poseidon’s associate, Samin Ltd, in 1969.

 It was when Poseidon shares  went through the roof that Ken became a millionaire  and  in 1972 Ken resigned from the mining industry and sought a position in the Public Service with the Department for the Environment. A series of applications were rebuffed and some were not even answered and he was bitter at this.

While waiting for something to turn up he gave unpaid service to the Birdwood Mill Museum.

 His benefactions were not known to the Public service and his intense interest in conservation not realised.

 Those who examined his application may have noted with disapproval his association with the mining industry. The irony of it is that but for the mining boom, the entire conservation cause in South Australia would not have prospered without Ken’s personal service and financial help.

It was only after his death we found out that Ken had given money to a variety of organisations and in particular, for Ron’s full time employment as a director, $100.000 was given to set up Radio 5UV University radio employing Keith Conlon. $50,000 was given to State Archives, $200,000 to the Australian Conservation Foundation for the acquisition and establishment of a national park. This park is now rightly known as the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park.

 Through Ron we achieved so much and it was then that I came to the earnest belief that if the conservation movement was to make any meaningful headway in this cockeyed world, we had to employ key people full time.

I was privileged to have known Ron, David and Ken as friends, all be it that our time together with regard to David and Ken was short. I was saddened to hear the other day that Ron, a man I knew with a mind as sharp as a tack and a gentle manner but one who would stand his ground with great conviction, was now in a home suffering severe dementure.

What can I say other than they are fondly remembered.

Below is part of what the Advertiser columnist, Stewart Cockburn said of Ken Stirling upon his death…..

Ken Stirling was the son of a railway man. He wanted to be a boundary rider on an outback station and, for a while, he became a multimillionaire. He made his money in the mining boom, and gave most of it away. Only since he died, have the benefactions of this humble, intensely private man become known outside his family and a small circle of friends and associates.

I set up in the Wotton Scrub section of the park and ran my Yaesu FT857d and the 40m/20m linked dipole, supported by my 7 metre telescopic squid pole.

Screenshot 2015-04-09 13.21.48  Above: Map showing the border of the Wotton Scrub section of the park. Map courtesy of mapcarta.comScreenshot 2015-04-09 13.22.02

Above: The Wotton Scrub Section.  Image courtesy of mapcarta.com

This was one of the best activations I had experience for a while when it came to working DX.  I started off on 40m first and worked a total of 21 stations in VK3 and VK5.  My first contact was with Nick VK3ANL who was activating the Terrick Terrick National Park, VKFF-630.  Next up I spoke with Hans VK5YX who was portable at Wombaroo in the Murray Mallee.  I then propped on 7.144 and called CQ where my first taker was Nev VK5WG, followed by Richard VK5ZRY, and then Ben VK5BB.

When things slowed down on 40m I headed off to 20m.  Unfortunately I could not get on to 14.244 as there were some European stations working close by.  So I started calling CQ on 14.241 and this was answered by Gerard VK2IO.  What followed was a huge pile up from Europe, the UK & North Ameerica.  The first European caller was Danny ON4VT, followed by Luk ON4BB, Max IK1GPG and then Luciano I5FLN.  The secret to my success was that they spotted me on the DX cluster.

I went on to work a total of 135 stations on 20m in Belgium, Italy, Germany, Russia, France, Netherlands, Ukraine, Spain, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Romania, Poland, USA, England, Croatia, Latvia, Canary Islands, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Belarus, Austria, Denmark, Alaska, and Finland.  Thankyou to everyone who spotted me on the DX Cluster.

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My last contact on 20m SSB was with Bob VK3SX.  I then headed off to 40m where I called CQ on 7.144 and worked a further 14 stations in VK2, VK3, VK4 VK5 and VK6.  Thanks to Paul VK2HV for getting the ball rolling and spotting me on the DX Cluster.  And also to Rob VK4FFAB.

One of my contacts was with Adam VK2YK who informed me that V6Z in Micronesia was up the band a little and had a great signal.  So I was pretty eager to love off and try my luck.  But Iwas still taking calls from other VK’s so I patiently waited until things slowed down and then tuned up to 7.152 and heard V6Z coming in very well, working split.  But unfortunately by this time he had a large pile up from Japan, the USA, VK & ZL.  I just couldn’t break through.

So I had a tune around the band and found the 7.1653 group and Jim WB2REM.  I called in and worked Jim and five other USA stations.  My signal report ranged from 44 to 57.  Not bad considering I was running 40 watts and a tiny dipole.

I thought I would try my luck one last time with V6Z and this time my persistence paid off.  After about 3 minutes of calling I got through.  I was very happy as this was a new DXCC entity for me on 40m whilst operating portable.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ANL/p (Terrick Terrick NP)
  2. VK5YX/p
  3. VK5WG
  4. VK5ZRY
  5. VK5BB
  6. VK3FDAP
  7. VK5KLV
  8. VK5FANA
  9. VK3JP
  10. VK5ALX
  11. VK3AX
  12. VK3PF/m
  13. VK3DAC
  14. VK3TKK
  15. VK5ZAR
  16. VK3VT
  17. VK3FSPG
  18. VK5LOL/p
  19. VK5AV
  20. VK3VIN
  21. VK3AV
  22. VK2HV
  23. VK2FDJO
  24. VK3PMG
  25. VK5FLEX
  26. VK3ETC/5
  27. VK3NRG
  28. VK2YK
  29. VK3GFS
  30. VK5KFB
  31. VK4FFAB
  32. VK5AAH
  33. VK6HRC/P
  34. VK4FAAS
  35. VK3HRA
  36. WB2REM
  37. AH6GE
  38. W1RQ
  39. N7MIT
  40. W6PXE
  41. N7SEP
  42. V6Z

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO
  2. ON4VT
  3. ON4BB
  4. IK1GPG
  5. I5FLN
  6. VK2YK
  7. DK4RM
  8. IK0OPS
  9. DK8FS
  10. RA3PCI
  11. IK5ORP
  12. DK0EE
  13. F1BLL
  14. DL5EBG
  15. OP7M
  16. ON5JE
  17. PB5X
  18. IK8FIQ
  19. DJ8QP
  20. IK0BGA
  21. UT4EX
  22. EA3MP
  23. DL1EBR
  24. PA3GRM
  25. UW5ZM
  26. HA6NF
  27. EA4DTV
  28. IZ8DFO
  29. S52KM
  30. PA3WB
  31. DL2ND
  32. ON7YZ
  33. OM7OM
  34. F2YT
  35. UR7ET
  36. EA3NW
  37. RX9WN
  38. YO3JW
  39. EA1DR
  40. F5TA
  41. SP6KEP
  42. ON6UQ
  43. HA6OB
  44. UX2KA
  45. KK4TXZ
  46. ON5SWA
  47. IZ2EWR
  48. DL4PT
  49. EA7AK
  50. F5IDJ
  51. IZ5UGP
  52. G0RBD
  53. I3KAN
  54. DL7HU
  55. UA3NM
  56. M1CMR
  57. IZ3QHB
  58. IK8BPY
  59. IZ1GRH
  60. OK1APV
  61. S58AL
  62. 9A2HQ
  63. OM1AX
  64. RC5F
  65. DK8PJ
  66. M6GHM
  67. SP2MPO
  68. EA2KV
  69. UA6NT
  70. IZ5CML
  71. IK3WDI
  72. YL2TQ
  73. I1POR
  74. DL5XU
  75. EA8JK
  76. G3MWV
  77. EA4FZC
  78. HB9TSI
  79. F6BWA
  80. DL6ATM
  81. IZ2IHO
  82. SP8GEY
  83. IZ0PED
  84. IZ1PLH
  85. S58N
  86. CT1AGS
  87. DK2BS
  88. W4REX
  89. IZ1NBX
  90. VK3PF/p (VKFF-758)
  91. VK7NWT
  92. DF8NY
  93. HB9RDE
  94. M0HDX
  95. UA1AKJ
  96. RN3B
  97. UK2PKT
  98. IZ5IOS
  99. OK2BPU
  100. IT9ZVL
  101. S57S
  102. EA3HND
  103. PD1RK
  104. DL4EBC
  105. DG8DBW
  106. IZ1JMN
  107. IZ5YHD
  108. IW2NXI
  109. PD2AD
  110. SP2GWH
  111. IZ8EFD
  112. LX90IARU
  113. IZ8GCE
  114. F4GWG
  115. F6KOP
  116. EU2MM
  117. UR8EW
  118. US2WU
  119. M0WYZ
  120. 9A3KS
  121. OH6RP
  122. IW2ETR
  123. CT1DQV
  124. DL1ASF
  125. F8PRD
  126. SP2ORL
  127. DJ1SD
  128. ON7LX
  129. EA3HSO
  130. EOE1DPS
  131. EA8OT
  132. OZ1W
  133. LX1IQ
  134. G1HPD
  135. DF1YQ
  136. VK2MCB
  137. KL2PM
  138. 2I0FLO
  139. M5AEC
  140. G0WKH
  141. VK3SX

Minlacowie Conservation Park

As we were heading home on Monday 30th March 2015, I managed to talk Marija into us detouring a little bit to activate the Minlacowie Conservation Park, which is located west of Stansbury, to the south east of Minlawton, and about 210 km by road from Adelaide.

Screenshot 2015-04-08 09.38.32

Above: The location of Minlacowie CP.  Map courtesy of mapcarta.com

To get to the park we travelled down Rogers Road which runs off the Minlaton-Yorketown Road.  You will know that you are in the correct spot, because the old Minlacowie school is located at this intersection.  It is well worth stopping to have a look.

DSC_0484

We set up just off Savage Hut Road.  There are not many options at this park.  There are no carparks and the scrub is extremely thick.  So your only option is operating along the fenceline either off Savage Hut Road or Rogers Road.

Screenshot 2015-04-08 09.36.49

Minlacowie Conservation Park (28.5 hectares; proclaimed in 2008) is located about 13 kilometres west of Stansbury. The park comprises a small patch of remnant mallee/broombush vegetation in very good condition, and conserves a number of significant plant species including the nationally and state vulnerable Winter Spider-orchid (Caladenia brumalis).

This was just a quick activation, whilst we had a late lunch.  My first taker on 7.095 after calling CQ was the ever reliable park hunter, Brian VK5FMID, followed by Wolf VK5WF, Geoff VK5HEL, and then Peter VK2DG.  I went on to work a further 16 stations in VK2, VK3, & VK5.

This included Hauke VK5HW who was mobile in the Barossa Valley, Steve VK3SRB/2 mobile between Albury and Gundagai in New South Wales, and Bob VK5AK who was mobile on Gorge Road at Cudlee Creek.

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After 25 minutes in the park I had a total of 20 contacts in the log.  It was time to hit the road and continue our journey back home to Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills.

The following stations were worked:-

  1. VK5FMID
  2. VK5WF
  3. VK5HEL
  4. VK2DG
  5. VK5WG
  6. VK5HCF
  7. VK5HW/m
  8. VK3VEF
  9. VK3SRB/2
  10. VK3FORD
  11. VK5GJ
  12. VK5ZRY
  13. VK5NQP
  14. VK5KLV
  15. VK5AK/m
  16. VK5EE
  17. VK3AS
  18. VK5FANA
  19. VK5LO
  20. VK3OF

 

References.

Department for Environment and Heritage, Management Plan Mainland Conservation Parks of Yorke Peninsula 2009

Innes National Park VKFF-243, Sunday night

After getting back from our activation at the Point Davenport Conservation Park on Sunday 29th March 2015, I set up directly outside the old Post Office at Inneston in the Innes National Park.  This was just a quick activation before dinner.

Unfortunately it was very noisy due to the ETSA power lines passing through the park to provide power for the acommodation.  But I boxed on and did make a total of 15 contacts including some very memorable QRP contacts.  They included Brian VK7ABY, Adrian VK5FANA, and Tom VK5FTRG.  But the most amazing contact was with Peter VK3YE who was true blue QRP at just 100 milliwatts.  Peter was an amazing 5/7 signal with this 100mw and his home brew transceiver.

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I packed up just as it was getting dark and headed inside for a beautiful meal cooked up by Marija and a nice bottle of red wine from the Clare Valley.

IMG_0990

The following stations were worked:-

  1. VK3FDI
  2. VK4FFAB
  3. VK7ABY
  4. VK7VKT
  5. VK2ALH
  6. VK4FLAA
  7. VK3MMX/p
  8. VK3YE (qrp 100mw)
  9. VK5FO/m
  10. VK3FSPG
  11. VK2SOL
  12. VK2FMIA
  13. VK2LKW/m
  14. VK5FANA (qrp)
  15. VK5FTRG (qrp)