Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, VKFF-782

On Saturday afternoon after the AHARS meeting I travelled to the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, VKFF-782, for another unique activation for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  The park was recently added to the WWFF program.

I set up at gate 11 off Evans Drive which runs through the middle of the park.  There is a nice cleared area here to string out a dipole.

Screenshot 2015-05-24 19.14.53

Above:- My operating spot.  Image courtesy of

I had spoken with Larry VK5LY on the way to Mark Oliphant.  Larry was operating portable with Ivan VK5HS and Peter Vk5FLEX, in the Pike River Conservation Park.  Larry had agree to hang around to get a ‘park to park’ contact.  So after setting up I quickly tuned to 7.105 and heard Larry calling with a very strong 5/9 signal.  I got Larry in the log and this was followed by Peter VK5FLEX.

I then headed up to 7.144 and started calling CQ.  My first taker there was Alan VK4AL (5/7 both ways), followed by Andrew VK1NAM mobile 3 (5/8 both ways), and then Andrew VK5NPP operating portable from near Mannum in the Riverland region of South Australia (5/9 both ways).

Whilst operating I had a local fella walk by on nearby Evans Drive and he waved to me and had obviously heard me on the radio.  He shouted out “I am QSYing”.  I took a quick break from the radio and had a chat with him and found out that he was not an amateur, but had studied radio back in his cadet days.  I think he said with the Army or the Air Force.

I went back to chatting on 7.144 and worked a few more VK’s and another local then walked by, with her dogs.  Again I stopped for a short time to have a quick chat.  She said she was on the way to the shops but would stop off for a look at me operating on her way back.  By the time I got back to the radio, a VK2 had moved in on 7.145.  So I QSYd down to 7.141 and called CQ and this was answered by David VK5KC.  I worked a further 15 stations in VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 & VK6, before deciding to have a try on 20m.

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Unfortunately I could not get on to my nominated operating frequency of 14.244 as the band was very busy.  So I headed up to 14.310 and started calling CQ.  To my surprise, my first taker was Swa, ON5SWA in Belgium followed by Luciano I5FLN and then Max IK1GPG.  I later worked out why the Europeans had found me.  Allen VK3HRA had spotted me on the DX cluster.  And this was followed by two more spots by ON5SWA and I5FLN.  Thanks for spotting me gentlemen.  It certainly helps enormously to drag in the park hunters.

Conditions on 20m were not great.  It was quite a struggle at times.  But I did manage to get a total of 30 stations in the log on 20m.  Countries worked were Belgium, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia.  VK’s worked on 20m were Greg VK8GM with a booming signal, and Daniel VK6LCK.  And again I managed a contact with my great mate, Marnix OP7M.

I headed back to 40m where I intended to stay for just a short while as it was getting extremely cold.  But pleasingly, I had a lot of callers, so I was there for a little longer than planned.  First taker upon returning to 40m was Rob VK4FFAB who is a very keen park activator and hunter.  This was followed by another eager activator and hunter, Mick Vk3PMG.  A few calls later, perrin VK3XPT gave me a shout whilst he was mobile, using his Codan 9350 antenna, minus the whip.  Considering that, Perrin had a great 5/7 signal and Perrin gave me a 5/9 signal report.

A few calls later, Brian ZL2ASH gave me a call from Wellington.  Although not as strong as normal, Brian was still 5/9 and also gave me a 5/9 signal report.  A few QSOs later I was very pleased to receive 4 calls in a row from VK6 Foundation operators.  They being Simon VK6FSYM, Ahmed VK6FHAM, Chris VK6FDKR, and George VK6FADD.  It was a little difficult at times with Simon and Ahmed, as some VK3’s and some USA stations had moved in on 7.140 and were bleeding over onto 7.138.

My last contact for the activation was Darren, VK2NNN in Bondi in New South Wales.  I then hurriedly packed up, as it was now extremely cold.  It was down to just 4 degrees celsius and was almost completely dark.  I had a total of 77 contacts in the log.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5LY/p (Pike River Conservation Park)
  2. VK5FLEX/p (Pike River Conservation Park)
  3. VK4AL
  4. VK1NAM/3
  5. VK5MPP/p
  6. VK2XPL
  7. VK3FCAS
  8. VK5FCDL
  9. VK5KC
  10. VK5NRG
  11. VK2YK
  12. VK5KFB
  13. VK3MCX
  14. VK3PF
  15. VK3ZPF
  16. VK3OF
  17. VK4FAAS
  18. VK5HS
  19. VK5LY
  20. VK5TR
  21. VK5NQP
  22. VK3FQSO/p (VKFF-759)
  23. VK2LX
  24. VK6MB
  25. VK4FFAB
  26. VK3PMG
  27. VK5FANA
  28. VK5ZGY
  29. VK3MPM
  30. VK6FCBG
  31. VK3XPT/m
  32. VK3DBP
  33. VK5KYM
  34. VK3AV
  35. VK5FTRG
  36. ZL2ASH
  37. VK5KLV
  38. VK3DAC
  39. VK3HRA
  40. VK3AXF
  41. VK5BW
  42. VK3CQC
  43. VK6FSYM
  44. VK6FHAM
  45. VK6FDKR
  46. VK6FADD
  47. VK6NTE
  48. VK2NNN

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. ON5SWA
  2. I5FLN
  3. IK1GPG
  4. ON4BB
  5. IZ0VXF
  6. EA3MP
  7. VK8GM
  8. EI4II
  9. IZ5YHD
  10. IZ2IHO
  11. DL1EBR
  12. HA0LG
  13. DK4RM
  14. EA1ACP
  15. OP7M
  16. DL5EBG
  17. ON1JU
  18. EA3ARP
  19. DL2ND
  20. EA4DTV
  21. HB9ELE
  22. OM7OM
  23. S58AL
  24. HA6OB
  25. EA2KV
  26. DF4PT
  27. S52KM
  28. DL3APO
  29. VK6LCK
  30. DF1YQ

4 thoughts on “Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, VKFF-782

  1. Excellent work Mate. Following the meeting I went down to the Noarlunga Airfield for a fly in a vintage Stearman aircraft… always impressed with the 20M contacts.

  2. Oh wow. I just had a look at what that aircraft looks like. Amazing. That would have been a terrific experience. I have seen them at a few airshows. Up at the Barossa Air show springs to mind. Perhaps you could go a/mobile next time.

  3. Hi Paul
    Mark Oliphant treated you well. Congratulations! One of my staff in days gone by was the owner of the Stearman (with her partner).
    John D VK5BJE

    • Its a nice little spot there John on the Honeyeater Track. A bit more scenic than down in the old YMCA area. Not much sun though, so the solar panels stayed in the car.



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