Scott Creek Conservation Park VKFF-788

Yesterday afternoon (Saturday 22nd August 2015) I headed out to activate the Scott Creek Conservation Park, VKFF-788, which is located in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.  I have activated Scott Creek previously, but that was part of the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award.  Scott Creek was added to the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program earlier this year, so this was the first time I was to activate the park as part of WWFF.

Screenshot 2015-08-22 11.43.40

Above:- Map showing the location of Scott Creek CP.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

For more information on the Scott Creek CP, please see my posts re previous activations…..

https://vk5pas.org/2013/09/29/scott-creek-conservation-park/

https://vk5pas.org/2014/11/11/scott-creek-conservation-park-2/

For this activation I headed west from home along the South Eastern Freeway and travelled into the little town of Stirling and then on to Heathfield along Longwood Road until I reached Mount Bold Road.  I then travelled west on Mount Bold Road with the park on my right and the Mount Bold Reservoir on my left.  Mount Bold Reservoir is the largest reservoir in South Australia with a maximum capacity of over 46 thousand megalitres.  This is very pretty countryside through this part of the Mount Lofty Ranges.

I reached gate 8 of the park and this is where I parked the 4WD and made a short walk along the Cup Gum Track, where I set up the fold up table and deck chair.  A few trips back to the vehicle for the rest of the gear and I was set to go.

Screenshot 2015-08-22 11.44.19

Above:- Map showing the location of Scott Creek CP.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

It was my regular equipment for this activation: the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 20m/40m linked dipole supported on the 7 metre telescopic squid pole.  There was a nice clearing with some big gum trees, so I was able to get the legs of the dipole about 4-5 feet off the ground.

I headed for my nominated operating frequency of 7.144 and asked if the frequency was in use and this was immediately answered by the ever keen Mick VK3PMG in Stawell in western Victoria.  Mick had a very nice 5/9 + signal as always.  He was also kind enough to spot me on parksnpeaks, and also let me know that Gordon VK5GY was down the band, activating the Cox Scrub Conservation Park.  So after finishing with Mick, thats where I headed.

I found Gordon on 7.105 wrapping up a QSO, at the end of which I gave Gordon a call.  Gordon’s signal was very strong coming in from the Fleurieu Peninsula.  This was a lucky find and many thanks to Mick.  I wasn’t aware that Gordon was heading out, so I was very pleased to get a park to park contact in the log for the VK5 Parks Award.

I then moved back to 7.144 and called CQ and this was answered by some of the VK5 park regulars: Peter VK5PET at Strathalbyn, followed by David VK5PL at Williamstown, and then Arno VK5ZAR who spotted me on parksnpeaks.  Next up was Amanda VK3FQSO running QRP again, with just 1 watt, and a very respectable 5/7 signal.  It is amazing what can be done with QRP.  And I think that portable programs such as the parks and SOTA have proven that to many QRP doubters.

A few QSOs later, amongst the pile up, I spoke with Ken ZL4KD from Christchurch with a good 5/5 signal.  Ken reciprocated with a 5/3 for me.  Not bad on 40m at 3.15 p.m. local time with a basic little wire antenna just 7 metres off the ground.  Ken has become a regular park hunter and its always a pleasure to get him in the log.

Thanks to Rick VK4RF, a recent regular park hunter, who spotted me on the DX cluster.

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About half a dozen contacts later I was called by Peter VK3PF who was out portable in Crossover Regional Park, VKFF-965.  I had only added this park to the WWFF program the day before.  So Peter was very keen and was out there already.  And I was very pleased to add it to my VKFF parks collection.  A brand new one for me.  He is a link to Peter’s WordPress site re his activation…..

https://vk3pf.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/crossover-regional-park-vkff-965/

And then 2 QSOs later I had one of the highlights of the activation.  It was a QSO with Peter VK3YE who was using a home brew transceiver and running just 200 milliwatts.  Peter had a great 5/6-7 signal coming into Scott Creek.  It was also at this time that the first of many bushwalkers passed by my location.  They were curious to know what I was doing, so I quickly explained to them all about the hobby of amateur radio.  Below is a short video of how Peter sounded to me….

Soon after I was called by Tommy VK2IR who told me that the Europeans were querying on 20m if I was coming to that band.  And it was also at this time, that I had another bushwalker come by, who was very keen to find out what this crazy guy was doing sitting at a fold up table in the middle of the bush.  I took 10 minutes out of operating to explain to him, our interesting hobby, and the VK5 Parks Award and WWFF.  He seemed very keen.  We even spoke about propagation and the ionosphere.  Thanks to those who took the time for me to return to the band.  Thanks also to Tommy VK2IR for spotting me on the DX Cluster.

Prior to heading off to 20m I managed another new park for the WWFF program.  This time it was Ian VK1DI who was activating Gungahlin Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-844.

After working a total of 30 stations on 40m I headed to 20m and my nominated operating frequency of 14.310.  Unfortunately here in Australia, 14.244 is pretty much un-usable here in our afternoons due to a group of VK and USA fellas who have a daily get together on or around that frequency.  So I headed further up the band.  I called CQ on 14.310 and much to my surprise after just one call, I had a few Europeans coming back to my call.  The first station in the log was Jacky F5OUD in France, followed by Gerard F1BLL, and then regular park hunter, Albert S58AL in Slovenia.  But conditions were not easy, with the 20m band still not quite right.  Signal strengths were down and I only managed 9 contacts into France, Slovenia, Germany, VK4, VK6, Slovak Republic, and Russia.  This included Steve VK4OZI, and Mike VK6MB.  Despite half a dozen CQ calls I had no more takers.

I checked my i-phone for any possible park or SOTA activity and I saw a spot for Mike 2E0YYY who was on Walton Hill, G/ CE-002.  I headed for 14.335 and there was Mike, calling CQ.  Not strong, but with the non existant man made noise in the park, I thought we could probably make it.  And we did, giving each other 5/3 signal reports.

I then tuned across the band and worked my old mate Wim ON7AB in Belgium (I met Wim and his wife, last year during my visit to Europe), who was calling CQ on 14.265.  At the end of that QSO, I heard the familiar voice of Bruce VK2HOT calling out to me to say hello.  So we QSYd to 14.271 where I had a quick chat to Bruce, followed by Steve VK4QQ, before heading back to 40m for some final CQ calls.

I returned to 7.144 where my first taker was Bruce VK2HOT, who had followed me down from 20m.

I worked another 21 stations on 40m, before the cold got the better of me, and I packed up and headed home.  Amongst those callers was Rob VK4AAC/5 in the Parndana Conservation Park, VKFF-925, on Kangaroo Island, OC-139.

This was another new VKFF park for me, and a successful activation, with a total of 64 contacts in the log in a little over 2 hours.  And some good interaction with the public and some very interesting contacts.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PMG
  2. VK5GY/p (Cox Scrub CP)
  3. VK5PET
  4. VK5PL
  5. VK5ZAR
  6. VK3FQSO (QRP 1 watt)
  7. VK2PKT
  8. ZL4KD
  9. VK3FDAV
  10. VK5GJ (QRP 4 watts)
  11. VK4RF
  12. VK4HA
  13. VK2MI
  14. VK3ZPF
  15. VK2LGW
  16. VK3PF/p (VKFF-965)
  17. VK5EE/m
  18. VK3YE (QRP 200 milliwatts)
  19. VK1DR
  20. VK2IR
  21. VK5TD
  22. VK5FUZZ
  23. VK5BW
  24. VK5JW
  25. VK5VRB
  26. VK3OF
  27. VK5HOS
  28. VK3FMRC
  29. VK1DI/p (VKFF-844)
  30. VK5HEL/p
  31. VK2HOT
  32. VK5WG
  33. VK5KPR
  34. VK5KX
  35. VK2LEE
  36. VK5BJE
  37. VK3ANL
  38. VK5FMID
  39. VK3FLCS
  40. VK4FAAS
  41. VK4QQ
  42. VK1AT
  43. VK2JF/m
  44. VK4AAC/5 (VKFF-925)
  45. VK5ZZ
  46. VK5KLT
  47. VK5SF
  48. VK5KLV
  49. VK2XU
  50. VK5FTRG/m
  51. VK2SR

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. F5OUD
  2. F1BLL
  3. S58AL
  4. S52KM
  5. DK4RM
  6. VK4OZI
  7. VK6MB
  8. OM7OM
  9. RA3PCI
  10. 2E0YYY/p (SOTA G/CE-002)
  11. ON7AB
  12. VK2HOT
  13. VK4QQ

7 thoughts on “Scott Creek Conservation Park VKFF-788

  1. Hi Paul,
    Scott Creek CP has lots of bushwalkers at the weekend. I have activated at Gate 8 a number of times and find I get a lot less interruptions if I move away from the track and onto the old house site on the left as you come from the gate and just a across the fire break (Mount Bold Track). Anyway you might like the visitors and it is good for the hobby. Thanks for the qso and Scott Creek CP in the log.
    Cheers

    John D VK5BJE

  2. Howdy John,

    I actually enjoy the interaction with the public. It’s a good way of promoting the hobby. That spot just inside Gate 8 is certainly a nice spot, and up nice and high. You’ve got a great park in your backyard mate. I must go for a walk along that Cup Gum Track next time I’m there. I enjoyed the walk along the Heysen Trail in Mt George the other day.

    Cheers,

    Paul,
    VK5PAS.

  3. Pingback: Crossover Regional Park VKFF-965 | vk3pf

    • G’day Chris,

      Mike 2E0YYY is out quite a bit on a SOTA peak. As are a handful of the Belgium WWFF activators like Danny OT4V and Swa ON5SWA & Yves ON8ON. These guys always listen for VK, so its quite easy to get them in the log as long as the propagation gods are on our side.

      Cheers,

      Paul,
      VK5PAS.

  4. Paul,
    Thanks for activating the parks, I even heard VK3YE !!.

    May I suggest you create a special award certificate for Rob VK4AAC/VK5 for his activations on Kangaroo Island, I think he has done them all.

    Peter VK5KX

    • Howdy Peter,

      Many thanks for the post. Peter VK3YE is amazing with his QRP, that is for sure. And the non existant man made noise in the parks certainly helps when he calls in to say hi.

      OK, about KI. At the moment, I have my hands full with enough awards as it is Peter, with some new ones in the pipeline. Arranging these with Andrew in the UK to go onto LogSearch.

      Best 73,

      Paul, VK5PAS

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