Marija and I flew out to Sydney on Saturday morning, 21st May 2016, enroute to Norfolk Island. We stayed for 2 nights with our friends Karen and Jamie who live at Denistone. After being picked up from the airport by Karen, we headed off to the Sydney Fish Market to pick up some goodies for dinner. What an amazing place the fish markets are.
That night, we had a fantastic seafood meal with Karen and Jamie, and our other friends Fiona and Pabs.
On Sunday morning (22nd May 2016), whilst the girls went to the gym, Jamie and I took a drive to Lane Cove National Park VKFF-0281. This was an unplanned activation, and as I did not have a squid pole with me, we took a short detour via Jamie’s soccer club to pick up a 5 metre long extendable painters pole.
We then took the short drive out to Lane Cove NP which is situated in metropolitan Sydney, about 10 km north west of the Sydney Central Business District.
Above:- Map showing the location of Lane Cove National Park. Map courtesy of google maps.
The Lane Cove National Park was established in 1938 and is 372 hectares (920 acres) in size. The park consists of land near the banks of the Lane Cove River which flows generally south-east into Sydney Harbour. The park also extends to the outskirts of Pennant Hills and Wahroonga. The park is surrounded on all sides by developed suburban areas and except for the upper northwestern region is never more than a kilometre wide. Much of the park is of fairly rugged terrain on the slopes of the river valley and covered by dense bush.
We entered the park and drove a short distance into the park until we found a small picnic area which had a table and benches.
We secured the painters pole to the table with the use of some octopus straps and strung out the 40m/20m linked dipole and tied off the ends to some nearby trees. The antenna was very close to the ground, and I had concerns about its performance. For the activation I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, @ 20 watts, powered by the LiFePO4 battery.
We were set up and ready to go by around 0055 UTC. I commenced calling CQ on 7.090 and this was answered by Gerard VK2IO with a strong 5/9 signal. Gerard gave me a 5/8-9 signal report which I was happy with considering the antenna was very low to the ground. This was followed by Jock VK2EJW, Marc VK3OHM, and Fred VK3DAC. All had good signals and gave me signal reports ranging from 5/6 to 5/9, so it appeared the antenna was working okay.
Seven QSOs into the activation, I was called by Ian VK1DI who was portable on SOTA peak Mount Mundoonen VK2/ ST-053. And that wasn’t my only SOTA contact. Towards the end of the activation I made contact with Malcolm VK3MEL who was activating Point 756 Pyrenees VK3/ VS-018 (I was on that summit last year in November). I also made a Park to Park contact with Rob VK4AAC/3 who was portable in the Lake Eildon National Park VKFF-0625.
I made a total of 23 contacts. Only one of those was on 20m.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-
- VK1DI/2 (SOTA VK2/ ST-053)
- VK3MEL/p (SOTA VK3/ VS-018)
- VK4AAC/3 (Lake Eildon National Park VKFF-0625)
The following station was worked on 20m SSB:-
That afternoon, we headed off to Sydney for some sightseeing. Thanks to Karen and Jamie for being such great hosts.
Wikipedia, 2016, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lane_Cove_National_Park>, viewed 1st June 2016