Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park VKFF-1018 and 5CP-038

My one and only planned activation for Sunday 12th June 2016 was the Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park VKFF-1018 and 5CP-038.  This was another park that had been activated previously (including by myself) for the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award, but it had not been activated for World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF).  So this was to be a new park for me and all the hunters who worked me.  I was also going to see how many contacts I could make for the VK Shires Contest.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.04.40

Above:- Map showing the location of the Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I left Mount Gambier quite early in the morning, so it was slow going on the roads.  There were lots of kangaroos and wallabies on the edge of the road, and crossing the road at times.

And then there were the wombats!

DSC_1217

Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park protects 30.5 hectares of coastal habitat, which was purchased with the assistance of the Australian Government’s Natural Heritage Trust.   A number of threatened species and plant communities are conserved within the park.  The park protects part of the only known population of Carpenter Rocks Manna Gum and provides significant roosting habitat for the Orange-bellied Parrot, which is critically endangered at a national level.

The land comprising the reserve is significant for the local Aboriginal Boandik people, with one site of significance located in Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park and another two sites within close proximity.

Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park was proclaimed on 6 September 2001 under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 with a section 43 proclamation providing for existing and future rights for exploration and mining under thePetroleum Act 2000.  The South Australian Government purchased the land with the assistance of the Australian Government through the National Reserve System Program of the Natural Heritage Trust and a contribution from the Nature Foundation SA Inc.

To access the park you need to travel along Carpenter Rocks Road, into the little seaside township of Carpenter Rocks.  Then turn left onto Pelican Point Road and travel south east.  You will find a small clearance in the scrub a short distance down on the left, and this is where you enter the park.  You will drive into a small clearing and this is where the park sign is located.  There is a track which then follows a dog leg around to the left and follows the power lines through the park.

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The last time I activated this park back in September 2013, I activated from a clearing in the scrub about 100 metres along the 4WD track.  This time I set up near the park sign.  The 4WD track looked way too overgrown to drive down and I was concerned that I might not be able to turn around.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.04.19

Sadly this park appears to be a bit neglected.  There are no real walking tracks through the park as the vegetation is just too thick.  The park is not sign posted from the road, which seems to be a common theme with many South Australian parks.

So with the 4WD track being overgrown I wasn’t left with a lot of options as to where to set up.  I was also cognisant of nearby overhead power lines and was concerned that they would be throwing off a bit of noise.

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Fortunately after setting up, I was pleasantly surprised that the band was very quiet.  The power lines appeared to be having no adverse effect on the noise level.  I did not go to 7.144 for this activation, as it was a Sunday, and the upper portion of the 40m band was occupied by the numerous WIA weekly broadcasts.  So I called CQ Contest and CQ Parks on 7.110 and this was answered by David VK3IL, followed by Marcus VK3TST, and then Andy VK3VKT.  It was not long before I was in a bit of a rythm with a steady flow of callers from all across Australia.  The 40m band was in excellent shape.

I went on to work a total of 75 stations on 7.110 before things started to slow down a little.  These contacts included Park to Park contacts with Marcus VK3TST who was portable in the Clinton Conservation Park VKFF-0813, and Rob VK4AAC/3 in the Shepparton Regional Park VKFF-0976.  I also worked VK3SOL (with Peter VK3FPSR at the mic) at the Echuca Steam Rally.

When things slowed down I tuned across the band and found Michael VK3FCMC operating portable from the Organ Pipes National Park VKFF-0627.  This was my third Park to Park contact for the activation.  I then moved back to 7.110 where I worked a further 8 stations in VK3 and VK5.  But things had really slowed down, and many CQ calls went unanswered.  So it was off to 20m for me where I worked 13 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK6, VK7, and New Zealand.

I then went back to 40m for one lat quick listen and worked 5 further stations.  This included another Park to Park contact.  This time with Peter VK3PF who was portable in The Lakes National Park VKFF-0484.

I had spent a little longer in the park than expected (a total of 3 hours) and it was time to pack up and head off to the SERG Convention.  I had a total of 102 contacts in the log.

Thanks to Rick VK4RF for posting me on Facebook.  And thanks to Chris VK3AWG, David VK3IL, & Adrian VK5FANA, and for spotting me on the DX Cluster.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3IL/p
  2. VK3TST/p
  3. VK3VKT
  4. VK1MA
  5. VK3GGG
  6. VK3PMG
  7. VK3DAC
  8. VK2HHA
  9. VK5KLV
  10. VK3KLB
  11. VK2YK
  12. VK4HNS
  13. VK6JON mobile 7
  14. VK4RF
  15. VK4HA
  16. VK1DI
  17. VK1AT
  18. VK5FANA
  19. VK5NFT mobile
  20. VK5PO
  21. VK6QM
  22. VK5FVSV
  23. VK4FW/p
  24. VK7CW
  25. VK3SQ
  26. VK3NCR/p
  27. VK3VH
  28. VK3PI
  29. VK3MCK
  30. VK4ATH
  31. VK5PL
  32. VK3FSPG
  33. VK2YW
  34. VK3AVV
  35. VK6TDF
  36. VK3NMK
  37. VK5BJE
  38. VK3ZPF
  39. VK3TST/p (VKFF-0813)
  40. VK2IO mobile
  41. VK3AMZ mobile
  42. VK4AAC/3 (VKFF-0976)
  43. VK2GAZ
  44. VK3FMRC
  45. VK7GN
  46. VK2MT/p
  47. VK2MTC
  48. VK3JLS
  49. VK7BC
  50. VK5NFT
  51. VK5BW
  52. VK5NRG
  53. VK3SOL
  54. VK2VVV
  55. VK5NAQ
  56. VK5NM
  57. VK3OHM
  58. VK3ELH
  59. VK7JGD
  60. VK3SMC
  61. VK7ZGK
  62. VK5APR
  63. VK3AWG
  64. VK3FJBA
  65. VK2TUT
  66. VK3FADM
  67. VK5AFZ
  68. VK3MDB
  69. VK3ZLD
  70. VK5WG
  71. VK2BO
  72. VK3FHDJ
  73. VK2FAIB
  74. VK7QP
  75. VK3AXH
  76. VK3FCMC/p (VKFF-0627)
  77. VK3PAT
  78. VK5AW mobile
  79. VK3PNF mobile
  80. VK3DBP
  81. VK3ZE mobile
  82. VK3DQ
  83. VK3NXT
  84. VK3XV
  85. VK3PF/p (VKFF-0484)
  86. VK3FMOL
  87. VK3MRH
  88. VK3SFG
  89. VK6JON mobile 7

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. ZL2AYZ
  4. VK2MOR
  5. VK4FW/p
  6. VK4ATH
  7. VK2HV
  8. VK3UH
  9. VK2JNG/5
  10. VK3VH
  11. VK7QP
  12. VK4ME
  13. VK6QM

Following my activation at Carpenter Rocks I headed back to the motel to freshen up and change and then headed in to the SERG Convention/Hamfest.  I spent an hour or so there chatting to amateurs.

It was still mid afternoon and I had a few hours before all the fox hunters were going to be in, and for the formal presentations (including mine) would start.  So I headed off up to the Blue Lake and surrounds and made a number of contacts from my mobile.

I then headed back to the Scout Hall and gave a presentation on the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), and this was followed by the traditional SERG dinner.  A great night.

xx

 

 

Telford Scrub Conservation Park VKFF-0805 and 5CP-226

After leaving the SERG clubrooms, I decided to head out to the nearby Telford Scrub Conservation Park VKFF-0805 and 5CP-226.  I had activated this park previously for both the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program and the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award, but the VK Shires Contest was on.  So although it wasn’t going to be a new park for me, I had hoped for an hour or so of fun in the VK Shires.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Telford Scrub Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Telford Scrub is located just 14 km north of Mount Gambier, just off the Riddoch Highway.  The park is 175 hectares in size and contains 11 species of plants that are considered to be of conservation value.  Over 20 species of native orchids can be found in the park including pink fingers, common donkey orchid, tiger orchid, and purple cockatoo.  The park contains a 100 metre long and 4.2 metre high boardwalk which provides a birds eye view of the forest.

I set up in a little clearing in the scrub adjacent to the carpark on Grundys Lane.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, set at 30 watts, and the 40m/20m linked dipole supported by the 7m telescopic squid pole.

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Above:- Aerial view of the Telford Scub Conservation Park, showing my operating spot on the southern boundary.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Prior to calling CQ I had a listen around the 40m band which was quite busy with VK Shires Contest stations.  My first contact was with Norman VK6NJW.  I then found Gerard VK2IO who was activating the Sea Acres National Park VKFF-0606.  I then propped on 7.095 and called CQ Contest and CQ Parks.  First taker there was Paul VK2HV, followed by Shaun VK3VH.  Sadly after working just 10 stations I was pushed off the frequency by a station who decided to come up on 7.093.  I just could not compete with his high power signal, so I moved to 7.105 and called CQ again.  This was answered by Hauke VK1HW, followed by Nev VK5WG and then Rhett VK3WE.  I worked a further 25 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4 VK6, VK7, and New Zealand.  The ZL callers were Roly ZL4AU in Ivercargill, Bill ZL2AYZ in Blenheim, and Mike ZL4OL in Waitati.  I also managed to work Stef VK5HSX/4 who was portable in Blackdown Tableland National Park VKFF-0037.

When things slowed down a little I had a further look around the band and logged a few more contest stations and then put out some final CQ calls on 7.130.  To finish off the evening I headed to 80m where I logged 5 stations from VK3, VK6, VK7, and New Zealand.

I finished up with a total of 54 contacts for the activation in around 90 minutes.  It was absolutely freezing and it was time to head back to the warmth of the hotel, a hot shower and a relaxing night watching the footy on TV.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK6NJW
  2. VK2IO/p (VKFF-0606)
  3. VK2HV
  4. VK3VH
  5. VK4FAAS
  6. VK3SFG
  7. VK2YW
  8. VK2NEO
  9. VK2JAZ
  10. VK2VVV
  11. VK4CL
  12. VK5KPR
  13. VK1HW
  14. VK5WG
  15. VK3WE
  16. VK6WE
  17. VK3FD/6
  18. VK4ME
  19. ZL4AU
  20. VK2NSS
  21. VK5HSX/4 (VKFF-0037)
  22. VK2PAW
  23. VK2FOUZ
  24. VK2ICW
  25. ZL2AYZ
  26. VK2LEE
  27. VK6WE
  28. VK2PHP
  29. VK7ROY
  30. VK2TTL
  31. VK2DEK
  32. ZL4OL
  33. VK6QM
  34. VK3PF
  35. VK4AAC/3
  36. VK6DW
  37. VK6MSC/p
  38. VK6PAW
  39. VK4TJ
  40. VK6WE
  41. VK7NWT
  42. VK4GH/p
  43. VK6FVIA
  44. VK6POP
  45. VK7FGGT
  46. VK3FSPG
  47. VK6QM
  48. VK4FBOB
  49. VK3KRH

The following stations were worked on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK7NWT
  2. VK3ZPF/p
  3. VK6POP
  4. VK6QM
  5. ZL2AYZ

 

References.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Telford Scrub Conservation Park brochure, 2010

Dingley Dell Conservation Park VKFF-1025 and 5CP-056

My one and only planned activation for Saturday 11th June 2016 was the Dingley Dell Conservation Park VKFF-1025 and 5CP-056.  Although this park has been activated previously (including by myself), it has not been activated for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  So this was to be another unique park for me and the WWFF park hunters.

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Above:- Map showing the location of Dingley Dell Conservation Park in the south eastern corner of South Australia.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I left Mount Gambier quite early after some breakfast, and travelled south along the Riddoch Highway, out passed the extinct volcano Mount Schank and then on to Allendale East.  The park is well signposted along the way.  I parked in the carpark opposite Adam Lindsay Gordon’s cottage and set up in the picnic area.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.03.45

Dingley Dell Conservation Park was proclaimed in 1972 and comprises around 6 hectares of scrub including South Australian blue gum, blackwood, golden wattle, coastal bearded-heath and native box.  The park is surrounded by cleared grazing land.

Dingley Dell Conservation Park is most famous for its historical connections.  The famed poet and horseman, Adam Lindsay Gordon owned the small cottage that is located in the park.  He resided there from around 1864 and it was given to the local council by his wife Maggie in around 1873.  The cottage had been built in 1862 and was purchased by Gordon in 1864 for 150 pounds.  The cottage has been restored and you can undertake guided tours through the cottage (which I did during this visit to the park).  The cottage was the first house on South Australia’s Heritage Register, having been registered in 1922.

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So how did Dingley Dell get its name?  It is certainly an interesting name.  The following account comes from an old resident of the Port MacDonnell district who had an intimate acquaintance with Adam Lindsay Gordon.  He said:

“The country surrounding the cottage was then, even more so than now, a sylvan paradise, in which gums and wattles ran riot and it was from the music of the birds in the trees, mingled with the tinkling of the bells of the hobbled stock, that the name ‘Dingley Dell’ was derived”.

Adam Lindsay Gordon was born in the Azores, and arrived in Australia in November 1853, aged just 20 years.  He immediately obtained a position in the South Australian mounted police and was stationed at Mount Gambier and Penola.  He left the police in 1855 and took up horse breaking in the south east of South Australia.  He earnt a reputation of being a ‘good steady lad and a splendid horseman’.  Gordon also became interested in poetry and he went on to become well known for his poetry.  Sadly it was after his death that his name and his works began to grow.  He also served as a politician, having been elected to the South Australian House of Assembly in 1865 for the District of Victoria.

Adam_Lindsay_Gordon_1865

Above:- Adam Lindsay Gordon.  Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

You can take a very interesting walk around the cottage and through the park.  It is well signposted and has some interesting interpretive signs along the way.

More information on Dingley Dell can be found at…..

http://www.dingleydell.net/

The weather was very inclement, but fine upon my arrival at the park, so I set up on a wooden bench and table in the picnic area.  After calling CQ, the first station in my log from Dingley Dell was Geoff VK3SQ in Beechworth, followed by Bill VK5MBD at Red Hill in the Mid North of South Australia,  Adrian Vk5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula, and then Mike VK3ZMD in Melbourne.  All had excellent 5/9 signals.  Despite the band being in very good shape and it being a Saturday morning, it was very very quiet on the 40m band.  I worked a further 7 stations from VK3, VK4, & VK5, before the rain started to come down.  It was also about this time that the caretaker of the park came along, and kindly opened up the adjacent shelter shed area for me.

After having a chat to the caretaker and relocating in the shelter shed, I called CQ again on 7.144 and this was answered by Mick VK3GGG mobile, followed by Al VK7AN and then John VK5BJE.  But that was it.  Callers dried up very quickly, unlike the weather.

So I took the opportunity of tuning across the 40m band and found Gerard VK2IO on 7.090 activating SOTA peak, North Brother VK2/ MN-081 which is located within the Dooragan National Park VKFF-0143.  Gerard was a good 5/7 signal to Dingley Dell and reciprocated with a 5/7 for me.

I then returned to 7.144 and called CQ again and this was answered by Don VK3MCK, followed by Craig VK3WAR, Tony VK5FTVR, and then Jim VK1AT.  This time around, a steady flow of callers followed.  I went on to work a further 33 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK5, VK6, and VK7.  I was very pleased to be able to work Daniel VK6WE all the way over in Western Australia.  And also Damien VK5FDEC and Michael VK5FVSV, both running just 5 watts QRP.

I was cognisant of the time, as I had to get to the South East Radio Group’s convention/hamfest, so I headed to 20m and called CQ on 14.310.  I put out numerous CQ calls which all went unanswered so I self spotted on parksnpeaks.  This was immediately followed by a call from Albert S58AL in Slovenia.  I was more than surprised to receive a call from Albert as it was only 11.00 a.m. SA local time.  Albert was a good 5/5 and gave me a 4/4 signal report.  Sadly, my only other taker on 20m was Adam VK2YK who was 5/9.

I then decided to give 15m a quick try, and I am very pleased that I did, as I had a good QSO with Steven ZL4CZ on 21.244.  Steven advised that he had heard me on 20m and was going to give me a call, but he had received a phone call preventing him from doing so.

I had a total of 56 contacts in the log and it was time to pack up and head off to Mount Gambier.

Thanks to Robert VK2XXM and Adrian VK5FANA for spotting me on the DX Cluster.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK5MBD
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK3ZMD
  5. VK5KLV
  6. VK3MRH
  7. VK3PF
  8. VK4AAC/3
  9. VK3AZN
  10. VK2LAX
  11. VK4HNS
  12. VK3GGG mobile
  13. VK3PMG mobile
  14. VK7AN
  15. VK5BJE
  16. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ MN-081  & VKFF-0143)
  17. VK3MCK
  18. VK3WAR
  19. VK5FTVR
  20. VK1AT
  21. VK2XXM
  22. VK6WE
  23. VK3BYD
  24. VK5ZGY mobile
  25. VK3QA
  26. VK3FIRM
  27. VK2YK
  28. VK3DAC
  29. VK3MCX
  30. VK5FDEC
  31. VK3ZPF
  32. VK5MAP
  33. VK2HV
  34. VK5PL
  35. VK5PET
  36. VK5ZEA/p
  37. VK7NWT
  38. VK2HHA
  39. VK3CFA
  40. VK3YSP mobile
  41. VK3FOWL mobile
  42. VK5ZK
  43. VK2WG
  44. VK2YW
  45. VK5FVSV
  46. VK3UH
  47. VK3IL/p
  48. VK3GYH
  49. VK3ARH
  50. VK5RM
  51. VK3VEF
  52. VK3SIM
  53. VK5IU

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. S58AL
  2. VK2YK

The following station was worked on 15m SSB:-

  1. ZL4CZ

After leaving Dingley Dell I went to the SERG Convention and spent the afternoon there until around 5.00 p.m.  For anyone who has never attended this event previously, I can highly recommend it.

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References.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2010, Dingley Dell Conservation Park brochure.

Wikipedia, 2016, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Lindsay_Gordon&gt;, viewed 14th June 2016

Aberdour Conservation Park VKFF-0994 and 5CP-001

My third and final park activation for Friday 10th June 2016 was the Aberdour Conservation Park VKFF-0994 and 5CP-001.  The park is situated about 260 km south east of Adelaide and about 35 km south of Keith.

This was again to be another unique park for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  The park has been activated previously for the VK5 Parks Award, but not for WWFF.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.02.23

Above:- Map showing the location of the Aberdour Conservation Park in the South East of South Australia.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

After leaving Christmas Rocks CP I continued south on Riddoch Highway until I reached Cannawigara Road on the eastern side of the Highway.

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The weather was moving in fast with predicted heavy rainfall for the afternoon.  I soon reached the south western corner of the park where there is a sandy 4WD track.  I toyed with the idea whether I should venture down there, but as I was on my own and there was predicted heavy rain, I decided against it.

DSC_1143

I continued on through the park until I reached Nankivell Road and travelled north, following the eastern boundary of the park, until I found a clearing in the scrub.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.02.05

Aberdour Conservation Park is around 133 hectares in size and was dedicated as a Conservation Park in February 1991.  It was a gift from the Nankivell family (named after the road I was on).  The park preserves an area of remnant vegetation which is very typical of undulating dune and limestone country of the South East of South Australia.  The endangered Jumping Jack Wattle can be found in the park.

As the weather was rapidly setting in, I quickly set up the fold up table and deck chair, and the Yaesu FT-857d and the 40m/20m linked dipole.  I started calling CQ on 7.144 and my first hunter for the park was Dennis VK2HHA with a beautiful 5/9 signal, followed by Chris VK3PAT (also 5/9) and then David VK5PL from the Barossa Valley who was also 5/9.  During the activation the wind really picked up and I lost the squid pole at one stage in the middle of a QSO.  After making 24 contacts on 40m, the drizzle set in and I was forced to hide underneath the bothy bag.

I cut 40m a bit short and headed up to 20m where I made a total of 4 contacts, until the drizzle turned to rain, and I had rain droplets seeping through the bothy bag.  I quickly packed up the gear and made a hasty retreat for the Toyota HiLux.  I apologise to those stations that were still calling, but the rain had become very heavy and steady.  I will need to go back to this park to pick up the remaining QSOs to reach the 44 QSO threshold for WWFF.

DSC_1147

Thanks to everyone who spotted me during this activation, as I had no mobile telephone coverage, and was unable to self spot on parksnpeaks.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2HHA
  2. VK3PAT
  3. VK5PL
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK3TKK mobile
  6. VK7LCW
  7. VK1AT
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK3GGG
  10. VK3PMG
  11. VK3DAC
  12. VK4AAC/3
  13. VK3ARH
  14. VK5KLV
  15. VK2YZS mobile
  16. VK2CPC/p
  17. VK2IPK
  18. VK2VOM
  19. VK3SFG
  20. VK3UH
  21. VK3QA
  22. VK4RF
  23. VK4HA
  24. VK3ZMD

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK5KLV
  4. VK2DEK

I then headed off to Mount Gambier, with the sub completely gone and the rain really teeming down.  After booking in to my motel, I headed around to have a coffee with Col VK5HCF.

DSC_1153

Christmas Rocks Conservation Park VKFF-1020 and 5CP-266

After leaving Kelvin Powrie Conservation Park, I continued south east along the Dukes Highway until I reached the town of Keith where I turned off onto the Riddoch Highway and commenced to travel south towards my next planned park activation, the Christmas Rocks Conservation Park VKFF-1020 and 5CP-266.

Although this park has been activated previously for the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award, this was to be the very first activation for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.01.02

Above:- Map showing the location of the Christmas Rocks Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

On the way to the park I spoke with Paul VK3SS and Tom VK5NFT on 40m.  Paul was thumping in, and Tom was initially a good 5/7 and then completely faded away on me.

The Christmas Rocks Conservation Park is just slightly north of the tiny town of Willalooka.  Sadly, there is no sign to indicate that there is a Conservation Park.  There is however a brown tourist sign indicating that in 400 metres ahead there is a photo opportunity.  If you’re travelling south and you’ve reached Willalooka, you have gone too far.  Willalooka itself is just a tiny place containing a general store & service station, tavern, community hall and a Country Fire Service (CFS) station.

The park was proclaimed in 2014 and consists of a small square shaped section of native scrub and a series of granite rock outcrops.  These were once part of the archipelago of granite rocks in the shallow sea that covered the Limestone Coast some 25 million years ago.

There is a short walk up to the top of the granite outcrop and this affords you with some very nice views of the surrounding countryside.  If you’re lucky you may also spot a wallaby.

I parked the vehicle in the carpark and walked a short distance into the scrub and set up my station, comprising the Yaesu FT-857d (set at 30 watts output) and the 40m/20m linked dipole, on the 7 m squid pole.  I called CQ on 7.144 and this was answered by Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula (5/9 both ways), followed by Les VK5KLV in Port Augusta (5/9 both ways), and then Tom in Millicent.  Our signal reports though were definitely not 5/9 both ways.  In fact it was 4/1 both ways, as Tom’s QTH is about 150 km south of the park, and it was clear that close in propagation was not working well.

A mini pile up ensued with callers from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK5, VK6, and VK7.  I was very surprised to hear Col VK5HCF in Mount Gambier, about 180 km from the park.  Col was 5/9 and gave me a 5/5.  This QSO was just 10 minutes after my contact with Tom, and the band conditions had clearly changed for the better for the close in contacts.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.01.36

Above:- Aerial shot showing my operating spot in the park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Eighteen contacts into the activation, I had my first Park to Park contact in the log for the activation.  It was with Gerard VK2IO who was activating SOTA peak Brumlow Tops VK2/ MN-120 in the Barrington Tops National ParkVKFF-0017.  Gerard had a good 5/7 signal and advised that it had been an 8km walk in to his 10 point summit.  A dozen or so QSOs later I was called by Greg VK4VXX who was portable in the Currawinya National Park VKFF-0127.  I don’t believe that Greg is a dedicated park activator, so I will have to contact Greg to explain the WWFF program to him, and seek his log.  This was followed by a call from Mitch Vk3XDM who was activating SOTA peak Mount Bolton VK3/ VC-023 (5/2 sent and 5/3 received).  Half a dozen QSOs later I was called by Phil VK2JDL who was portable on SOTA peak Mount Elliot VK2/ HU-093 (5/7 sent and 5/8 received).  And shortly afterwards I made another SOTA contact, this time with Andrew VK1MBE who was portable on Mount Stromlo VK1/ AC-043 (5/7 sent and 5/9 received).

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It was also pleasing to get Mike VK6MB in the log again on 40m with such a good signal late in the morning.  We exchanged 5/7 signal reports at 11.30 a.m. SA local time which is very good on 40m.  Some of the mobile stations that I worked also had excellent signals.  That included Jonathan VK6JON/7 mobile near Deloraine in Tasmania, Mark VK3FOTO/m and Wayne VK2PDW.

I worked a total of 45 stations on 40m and then decided it was time to head to 20m.  I commenced calling CQ on 14.310 and this was answered by John ZL1BYZ in Pukekohe, south of Auckland on the North Island of New Zealand (5/8 sent and 5/7 received).  Much to my surprise this was followed by a contact with Albert S58AL in Slovenia (5/5 sent and 5/5 received).  It was only 12.19 p.m. local time (0249 UTC) and this was very very early for long path Europe to be coming through.  I then worked into VK4 and VK6, and my last contact for the activation was with Dima UA9LT in Western Siberia.

The weather was starting to move in and I had 1 more park to activate and still a few hundred km before I reached Mount Gambier, so I packed up with a total of 52 contacts in the log.

Thanks to Peter VK3PF, Adrian VK5FANA, & Brett VK3FLCS, and for spotting me on the DX Cluster.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5KLV
  3. VK5NFT
  4. VK2HHA
  5. VK5PL
  6. VK5HS/m
  7. VK3SQ
  8. VK3PMG
  9. VK3GGG
  10. VK2KYO
  11. VK4AAC/3
  12. VK1AT
  13. VK3MCK
  14. VK3DAC
  15. VK6JON mobile 7
  16. VK5HCF
  17. VK3DRM mobile
  18. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ MN-120 and VKFF-0017)
  19. VK2CPO/p
  20. VK2LEE
  21. VK3FLCS
  22. VK3AZN
  23. VK3PF
  24. VK3MEG
  25. VK6MB
  26. VK5FMLO
  27. VK7LCW
  28. VK4VXX/p (VKFF-0127)
  29. VK3XDM/p (SOTA VK3/ VC-023)
  30. VK5VGC
  31. VK7CW
  32. VK3FOTO mobile
  33. VK3KRH
  34. VK3VBI
  35. VK2PDW mobile
  36. VK2JDL/p (SOTA VK2/ HU-093)
  37. VK3GMC
  38. VK7RX/p
  39. VK2MTC
  40. VK1MBE/p (SOTA VK1/ AC-043)
  41. VK3SFG
  42. VK3MCO
  43. VK3WAR
  44. VK3ARH
  45. VK7EE

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. ZL1BYZ
  2. S58AL
  3. VK4XPJ
  4. VK2LEE
  5. VK6MB
  6. VK6MMB
  7. UA9LT

Kelvin Powrie Conservation Park VKFF-0899 and 5CP-103

On Friday morning (10th June 2016) I made an early start from home, heading to Mount Gambier for the South East Radio Group’s Annual convention/hamfest and the National Fox Hunting Championships.  I was on the road a little after 6.30 a.m. local time.

My first planned park activation of the trip was the Kelvin Powrie Conservation Park VKFF-0899 and 5CP-103.  I activated Kelvin Powrie back in March this year but hadn’t quite reached the 44 required QSOs for the global World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program, so I had planned a quick stop there to pick up some more contacts to go towards the 44 tally.

The Kelvin Powrie CP is located about 217 km south east of Adelaide, and approximately 8 km north west of the town of Keith.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 14.59.25

Above:- Map showing the location of the Kelvin Powrie Conservation Park in the South East of South Australia.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Along the way I had a listen on 40m and booked in to the Mid South Coast Amateur Radio Club Met and spoke with John VK2NJP and Adrian VK4FBMW.  Both had excellent signals into the mobile, and I hoped that this was a sign of things to come with propagation for the remainder of the day.

I continued along the Dukes Highway, passing through the little towns of Cooke Plains, Coomandook, Yumali, Coonalpyn, Culburra, and then Tintinara.  I then reached the park.  Kelvin Powrie CP was named in honour of James Kelvin Powrie, an agricultural scientist.  For more information on Mr Powrie and the park, please have a look at my post from March 2016…..

https://vk5pas.org/2016/04/04/kelvin-powrie-conservation-park-5cp-and-vkff/

I pulled in to the carpark off the Dukes Highway and found that there were 2 caravaners in there already so I pulled up on the south eastern side of the carpark and started setting up my station.  Whilst I was doing so, one of the gentlemen came over to ask what I was doing.  I took some time out to explain the hobby of amateur radio and also explain about the World Wide Flora Fauna program and the VK5 Parks Award.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 14.58.35

Above:- Aerial image of the Kelvin Powrie Conservation Park, showing my operating spot in the south eastern corner of the park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Kelvin Powrie CP is a relatively small park, comprising some 17.66 hectares.  It is bordered by the very busy Dukes Highway (the main Adelaide-Melbourne road) on one side, and the Adelaide-Melbourne railway line on the other.

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I was up on air by just before 9.00 a.m. local time (2330 UTC) and headed to 7.144 where I came up to ask if the frequency was in use.  Before I even got the chance to call CQ, a number of voices came back to advise the frequency was clear and they were waiting for me.  My first contact for this activation was with Dennis VK2HHA in Albury, followed by Rob VK4AAC/3, and then Rick VK4RF/VK4HA.  All had 5/9 signals and all gave me 5/9 in return.  But it was clear that the close in propagation (within about 300 km) was not working well.  Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG forwarded me an SMS to advise that I was not readable at Stawell in western Victoria.  And Tony VK5FTVR from Strathalbyn tried calling me on a number of occasions but we were sadly unable to make a contact.  As there was no noise in the park I was able to hear Tony perfectly, but that was not the case at Tony’s end.

However, conditions to other parts of Australia were very good.  This included Western Australia.  I worked Mike VK6MB who was an excellent 5/8 (5/7 received), and Jonathan VK6JON mobile 7 near Launceston (5/9 both ways).

I was also very pleased to get a Park to Park contact with Neil VK4HNS who was portable in the Moogerah Peaks National Park VKFF-0326, in the Fassifern Valley of South East Queensland (5/7 sent and 5/6 received).

Whilst activating, one of the caravaners came over to have a listen, and seemed very interested to hear such strong signals coming in from all across Australia.  During my activation, I had another onlooker.  But this was of the feathered variety.  A Sulphur Crested Cockatoo flew in to a gum tree just above my operating spot and created one hell of a racket for a while as the ‘second operator’.

DSC_1114

The serenity of the park was also disturbed at one stage by a passing goods train on the Adelaide-Melbourne rail line.

DSC_1110

I worked 16 stations on 40m prior to the UTC roll over, and then a further 13 stations following rollover.  The VK6 stations (VK6MB and VK6IA) were incredibly strong on 40m considering the time of the day.  I then lowered the squid pole and removed the links in the dipole and started calling CQ on 20m.  The ever reliable Rick VK4RF/VK4HA was my first taker there.  This was followed by Mike VK6MB, then VK3VPG (who was struggling to hear me), and lastly a Park to Park contact on 20m with Neil VK4HNS in VKFF-0326.

It was time to pack up and head off to my 2nd planned park activation of the day, Christmas Rocks Conservation Park.  I was very happy with 34 contacts in the log, and together with my previous activation, I had qualified the park for WWFF.

Thanks to Mike VK6MB for posting me on Facebook.  And thanks to Rick VK4RF, Adrian VK5FANA for spotting me on the DX Cluster.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2HHA
  2. VK4AAC/3
  3. VK4RF
  4. VK4HA
  5. VK3DAC
  6. VK1MA/3
  7. VK6MB
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK4FAAS
  10. VK5NFT
  11. VK2VOO
  12. VK5KLV
  13. VK2HV
  14. VK3UH
  15. VK2LEE
  16. VK3KX
  17. VK3OHM
  18. VK4HNS/p (VKFF-0326)
  19. VK6JON/7
  20. VK4RF
  21. VK4HA
  22. VK5FANA
  23. VK2FDAV
  24. VK6MB
  25. VK6IA
  26. VK3EI
  27. VK3DQ
  28. VK3VM
  29. VK3BGS

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK6MB
  4. VK3VPG
  5. VK4HNS/p (VKFF00326)

South Coast Amateur Radio Club talk

On Thursday 9th June 2016 I attended the South Coast Amateur Radio Club (SCARC) at Railway Road, SEAFORD.  I delivered a presentation on the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) and the logging program Fast Log Entry (FLE).  The WIA part of the presentation was not originally planned.

The meeting was attended by about 15 keen SCARC members.

Thanks to Peter VK5PET for asking me to come down to SCARC.

Norfolk Island Award certificate

The DX entity Norfolk Island during the Wireless Institute of Australia annual general meeting and events in May 2016, has a limited edition operating award available. Called the Norfolk Island Award, it requires contact with stations over a two week period (May-June) 2016 that include the Wireless Institute of Australia annual general meeting.

To qualify, those on Norfolk Island need to log 20 other stations on Norfolk Island (local contacts), while all other operators have to log 10 contacts on Norfolk Island. Each qualifying station may be worked once only on a frequency band, but if contacted on another band will also qualify.

The award can be applied for via the WIA online awards system (for free as a PDF).  Or claims for the Norfolk Island Award can be sent to the WIA office, including an extract of qualifying contacts, and payment of $5.00.

VK9PAS Norfolk Island.png

 

DXFF Activator certificate

Tonight I received my latest DXFF Activator certificate for activating from 6 different DXCC entities (the WWFF program includes Australian States as separate entities).

  1. Germany
  2. Belgium
  3. VK1
  4. VK2
  5. VK3
  6. VK5
  7. Norfolk Island

Many thanks to Pit YO3JW for the certificate.

DXFF A6 2015  VK5PAS 009.jpg