Yesterday afternoon (Saturday 18th March 2017), for the John Moyle Memorial Field Day (JMMFD) I ventured out to the Totness Recreation Park VKFF-1754 for a 6 hour stint in the Field Day. Totness is located about 35 km south east of Adelaide and just 2.5 km from my home QTH.
Above:- Map showing the location of the Totness Recreation Park in the Adelaide Hills. Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.
I had been up to Totness 4 days prior for the regular Friday get together for the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award. In fact this was to be my fourth activation at the park which is very close and handy to my home. Last year I operated from Totness for the Remembrance Day (RD) Contest.
For full information on the Totness Recreation Park and my previous activations, please see my previous posts at……
Above:- Aerial shot showing the location of the park in respect to my home QTH. Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.
In 2016 for the JMMFD I operated portable from the Monarto Conservation Park, about 30 km east of my home. And in previous years I have operated from the Coorong National Park. This year I decided to operate from Totness, simply due to its closeness to home.
I operated from my ‘normal’ operating spot at Totness, in the southern section of the park, off Haines Fire Track. There is a small area here where you can park your car off the track, at the gate leading into the park. There is also a nice cleared area of about 4 metres, between the boundary fence and the scrub. Plenty of room to string out a dipole.
Above:- Aerial shot showing my operating spot in the south western section of the park. Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.
My operating equipment
For this years JMMFD I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts output, and a 20/40/80m linked dipole, supported on a 7 metre heavy duty telescopic squid pole (antenna was inverted vee configuration). I powered the radio with a Matson 44 amp hour power pack, and used my solar panels to top up the battery. I used VK Contest Log on my Mac laptop. This is terrific logging software by Mike VK3AVV. I was set up in the park under the shade of some gum trees, sitting in a deck chair, with my equipment on a fold up table.
What is the John Moyle Memorial Field Day?
The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) website states the aim of the JMMFD is:
“The aim is to encourage and provide familiarisation with portable and field operation, and provide training for emergency situations. The rules are therefore specifically designed and focussed to encourage field operations.”
It further states:
“The contest is run each year in memory of the late John Moyle who was a long term editor of the Wireless Weekly, (later Radio & Hobbies – later Radio Television & Hobbies) from 1947 until his untimely death in 1960.”
Who was John Moyle?
Last year I decided to do a bit of research on John Moyle, the man in whose name the event is named after. The information below is courtesy of research I undertook on the web, and also Peter Vk3RV, the WIA historian.
John Murray Moyle (VK2JU) was born on the 28th February 1908 in Malvern, Victoria. He was educated at Scotch College in Melbourne where he was the Editor of the school magazine and involved in the debating team. John’s first role in radio was with radio station 3DB in Melbourne where he assisted well known broadcaster Ren Miller in the commercial advertising department and also wrote short stories and technical articles on radio for the ‘Listener In’ (Melbourne). In 1932, John joined the staff of ‘Wireless Weekly‘, a Sydney publication, and soon became Assistant Technical Editor, and then Technical Editor. John was also first licenced in 1932 as a radio amateur.
In 1933 John married Alice Marshall Brown (1908 Bloemfontein South Africa -2005). She was one of the seminal figures in Australian ethnomusicology and founding members of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
John and Alice had two daughters, Josephine and Carolyn.
In April 1939, ‘Wireless Weekly‘ became a broadcasting programme weekly publication, with its technical activities separated into a monthly magazine entitled ‘Radio and Hobbies‘. John was the Technical Editor of the new magazine, and some became the Editor.
John served as a Squadron Leader with the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II. His service number was 263664. He was in charge of all radar publications at the Melbourne RAAF Headquarters, and was discharged on the 18th January 1946.
John Moyle served for many years as a Federal Councillor with the WIA and President of the NSW Division. In 1959 he was selected to represent the WIA as an officially accredited member of the Australian delegation to the Administrative Radio Conference of the International Telecommunications Union, held in Geneva Switzerland. He also made weekly technical broadcasts on radio station 2UE in Sydney.
John Moyle died on the 10th March 1960, aged just 52 years, after a short illness. His resting place is the Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens and Crematorium in North Ryde, NSW.
My results from this year’s JMMFD
I entered in the Six Hour Portable Operation category. Specifically the Single Operator, Phone Only, HF Bands section.
I operated from 3.20 p.m. South Australian local time (0450 UTC) until 9.20 p.m. (1050 UTC). I chose to operate a little later in the day due to the heat. It was nearly 35 degrees C here yesterday and very hot.
My first contact of the Field Day was with Adrian VK3VFR on 40m. My final contact of the Field Day was on 40m with my mate Gerald, VK2HBG who was operating portable.
Within my 6 hour block of operating I made a total of 241 contacts. These were all on SSB on the 20, 40, and 80m bands.
- 20m = 3
- 40m = 171
- 80m = 67
The graph below shows all of my activity during the contest.
The vast majority of my activity was on the 40m band. The graph below shows my activity on the 40m band during the Field Day.
I only made 3 contacts on the 20m band. Those stations were Colin VK4PDX, VK6NC/p and an old friend Miles VK6MAB. This was Miles first time on air in 2 years. I was tempted to try 20m for some DX, but it can get rather confusing with local contests as I’ve experienced in the past. So I was rather pleased when no Europeans responded to my CQ calls. The graph below shows my very limited activity on the 20m band.
The 80m band was particularly noisy due to all of the storm activity in New South Wales. But despite that I managed a total of 67 contacts there from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK7, VK8, and New Zealand.
DX worked during the contest.
As I mentioned above I was very reluctant to put out CQ calls on 20m during the late afternoon, as it can become very confusing with local contests with the DX. As I was in a park, many of the European stations would have been very keen to work me, but explaining re the JMMFD and successfully logging exchanges has proven difficult in the past.
I was pleased to work Bill ZL3VZ/p in Blenheim, New Zealand, a number of times on both 40m and 80m.
Park to Park contacts
- Neil VK4HNS/p, Lamington National Park VKFF-0280
- Tony VK7LTD/p, Narawntapu National ParkVKFF-0005
- Peter VK3YE/p, Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333
- Jim VK1AT/2, Kosciuszko National Park VKFF-0269
- Hans VK6XN/p,Swan Estuary Marine Park VKFF-1455
How does my score compare to previous years?
This year I made a total of 241 contacts with a claimed score of 482 points.
- 2016 = 229 contacts (458 points). First place in the portable, single op, phone only, HF, 6 hour category.
- 2015 = 238 contacts (476 points). First place in the portable, single op, phone only, HF, 6 hour category.
- 2014 = 155 contacts (310 points). First place in the portable, single op, phone only, HF, 6 hour category.
Some final comments and tips for newbies to Contests.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself again for this year’s JMMFD. I love getting out portable at any time, and the JMMFD is just another excuse to do exactly that. It is also a little more laid back compared to some of the very big international contests that are held during the year.
I experienced some quite long periods of calling CQ without any callers.
Here are a few tips for newcomers to Contests/Field Days.
- Read the contest rules
- again this year I was called by a handful of amateurs who did not know the rules of the JMMFD. It is essential that you read the rules and check out the basic facts before participating.
- Do not call the station if you’re not prepared to exchange contest reports
- Yes, I had a few calls from stations who stated ‘I’m not in the contest, but I thought I’d give you a call‘. That’s ok, even if you’re not in the contest. But don’t tell the station that you are not going to exchange contest reports. Some of the real serious contesters will get quite angry with you. In essence, all you are doing is wasting valuable contest time.
- Do not call the station unless you know their callsign
- Do not call the station unless you are aware of their callsign. You may have already logged the station and therefore cannot work them again. This happened a few times.
- Be concise and brief
- Do not engage the contest station in a lengthy conversation unless they engage you. All that is required is a signal report and an exchange of sequential numbers for the contest. Contests are competitive by nature and every second counts. Do not engage the other station in conversation about your station, the weather, our QTH etc.
And what about this 59 signal report all the time? By gentleman’s agreement, the exchange between stations for signal reports in contests is 59. Even if the station is only 55, the general exchange is 59. Some amateurs may not like that, but it is common practice in contests, to avoid having to listen for and log the ‘real’ signal report.
It was a slow drive along the tracks back home, as there were plenty of Kangaroos out and about. Once home I enjoyed a nice meal of Marija’s home made lasagna.
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2016, <http://aiatsis.gov.au/collections/collections-online/digitised-collections/musical-connections-alice-boyle/biography>, viewed 20th March 2016.
Commonwealth of Australia, 2016, <http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/>, viewed 20th March 2016.
Discogs, 2016, <https://www.discogs.com/artist/1792346-Alice-M-Moyle>, viewed 20th March 2016