Mount George Conservation Park 5CP-147 and VKFF-0784 as VI5WOW

Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 17th May 2017) I finished work at 3.00 p.m. local time and headed the short distance back home to collect my radio gear.  It was a miserable afternoon, with shower activity all day.  I had planned to activate the Mount George Conservation Park 5CP-147 & VKFF-0784 as VK5WOW/p, and despite the poor weather, I decided to continue with the park activation.

Mount George CP is just a short distance from my home, about a 10 minute drive.  The park is situated about 21 km south east of the city of Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 11.21.03 am.png

Map showing the location of the Mount George Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Mount George Conservation Park was proclaimed on the 7th November 1996 and conserves 85 hectares of important native vegetation in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.  The park was originally 67 hectares in size before the boundaries were extended in 2003, adding a further 18 hectares.  The park is characterised by steep slopes adorned with Stringybark Open Forest.  The State endangerd Mountain Gum can be found in the park.  The park also contains creeks, wetlands, and freshwater bogs.  The Mount George summit, 520 metres, is located within the park.  Sadly it does not have the required prominence for the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program.

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Aerial shot showing the Mount George Conservation Park, with Adelaide in the background.  Image courtesy of Google Maps

I set up in my normal operating spot, the carpark at the end of Mount George Road, where there is a picnic ground.  With the help of my wife Marija, who had popped in on her way home from work, I set up the annexe of the Toyota Hi Lux.  As this was to be a VI5WOW activation, I needed to operate under the conditions of the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award, which does not allow me to operate from inside the vehicle.

I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 80/40/20m linked dipole for this activation.

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Aerial shot showing my operating spot in the park.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

I headed to my nominated operating frequency of 7.144 on the 40m band.  My first contact was with Les VK5KLV at Port Augusta with a good 5/8 signal.  This was a little down compared to normal.  I generally receive Les 5/9.  This was followed by Peter VK3TKK mobile, Rick VK4RF/VK4HA, and then Steve VK4QQ.  Band conditions seemed to be down compared to normal, and it was quite slow going.  I reached 10 QSOs, qualifying the park for VI5WOW for VKFF, in around 14 minutes.

The showers had not let up, but the annexe of the Hi Lux provided good cover.  Marija headed back home to collect the side awning, which we had left out of the vehicle.

I worked a total of 39 stations on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, and VK7.  Local propagation was virtually non existant, with just 4 South Australian stations in the log.  Three of those were in close proximity to Mount George, so signals being via ground wave.  It was nice to make the trip all the way over to Western Australia, with Rich VK6HRC and Jarrad VK6FFAR logged.  I also spoke with Peter VK3PF/p who was activating SOTA peak Mount Dundas VK3/ VS-045.


My operating spot, sheltering from the rain.

Just before 5.30 p.m. local time I headed off to the 80m band.  I didn’t bother trying 20m as I had left my run a little too late.  I called CQ on 3.610 and this was answered by Colin VK4PDX who had followed me down from 40m.  I was then called by Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula, Hans VK5YX and Mike VK5FMWW in the southern suburbs of Adelaide, and then Bill VK5MBD at Red Hill in the Mid North of the State.  I logged a total of 28 stations on 80m from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5.

I then headed back to 7.144 on 40m and worked Bruce VK2HOT who had followed me up from the 80m band, followed by Mark VK4SMA, and then Marija VK5FMAZ.  But it was very very slow going, with very few callers.

At 0930 UTC I booked in to the 7130 DX Net.  Sadly, band conditions were absolutely awful, and I could only hear a handful of stations.  I remained on the net, for just one round, logging Brian ZL2ASH and George VK4GSF.

At the request via Facebook of a few VK5’s, I then headed back to 80m.  It was still wet and cold, and I didn’t plan on hanging around for long.  I logged a further 9 stations from VK3, VK5, and VK6, before going QRT.

I had a total of 84 contacts in the log.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5KLV
  2. VK3TKK/m
  3. VK4RF
  4. VK4HA
  5. VK4QQ
  6. VK3WAR
  7. VK7DIK
  8. VK2GWK
  9. VK3OHM
  10. VK7JON
  11. VK7AN
  12. VK5GJ
  13. VK5BJE
  14. VK4JWT
  15. VK4RZ
  16. VK3IC/m
  17. VK3MAB
  18. VK3FRJD
  19. VK2FSAV
  20. VK3YB
  21. VK2IO
  22. VK6HRC
  23. VK2NEO
  24. VK4TJ
  25. VK2NP
  26. VK3FPHG
  27. VK1DI
  28. VK5KC/p
  29. VK4HNS/p
  30. VK2ND
  31. VK2NSS
  32. VK3UH
  33. VK3HJA
  34. VK2SK
  35. VK3PF/p (SOTA VK3/ VS-045 Mount Dundas)
  36. VK1HW/m
  37. VK4PDX
  38. VK6FFAR
  39. VK4SJD
  40. VK2HOT
  41. VK4SMA
  42. VK5FMAZ
  43. VK4AAT
  44. VK4LX
  45. VK7FRJG
  46. ZL2ASH
  47. VK4GSF

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK4PDX
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK5YX
  4. VK5FMWW
  5. VK5MBD
  6. VK2NP
  7. VK5BJE
  8. VK5KLV
  9. VK4RF
  10. VK4HA
  11. VK5KPR
  12. VK5FRSM
  13. VK3ANL
  14. VK2IO
  15. VK3FCEV
  16. VK1DI
  17. VK3SQ
  18. VK5FMAZ
  19. VK4SMA
  20. VK5TRM
  21. VK5ZTS
  22. VK2GGA
  23. VK5HS/m
  24. VK3OHM
  25. VK3FSPG
  26. VK3MPR
  27. VK3LTA
  28. VK2HOT
  29. VK4GSF
  30. VK6HRC
  31. VK5NJ
  32. VK5ST
  33. VK3VC
  34. VK5FAKV
  35. VK3FPHG
  36. VK5VGC
  37. VK5FTCT


Department for Environment and Heritage, 2006, Mount George Conservation Park Management Plan.

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