The Knoll Conservation Park 5CP-229 and VKFF-0937

I didn’t plan on doing a park activation today (Saturday 2nd September 2017), but with a number of other park activators out in the field, and my wife Marija having an afternoon with her girlfriends, I decided to head down the road to The Knoll Conservation Park 5CP-229 & VKFF-0937.  Although I have activated the park previously, this activation was to go towards the recently released Boomerang Award for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

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Above:- Map showing the location of The Knoll Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Knoll Conservation Park is located at Crafers West, about 20 kms south east of Adelaide, in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.  Access to the park is via Upper Sturt Road, slightly south of Sheaok Road.  The Knoll sits on a small crest, about 640 metres above sea level.

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Above:- Aerial shot showing the park, looking north west towards the northern suburbs of Adelaide.  Image courtesy of Google Maps.

The Knoll is quite a small park, being only 2 hecatres in size.  The park was originally known as the Knoll Wildlife Reserve, being dedicated in 1963.  The park was re-named the Knoll National Parks Reserve with the introduction of the National Parks Act in 1966.  It is now known as The Knoll Conservation Park.

The area was originally donated to the South Australian State Government in 1917 by James George Russell (1848-1918), a lawyer and public servant.  He was a master of the Supreme Court and the Commissioner of Taxes.

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Above:- James George Russell.  Courtesy of wikipedia.

The park is surrounded by private properties.  Due to the relatively steep sides of the park, it renders the area unsuitable for agricultural purposes, and as a result, the scrub is intact.

On the edge of the park is a large Manna gum, known locally as the Waverly Ridge Tree.  It is believed the tree’s date of germination is January 1714 and as a result it is classified with the National Trust.  The tree is about 24 metres in height and has a diameter of 2 metres.  There are only five other trees of this sub-species on the register and only one is larger in girth. The sub-species is rated “Rare” in South Australia in the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.

There are some very nice views to be had from the park, looking east through the trees out towards Victoria (VK3).

There is a tower in the park which hosts Telstra and CFS services, however no noticeable noise from it can be heard on the bands.

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I parked the vehicle in the small car parking area out the front of the park.  I then walked a short distance along the track leading to the tower, and set up.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.  My power output was 40 watts.

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

Sadly there was an S5-6 noise in the park, most likely due to the nearby houses.  So it wasn’t the pristine conditions I normally experience in parks.  Before calling CQ I hunted around the band for the park activators I knew were out and about.  My first four contacts were with:-

  • Neil VK4HNS/p in the Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639
  • Andrew VK7DW/p in the Holwell Gorge State Park VKFF-1806
  • Rob VK4AAC/p in the Bunyaville Conservation Park VKFF-1493
  • Gerard VK2JNG/p in the Bulahdelah State Conservation Area VKFF-1287

I then propped on 7.110 and called CQ and it wasn’t long before I had a little pile up going.  First in the log was Rob VK2QR with a very strong signal, followed by Peter VK3TKK mobile, Dennis VK2HHA, and then Sergio VK3SFG.

My next Park to Park contact, was QSO number 13, with Peter VK3ZPF/p who was in the Upper Beaconsfield Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2219, one of the newly added Victorian parks to the World Wide Flora Fauna program.  I worked a handful more stations and when things slowed down I took the opportunity of sliding down the band to log Helen VK7FOLK/p on 7.090 who was in the Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802.

I headed back to 7.110 and logged a further 25 stations including a Park to Park with Jonathan VK7JON in the Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802.  It was now around 3.30 p.m. local time and the band was starting to open up with DX stations.  PI4ZU from the Netherlands came up on the frequency and started calling CQ, but his signal was not all that strong, so it didn’t present a huge problem.

Much to my surprise Marija then arrived at the park and I convinced her to pick up the mic to get her 10 contacts to qualify the park for VKFF.

It seems a ladies voice on air certainly stirs up the hunters, as it did not take long for quite a large pile up to ensue.  First in the log for Marija was Geoff VK3SQ, followed by Michael VK3IRM, and then Les VK5KLV/p who was in the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1757.  Whilst Marija was on air I went for a bit of a walk through the park to take some photographs.  Unfortunately I had left the good camera at home, so I relied on the i-phone.

Marija logged a further 29 QSOs including the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Rob VK4AAC/p in the Bunyaville Conservation Park VKFF-1493
  • Hans VK6XN/p in the Len Howard Conservation Park VKFF-1429
  • Peter VK3ZPF/p in the Upper Beaconsfield Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2219

Marija decided to head home, so I jumped back on the mic and logged a further 11 stations on 04m including a Park to Park with Les VK5KLV/p in the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1757.

At about 4.30 p.m. local time I headed off to the 80m band where I called CQ on 3.60.  This was answered by Geoff in Beechworth, followed by Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG in western Victoria, and then Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula.  All had strong signals and highlighted again that the 80m band is definitely worth giving a shout during an activation.  I logged a further 4 stations on 80m including Les VK5KLV/p in the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park, and Marija VK5FMAZ who had now arrived home.

I then lowered the squid pole and removed the links and headed to 14.310 on the 20m band.  Once there I heard Fred VK4FE/p chatting to Phil VK6ADF/p.  I logged both of these gentlemen for two more Park to Park contacts.  Fred VK4FE was in the Undara Volcanic National Park VKFF-0506, and Phil VK6ADF/p was in the Beekeepers Nature Reserve VKFF-1845.

To finish off the activation I headed back to 40m where I logged a total of 8 QSOs including Mike ZL1MRC in New Zealand and a Park to Park with VK6ADF/p in the Beekeepers Nature Reserve.

It was now about 5.30 p.m. and starting to get a bit cool, so it was time to pack up and head home.  I had a total of 73 contacts in the log, including 13 Park to Park QSOs.  It had been a terrific afternoon.

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Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3IRM
  3. VK5KLV/p (Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1757)
  4. VK3PWG
  5. VK2HHA
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK4KUS
  8. VK1DI
  9. VK3VIN
  10. VK4AAC/p (Bunyaville Conservation Park VKFF-1493)
  11. VK5BJE
  12. VK5KC
  13. VK5PL
  14. VK5MRE
  15. VK6XN/p (Len Howard Conservation Park VKFF-1429)
  16. VK3ZPF/p (Upper Beaconsfield Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2219)
  17. VK3BBB
  18. VK2YK
  19. VK3FRAB
  20. VK4RF
  21. VK4HA
  22. VK3AXH
  23. VK2FOUZ
  24. VK4HNS
  25. VK3UH
  26. VK5KIK
  27. VK3GGG
  28. VK3PMG
  29. VK3AJA
  30. VK7JON/m
  31. VK7FOLK/m

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4HNS/p (Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639)
  2. VK7DW/p (Holwell Gorge State Park VKFF-1806)
  3. VK4AAC/p (Bunyaville Conservation Park VKFF-1493)
  4. VK2JNG/p (Bulahdelah State Conservation Area VKFF-1287)
  5. VK2QR
  6. VK2SWL
  7. VK3TKK/m
  8. VK2HHA
  9. VK3SFG
  10. VK3SQ
  11. VK2EXA
  12. VK3OAK
  13. VK3ZPF/p (Upper Beaconsfield Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2219)
  14. VK3PWG
  15. VK2HPN/m
  16. VK3ARH
  17. VK7FOLK/p (Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802)
  18. VK3LCW
  19. VK3CWF
  20. VK4TJ
  21. VK2NP
  22. VK3BBB
  23. VK2KJJ
  24. VK2VRC
  25. VK2KV
  26. VK4GSF
  27. VK5TBC
  28. VK2VU
  29. VK5NAL
  30. VK5FGFK
  31. VK3FOTO/m
  32. VK7JON/p (Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802)
  33. VK3ZMD
  34. VK2PKT
  35. VK5NRG
  36. VK3VBI/m
  37. VK3EMI
  38. VK3TFD
  39. VK4FDJL
  40. VK3BSG
  41. VK2FOUZ
  42. VK2IO
  43. VK6XN/p (Len Howard Conservation Park VKFF-1429)
  44. VK5KLV/p (Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1757)
  45. VK3ZZS/2
  46. VK4HNS
  47. VK2FABE
  48. VK3GGG
  49. VK3PMG
  50. VK3UH
  51. VK4MAY
  52. VK7DW
  53. VK5FAKV
  54. VK3AJA
  55. VK2VW
  56. ZL1MRC
  57. VK7FRJG
  58. VK2LEE
  59. VK6XL/m
  60. VK6ADF/p (Beekeepers Nature Reserve VKFF-1845)
  61. VK3FMPC
  62. VK2LEZ

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK5KLV/p (Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1757)
  6. VK5FAKV
  7. VK5FMAZ
  8. VK5KS

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4FE/p (Undara Volcanic National Park VKFF-0506)
  2. VK6ADF/p (Beekeepers Nature Reserve VKFF-1845)
  3. VK4SMA

 

References.

Heddle; E, 1975, ‘Effects of Man on the vegetation in the National Parks of South Australia’.

National Trust, 2017, <http://www.trusttrees.org.au/tree/SA/Crafers_West/On_Road_Reserve_At_Margin_Of_%22The_Knoll%22_Conservation_Park_At_The_Intersection_Of_Waverley_Ridge_Road_And_Upper_Sturt_Road_Crafers_West_Intersection_Waverley_Ridge_Rd_&_Upper_Sturt_Road&gt;, viewed 2nd September 2017