VI5MARCONI at Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park 5CP-104 and VKFF-0781

On Sunday 2nd September 2018 I activated the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park 5CP-104 & VKFF-0781, using the special call of VI5MARCONI.  For full details on the VI5MARCONI call, please have a look at my previous post, re my activation at Monarto.  I’m sure you will find the history behind this call very interesting.

It was Fathers Day and I had enjoyed a great lunch of my wife Marija’s home made lasagne, shared with my Dad and stepmum, my son Jake and his girlfriend, and my daughter Olivia and her boyfriend.  It wasn’t until they left at about 3.30 p.m. that I decided to head out to activate the park.

I have activated and qualified the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park  many times over.  It is just a short 15 minute drive from home in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer. 

The park is unique in that it comprises four separate pieces of scrub, all a few km apart from each other, and totalling about 253 hectares.  The section I headed to is known as Wottons Scrub.  Other sections are known as Filsell Hill, Whites Scrub and Burdetts Scrub.  The names Burdett, White and Wotton refer to previous owners of the land while Filsell Hill denotes the location of the largest reserve which is close to the Filsell Hill Trig Point.

Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 8.44.23 pm.png

I have talked about the origins of this park in previous posts, but believe they are so interesting, they are worth mentioning again.  The park

It is named after Kenneth George Stirling, who was an accountant and benefactor.   Sadly he died suddenly in 1973, of heart disease, aged just 38.  Mr. Stirling earnt considerable wealth due to shareholding in mining interests, and apparently this paper value embarrassed him.  According to his wife, ‘he believed he hadn’t earned the money the mining boom brought him’ and ‘his main concern was to use it for the good of the community’.

He was a member of the Nature Conservation Society of South Australia and other organisations and over the years made several  anonymous gifts including $200,000 to the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) to establish national parks in South Australia, and $100,000 to the University of Adelaide. The money he gave to the A.C.F. helped to establish national parks at Montacute and Mount Scott, both near Adelaide, and in the extension of existing reserves at Scott Creek, in the Mount Lofty Ranges, and Warrenben, on Yorke Peninsula.  In 1990 the State government acquired land in the Adelaide Hills for the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park.

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Above:- Kenneth George Stirling.

I was set up and ready to go just after 4.00 p.m. local time.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

Before calling CQ I found Gerard VK2IO/p on 7.095, activating Joadja Nature Reserve VKFF-1944.  It was a nice way to start the activation with a Park to Park contact.  I then logged Jonathan VK4ALE/p who was also activating a park, the D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129.  I then moved to 7.135 and started calling CQ.  This was answered by Peter VK1XP/m, followed by Nick Vk3ANL, and then Scott VK4CZ.

The 40m band was in pretty good shape.  But it was busy.  There appeared to be a European Field Day in progress, and it was hard to find a clear frequency.  In the end I logged a total of 49 stations on 40m, including one big surprise.  That being a QSO with Deme EA5IPC in Spain.  Not bad, considering I was running 40 watts and a little bit of wire, 7 metres at the apex.  I also logged Rob VK4SYD/p in the D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129, and John VK5FLEA/p in the Horsnell Gully Conservation Park VKFF-0894.  It was terrific to hear John out and about giving portable operation a go.

IMG_1250.JPG

Above:- ‘The Shack’ at Kenneth Stirling.

I then moved to 3.610 on the 80m band and logged a total of 27 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, and New Zealand.  It was really pleasing to get so many calls on 80m.  This included a Park to Park with Gerard VK2IO/p who was in the Nattai National Park VKFF-0383.  And it was pleasing to log Andrei ZL1TM for a second band.  I had worked him earlier on 40m.

With the temperature dropping to 4 deg C, I then tried my luck on 20m, calling CQ on 14.310 for around 10 minutes with no success.  Some of the USA guys who follow the WWFF Australia Facebook page were keen to work me, but sadly there was no propagation to North America.  It was a little too late for 20m with the time being 0845 UTC (6.15 p.m. local time).  But I did log Andrew VK6AS, all the way over in Western Australia.

I moved back to the 40m band and found that it was really hard to find a clear frequency.  Sadly the Over the Horizon Radar was across most of the band.  But I eventually found 7.155 clear and called CQ there, logging 5 stations.  It was now dark, and the band had fallen out to Victoria (VK3).

IMG_1254.JPG

To finish the activation I went back to 80m where I logged 5 more stations from VK2, VK3, and VK7.

The temperature had now dropped down to 2 deg C and I was getting extremely cold.  It was time to pack up and head home to the warmth.  I had 87 more contacts in the log for VI5MARCONI.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Joadja Nature Reserve VKFF-1944)
  2. VK4ALE/p (D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129)
  3. VK1XP/m
  4. VK3ANL
  5. VK4CZ
  6. VK3PF
  7. VK3PWG
  8. VK2NP
  9. VK4FE
  10. VI4MARCONI
  11. VK3FT
  12. VK5FMAZ
  13. VK2VW
  14. VK12MA
  15. VK4SYD/p (D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129)
  16. VK3FSPG
  17. VK3MPR
  18. VK3LTL
  19. ZL1TM
  20. VK3ZPF
  21. VK3SQ
  22. VK3UH
  23. VK4FDJL
  24. VK7DW
  25. VK3STU
  26. VK6BMM/2
  27. VK2RP
  28. VK2BDR
  29. VK2YK
  30. VK2PKT
  31. VK3JAP/m
  32. VK2VK
  33. VK4SMA
  34. VK2ZVG
  35. VK4PDX
  36. VK2AR
  37. VK4FARR
  38. VK2KJJ
  39. VK3BY
  40. VK3KHZ
  41. VK2BY
  42. EA5IPC
  43. VK4VCE
  44. VK5FLEA/p (Horsnell Gully Conservation Park VKFF-0894)
  45. VK2BHO
  46. VK2KDP
  47. VK7FMAC
  48. VK2CPR/m
  49. VK7AIR/4
  50. VK4FOMP
  51. VK2BAI
  52. VK1UU
  53. VK2SK
  54. VK2FSAV

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF
  2. VK3ANL
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK2NP
  5. VK2YK
  6. VK5FMAZ
  7. VK5YX
  8. VK5HS
  9. VK2MWK
  10. VK2BNX
  11. VK1HW
  12. VK1DI
  13. VK2IO/p (Nattai National Park VKFF-0383)
  14. VK5ZLT
  15. VK1MA
  16. VK4HNS
  17. VK3PF
  18. VK5JN
  19. VK2HHA
  20. VK5LA
  21. VK2VIN
  22. VK3LTL
  23. VK5SFA
  24. VK5ATN
  25. VK2SR
  26. ZL1TM
  27. VK2BY
  28. VK3UFO
  29. VK7FCIA
  30. VK2KV
  31. VK7RN
  32. VK3BMT

I worked the following station on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6AS

 

References.

Friends of Parks South Australia, 2018, <http://www.friendsofparkssa.org.au/members-directory/friends-of-kenneth-stirling>, viewed 3rd September 2018

4 thoughts on “VI5MARCONI at Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park 5CP-104 and VKFF-0781

    • G’day Chris,

      Band conditions have been pretty poor again of late. I have jumped on to the ANZA DX Net a few times with this call and worked a bit of DX. And the occasional JA on 15m, but other than that its been pretty quiet. Noise floor here at home has gone up to S8 on 40m, making it almost impossible to work from home now on that band.

      73,

      Paul VK5PAS.

  1. Hi Paul,
    I could actually hear you on 40 metres ground wave. I listened until Marija called in and then had to go to band practice. My signal could not compete with the strong signals you were dealing with. I called right at the beginning and a couple of more times through the wall of call-signs. Oh well another time! You did really well and I thought you were keen working in the cold!
    73 John D
    VK5BJE/VK5PF

    • Hi John,

      That little spot in Wottons Scrub is pretty elevated. I suspect it might not be a bad spot for a bit of VHF work out to the east and the south east. Might be worth a try one day soon.

      Cheers,

      Paul VK5PAS.

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