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’.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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:-
- VK2IO/p (Joadja Nature Reserve VKFF-1944)
- VK4ALE/p (D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129)
- VK4SYD/p (D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129)
- VK5FLEA/p (Horsnell Gully Conservation Park VKFF-0894)
I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-
- VK2IO/p (Nattai National Park VKFF-0383)
I worked the following station on 20m SSB:-
Friends of Parks South Australia, 2018, <http://www.friendsofparkssa.org.au/members-directory/friends-of-kenneth-stirling>, viewed 3rd September 2018