VI5MARCONI at Scott Creek Conservation Park VKFF-0788

On Sunday morning (16th September 2018) I headed over to Scott Creek in the Adelaide Hills to meet up with John VK5BJE.  We had organised to activate the Scott Creek Conservation Park VKFF-0788, using the special call of VI5MARCONI.

The Scott Creek Conservation Park is about 24 km (by road) south east of Adelaide.  It is located in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.

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

This is another park I have activated many times over.  It is also ‘John’s park’.  John lives just a short distance from the park, and his wife Jenny is an active member of the Friends of Scott Creek.  We set up at our normal operating spot, just inside gate 8.

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Above:- Map of the Scott Creek Conservation Park, showing out operating spot.  Map courtesy of DEWNR.

As I had used the call for the past few weeks, John kicked off the activation, by calling CQ on 7.130 on the 40m band.  Marija VK5FMAZ, my wife, was first in the log, with a strong 5/9 signal.  This was followed by Joe VK3MAB, Ken VK3UH and then Peter VK3JRP.  But it was very slow going, with band conditions being very ordinary.  John ended up logging 12 contacts on 40m, before we decided to try the 80m band.

So it was down with the telescopic squid pole, and in with the 80m links, and off to 3.610.  I spotted John on parksnpeaks and the various ‘portable’ Facebook sites.  Again first in the log on the 80m band was Marija VK5FMAZ, followed by Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula, then Ivan VK5HS mobile, and then Trevor VK5TW.  But sadly that was it.  Despite the band being in great shape for local contacts, we had no further callers.

So it was out with the CW key and for John to try his luck on 3.532 on CW.  John called CQ a number of times with no response.  We started to wonder if his signal was getting out.  We then made contact via text message with David VK5KC and arranged to meet him on 3.610.  Whilst chatting to David, we tried CW again, and we were definitely getting out, which was pleasing.

With no further takers, we headed to 7.032 CW and John started calling CQ.  This was answered by Chris VK1CT, followed by Chris VK3QB.  Success.


Above:- John VK5BJE giving me a lesson on CW.

We then moved back to 7.144 SSB and John called CQ.  Keith VK3FMKE was first in the log, followed by Nick VK3ANL, and then Peter VK3PF mobile.  It was about this time that John’s wife Jenny arrived at the park, and whilst John continued to make contacts, I had a chat with Jenny.  John then took a short break to get a drink of water, and whilst doing so I logged Al VK7AN, Lee VK2LEE, and Craig VK3FDRG.  John then took charge of the mic again and logged a further 3 contacts from VK3 and VK7.

I then saw a message on Facebook from Steve VK7CW that he was keen for a CW contact.  So it was back to 7.032 CW where John worked Steve and then Peter VK3PF/p who was activating SOTA peak Mount Phipps VK3/ VG-015.   It was now 12.45 p.m. local time and John decided to head home.  As it was quite a nice day, with the occasional glimpse of the sun through the clouds, I decided to stick around.


Above:- John VK5BJE on air.

I logged a further 11 stations on 40m, including Rob VK4AAC/3 who was activating the Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620 and Peter VK3PF/p on SOTA peak Mount Phipps VK3/ VG-015.  I also logged Alan VK3ALN for his very first QSO.

I then moved to the 20m band and called CQ on 14.315.  This was answered by Gil ZL3GLV in New Zealand, followed by VI4MARCONI.  It was a treat to log the Queensland Marconi station.  We had tried earlier to make contact on 40m but Stu was struggling to hear us.  I logged 3 more stations, from VK2, VK4 and VK6.  This included Brooke VK4RZ who was running just 2 watts, with a good 5/5 signal.

I then tuned across the 20m band and heard Greg VK2GJC chatting to Steve VK4KUS and Alan ZL1ANZ.  After logging these gentlemen, I again tuned across the band and this time found Johnno VK4ALE/p activating the Bunyaville Conservation Park VKFF-1493.

I then moved back to the 40m where I logged a further 21 stations including Peter VK3PF/p who had moved to a new SOTA summit, Mount Birregun VK3/ VT-020.

To complete the activation I returned to the 20m band, joining the ANZA DX Net on 14.183.  I logged 5 stations there from VK4, VK6, VK7, and New Zealand.  Once ethe net closed down I moved up to 14.310 and called CQ.  This was answered by Ben VK6XC.  Then, much to my surprise I was called by Gianluca IK4LZH, Carlo IZ8GNR, Giovanni IZ5JMZ, and then Yoshiro JH7RTQ.  I was really pleased to finally log some long path Europe SSB contacts on 20m whilst portable.  It had been a while.  But they were not the only DX contacts.  I subsequently made contact with Valery UA0ZC and Wolf DK8MZ.

My last contact of the day was with Greg VK4VXX/6 who was activating the Murujuga National Park VKFF-1226.  I was a nice way to finish the activation, with a Park to Park contact.

With 91 contacts in the log, and the local time now being 3.30 p.m., I packed up and headed home.  It had been a fun time, and my last day with the special call of VI5MARCONI.  I would like to thank Fred VK3DAC for allowing me use of the call.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5FMAZ
  2. VK3MAB
  3. VK3UH
  4. VK3JRP
  5. VK3SQ
  6. VK2IO
  7. VK4AAC/3
  8. VK3QB
  9. VK4CZ
  10. VK4GSF
  11. VK2UXO
  12. VK2PKT
  13. VK3FMKE
  14. VK3ANL
  15. VK3PF/m
  16. VK5MR
  17. VK2KYO
  18. VK7AN
  19. VK2LEE
  20. VK3FDRG
  21. VK7GN
  22. VK3MB
  23. VK7QP
  24. VK3AWG
  25. VK3SIM
  26. VK4AAC/3 (Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620)
  27. VK3PF/p (SOTA Mount Phipps VK3/ VG-015)
  28. VK6XC
  29. VK3ALN
  30. VK3YB
  31. VK3LTL
  32. VK3CNW
  33. VK3NXT
  34. VK5MJ/4
  35. VK3GRK/m
  36. VK3UP
  37. VK3CKC/m
  38. VK3HJA/p
  39. VK2MNR
  40. VK2XXM
  41. VK2VW
  42. VK2IO
  43. VK2YK
  44. VK3HKV
  45. VK3HD
  46. VK3BNJ
  47. VK3ZD
  48. VK7FRJG
  49. VK3PTL
  50. VK3FMKE
  51. VK3PF/p (SOTA Mount Birregun VK3/ VT-020)
  52. VK3FSPG
  53. VK3MPR
  54. VK3CWF
  55. VK2HMV

The following stations were worked on 40m CW:-

  1. VK1CT
  2. VK3QB
  3. VK7CW
  4. VK3PF/p (SOTA Mount Phipps VK3/ VG-015)

The following stations were worked on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FMAZ
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK5HS/m
  4. VK5TW
  5. VK5KC

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. ZL3GLV
  3. VK4SDD
  4. VK2EAT/p
  5. VK6YTS/p
  6. VK4RZ
  7. VK2GJC
  8. VK4KUS
  9. ZL1ANZ
  10. VK4ALE/p (Bunyaville Conservation Park VKFF-1493)
  11. VK4XCS
  12. ZL4QJ
  13. VK6NTE
  14. VK7XX
  15. ZL1ANF
  16. VK6XC
  17. IK4LZH
  18. IZ8GNR
  19. IZ5JMZ
  20. JH7RTQ
  21. VK4HNS
  22. VK5BJE
  23. UA0ZC
  24. VK4SJ
  25. DK8MZ
  26. VK7QP
  27. VK4VXX/6 (Murujuga National Park VKFF-1226)


VI5MARCONI at Totness Recreation Park VKFF-1754

I spent the entire Friday 14th September 2018, and the preceding day, in a training course at work.  So once I got home late on Friday afternoon, I had some tea and then drove down the road to activate the Totness Recreation Park VKFF-1754, using the special call of VI5MARCONI.

Totness Recreation Park is about 40 km east of Adelaide, and just a short drive from my home in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Totness Recreation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Due to its very close proximity to home, I have activated Totness many times over, and have well and truly qualified it for WWFF.

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Above:- Aerial shot showing the Totness Recreation Park in close proximity to my home.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I set up in my normal operating spot, off Haines Fire Track.  There is a small carparking area here at the gate, and a cleared area between the park boundary fence and the start of the scrub, with plenty of room to stretch out the dipole.

Sadly, the majority of the 40m band was totally unusable due to the Over the Horizon Radar (OTHR).  It was across 40m from 7.125 and above and was strength 8 to 9.  And below that I was flat out trying to find a clear frequency due to the large number of South East Asian stations.

Although I still experienced interference, I chose 7.121 and started calling CQ.  This was answered by Darren VK6FVIA in Western Australia.  It was a nice way to start the activation, with a 2,120 km contact to the west coast.  Gerard VK2IO then called in, followed by Ray VK4NH, and then my lovely wife Marija VK5FMAZ.

I logged 15 contacts on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, and New Zealand.  It was now a little after 7.00 p.m. local time, so I headed to the 7130 DX Net.  Unfortunately the OTHR was very strong and it made things very difficult.  The Net Control Roy VK7ROY was struggling to hear me at times, and others.  During the net I moved down to 7.121 where I spoke briefly with John VK6VZZ mobile.  John and I could hear each other well, but Net Control was struggling to hear us both, so we QSYd off frequency for a shot time to say g’day.  I ended up logging a total of 5 stations on the net, from VK6, New Zealand, and the USA.


I then headed to the 80m band and called CQ on 3.615.  Unfortunately a net came up on 3.618 shortly after I had started, but I perservered and logged a total of 19 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, VK8, and New Zealand.  It was nice to log Andrei ZL1TM on 2 bands.

When callers slowed down on 80m, I decided to have another listen on 40m, where I logged a further 4 stations from VK3 and VK4.  Oliver ZL1XS gave me another shout as well, to let me know that I was 10/9 in New Zealand.

To complete the activation I moved back to 80m and had a tune across the band.  I heard Mark VK2PH with a booming signal, talking with David VK3FDZE.  So I gave them a shout, and we were soon joined by Tony VK5TT and then Joseph VK7JS.  David was new to the hobby, so I was very pleased to speak with him.  Tony was in Melbourne, but was operating remote back to his station in the Adelaide Hills, and as a result his signal was 5/9 ++++.  And Joseph was using an indoor magnetic loop and had a strong 5/8 signal.


With 48 contacts in the log, and the time now creeping up to 9.00 p.m. local time, I decided to pack up and head home.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK6FVIA
  2. VK2IO
  3. VK4NH
  4. VK3DXA
  5. ZL4TY/VK4
  6. VK5FMAZ
  7. ZL1TM
  8. VK4PDX
  9. VK4HNS
  10. VK2FJPR
  11. VK3KTO
  12. VK4NP
  13. VK2NP
  14. ZL1XS
  15. VK2LAW
  16. VK7ROY
  17. ZL2ASH
  18. VK6FARB
  19. KA5PNX
  20. VK6VZZ/m
  21. ZL3SV
  22. VK4GSF
  23. VK3ZPF
  24. VK3ANL
  25. VK4PZZ

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF
  2. VK5PL
  3. VK5HS
  4. VK5FMAZ
  5. VK5LA
  6. VK2LEE
  7. VK3HN
  8. VK3NLK/m
  9. VK8GM
  10. VK5LEX
  11. VK2PKT
  12. ZL1TM
  13. VK2CAB
  14. VK5BJE
  15. VK4CW
  16. VK6QS
  17. VK6VZZ/m
  18. VK3ANL
  19. VK2LAW
  20. VK2PH
  21. VK3FDZE
  22. VK5TT
  23. VK7JS