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’.
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.
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.
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.
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:-
- VK4AAC/3 (Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620)
- VK3PF/p (SOTA Mount Phipps VK3/ VG-015)
- VK3PF/p (SOTA Mount Birregun VK3/ VT-020)
The following stations were worked on 40m CW:-
- VK3PF/p (SOTA Mount Phipps VK3/ VG-015)
The following stations were worked on 80m SSB:-
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
- VK4ALE/p (Bunyaville Conservation Park VKFF-1493)
- VK4VXX/6 (Murujuga National Park VKFF-1226)