A weekend as VI5LWF

I was privileged over the weekend just gone, to operate with the special callsign of VI5LWF……..LEST WE FORGET.  It is one of a number of commemorative callsigns in Australia and Europe, to commemorate the centennary of the signing of the armistice.


The armistice was signed on the 11th day of November 1918.  It ended fighting on land, sea, and air in World War One.  It came into force at 11.00 a.m. Paris time….the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  It should be remembered, that a total of 66,000 Australians lost their lives during WW1.World War One was one of the deadliest conflicts in the history of the human race, in which over 16 million people died. The total number of both civilian and military casualties is estimated at around 37 million people.


The armistice was largely written by the Allied Supreme Commander, Marshal Ferdinand Foch.  The armistice was signed on board a private train booked by Foch.  It was driven to a secret location, a railway siding in the Forest of Compiègne, about 60 km north of Paris.


Above:- Photograph taken after reaching agreement for the armistice that ended World War I. This is Ferdinand Foch’s own railway carriage and the location is the Forest of Compiègne. Foch is second from the right. Left of Foch in the photo (on Foch’s own right) is the senior British representative, Sir Rosslyn Wemyss. On the right is Admiral George Hope.

I operated both from home and from the field, using the call.  I made a total of 419 QSOs on 10, 15, 20, 40, & 80m SSB.  I worked a total of 49 different DXCC entities.  The map below shows my contacts around the world using the special call.

Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 6.49.07 pm.png

On both Saturday and Sunday evenings, there were some nice openings on 15m into Europe on the short path.  And on Sunday evening, I also worked into Europe on 20m on the short path.  The map below shows my QSOs into Europe.

Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 6.48.02 pm.png

The majority of my contacts were on the 40m band, with 139 QSOs.  Closely followed bu the 15m band, with 133 QSOs.

Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 6.55.48 pm.png

Should you require a QSL card, please note that QSL is only via an online option.  You can confirm your contact and receive your printable QSL card by going to www.silvertrain.com.au

Thankyou to everyone who called me, and LEST WE FORGET.



Wikipedia, 2018, <>, viewed 7th November 2018


VI5LWF in the Finniss Conservation Park 5CP-068 and VKFF-1030

On Sunday 4th November, 2018, I headed south with the intentions of activating the Mount Magnificent Conservation Park with the special call of VI5LWF.  Sadly, these plans went ‘pear shaped’ as when I arrived at the access point to the park I found 2 cars blocking the entrance.  One of those had become bogged and they were waiting for a tow truck.  Looking at the track, I am not sure how they ever thought a little car was going to make it along a 4WD track with very big potholes.  So it was time for plan B.  I headed to the Finniss Conservation Park 5CP-068 & VKFF-1030.

The Finniss Conservation Park is about 68 km (by road), on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula.

Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 5.07.24 pm.png

I travelled along Stones Ford Road, through beautiful countryside with rolling green hills.  This is part of the Heysen Trail, one of the world’s great walking trails and the longest dedicated walking trail in Australia, with a total length of 1,200 km.


To get to the park from this direction, you pass over a little creek, a tributary of the Finniss River, which runs through the park.

I soon reached the park.  There is a locked gate here, so vehicular access is not possible.  However there is pedestrian access to the park, and plenty of room to park your vehicle.


The Finniss Conservation Park has a total area of 123 hectares and was first proclaimed on 29th January 1976.  An additional 56 hectares were added between 1985 and 2005.  The park consists of Woodland with Pink Gum and Golden Wattle, and Low Woodland with Cup Gum & Pink Gum over Tate’s Grass-tree.  Birds Sa have recorded about 62 species of native bird in the park including Laughing Kookaburra, Galah, Adelaide Rosella, Superb Fairywren, New Holland Honeyeater, Grey Fantail, Elegant Parrot, Eastern Spinebill, Brown Thornbill, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, White-naped Honeyeater, and Australian Golden Whistler.

The park is named in honour of Boyle Travers Finniss (1807-1893), who came to South Australia as Assistant Surveyor to Colonel Light.  He was Commissioner of Police from 1843-1847 and held many administrative and parliamentary positions from 1847 to 1862.


Above:- .  Image courtesy of Wikipedia

I set up about 20 metres inside the gate, and under the shade of some gum trees.  Although it was overcast, it was a warm and humid day.

Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 5.07.08 pm.png

It is certainly a pretty spot here.  The park is surrounded by rolling green hills and the occasional pocket of scrub.

Again for this activation, I commenced on 80m.  First in the log was John VK5BJE, followed by Hans VK5YX, and then Adrian VK5FANA.  All had excellent signals.  I also spoke with Rick VK5VCR and his son VK5LEX who who were portable at Normanville, and Tony VK5MRT at Strathalbyn.  But despite excellent conditions on 80m, I only managed 6 contacts on that band.

I then headed to 7.144 on 40m and called CQ.  This was answered by Brett VK2VW, Andrew VK3LTL who has become a regular park hunter, and then John VK4TJ.  But band conditions on 40m were poor to say the least.  There was a huge amount of QSB (fading) on most signals, and signals strength was way down compared to usual.  But I battled on, and ended up with 32 contacts in the log on 40m.  This included a Park to Park with Ian VK1DI/2 in the Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve VKFF-1918, and then Mark VK4SMA/p in the Wararba Creek Conservation Park VKFF-1671.

I had a total of 38 contacts in the log, and wanted to get the 44 for VI5LWF.  So it was off to 20m.  I called CQ on 14.310 and this was answered by Aaron VK1LAJ, followed by Adam VK2YK, and then Hans VK6XN.  My 44th contact came with a QSO with Hayden ZL2WD in New Zealand.

It had been a ‘hard slog’ in the park and had taken me nearly 2 hours to get to 44 QSOs, even with the special call sign.  Band conditions were extremely challenging.

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5YX
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK5VCR/p
  5. VK5LEX/p
  6. VK5MRT

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2VW
  2. VK3LTL
  3. VK4TJ
  4. VK7QP
  5. VK3PF
  6. VK2PKT
  7. VK2MNR
  8. VK2HHA
  9. VK3FBOM
  10. VK3ALN/p
  11. VK3AED
  12. VK3ANL
  13. VK2GZ
  14. VK2IO
  15. VK3BNJ
  16. VK2HMV
  17. VK3BSP
  18. VK2AAH
  19. VK1DI/2 (Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve VKFF-1918)
  20. VK2LX
  21. VK3DP/2
  22. VK3KIX
  23. VK2EXA
  24. VK7FRJG
  25. VK3ZSG
  26. VK2XXM
  27. VK3WAR/m
  28. VK3OHM
  29. VK4SMA/p (Wararba Creek Conservation Park VKFF-1671)
  30. VK7HCK
  31. VK3CWF
  32. VK2YK

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK1LAJ
  2. VK2YK
  3. VK6XN
  4. VK2YX
  5. VK5CM
  6. ZL2WD



Birds SA, 2018, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/finniss-conservation-park/>, viewed 7th November 2018

State Library SA, 2018, <http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/digitalpubs/placenamesofsouthaustralia/F.pdf>, viewed 7th November 2018

VI5LWF in the Totness Recreation Park VKFF-1754

Over the weekend just gone, I was privileged to be able to use the special call of VI5LWF….LEST WE FORGET.  It is a special call to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, an agreement to stop the hostilities of World War One.


To get away from the ever increasing noise floor at home, on Saturday 3rd November 2018, I headed to my local park, the Totness Recreation Park VKFF-1754, for some action using VI5LWF.  Totness is just a short 5 minute drive from my home in the Adelaide Hills.

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 6.38.58 pm.png

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

I have activated Totness many times in the past, and as such have recorded in other posts, a stack of information about the park.  But briefly, Totness is 41 hectares (101 acres) in size and is divided by the South Eastern Freeway.  The name of the area Totness, was given by William Hannaford when he cut up section 2963, Hundred of Macclesfield, in 1861, by issuing seventy year leases with right of purchase.  Hannaford was born in Totness, Devon, in 1825, and arrived in the Emma in 1845.  The surrounding area was known as Little Totness.

I set up in my normal spot, off  Haines Firetrack.  There is a gate here, which is locked and prevents vehicular access.  However, there is pedestrian access, and a small area to park your vehicle.

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 6.36.45 pm.png

Above:- An aerial shot of the park, showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I kicked off the activation by self spotting on parksnpeaks and calling CQ on 3.610 on the 80m band.  I normally start off activations on 40m, but this time around I decided to try 80.  John VK5BJE was first in the log with a thumping 5/9 plus signal, followed by Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula, who was equally as strong.  But that was it.  Sadly, despite posts on some of the local VK5 Facebook sites, no further callers.

So I headed off to 7.144 on the 40m band.  I asked if the frequency was in use, and this was answered by Peter VK3PF, who had been waiting for me.  Following Peter I logged Lee VK3FLJD, Brett VK2VW, and then Dennis VK2HHA.  All signals were strong and it appeared the 40m band was in good shape.  I logged a total of 25 before things started to slow down.

I took the opportunity of heading up to 20m, where I found Rob VK4HAT/p on 14.310, activating the Mapleton Falls National Park VKFF-1205.  After logging Rob for a Park to Park contact, I moved down to 14.305 and started calling CQ.  Scott VK4CZ was first in the log, followed by Gerard VK2IO, and then Ray VK4NH.  I was very pleased to be called a few QSOs later by Fred VK4FE operating with the special call of VI100PEACE.  I logged 11 stations before moving back to 40m.


I propped on 7.144 and called CQ, which was answered by Rob VK4HAT/p, for another Park to Park from VKFF-1205, on a second band.  But things were really slow, and I logged just 4 further stations, before heading back to 80m.  I put a call out on the local Crafers repeater to let the VK5’s know that I was in the park, but this resulted in only 1 caller, Hans VK5KHZ.  I also spoke with David VK5KC/p who was in Tailem Bend.

So it was back to 40m.  The band had just started to open up to Europe and was getting a little crowded, so I found 7.140 clear and started calling CQ.  To my great pleasure, I was called by Tex VK1TX operating with the special call of VI1PEACE.  I logged a further 11 stations including my wife Marija VK5FMAZ.

David VK5PL had posted on Facebook that he was keen for a contact, but could not hear me on 40m.  So it was down with the squid pole again, and in with the 80m links, and back to 3.610.  I logged David VK5PL and also Mike Vk5FMWW.  But they were my only callers, so it was again back to 40m where I logged a further 3 stations including Ian VK1DI/2 who was portable in the Broulee Island Nature Reserve VKFF-2546.

I then decided to try my luck again on 20m, and I am pleased I did, as I was called by Patrick FK4WCG in New Caledonia who was 5/9 plus.  Patrick gave me 5/9 plus 20.  Not bade considering I was running 40 watts and little piece of wire.  It was great to log Rick VK4RF/VK4HA who has been a bit quiet of late.

To complete the activation I headed back to 40m and called CQ on 7.150 where I logged a total of 16 stations.  This included Peter VK3YE/p and Tom VK3FTOM/p, both portable on Chelsea Beach in Melbourne, running QRP, for the QRP by the Bay event.


With 82 contacts in the log, it was time to head home and work some DX with the call, using my 5 element yagi.

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK5KHZ
  4. VK5KC/p
  5. VK5PL
  6. VK5FMWW

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3FLJD
  3. VK2VW
  4. VK2HHA
  5. VK3JP
  6. VK3CA
  7. VK3UH
  8. VK2PKT
  9. VK4NH
  10. VK4DXA
  11. ZL4TY/VK4
  12. VK3HOT
  13. VK3OHM
  14. VK4SP
  15. VK3NSC
  16. VK3LTL
  17. VK5KC/p
  18. VK7ME
  19. VK5BJE
  20. VK2UXO
  21. VK2PEX
  22. VK2ZEP
  23. VK4TJ
  24. VK3FAJH
  25. VK3CM
  26. VK4HAT/p (Mapleton Falls National Park VKFF-1205)
  27. VK2XXM
  28. VK3FT
  29. VK2KYO
  30. VK3FDZE
  31. VI1PEACE
  32. VK2IO
  33. VK5FMAZ
  34. VK3ADX
  35. VK2USH
  36. VK3FLCS
  37. VK5KLV
  38. VK3ELH
  39. VK2UH
  40. VK3BBB/m
  41. VK3ALN
  42. VK2ZVG
  43. VK4SMA
  44. VK3ARH
  45. VK1DI/2 (Broulee Island Nature Reserve VKFF-2546)
  46. VK3ANL
  47. VK4RF
  48. VK4HA
  49. VK2LX
  50. VK2HMV
  51. VK3PAT
  52. VK3BAP
  53. VK3NBL
  54. VK3TJK
  55. VK3PWG
  56. VK2HBO
  57. VK3YE/p
  58. VK3FAJO
  59. VK3FTOM/p
  60. VK2QK
  61. VK2NN

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4HAT/p (Mapleton Falls National Park VKFF-1205)
  2. VK4CZ
  3. VK2IO
  4. VK4NH
  5. VK4DXA
  6. ZL4TY/VK4
  7. VK4AAC/m
  8. VK4FE
  9. VI100PEACE
  10. VK4SMA
  11. VK4TE
  12. VK7KJL
  13. FK4WCG
  14. VK4RF
  15. VK4HA



State Library South Australia , 2018, <http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/digitalpubs/placenamesofsouthaustralia/T.pdf>, viewed 7th November 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totness_Recreation_Park>, viewed 7th November 2018