2019 VK Shires Contest

Today (Sunday 9th June 2019) and yesterday (Saturday 8th June 2019) I took part in the 2019 VK Shires Contest.  This is an official contest of the Wireless Institute of Australia and counts towards the Peter Brown Contest Champion Awards.  The objectives of this contest are for amateurs around the world to contact as many VK shires as possible in the contest period.

I activated the following parks in the following Shires:-

  1. Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159 –  Barossa Council (BA5 )
  2. Charleston Conservation Park VKFF-0777 – Adelaide Hills Council (AH5)
  3. Totness Recreation Park VKFF -1754 – Mount Barker District Council (MB5)
  4. Scott Conservation Park VKFF-0934 – Alexandrina Council (AX5)
  5. Mount Billy Conservation Park VKFF-0912 – City of Victor Harbor (VH5)
  6. Myponga Conservation Park VKFF-0921 – Yankalilla District Council (YD5)

The map below shows my day one travels on Saturday.  It was a trip north into the southern part of the Barossa Valley, and then back into the Adelaide Hills.  I was fortunate in that the weather was fine.

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 8.54.23 pm.png

Above:- Map showing my travels on day one on Saturday.  Map courtesy of Plotaroute.

And the map below shows my travels on day two on Sunday.  This was a trip down south to the Fleurieu Peninsula.  Sadly, the weather was poor, and a lot of time was spent under the bothy bag to get out of the rain.

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 8.57.18 pm.png

Above:- my travels on day two on Sunday.  Map courtesy of Plotaroute.

I used the following equipment during each activation:-

  • Yaesu FT-857d
  • 40 watts output
  • 20/40/80m linked dipole, inverted vee, 7m at the apex.

I ran VK Contest Log for the contest.

I entered into the Rover category.  A Rover station is a VK station who goes either portable or mobile for the entirety of the contest and activates more than one shire.  To be considered as a roving station you must activate a minimum of 2 shires.

All up I made a total of 310 contacts and worked a total of 258 different shiresI have a claimed score of 84,320 points.

The vast majority of those contacts were from VK, but I did work one French station on 40m, and made 13 New Zealand contacts.

  • France – 1
  • VK2 – 68
  • VK3 -97
  • VK4 – 63
  • VK5 – 30
  • VK6 – 13
  • VK7 – 25
  • New Zealand – 13
Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 7.47.59 pm.png

Above:- Graph showing my contacts during the contest.  Courtesy of meta-chart.com

The map below shows my QSOs during the contest.  As you can see, the one single European contact into France.

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 8.07.03 pm.png

Above:- Map of the world showing my contacts during the VK Shires Contest.  Courtesy of QSOMap.org

I found the bands to be in reasonably good shape, all except for 20m which yielded very little contacts.

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 8.07.24 pm.png

Above:- My VK & ZL contacts during the contest.  Courtesy of QSOMap.org

As this was a contest I was unable to self spot.  Us park & SOTA activators probably take the parksnpeaks website for granted.  Because there is no doubt, that when you are not spotted, the number of callers dramatically decreases.  I spent long periods calling CQ on the 80m band and the 20m band without many callers.  The ‘regular’ park hunters didn’t appear as there was no spot on parksnpeaks.

It is permissible though for others to spot people they work during the contest.  However, as a contest participant I cannot ‘Arranging or confirming any contacts during or after the contest by use of ANY non-amateur radio means such as telephones, Internet, instant messaging, chat rooms, VoIP, email, social media or web sites.‘  For those who did spot me, I say a BIG thankyou.

The chart below shows my activity during the contest.  I kicked off at 0600 UTC (3.30 p.m. South Australian local time on Saturday and wound up my activities at around 1212 UTC (9.42 p.m. local time).  I got back into it again on Sunday at around 0047 UTC (10.17 a.m. local time) and finished when the contest concluded at 0600 UTC on Sunday.

All bands

Above:- Graph showing my hours active during the contest.  Graph courtesy of VK Contest Log.

The vast majority of my contacts were on the ever-reliable 40m band.  I made a total of 190 contacts there, followed by 112 on 80m, and just 8 on the 20m band.

  • 80m – 112
  • 40m – 190
  • 20m – 8
Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 8.27.47 pm

Above:- Graph showing the number of contacts per band during the contest.  Courtesy of meta-chart.com

The 40m band proved reliable as always.  As there was no man-made noise in any of the parks I was able to hear a pin drop.  It was evident though that some of the home stations were suffering from noise which is an ever-increasing problem in the hobby.


Above:- Graph showing my contacts on the 40m band.  Graph courtesy of VK Contest Log.

Most of my activity on 80m was on Saturday night as the graph below shows.  But I did make some good contacts on 80m during the day as well.


Above:- Graph showing my contacts on the 80m band.  Graph courtesy of VK Contest Log.

The 20m band proved a real flop for me.  I only worked a handful of VK4 & VK6 stations on that band.


ABove:- Graph showing my contacts on the 20m band.  Graph courtesy of VK Contest Log.

I made a total of 14 Park to Park contacts during the contest.

I worked the following Park to Park from Wiljani Conservation Park:-

  • Peter VK3PF – VKFF-2488

I worked the following SOTA station from Scott Conservation Park:-

  • Andrew VK1DA/2 – VK2/ ST-039

I worked the following Park to Park from Scott Conservation Park:-

  • Rob VK4SYD – VKFF-1639 (40m)
  • Angela VK7FAMP – VKFF-2930
  • Rob VK4SYD – VKFF-1639 (20m)
  • Linda VK7QP/2 – VKFF-2009
  • Alan VK2MG/4 – VKFF-2868

I worked the following Park to Park from Mount Billy Conservation Park:-

  • Alan VK2MG/4 – VKFF-2658
  • Greg VK4VXX/2 – VKFF-0204
  • Mark VK4SMA – VKFF-2873 (40m)
  • Mark VK4SMA – VKFF-2873 (20m)
  • Peter VK3TKK – VKFF-2096

I worked the following Park to Park from Mount Billy Conservation Park:-

  • Alan VK2MG/4 – VKFF-2876
  • Peter VK3TKK – VKFF-2241
  • Greg VK4VXX/2 – VKFF-0204

Many thanks to everyone who called me, and thanks to those who spotted me.

3 thoughts on “2019 VK Shires Contest

    • Hi Chris,

      This was the first time I devoted time over the entire weekend for this Contest. I normally head down to Mount Gambier for the SERG Convention and that prevents me from spending a lot of time in the VK Shires.


      Paul VK5PAS

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