Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park 5CP-104 and VKFF-0781

On Saturday 27th July 2019 I was on afternoon shift at work so I decided to head out to activate the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park 5CP-104 & VKFF-0781 before I headed off to work.

I have activated and qualified this park previously, to this activation was to go towards the Boomerang Award.

The Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park is located about 17 km east of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park consists of four autonomous sections: Wotton Scrub, Filsell Hill, White Scrub, and Burdett Scrub.  The largest section being Filsell Hill.

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Above:- Map showing the four sections of the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The park is about 253 hectares in size and protects valuable remnant eucalypt vegetation.  The park habitat includes Messmate Stringybark, Bracken, Heaths, Pea-flowers, Guinea-flowers, and Wattles.  There is a 4.7 loop walking circuit in the park.  More details on that can be found on the Walking SA website.

The park is named in honour of Kenneth George Stirling, who was an accountant and benefactor.  He died suddenly in 1973, of heart disease, aged just 38.  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. 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.

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Above:- Kenneth George Stirling.

I set up in the Wotton Scrub section of the park which is 82 hectares in size.  Access is via Gum Flat Road.  There is a carpark at the northwestern corner of the park.  There is also a nice cleared fire access track with plenty of room to string out a dipole.

I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts output and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the Wotton’s Scrub section of the park, showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

Once I turned the transceiver on it was already set to 7.144.  I asked if the frequency was in use and Peter VK3PF came back to me to advise it was free.  So Peter was once again first in the log, followed by Geoff VK3SQ, Wade VK1MIC/2, and then Peter VK2KNV.

Contact number 8 was a Park to Park contact with Gerard VK2IO/8 who was activating the Kuyynba Conservation Reserve VKFF-1243 in the Northern Territory.

Although I have activated and qualified Kenneth Stirling many times previously, it is always nice to get 10 contacts (the threshold required to qualify the park for the VKFF program) and 44 contacts (to qualify the park for the global WWFF program).  And for this activation, I soon reached the 10 QSO level after 8 minutes in the park, with a QSO with Ken VK2KYO.

As it was a weekend, I had a steady flow of callers from across Australia.  This included another Park to Park, this time with Ade VK4SOE/p who was in the Sundown National Park VKFF-0471.  I logged a total of 30 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 and VK8.  This included Alexi VK3FAXI.  I was Alexi’s first HF contact.

I had logged just three local VK5 stations on 40m: Ian VK5CZ in the Clare Valley, John VK5BJE at Scott Creek in the Adelaide Hills and Marija VK5FMAZ at Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills.  It was clear that my signal for John and Marija was via ground wave.  Ian’s signal up in the Clare Valley about 150 km away was quite low down, but as we both had low noise floors we were able to copy each other very well.

IMG_2339

I then lowered the squid pole and inserted the links for the 80m band and headed to 3.610.  I asked if the frequency was in use and this was responded to by John VK5BJE to let me know that he was waiting for me for a second band.  John was a beautiful strong signal.  This was followed by Andy VK5LA and Danny VK5DW with equally strong signals from the Riverland region of South Australia.

This was followed by my third Park to Park for the activation, a contact with Mike VK6MB/3 who was activating the Passage Camp Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2173.  My good wife Marija VK5FMAZ followed Mike.

With 8 stations in the log on 80m and 38 contacts in total for the activation, I headed off to the 20m band.  I called CQ on 14.310 and this was answered by Andrei ZL1TM in New Zealand, followed by John VK4TJ.

I now had just 2 contacts to go to get to the 44, so once callers had dried up on 20m I headed back to 40m.  I tuned across the band and worked Neil VK4HNS/p who was in the Mount Barney National Park VKFF-0338, and then Ian VK1DI/2 who was activating the Whian Whian State Conservation Area VKFF-1394.  I then logged Rob VK4AAC/2 who was in the Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785.

I then headed down to 7.133 and called CQ.  This was answered by Peter VK3ZPF and then followed by VK2RSB.  Initially, I thought I had copied this callsign incorrectly as this appeared to be a repeater callsign, but the caller repeated it.  However I was not able to get a name, so I suspect this may have been a bogus call.

I logged a further 4 stations on 40m and was about to pack up when I saw a spot pop up on parksnpeaks for Rob VK4AAC/2 on 80m in VKFF-1785.  So it was down with the squid pole and in with the links, and another Park to Park logged with Rob on a second band.

IMG_2340

I had 54 contacts in the log including 9 Park to Park QSOs.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK1MIC/2
  4. VK2MNV
  5. VK2BAI
  6. VK4RF
  7. VK4HA
  8. VK2IO/8 (Kuyynba Conservation Reserve VKFF-1243)
  9. VK2VW
  10. VK2KYO
  11. VK2HHA
  12. VK4SYD
  13. VK2PKT
  14. VK3LAJ
  15. VK2NP
  16. VK3ZNK
  17. VK2KJJ
  18. VK3HN
  19. VK3UH
  20. VK3FLEZ
  21. VK3FAXI
  22. VK4FDJL/m
  23. VK5CZ
  24. VK3ANL
  25. VK3AFB
  26. VK5BJE
  27. VK4SOE/p (Sundown National Park VKFF-0471)
  28. VK2YK
  29. VK5FMAZ
  30. VK2FPAR
  31. VK4HNS/p (Mount Barney National Park VKFF-0338)
  32. VK1DI/2 (Whian Whian State Conservation Area VKFF-1394)
  33. VK4AAC/2 (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  34. VK2VH (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  35. VK3ZPF
  36. Vk2RSB
  37. VK7ALH
  38. VK1HW
  39. VK3GL
  40. VK3EIR

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5LA
  3. VK5DW
  4. VK6MB/3 (Passage Camp Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2173)
  5. VK5FMAZ
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK5HS
  8. VK5CZ
  9. VK4AAC/2 (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  10. VK2VH (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. ZL1TM
  2. VK4TJ
  3. VK4/AC8WN
  4. VK4/VE6XT

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/kenneth-stirling-conservation-park-wotton-scrub/>, viewed 29th July 2019.

Friends of Parks, 2019, <http://www.friendsofparkssa.org.au/members-directory/friends-of-kenneth-stirling>, viewed 29th July 2019

One thought on “Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park 5CP-104 and VKFF-0781

  1. Hi Paul, I too believe that VK2RSB is a bogus call. It is in a repeater format but the ACMA do not have it listed in its data base.
    73 de Geoff

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