Youngsters On The Air (YOTA)

Whenever propagation has allowed, I have been chasing some of the Youngsters On The Air (YOTA) stations, predominantly on 20m.

From the YOTA website……

Youngsters on the air is a highly motivated group of people of all ages and from all over the world working together tightly to make sure that there will still be somebody to answer your CQ call in the future. We ensure that there is a next generation of amateur radio enthusiasts which bring new energy into the hobby. The future of amateur radio rests on the shoulders of Youngsters On The Air but without your support amateur radio might die out in the next decades.

I have worked a number of the YOTA stations and have achieved 15 points and in turn, have qualified for the YOTA certificate.

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Some more QRZ.com awards

In the last few days, I have received in the post a few more QRZ.com awards.

The first is the United States Counties award issued for having worked 250 United States Counties.

VK5PAS QRZ.com US Counties Award

The second is the Grid Squares Award issued for having made contact with amateur radio stations in at least one hundred unique Maidenhead grid squares.

VK5PAS QRZ.com Grid Square Award

And the third is the Continents of the World award issued for having made contact with amateur stations in each of the six continental zones of the world.

VK5PAS QRZ.com Continents Award

 

Kiata Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2347

Our final park for our trip away was the Kiata Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2347.  The park is located about 361 km northwest of the city of Melbourne and 14km east of the town of Nhill.

Again this was to be another unique park activation for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

 

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Kiata Flora and Fauna Reserve in western Victoria.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

 

The park is located just south of the town of Kiata.  The name Kiata is believed to have derived from an Aboriginal word describing summer heat.  Much of the Kiata area was taken up for farm selections during the early 1870s.  The township of Kiata was surveyed in 1876.  In 1879 the Kiata West school was opened, and in 1881 the Kiata East school was opened.  In 1884 an Anglican church was opened.  The railway line was opened in 1887, and later there was a hotel, a store and a blacksmith.

In 1903 Kiata was described in the Australian handbook:

Today Kiata is just a small settlement.  The former Little Desert Hotel is now closed, while the school closed way back in 1968.

The park can be located just to the south of the town of Kiata on the southern side of the Western Highway, the main highway between Adelaide and Melbourne.

 

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Above:- An aerial view of the Kiata Flora & Fauna Reserve looking west.  Image courtesy of Google maps

 

The park is about 197 acres in size and conserves a small area of remnant bushland which was previously widespread in western Victoria prior to the area being cleared for farming by European settlers.

The park was alive with Rainbow Bee Eaters during our visit.  A number were quite happy to sit up on branches just a short distance from where we were operating.

We accessed the park via Kiata South Road.  We took a 4WD dirt track near the cemetery.  We ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

 

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Above:- AN aerial view of the Kiata Flora & Fauna Reserve showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Google Earth.

 

We only had a short time in Kiata, so I was hoping to whiz through the contacts as quickly as possible.  I called CQ on 7.140 and this was answered by Peter VK3PF who gave me his other two calls so I could reach the 10 and 44 QSOs quicker.  This was followed by Ivan VK5HS, Rob VK2VH, and then Ron VK3AHR.

Contact number ten came in just 5 minutes with a contact with John VK5NJ.  I logged a total of 28 contacts on 40m before Marija jumped into the operator’s chair.

DSC_7086

Marija’s first contact was with Adrian VK5FANA, followed by Ian VK5CZ/m, John VK5NJ, and then Ray VK4NH.  Marija’s tenth contact was with Peter VK3KAI.  Marija logged 15 contacts and had qualified the park for VKFF, so took control of the mic once again.

I logged a further 12 contacts on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK5, and VK7.  I now had 40 contacts in the log and was just 4 QSOs short of the target of 44.  I moved to the 20m band and logged 5 stations from VK2 and VK7.  My 44th contact was with Adam VK6GA/2.

DSC_7092

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5CZ/m
  3. VK5NJ
  4. VK4NH
  5. VK4DXA
  6. ZL4TY/VK4
  7. VK2LX
  8. VK3GJC
  9. VK3PF
  10. VK3KAI
  11. VK3GV
  12. VK5PL
  13. VK2IO
  14. VK2VH
  15. VK4AAC/2

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3KAI
  3. VK3GV
  4. VK5HS
  5. VK2VH
  6. VK4AAC/2
  7. VK3AHR
  8. VK2VW
  9. VK5FANA
  10. VK5NJ
  11. VK5WG
  12. VK2LX
  13. VK4NH
  14. VK4DXA
  15. ZL4TY/VK4
  16. VK5PL
  17. VK4TJ
  18. VK4/AC8WN
  19. VK4/VE6XT
  20. VK4SSN
  21. VK3PAT
  22. VK3SQ
  23. VK3ATO
  24. VK5KLV
  25. VK3AXF
  26. VK5WU
  27. VK5LA
  28. VK5CZ/m
  29. VK5JN
  30. VK2NJ/5
  31. VK2UXO
  32. VK5YX
  33. VK7LG
  34. VK7PSJ
  35. VK3FKL
  36. VK2PKT
  37. VK5ZLG
  38. VK3PWG
  39. VK2YK
  40. VK4FDJL/5

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2LX
  2. VK2YK
  3. VK7LG
  4. VK6GA/2
  5. VK2IO

We packed up and headed into the town of Nhill and went to the Australian Pinball Museum.

DSC_7098

The museum features pinball machines from a wide range of eras.

Some of the classic machines include Kiss (1979), Playboy (2002), and Star Wars (2017).

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The museum also features original pinball advertising memorabilia such as original advertising flyers, posters, and promotional products.

Below are a few videos I took in the museum.

We continued west and into the little town of Keith.  It was just a little before 6.00 p.m. local time and we planned on having a meal at the local pub, so we had a bit of time to have a look around the town.  One of the interesting sights in a landrover on a pole.

During the 1940s, the CSIRO found prosperity in the area. With the addition of trace elements, the area became a very productive area. The AMP Society funded the clearing of land to set up farming establishments.  There is also a display telling the story of the AMP Land Development Scheme.

We had a look at Pilmore Park where you can find a memorial for Andy Caldecott who was an off-road motorcycle racer.  He was born in Keith in 1964 and died in 2006 from a neck injury sustained in a crash in the Dakar Rally.

In the park, you can also see a Centurion army tank which spent the majority of its working life in the 1st Armoured Regiment and also saw service in Vietnam from late 1969.

We enjoyed a beautiful meal at the Keith Hotel.  I had kangaroo which was cooked to perfection, while Marija had salmon.

We continued west and stopped briefly at Culburra which was once a thriving self-supporting township.  Today very little remains, but there is a very interesting information board in the town which tells the story of the town.

We arrived home at around 9.00 p.m.

THANK YOU to everyone who called us during our 4 days away.  We had a lot of fun.

 

 

References.

Victorian Places, 2019, <https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/kiata>, viewed 10th December 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Caldecott>, viewed 10th December 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith,_South_Australia>, viewed 10th December 2019

Glenlee Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2323

Our third park for Monday (2nd December 2019) was the Glenlee Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2323.  The park is located about 371 km northwest of the city of Melbourne and about 19 km south of the town of Jeparit.

This was to be another first-time activation for the World Wide Flora & Fauna (WWFFO) program.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Glenlee Flora & Fauna Reserve.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The Glenlee Flora & Fauna Reserve is a large park comprising about 1,369 acres of remnant scrub which is split into blocks.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the park looking north.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

The park consists of Buloke, Box, Cypress Pine and Sugar Gum.

During our visit to the park, we encounter the resident Hooded Robins and a bird of prey who was being harassed by some smaller birds.

We set up on a track in the northern section of the park.  Our operating equipment was the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole supported on the 7-metre telescopic squid pole.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the Glenlee Flora & Fauna Reserve showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Google Earth.

I kicked off the activation by calling CQ on 7.144.  First in the log was Peter VK3PF, followed by Rob VK2VH, and then Grant VK2LX.  Seven minutes into the activation and I had qualified the park for VKFF with a contact with Ian VK5CZ who has recently become a regular park activator and hunter.

I logged a total of 30 QSOs on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7.  I then handed over the mic to Marija.

DSC_6985

Marija called CQ on 7.144 and logged John VK5NJ, Adrian VK5FANA, Ian VK5CZ, and then Rob VK2VH.  About five minutes later Marija had qualified the park for VKFF with a contact with regular park hunter Grant VK2LX.

Marija logged a total of 23 stations on 40m before I jumped back into the operator’s chair.

DSC_6989

I logged a further 7 stations before heading off to the 20m band.  I logged a total of 12 stations on 20m from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5.  Contact number 44 was with Ray VK4NH.  I then moved to 80m where a number of CQ calls resulted in just the one contact with Ivan VK5HS.

To complete the activation I called CQ on 21.244 on the 15m band where I logged a total of 6 stations from VK2, VK4, VK5, and VK7.

DSC_6987

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5NJ
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK5CZ
  4. VK2VH
  5. VK4AAC/2
  6. VK5PL
  7. VK3AHR
  8. VK3AZN
  9. VK2PI
  10. VK2LX
  11. VK3UH
  12. VK5KLV
  13. VK7OT
  14. VK3MIJ
  15. VK5WU
  16. VK3PF
  17. VK3SQ
  18. VK4NH
  19. VK4DXA
  20. ZL4TY/VK4
  21. VK5HS
  22. VK5KBJ
  23. VK5JP

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK2VH
  3. VK4AAC/2
  4. VK2LX
  5. VK5FANA
  6. VK7OT
  7. VK2IO
  8. VK5LA
  9. VK5HS
  10. VK5CZ
  11. VK4NH
  12. VK4DXA
  13. ZL4TY/VK4
  14. VK2VW
  15. VK5NJ
  16. VK5PL
  17. VK3MCK
  18. VK5WG
  19. VK4FDJL/5
  20. VK3UH
  21. VK3FCMC
  22. VK2YK
  23. VK5FAAH
  24. VK3AHR
  25. VK4TJ
  26. VK4/AC8WN
  27. VK4/VE6XT
  28. VK4SSN
  29. VK3PI
  30. VK3MIJ
  31. VK3SQ
  32. VK5KBJ
  33. VK3BCM
  34. VK3AZN
  35. VK5KLV
  36. VK3KAI
  37. VK3GV

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3KAI
  3. VK3GV
  4. VK5WG
  5. VK5KLV
  6. VK2LX
  7. VK4NH
  8. VK4DXA
  9. ZL4TY/VK4
  10. VK3SQ
  11. VK2IO
  12. VK3EKA

I worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5HS

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK7JON
  2. VK4NH
  3. VK4DXA
  4. ZL4TY/VK4
  5. VK2VW
  6. VK5FANA

 

References.

Protected Planet, 2019, <https://www.protectedplanet.net/glenlee-f-f-r-nature-conservation-reserve>, viewed 10th December 2019

Gerang Gerung North Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2319

Our second park for the day (Monday 2nd December 2019) was the Gerang Gerung North Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2319 which is located about 353 km northwest of the city of Melbourne.

This was to be a first-time activation of the park for the World Wide Flora & Fauna (WWFF) program.

Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 7.25.20 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Gerang Gerung Flora & Fauna Reserve.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

As we drove along the Gerang-Glenlee Road we saw two signs.  The first was for Mallee Dam Flora Reserve and a little further on was a sign for Gerang-Gerung Recreation Reserve.  We consulted the maps and confirmed that we were in the right place and this was, in fact, the Gerang Gerung Flora and Fauna Reserve.

The park is located on the northern side of the Western Highway, the main highway between Adelaide and Melbourne.

Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 3.16.17 pm.png

Above:- An aerial view of the Gerang Gerung Flora & Fauna Reserve, looking west.  Image courtesy of Google Maps.

The park is about 267 acres in size and conserves a piece of remnant bush surrounded by cleared farming land.  Angle Road and the Gerang-Glenlee Road dissect the park.

We drove down a dirt track on the northern side of the park and set up amongst a clearing in the scrub.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the Gerang Gerung North Flora & Fauna Reserve showing out operating spot.  Image courtesy of Google Earth.

I called CQ on 7.144 and this was answered by Peter VK3PF, followed by Geoff VK3SQ, Grant VK2LX, and Rob VK2VH.  Contact number ten came 5 minutes into the activation, with a QSO with Adrian VK5FANA.

Despite it being a weekday, there was a steady flow of callers.  The 40m band was in good shape again, with close-in propagation existing again into VK5 and around VK3.

DSC_6982

With 20 contacts in the log, it was time for Maija to qualify the park for VKFF.  Marija called CQ on 7.140 and this was answered by regular park hunter Peter VK3PF, followed by another regular Don VK3MCK, Chris VK3PAT, and then Ron VK3AHR.

Marija’s tenth contact came just 6 minutes after calling CQ, with a QSO with Les VK5KLV.  Marija logged a total of 13 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, and VK5, before we again swapped the mic.

I logged a further 9 stations on 40m before heading to the 20m band.  First in the log on 20m was ‘Mr. Reliable’ John VK4TJ with a good 5/7 signal.  I logged a total of 9 stations on 20m.  I was very surprised to be able to work David VK5PL in the lower Barossa Valley and Les VK5KLV in Port Augusta.

I then moved to 80m, logging 4 stations from VK2, VK3, and VK5.  To finish off the activation I tried 15m where I logged four contacts, all from Queensland.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3MCK
  3. VK3PAT
  4. VK3AHR
  5. VK2VH
  6. VK4AAC/2
  7. VK5FANA
  8. VK2VK
  9. VK2VW
  10. VK5KLV
  11. VK5WG
  12. VK5LA
  13. VK3SQ

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK2LX
  4. VK2VH
  5. VK4AAC/2
  6. VK2IO
  7. VK5QD
  8. VK5WG
  9. VK2VW
  10. VK5FANA
  11. VK5PL
  12. VK3ZLT
  13. VK5HS
  14. VK5WU
  15. VK4TJ
  16. VK4/AC8WN
  17. VK4/VE6XT
  18. VK4SSN
  19. VK3UH
  20. VK2YK
  21. VK4FDJL/5
  22. VK3AHR
  23. VK5FRSM
  24. VK2UXO
  25. VK5LA
  26. VK5KLV
  27. VK3PAT
  28. VK5NJ
  29. VK3DRT

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4TJ
  2. VK4/Ac8WN
  3. VK4/VE6XT
  4. VK4SSN
  5. VK2LX
  6. VK5PL
  7. VK2IO
  8. VK2VW
  9. VK5KLV

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5HS
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK2VH
  4. VK4AAC/2

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. ZL4TY/VK4
  4. VK4TJ

 

References.

Protected Planet, 2019, <https://www.protectedplanet.net/gerang-gerung-north-f-r-nature-conservation-reserve>, viewed 10th December 2019