Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve VKFF-1701

Late this afternoon (Sunday 19th July 2020) I activated the Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve VKFF-1701 which is located about 65 km south of Adelaide and about 8 km south of my home QTH, the town of Ashbourne.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve, south of Adelaide.  Map courtesy of Google maps.

I have activated the Reserve on three previous occasions and have well and truly qualified it.  However, I decided to revisit the park as it is just a short distance from home.  It was to be only my fifth park activation for 2020.  A variety of reasons have conspired against me getting out into the field including the bushfires, COVID-19, work commitments, and moving QTH.

The Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve is located on the eastern side of Bull Creek Road (Meadows-to Goolwa Road).  It is not to be confused with the Cox Scrub Conservation Park which is much larger in size.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve in the foreground, and the much larger Cox Scrub Conservation Park to the north.  Image courtesy of Google maps

The majority of the adjacent Conservation Park was previously owned by the late Mr. V. COX of Ashbourne, who preserved the area in a natural state for overwintering his honey bees.  In 1969 the land was purchased from Mr. COX on the condition that he was allowed to keep bees in the park.  This agreement was upheld until he passed away.

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The Cox Scrub Conservation Park has an active Friends group who have a good website.  It can be located at…….

http://www.communitywebs.org/FriendsCoxScrub/history.php

I set up in my normal operating spot, which was at the end of a 4WD track which runs off Bull Creek Road.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 30 watts output, and 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the reserve showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Google maps

I kicked off the activation by asking if the frequency, 7.144, was in use.  I didn’t even get to start calling CQ, as Peter VK3ZPF came back to advise the frequency was clear.  So Peter was first in the log for this activation.  This was followed by Tony VK3YV, and then a Park to Park contact with Chris VK1CT/2 in the Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve VKFF-0855.

Contact number eleven was another Park to Park, this time with Gerard VK2IO/p who was in the Worimi Regional Park VKFF-1788.

I was about 20 contacts into the activation when I realised that I was transmitting with 10 watts PEP, as my wife Marija VK5FMAZ had previously been using the transceiver at home.

I logged a total of 39 stations on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, VK7, and New Zealand.  I was very pleased to speak with Peter VK6APZ who was mobile, and also Graham VK6ATS who had a 5/9 plus signal.

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I then moved to the 80m band where I logged a total of 10 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5.  Thanks to Allen VK3ARH and Peter VK3PF for their second call signs which helped me get over the line with 44 QSOs.

In the end, I logged a total of 49 stations in about 70 minutes.  Thanks to everyone who called.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF
  2. VK3YV
  3. VK1CT/2 (Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve VKFF-0855)
  4. VK2LX
  5. VK2PEZ
  6. VK3PF
  7. VK4FDJL
  8. VK3CU
  9. VK2FPAR
  10. VK4KC
  11. VK2IO/p (Worimi Regional Park VKFF-1788)
  12. VK2VH
  13. VK4AAC/2
  14. VK4TJ
  15. VK4/AC8WN
  16. VK4/VE6XT
  17. VK4SSN
  18. VK4KLA
  19. VK4BXX
  20. VK4VXX
  21. VK4SYD
  22. VK2BAI
  23. VK4SMA
  24. VK7EV
  25. VK2XSE/m
  26. VK2PKT
  27. VK3NKC
  28. VK5LB
  29. VK7KT
  30. VK6APZ/m
  31. VK5HAA
  32. ZL1TM
  33. VK6ATS
  34. VK2EMI
  35. VK4HNS
  36. VK2KOG
  37. VK7MD
  38. VK1DI
  39. VK2HFC

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5HAA
  2. VK3MDC
  3. VK3DFR
  4. VK3ARH
  5. VK3HRA
  6. VK3PF
  7. VK3KAI
  8. VK2FPAR
  9. VK3SQ
  10. VK4CZ

 

 

References.

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cox_Scrub_Conservation_Park>, viewed 19th July 2020

2020 Trans Tasman Low Band Contest

Last night (Saturday 18th July 2020) I took part in the 2020 Trans Tasman Low Band Contest.  The aim of the contest is to encourage Low Band activity Trans-Tasman that is between VK and ZL.  Only contest bands 160, 80, and 40M are allowed with
SSB, CW and Digital (RTTY OR PSK).

More information can be found on the WIA website at……

https://www.wia.org.au/members/contests/transtasman/?fbclid=IwAR3G7_y8ink3qm2EgquA7Tc1TOX4Ad11TGDjRi4NwEVyqo1Bwa8d7av31YM

I made a total of 166 contacts with a claimed score of 1,712 points.

The contest kicked off at 0800 UTC (5.30 p.m. South Australian local time).  I started off on the 40m band, with my first contact being with Jess VK6JES.  Unfortunately, the 40m band had closed to a lot of VK by this time of the day.  I made a total of 17 contacts on 40m into VK2, VK4, VK6 and New Zealand.

I then moved to 80m and this is where I remained for the majority of the evening, except for one other quick look on 40m.  The 80m band was in quite good condition, except for the Over the Horizon Radar which took up a good portion of the band and was strength 8.

I was running just 30 watts from my Yaesu FT-857d, with my antenna being a 20/40/80m linked dipole which is inverted vee, just 7 metres at the apex.  I have absolutely no man-made noise at my new QTH at Ashbourne, but my signal was not making it through the noise at the homes of some amateurs.  They were very clear to me, but I just wasn’t making it.

The map below shows my contacts during the contest.  I was very pleased to make a number of contacts into New Zealand on 80m (also 40m).

Screen Shot 2020-07-19 at 11.42.05 am

All up I was quite happy with the 166 contacts.  I cannot wait for my shack to be completed, and some substantial antennas to go up into the air.

The graph below shows my contacts on the 40m & 80m bands.

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THANKS to everyone who called and GOOD LUCK to all those who took part.

OZ DX Net from the back verandah

Last Wednesday (15th July 2020) I joined the OZ DX Net on 7.175 on the 40m band.  The OZ DX Net is the successor to the very successful 7130 DX Net which ran for many years.

As I have just moved to a new QTH, I don’t have a permanent shack or permanent antennas up in the air at the moment.  I have set up a temporary station on my back verandah which comprises the Yaesu FT-857d, 30 watts output, and my 20/40/80m linked dipole.  The dipole is inverted vee configuration, supported by a 7-metre telescopic squid pole.

IMG_4017

Conditions on the net were average.  But I did manage one DX contact to Chuck K9RM in Indiana, USA and a number of Australian stations.  Below is a short video of some of those contacts.

My noise floor was a little high, and I have since worked out where the noise originated, and that was the downlights on the back verandah.

The OZ DX Net is held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1000 UTC, usually on 7.175 or thereabouts.

Special event call VK20HOME

About 2 weeks ago I was surfing the web and became aware that the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) had a special event callsign for the current COVID-19 restrictions.  Over the past few months, I have worked many of the European COVID-19 special event calls, but I had not heard the VK special callsign on air, so I decided to apply for its use and give it a workout.

I headed to the WIA website and to the callsign roster and booked the use of the callsign of VK20HOME for a three day period – Saturday 4th July 2020 – Monday 6th July 2020.

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More than 30 countries have activated HOME or STAYHOME suffixes this year.  The WIA applied for the VK20HOME callsign after an official request from Martti Lane OH2BH who asked if the WIA would like to participate in the global stay home event endorsed by the IARU.

I had the weekend of the 4th & 5th July off work, but I had to work on Monday.  This left me with 2 and a bit days to have some fun on-air and hopefully remind a few people of the dangers of this disease which in recent days has really flared up in Victoria in Australia.

I have just moved QTH to Ashbourne, about 63 km SSE of Adelaide and have been here just 5 weeks.  As a result, I have no dedicated shack and no substantial antennas up at this stage.  My station for this event was my normal portable set up, consisting of the Yaesu FT-857d, 30 watts output, and my 20/40/80m linked dipole, which was in an inverted vee configuration, just 7 metres at the apex (supported on a 7-metre heavy duty squid pole).  My gear was set up underneath my back verandah overlooking the paddocks.  So I was a definite STAY AT HOME station.

I started off on Saturday morning by booking into the BRL Net, the Riverland Radio Club’s Net on 7.115 on the 40m band.  First in the log was Dennis VK2HHA in Albury.

After logging a number of stations on the Net I moved up the band and found Gerald VK2HBG calling CQ using the special event call of VI110WIA in commemoration and celebration of the WIA’s 110 years of operation.

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For the remainder of the day, I moved between 40m, 80m and 20m, calling CQ.  All up on my first day with the call I logged a total of 101 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, VK7, and New Zealand.

This included a couple of park activators: Tony VK3TNL/2 at Cameron Corner in the Sturt National Park VKFF-0470, and Pete VK2FPAR/p in the Thirlmere Lakes National Park VKFF-0486.

The best contact of the day was on 40m with Noel ZL3AHW who was mobile in New Zealand.  I often work Noel on the 10m band.  Noel was a good 5/4 signal and he gave me a 5/6.  I was able to copy Noel perfectly as my new QTH at Ashbourne has absolutely no man-made noise.  It is an absolute pleasure to operate on air from this new location.

I also worked a handful of New Zealand stations on 80m during the evening who were taking part in their Memorial Day Contest.

I had a bit of a sleep in on Sunday, but after breakfast, I headed outside for some more action as VK20HOME.  First up, I checked in to the Australian Ham Radio Net on 7.097 and logged Ron VK3AHR from Wodonga with a big signal, along with a number of other stations on the Net.

I then moved up the band and called CQ logging a steady flow of callers.  I then took a break for lunch and also about 2 & 1/2 hours of cleaning up my shed.  I then headed back to the radio and logged a number of stations on 40m before heading to the 20m band where I booked into the ANZA DX Net.

I then moved back to 40m and after dinner headed to the 80m bad.  All up on Sunday I logged a total of 108 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, VK7, New Zealand, and the USA.  This included speaking with Gerard again, VI110WIA, Greg NR6Q in California USA, Glenn VK3YY/p on the top of a SOTA peak, Tony VK3TNL/2 in the Kinchega National Park VKFF-0263, Woody WW1WW in New Hampshire USA, and a number of New Zealand stations.

I was also very pleased to work a number of QRP stations: Trevor VK3DCQ on 2 watts; Peter VK3PWG/p on 2.5 watts, Steven VK2ZVG/p on 5 watts; and Steve VK1FSWB on 5 watts.

I had to work on Monday, but on arriving home from work I headed straight outside and started calling CQ on 40m.  I logged 14 stations before heading over to 80m where I worked 9 stations, and it was then back to 40m for the OZ DX Net.  I logged 8 stations on the Net from VK1, VK2, VK4, VK5, New Zealand, and the USA.

To conclude my time with VK20HOME I moved back to 80m where I logged just 4 more stations.  Conditions were quite difficult due to very loud static crashes.

I logged a total of 35 stations on Monday evening.

So after a and a bit days as VK20HOME, I logged a total of 244 contacts.

Most of my contacts were around VK and into New Zealand as can be seen from the map below.  My current set up is less than ideal for DX contacts.

Screen Shot 2020-07-07 at 8.54.02 pm

But I did manage a few contacts into the USA, which considering my station, I was very happy about.

Screen Shot 2020-07-07 at 8.53.32 pm

The majority of my contacts were on the 40m band with 171 contacts, followed by 80m with 60 contacts.  I found the 20m band to be very poor with just 13 contacts logged on that band to VK2, VK3, VK4, VK6, VK7, New Zealand, and the USA.  There was no long path propagation to Europe.

Screen Shot 2020-07-07 at 9.25.56 pm

Victorian (VK3) stations featured the most in my log, with a total of 90 QSOs, followed by VK2 with 59 QSOs.  I worked 10 stations in New Zealand and just 3 stations in the USA.

Screen Shot 2020-07-07 at 9.23.15 pm

THANK YOU to everyone who called.  I had a lot of fun.

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

Very late on Sunday afternoon (10th May 2020) and with all of the Mother’s Day festivities over, I headed out to do a very late afternoon/evening activation of the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park 5CP-104 & VKFF-0781.

I have activated Kenneth Stirling many times before and well and truly qualified the park for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

The park is located about 17 km east of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’, just a short drive from my home.

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

The Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park in quite unique in that it 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 location of the four sections of the 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.

IMG_3827

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 Stirling

I have only ever operated from the Wotton Scrub section of this park, and this is where I again headed for this particular activation.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.  The dipole was supported by a 7 metre heavy duty telescopic squid pole.  The ends of the dipoles were tied off to some trees.

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Above:- Map showing my operating spot in the park.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

There were some stations chatting on 7.140 so I started calling CQ on 7.145, 1 kc higher than 7.144 which is the suggested calling frequency for park activators.  First in the log was Rod VK7RG in Tasmania with a beautiful 5/9 signal, followed by Scott VK4CZ, Bill VK3CWF, and then Robert VK4ADR.

I logged a total of 26 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK6 and VK7.  There was apparently no close in propagation, with no South Australian stations logged.  And conditions into Victoria were a bit tricky at times with lots of deep fading on signals.

IMG_3826

It was now just after 6.00 p.m. local time and it was totally dark.  The temperature had dropped from 10 deg C top 5 deg C, and I had to get out my headtorch.

I moved to the 80m band and called CQ on 3.610.  First in the log was Ivan VK5HS in the Riverland with a strong signal, followed by Rex VK3OF, Marija VK5FMAZ, and then Scott VK4CZ.

Band conditions on 80m were excellent.  The band was exceptionally quiet, with no static crashes.  I could even hear a conversation going on frequency between two USA stations.

I logged a total of 33 stations on 80m from VK2, VK3, VK4, Vk5, and New Zealand.  It was great to be able to log regular park huter Andrew ZL1TM on 80m.

IMG_3828

I then moved back to the 40m for just a few more CQ calls before calling it quits for the night.  I logged just the 4 stations on 7.130 before I started experiencing QRM from stations in South East Asia.

Before turning off the transceiver, I tuned across the band and found Matt KC1XX in new Hampshire USA with a very big signal.  I waited a few QSOs and then gave him a call and much to my surprise he was able to hear me.  Not surprising when you look at Matt’s QRZ.com page and see his antenna farm.

Below is a short video of Matt, including my QSO with him.

All up I logged a total of 64 contacts for the activation from Vk2, VK3, VK4, Vk5, VK6, VK7, New Zealand, and the USA.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK7RG
  2. VK4CZ
  3. VK3CWF
  4. VK4ADR
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK3ZPF
  10. VK4TJ
  11. VK4/AC8WN
  12. VK4/VE6XT
  13. VK4SSN
  14. VK3FGNT
  15. VK3ANL
  16. VK2BHO
  17. VK2IO
  18. VK6BEC
  19. VK3OHM
  20. VK6AV/2
  21. VK2FPAR
  22. VK2HBO
  23. VK3OF
  24. VK2TFJ
  25. VK2PV
  26. VK2NN
  27. VK4SMA
  28. VK2LEE
  29. VK2FJJM
  30. VK4FARR
  31. KC1XX

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5HS
  2. VK3OF
  3. VK5FMAZ
  4. VK4CZ
  5. VK3ECH
  6. VK3ANL
  7. VK4TJ
  8. VK4/AC8WN
  9. VK4/VE6XT
  10. VK4SSN
  11. VK3MCL
  12. VK5PE
  13. VK3TJS
  14. VK5ST
  15. VK3AWG
  16. VK5FBBJ
  17. VK3ZPF
  18. VK3TOT
  19. VK2YW
  20. VK2VU
  21. VK3AXF
  22. VK5HAA
  23. VK5PL
  24. VK4HAW
  25. VK2FNYN
  26. VK5TS
  27. VK2KJJ
  28. ZL1TM
  29. VK3LZ
  30. VK2FALL
  31. VK5KLJ
  32. VK3TSR
  33. VK2LEE

 

 

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

Nurragi Conservation Reserve VKFF-2247

Yesterday (Saturday 9th May 2020) with some COVID-19 restrictions lifted here in South Australia, I decided to head out into the field and activate a park.  My choice was the Nurragi Conservation Reserve VKFF-2247 which is located about 70 km south-east of Adelaide.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Nurragi Conservation Reserve.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Nurragi Conservation Reserve follows the old branch railway line to Milang and runs a distance of about 12 km, from Sandergrove to Milang.  The park is about 65 hectares in size.  The Friends of Nurragi was established in 1988 to protect and restore the reserve and in 1991 the Minister of Lands dedicated the area as a Nature Conservation and Plantation Reserve under the Crown Lands Act 1929.

The reserve forms a wildlife corridor linking the eastern Mount Lofty Ranges with Lake Alexandrina and contains extremely important vegetation in a region that has been cleared of over 98% of its original cover. More than 300 native plant species are present, with over 50 of those being of particular conservation significance (eg rare or endangered). It preserves remnant mallee vegetation including square-fruited mallee, narrow-leaved red mallee, peppermint box, and native apricot. Understorey plants include wallowa, needle bush wattle and broombush.

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Above:- The Nurragi Conservation Reserve.

The park commences at the town of Milang, which is located on the banks of Lake Alexandrina.  Between 1860 and 1880 Milang was one of South Australia’s busiest ports.  It connected Adelaide with the thriving river trade.

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Above:- Milang in the late 1800’s.  Image courtesy of http://www.milang.org.au

Wool from the Darling and Upper Murray stations was landed at Milang and then transported by horse and bullock teams to Port Adelaide. Wheat was transported to Milang, processed at its flour mills and then shipped back as flour.

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Above:- the former Landseer buidlings in the main street of Milang.  Image courtesy of http://www.murrayriver.com.au

In May 1854, the first public railway in South Australia was completed, linking Goolwa and Port Elliot.  The success of the Goolwa-Port Elliot line aroused interest in Strathalbyn where local business men saw advantages for them in a direct link with the new port at Victor Harbor.  In 1857 a group of 20 people attended a meeting at the Lake Hotel in Milang, in support of a line from Strathalbyn to Milang.  Unfortunately a larger meeting at Strathalbyn resulted in confirmation that the line would run from Strathalbyn to Middleton on the south coast.

In 1881 there was a new push for a branch line to Milang.  A Select Committee was appointed by the South Australian Government.  On the 8th November 1881 the House of Assembly passed the ‘Strathalbyn and Milang Railway Bill’.  Tenders for the construction of both lines were called on the 18th April 1882 and Walker and Swann were successful in obtaining the joint contract for a price of ₤143,678.

The Milang branch line was opened  on the 17th December 1884 from a junction with the Victor Harbor line at Sandergrove.  At Sandergrove the Milang line served as the passing siding for the station, sharing an island passenger platform with the Victor Harbor main line.  A goods siding also catered for local goods consignments.  The only intermediate station was at Nurragi where there was a 70m long goods siding.  There was also a passenger stop at Punkulde where the line crossed the Milang-Finniss road.

At one stage there was a small turntable at Sandergrove to turn locomotives working to Milang.  Through most of its later life the branchline was operated with Brill railcars.  The last passenger service ran 30 November 1968 with the line closed on 17th June 1970.

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Above:- a loco on the Milang branch line

If you are in Milang I highly recommend a visit to the Port Milang Historic Railway Museum.  The museum is located on the banks of Lake Alexandrina and tells the story of the Lakes Railways, displays a collection of South Australian rolling stock and equipment.

I set up on the north eastern side of Nurragi Road.  There is a nice spot here to park your car and a ‘pedestrian gate’ to allow access to the park.  I walked a short distance into the park and set up my station.  There is a wooden table and bench here, but it is a little too close to the park boundary for me to stretch out the dipole.  So I chose the wooden benches a little further along and set up my fold up table.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the park (indicated in blue), showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of http://www.railtrails.org.au

I found that 7.144 appeared to be clear and I asked if the frequency was in use, an Peter VK3PF came back to let me know that the frequency was clear.  Peter became my first contact with an excellent 5/9 plus signal.  This was followed by Rob VK5TS who was operating remote, Perrin VK3PT, and then Nick VK3ANL.

My 13th, but not unlucky contact, was with Keith VK2PKT using the special call of VI250COOK to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook sailing up the east coast of Australia from what is now Sydney to what is now Cooktown in Far North Queensland.

A few calls later and I had another special event call in the log.  This time it was a QSO with Chris VK3QB using the special call of VI2020STAYHOME.

I logged a total of 24 stations before being called by Gerard VK2IO/p who was in the Lane Cove National Park VKFF-0281.  It was great to log a Park to Park contact.

I logged a total of 48 stations before the heavens opened up.  I was in QSO with Cam VK2DG when the rain really started pelting down.  I made a mad dash back to the vehicle to get the bothy bag and then back to my operating spot to keep myself and the gear dry.

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Unfortunately by the time I had settled in with the bothy bag, many in the pile up had lost their patience and moved on.  I logged a total of 56 stations on 40m before the callers dried up.

With a clearing in the weather and a lack of takers on 40m, I took the opportunity of moving to the 80m band.  First in the log on 80m was Ivan VK5HS with a very very strong 5/9 plus signal.  This was followed by Ernie VK3DET, Mark VK7ME, and then Iam VK5CZ.

I logged a total of 9 stations on 80m from VK3, VK5, and VK7.  To complete the activation I moved to the 20m band where I logged just the two stations, Brad VK6BAP and Fred VK4FE.

All up I made a total of 67 contacts for the activation.

At the end of the activation I went for a walk through the park.  I was hoping to get some photos of some Rainbow Bee Eaters, but that was not to be.  I did snap some bird photos though, and they can be found below.

Over 95 species of birds have been recorded in the park including Peaceful Dove, Weebill, Australian Magpie, Little Raven, Grey Shrikethrush, Diamond Firetail, Southern Boobook, Red-capped Robin, Hooded Robin, and Rufous Whistler.  Native mammals found in the park include Western Grey kangaroos, Brush-tailed possums and bats.  About 11 reptile species have been recorded including the Sand Goanna.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK5TS
  3. VK3PT
  4. VK3ANL
  5. VK1MA
  6. VK5HS/m
  7. VK7RG
  8. VK2VH
  9. VK4AAC/2
  10. VK5JP
  11. VK2MOP
  12. VK2PKT
  13. VI250COOK
  14. VK3MTV
  15. VK5FMAZ
  16. VI2020STAYHOME
  17. VK3QB
  18. VK3UBY
  19. VK3SQ
  20. VK4SYD
  21. VK3MDH
  22. VK4NH
  23. VK4DXA
  24. ZL4TY/VK4
  25. VK2IO/p (Lane Cove National Park VKFF-0281)
  26. VK3UH
  27. VK4CZ
  28. VK5KLV
  29. VK2LEE
  30. VK5YX
  31. VK2YE
  32. VK3FCMC
  33. VK3ZPF
  34. VK5PE
  35. VK3ARH
  36. VK3MKE
  37. VK3VAR
  38. VK7AN
  39. VK5FANA
  40. VK2LHC
  41. VK4TJ
  42. VK2YK/5
  43. VK5GA
  44. VK2VU
  45. VK3HBG
  46. VK3PWG
  47. VK3EIR
  48. VK2DG
  49. VK5WG
  50. VK3MCL
  51. VK2KF
  52. VK5HAA
  53. VK7ME
  54. VK3MIJ
  55. VK3DET
  56. VK1NK

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5HS
  2. VK3DET
  3. VK7ME
  4. VK5CZ
  5. VK5HAA
  6. VK3UBY
  7. VK2YK/5
  8. VK5GA
  9. VK5FANA

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6BAP
  2. VK4FE

 

THANK YOU to everyone who called me.  It was great to be out in the field once again.

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2017, <http://www.birdssa.asn.au/location/nurragi-conservation-reserve/&gt;, viewed 11th August 2017

Milang, 2017, <http://milang.org.au/history/&gt;, viewed 14th August 2017

National Trust, 2017, <https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/places/nurragi-conservation-reserve/&gt;, viewed 11th August 2017

Steamranger, 2017, <http://www.steamranger.org.au/enthusiast/guides/guide7.htm&gt;, viewed 11th August 2017

Walking SA, 2017, <https://www.walkingsa.org.au/walk/find-a-place-to-walk/nurragi-conservation-reserve-walking-trail/&gt;, viewed 11th August 2017

 

European park activators

On Saturday night (4th April 2020) when I got home from work following afternoon shift, I headed up to the shack to see if 20m short path was open. To my listening pleasure, it was.  There were some excellent signals coming in from Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East.

I decided not to prop somewhere and call CQ, but rather, tune across the band and hopefully work some European park or SOTA activators.

First in the log was Eyal 4X6RE who was mobile in the Taninim Nature Reserve 4XFF-0070.  Eyal was working a big pile-up from Europe and it was very hard trying to break through from VK.  Fortunately, a Dutch station mentioned that I was calling, so Eyal told everyone to stand by and called for VK.  Eyal was a good 5/7 signal and reciprocated with a 5/7 signal report for me.

IMG_1348_3_

The Taninim Stream Nature Reserve combines nature and history through which the Taninim River runs.  The reserve includes the remains of a dam built at the end of the Roman period and the beginning of the Byzantine period.  Several flour mills have also been recently unearthed.  The abundance of water led to the construction of water-operated flour mills in the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.

The stream was named Taninim – Hebrew for crocodiles – because these reptiles inhabited the nearby Kebara swamps until the beginning of the 20th century.

Next was Lars PH0NO/p in Deelerwoud PAFF-0055 who had a good 5/7 signal.

front_qsl_ph0no_v1

Deelerwoud is a Dutch Nature Reserve of about 2,300 hectares in the wooden region of Veluwe in the province of Gelderland.

The heather in the reserve is grazed by Hereford Highland cattle.  Other mammals found in the area include Red deer, Fallow deer, Roe deer, Wild boar, Fox, and Pine Marten.

My third and final park activator was Jaromir OK1XZ who was activating PP Nedosinsky haj OKFF-1949.  He was being belted around a bit by splatter from Italian station 4 kc below, but despite this we comfortably made contact.

Nedosinsky is a forest situated between the villages of Nedosin and Trzek.

I also logged a number of special event stations and some Polish stations in the SP DX Contest, before heading off to bed.

 

References.

Israel Nature and Parks Authority, 2010, <https://www.parks.org.il/en/reserve-park/taninim-stream-nature-reserve/>, viewed 6th April 2020.

Trip Advisor, 2020, <https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g7142205-d6633617-Reviews-Taninim_Nature_Reserve-Bet_Hananya_Haifa_District.html>, viewed 6th April 2020

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://nl.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deelerwoud>, viewed 6th April 2020.

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://cs.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nedošínský_háj>, viewed 6th April 2020

 

 

Monarto Conservation Park 5CP-138 and VKFF-0828 for the 2020 John Moyle Memorial Field Day

On Saturday 21st March 2020 I headed out mid-afternoon to activate the Monarto Conservation Park 5CP-138 and VKFF-0828 and take part in the 2020 John Moyle Memorial Field Day.

I entered into the 6-hour single operator portable category.

I have operated from the Monarto Conservation Park many times in the past.  The park is located about 80 km east of Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 4.18.59 pm

Above:- Map showing the location of the Monarto Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

I operated from my normal spot, which is adjacent to the carpark on Ferries McDonald Road.

Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 4.35.42 pm

Above:- An aerial view of the Monarto Conservation Park, looking north.  Map courtesy of Google maps.

The aim of the John Moyle Memorial Field Day is….

“to encourage and provide familiarisation with portable and field operation, and provide training for emergency situations. The rules are therefore specifically designed and focussed to encourage field operations.”

For some very interesting information on John Moyle, the man, please see my previous post…….

https://vk5pas.org/2017/03/19/totness-recreation-park-vkff-1754-and-the-john-moyle-memorial-field-day-2017/

screenshot-2016-03-20-09-59-19

John Murray Moyle.  Image courtesy of Peter VK3RV

I was set up and ready to go by about 2.55 p.m. local time.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80 linked dipole for this activation.  My power output was 40 watts.

IMG_2509

My first contact was with Peter VK3PWG in Victoria on the 40m band.  My final contact was with Garry VK7JGD in Tasmania on the 80m band.

I made a total of 239 contacts in my 6 hour period, with a claimed score of 478 points.

IMG_3738

How does that compare to my scores in previous years?

  • 2019 – 187 QSOs
  • 2018 – did not operate portable
  • 2017 – 241 QSOs
  • 2016 – 229 QSOs
  • 2015 – 238 QSOs
  • 2014 – 155 QSOs

The chart below (courtesy of VK Contest Log) shows my activity during the Field Day.

2020-03-24

The vast majority of my contacts were on the 40m band, a total of 176 QSOs.  I made 47 QSOs on 80m, and just 16 QSOs on 20m.

Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 5.27.10 pm

Most of my contacts were into Victoria (VK3) with a total of 83 QSOs.  This was followed by New South Wales (VK2) with a total of 59 QSOs, and then Queensland (VK4) with a total of 34 QSOs.  I was very pleased to work ZL3VZ on 20, 40 & 80m SSB, and also ZL1GAB on 40m.

Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 5.25.01 pm

Above:- Graph showing the areas worked (VK1-VK7 & ZL) during the Field Day.  Image courtesy of nces.ed.gov

The map below shows my contacts around Australia and into New Zealand during the Field Day.

Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 4.52.25 pm

Above:- Map showing my QSOs during the 2020 John Moyle Memorial Field Day.  Map courtesy of qsomap.org

THANK YOU to everyone who called.