Exciting news about parksnpeaks

There is some very exciting news about the parksnpeaks site.  It now features an audible tone when someone is ‘spotted’ on the site, either as a SOTA activator, a parks activator, QRP, etc.  The current sound is that of a goat bleating (as per SOTAWatch).  However, Allen is working on a unique sound for non SOTA spots.

I am sure that everyone is aware of parksnpeaks.  It is the creation of Allen VK3HRA and is a spotting and alert facility for VK SOTA, Parks, QRP Activators and Chasers/Hunters.

There is an excellent ‘Help’ page on Allen’s site which describes the background and history of parksnpeaks, and also describes the various portable activities.  It can be found at…..

http://www.parksnpeaks.org/ParksnPeaksHelp.php

So now, if you’re in the shack, and you are logged in to parksnpeaks, and an activator is spotted, you will hear the audible alert.  A fantastic addition of an already excellent site.  This will greatly help park activators and hunters.

Screenshot 2015-01-29 10.41.10

Andrew VK3ARR also has an ‘Android’ app.  Andrew is working on another sound for the parks ‘spots’.  At this stage the sound of a Kookaburra singing, appears to be the favourite.  More information can be found at Andrew’s WordPress site at…..

https://vk3arr.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/introducing-parks-n-peaks-for-android/

I have mentioned this many times on the VK5 Parks Yahoo group, the WWFF Yahoo group, here on my WordPress site, and in the Out & About newsletter, but PLEASE…….

SPOT ACTIVATORS!!!!!!

There continues to be a trend amongst many park hunters in particular, to work the park activator and then move on.  Why?  I don’t know why?

By spotting the activator, you are not only helping the activator, but also helping your fellow chasers/hunters.

Many of the National Park activators are trying to reach the 44 QSO threshold for the WWFF global awards.  So any contact is precious.  And by you spotting the activator, you may just drum up that 44th QSO for them.

But spotting is also done for the consideration of other chasers/hunters.

You may also want to spot the activator on the DX Cluster.  What is the DX cluster?  Well in essence it is a ‘chatroom’ or node, into which hams can post information about stations that have either worked or heard.  The DX cluster is a worldwide network of connected computers that collect, store and disseminate information that amateurs send to it. There are thousands of nodes around the world, connected together via the internet or radio.  Below are some links to some of the various clusters…..

http://www.dxwatch.com/

http://www.dxsummit.fi/

http://www.dxfuncluster.com/

Screenshot 2015-01-29 10.34.21

So come on chasers & hunters.  Don’t just work the activator and move on.  Have some consideration for the activator and your fellow chasers and hunters.  It only takes a few minutes to place a spot.  And your actions will certainly be appreciated by both the activator and the many chasers/hunters.

 

References.

parksnpeaks, 2015, <http://www.parksnpeaks.org/&gt;, viewed 29th January 2015

Wiki <http://www.amateur-radio-wiki.net/index.php?title=What_is_a_DX_cluster%3F&gt;, viewed 29th January 2015

 

parksnpeaks

Allen VK3HRA, the developer of the parksnpeaks site has now deployed codes to allow SMS of activation spots.

You need to send your spots to 0447 568 667.

You simply key in the spot as a text message using the format below, and then send as an SMS message.  The format is:

Callsign, Class, location, frequency, mode, and any comments.

e.g.

VK5PAS/p SANPCPA 5NP-001 7.090 SSB enjoying the sunshine.

The class area = SANPCPA, WWFF, or KRMNPA.

Each VK5 National park and Conservation Park has a unique identification code, e.g. Aberdare Conservation Park is 5CP-001.  The VKFF reference numbers apply to the National Parks in the WWFF scheme.  And each of the National Parks for the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award (KRMNPA) have also been issued with unique id code, e.g. Alfred National Park is 3NP-001.

The location id can be entered with, or without the hyphen.

A list of the unique identification codes can be located at…..

http://parksnpeaks.org/showReports.php

Prior to using this new feature, you will need to add the mobile phone number that you intend to use and send the SMS message from.  This prevents abuse of the system.  All you need to do is simply add your number via the ‘Edit user data’ area on the parksnpeaks site.  You will need to add your number as +61 followed by your mobile (excluding the leading 0).

Thanks to Allen for all his work on the parksnpeaks site.

Please note, that at this stage, the use of the unique codes for VK5 Parks and KRMNPA parks only applies to this SMS spotting facility.  They have not yet been adopted for award purposes.

parksnpeaks

Currently there are no phone apps similar to SOTA Goat or Rucksack radio, for park activations.  So park activators are relying on the goodwill of park hunters to let other people know that they are in a park.  As a result, activators and hunters are relying on other methods, such as setting up an SMS group (which I have done).  This is a great way to let fellow park hunters know that you have just worked a park activator.  I see that many park hunters have also been using the VK5 Parks Yahoo group or the WWFF Australia Yahoo group, and this is another good option.  The DX cluster can also be utilised.

However, a terrific tool that many people still do not appear to be using is the parksnpeaks site which has been developed by Allen VK3HRA.

parksnpeaks can be located at…..

http://www.parksnpeaks.org

The parksnpeaks site is FREE to join.  Just simply register a new account.

Screenshot 2014-07-18 15.24.54

The required information includes:

  • username (your call sign is a good choice)
  • call sign (used to record alerts)
  • emial address
  • password (6 characters)

The ‘captcha’ feature is used to ensure that you are a ‘real’ person.

Screenshot 2014-07-18 15.25.55

The parksnpeaks site has some excellent features.  It can be used to add VK activity including QRP operation, National Parks, Conservation Parks, or portable operation in general, whilst SOTA spots are added directly via SOTAWatch.

The parksnpeaks site offers:-

  • ‘spotting’ facilities

and

  • ‘alert’ facilities.

‘Spotting’ is where you can add details of stations you have worked or heard.  This allows you to share information with other amateurs.

Screenshot 2014-07-18 15.31.09

‘Alerting’ is where you can add details of your proposed activations, so people can see what your future plans are.

Screenshot 2014-07-18 15.34.30

The ‘Data tables’ area offers some excellent information.  Allen, with the assistance of many others, has added a search facilty by summit ID to the parksnpeaks website.  If you look under the ‘data tables’ tab you will find a search box.  This search will provide you with:

  • basic SOTA peak information
  • grid location
  • VKFF id
  • relevant KRMNPA and/or SANPCPA National Park/Conservation Park information
  • Shire information (only VK3 at this stage).

Screenshot 2014-07-18 15.15.16

Also under the Data Tables tab you will find:-

  • WWFF list (a full list of all qualifying WWFF parks)
  • KRMNPA list (a full list of all qualifying KRMNPA parks)
  • SANPCPA list (a full list of all qualifying SANPCPA parks)
  • SOTA list
  • SOTA to NP Awards Lookup
  • SOTA to NP WWFF lookup
  • SOTA to Victorian LGA lookup.

The SOTA to National Park lookup lists, marry up those SOTA summits which are located within a qualifying WWFF or KRMNPA National Park.  This is an excellent resource.

Screenshot 2014-07-18 15.45.58

So, PLEASE…..start using the parksnpeaks site.  A lot of work has gone into it.  I know that many park activators and hunters do use the site, and find it to be a terrific resource.