An update on FT8

I was a ‘late starter’ to the FT8 mode. I only made my first FT8 contact on the 13th day of January this year (2023).

Since then I have made a total of (as I type this blog) 2,064 QSOs into 108 different DXCC entities.

The map below shows my FT8 contacts around the world.

DXCC worked on FT8

Below is a list of the DXCC entities I have worked on FT8

  1. Algeria
  2. Andorra
  3. Antarctica
  4. Argentina
  5. Asiatic Russia
  6. Australia
  7. Austria
  8. Azores
  9. Bahrain
  10. Belarus
  11. Belgium
  12. Belize
  13. Bolivia
  14. Bosnia-Herzegovina
  15. Brazil
  16. Bulgaria
  17. Canada
  18. Canary Islands
  19. Chile
  20. China
  21. Cocos Keeling Islands
  22. Colombia
  23. Corsica
  24. Crete
  25. Croatia
  26. Crozet Island
  27. Cuba
  28. Czech Republic
  29. Denmark
  30. Dominica
  31. Dominican Republic
  32. East Malaysia
  33. Ecuador
  34. England
  35. Estonia
  36. European Russia
  37. Federal Republic of Germany
  38. Fiji
  39. Finland
  40. France
  41. Gibraltar
  42. Greece
  43. Guadeloupe
  44. Guam
  45. Guernsey
  46. Haiti
  47. Hawaii
  48. Honduras
  49. Hong Kong
  50. Hungary
  51. India
  52. Indonesia
  53. Ireland
  54. Israel
  55. Italy
  56. Japan
  57. Jersey
  58. Kaliningrad
  59. Kazakhstan
  60. Kenya
  61. Kuwait
  62. Latvia
  63. Lebanon
  64. Lithuania
  65. Luxumbourg
  66. Madeira Islands
  67. Mexico
  68. Moldova
  69. Motenegro
  70. Netherlands
  71. New Caledonia
  72. New Zealand
  73. Northern Ireland
  74. Norway
  75. Oman
  76. Pakistan
  77. Panama
  78. Peru
  79. Philippines
  80. Poland
  81. Portugal
  82. Puerto Rico
  83. Republic of Korea
  84. Reunion Island
  85. Romania
  86. Sardinia
  87. Scotland
  88. Serbia
  89. Singapore
  90. Slovak Republic
  91. Slovenia
  92. South Africa
  93. Spain
  94. Sri Lanka
  95. Sweden
  96. Switzerland
  97. Taiwan
  98. Thailand
  99. Trinidad & Tobago
  100. Turkey
  101. Ukraine
  102. United Arab Emirates
  103. United States of America
  104. Uruguay
  105. Venezuela
  106. Vietnam
  107. Wales
  108. West Malaysia

Bands worked on FT8.

The majority of my contacts have been on the 20m band (619), followed by 40m (495) and closely following in third position is 15m (485). The graph below shows the number of FT8 contacts I have made per band.

Top 10 DXCC worked.

As far as countries (DXCC) worked, the majority has been with Japan (562), followed by USA (460), and then Indonesia _130). The graph below shows the Top 10 countries worked and the number of QSOs made into that country

Thank you.

I am having a lot of fun on FT8.

I would like to thank the following people who have either help me set up FT8, or have provided assistance re Ultimate AAC (software) re FT8 awards:

  1. John VK5BJE
  2. Peter VK3ZPF
  3. Ian VK1DI
  4. Keith VK2PKT

CW key won in an auction.

Last week I was the successful bidder for the Clipsal CW key below in a local online auction.

The key was made in c. 1944 by Gerard & Goodman Ltd of Adelaide. Clipsal Morse Keys, as they were known. were manufactured during World War II for the Defence Forces. The manufacture of the keys continued after the war and they became popular with amateur radio operators.

Below is a great video about the key.

Alfred Edward Gerard was born in 1877 in Aberdeen, Burra, South Australia. After completing his education in Burra, he commenced employment with a local coach builder. Gerard then worked for Edwin Davey and Sons, who were flour millers. He was employed there as an engineer and manager of the company’s electric lighting plant.

In 1902 Gerard married Elsie Goodman.

Above:- Alfred Edward Gerard. Image c/o SA Museum.

In 1907 Gerard obtained a £100 from his father-in-law William Goodman and he established a contracting business from his rented home at Prospect. His business soon employed five people and he moved the business from his home to the basement of Super Elliott’s bicycle shop at 200 Rundle Street East, Adelaide. On the 3rd day of August 1908 the company name ‘Gerard & Goodman’ was registered.

In 1909 Gerard founded the South Australian Electrical Importers & Suppliers Association, which was later known as the Electrical Wholesalers Association.

In 1910 the business moved to rented premises in Twin Street, Adelaide. Soon after the business moved to 100 Pirie Street, Adelaide, and then expanded to the shop next door at 102 Pirie Street.

Above:- Article from the Daily Herald, Adelaide, Tues 15 Sep 1914. Image c/o Trove.

In 1920 Gerard & Goodman commenced making a clip-on metal conduit fitting which was abbreviated to ‘Clipsal’ due to the product’s ability to ‘clip to all sizes’. The name Clipsal has now become a household South Australian name.

In 1921 Gerard purchased land in Synagogue Place, Adelaide which was the company’s first freehold property. Showrooms, offices and a factory were built on the site. It commenced as a two-storey building and was extended many times. The main entrance was in Synagogue Place, while access to the bulk store was at the rear entrance in Tavistock Street.

Above:- The Gerard and Goodman Ltd premises at Synagogue Place, c. 1928. Image c/o State Library SA.

I found the video below which is a walk-through of the old Synagogue Place premise.

The business continued to grow, and Gerard purchased a shop at 132 Rundle Street, Adelaide as an electrical and radio and retail business.

In 1932 the company Gerard Ltd was registered.

Above:- Article from The News, Adelaide, Sat 8 Oct 1932. Image c/o Trove.

In 1936, Gerard & Goodman moved its operations to Bowden.

Above:- Gerard Electric premises at Bowden. Image c/o

In March 1938, CH Martin Ltd, Adelaide, was contracted to build a sop and offices for Gerard and Goodman at 192-196 Rundle Street, Adelaide. The building had an internal connection to the warehouse in Synagogue Place, which it abuts.

Television was first displayed in South Australia in the Gerard & Goodman shopfront window in Rundle Street between the 30th day of May 1949 to the 2nd day of June 1949. It is reported that this drew large crowds. It would not be until a further ten years that permanent TV broadcasting was brought to Adelaide.

Above:- the Gerard & Goodman store in Rundle Street, 1969. Image c/o State Library SA.

Other than his running of the electrical business, Gerard was also devoted to the welfare of aboriginal children. In 1929, he established the United Aborigines Mission (UAM). He was also a lay preacher and a member of the Prospect Masonic Lodge. He authored a book entitled Ears of Corn.

In 1945 Gerard financed the purchase of a 5,800-acre property at Winkie in the Riverland region of South Australia. It is now known as the Gerard Aboriginal Community in his honour.

Gerard died on the 13th day of October 1950, aged 73 years, at his home at Prospect. He is buried at the Payneham cemetery.

Gerard & Goodman continued to trade in Rundle Street until the 1970s.

In 2003 the Gerard family sold its interest in the Clipsal business to Schneider Electric.

In March 2017, the Gerard & Goodman building in Synagogue Place was demolished and replaced with new student accommodation.

Above:- An aerial view showing the old Gerard & Goodman building in Rundle St & the warehouse in Synagogue Place. Image c/o Google maps.


  1. Adelaide City Explorer, 2023, <>, viewed 24th February 2023.
  2. Autopsy of Adelaide, 2023, <>, viewed 24th February 2023.
  3. City of Adelaide Heritage Survey, 2008
  4. Radiomuseum, 2023, <>, viewed 24th February 2023.
  5. SA History Hub, 2023, <>, viewed 24th February 2023.
  6. SA Museum, 2023, <>, viewed 24th February 2023.
  7. Wikipedia, 2023, <>, viewed 24th February 2023.

FT8 Award certificates

About 5 weeks ago I became set up for the digital mode FT8. Thanks to John VK5BJE for his assistance.

I joined the FT8 Digital Modes Club and I uploaded my log to Ultimate AAC, and I could not believe the number of award certificates that were sitting there waiting for me.

Thanks to Ian VK1DI and Keith VK2PKT for their guidance regarding UAAC.

Port Giles silo VK-PRS5

After leaving the Minlacowie Conservation Park (Monday 6th February 2023), we drove down to the town of Yorketown. We need to purchase some bottles of red wine for our trip to Troubridge Island.

Prior to European settlement, the aboriginal people called the area around Yorketown, karinja – kari meaning ‘emu’ and nja – ‘place’. The original plan of the town shows Yorke Town, but it was advertised as ‘The Town of Yorke’, taking its name from Yorke Peninsula.

Whilst in Yorketown we visited the water tower mural which was painted by Jasmine Crisp in March 2021. The work took Crip a total of 37 days to complete. The mural includes the Royal Flying Doctor Service, canola crops, the pink lake and historic buildings. 

We then headed for Port Giles to activate the silo for the Silos On The Air (SiOTA) program.

Port Giles was named after Thomas Giles (b. 1820. d. 1899), a partner with George Anstey in the Penton Vale sheep station. Giles was the third of 15 sons and 6 daughters of William Giles, the Colonial Manager of the South Australian Company.

Above:- Thomas Giles. Image c/o Wikipedia.

In 1967, construction of a deep sea jetty commenced at Port Giles and on the 23rd day of May 1970 was opened by the South Australian Premier, Hon. Steele Hall. The opening of the jetty and the large grains storage facility led to the closure of many of the smaller ports on the Yorke Peninsula.

Above:- Former SA Premier Steele Hall. Image c/o Wikipedia.

Port Giles was specifically constructed to be able to handle bulk grain and load it onto larger modern ships. Port Giles can handle Panamax-size ships or larger. Panamax is a term for the size limit of ships travelling through the Panama Canal. Many of the other Yorke Peninsula ports were not deep enough for larger ships, and they could only be serviced by small sketches and coastal steamships and could only handle grain in bags and not in bulk.

We operated from the 4WD on Hickey Drive, a short distance from the silos. We ran the Icom IC-7000, 100 watts, and the Codan antenna for this activation.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK1CHW/p (Black Mountain Nature Reserve VKFF-0834 & SOTA VK1/ AC-042)
  2. VK5MOS
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK5BJE

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK1CHW/p (Black Mountain Nature Reserve VKFF-0834 & SOTA VK1/ AC-042)
  2. VK5MOS
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK5BJE
  6. VK5HS
  7. VK5FR
  8. VK2YK
  9. VK5GA
  10. VK5LA
  11. VK3LVH
  12. VK2RO
  13. VK5CZ
  14. VK2NP
  15. VK5GY
  16. VK3GJG
  17. VK5TN
  18. VK3SMW
  19. VK2IO

It was time for us to head back to Stansbury, where that night we met up with Ivan VK5HS, Andy VK5LA, Adam VK2YK, and Chris VK5TR, our other team members of VK5TIL and the Troubridge Island trip. We had a great night out and a meal at the Stansbury Hotel.


  1. A Compendium of the Place Names of South Australia, 2023, <>, viewed 23rd February 2023.
  2. Australian Silo Art Trail, 2023, <>, viewed 23rd February 2023.
  3. Wikipedia, 2023, <>, viewed 23rd February 2023.
  4. Wikipedia, 2023, <,_South_Australia>, viewed 23rd February 2023.
  5. Wikipedia, 2023, <>, viewed 23rd February 2023.

Minlacowie Conservation Park VKFF-0909

We left the Ramsay Way Conservation Park and drove north to the little town of Curramulka, one of the oldest towns on the Yorke Peninsula. The name Curramulkaka is derived from the Aboriginal word ‘curre’ meaning emu and ‘mulka’ meaning deep water. Emus drank in the area and this resulted in the name.

Close to Curramulka is an extensive chain of limestone caves that were first explored in 1850. A significant number of major extensions were discovered in 1984.

We then drove south on the Yorke Highway and into the town of Minlaton. The name is derived from the first syllable of Minlacowie and the Middle English word ton, meaning ‘town’. Land in the Minlaton area was first taken up by Thomas Giles in 1847 at ‘Gum Flat’, sometimes referred to as ‘Mount Rat’.

On the 3rd day of December 1874, J.W. Jones, surveyor, reported to the Surveyor-General:

‘Knowing the ground to be high enough and the almost certainty of finding fresh water on every allotment, I think the site suggested by Mr Cadet Surveyor Elder is as good, if not the best that could be found…’

The site was approved, and was surveyed by Giles Edward Strangways (b. 1819. d. 1906), and was proclaimed on the 15th day of June 1876.

Above:- Giles E. Strangways. Image c/o Wikipedia.

The old Gum Flat Station and a historic horse dip can be found on the outskirts of Minlaton.

We stopped to get something to eat and a cup of coffee at Minlaton.

Minlaton is famous for Captain Harry Butler and his ‘Red Devil’ aircraft.

Henry John ‘Harry’ Butler (b. 1889. d. 1924) was a pioneer Australian aviator, and Captain and Chief Fight Instructor in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. On the 6th day of August 1919, he flew an air mail run from Adelaide across Gulf St Vincent to Minlaton. This was the first over-water flight in the Southern Hemisphere carrying air mail and the first flight over a major body of water in the southern hemisphere.

On the 11th day of January 1922, Harry Butler was seriously injured following the crash of his Avro biplane near Minlaton. Sadly, Butler died on the 30th day of July 1924 of an unexpected cerebral abscess which was believed to be related to the 1922 crash. On the outskirts of Minlaton, there is a memorial at the crash site.

We left Minlaton and drove to our final park activation, the Minlacowie Conservation Park VKFF-0909. The park is about 20 km (by road) to the west of the town of Stansbury.

We took Cutline Road off Harry Butler Road and headed towards the park. This is wheat growing country and there were a number of farmers active in their paddocks.

Minlacowie is aboriginal for ‘two waters’. It is derived from either minala meaning ‘two’ and kawi meaning ‘water’ or minla-kawi meaning ‘freshwater well’.

On the 26th day of March 1874 the Hundred of Minlacowie, County of Fergusson, was proclaimed. On the 23rd day of November 1874, E.J. Elder, whilst surveying the area, reported to the Surveyor-General that he had selected ‘the best site and the nearest to good fresh water for the proposed new town of Gum Flat.’

In 1875 the Minlacowie Post office opened. The Minlacowie School opened in 1877 and in 1922 it was renamed ‘Rocky Beach’. The Minlacowie South School was built by local farmers and was opened in 1901 and closed in 1941.

Above:- Article from the Observer, Sat 15 Feb 1913. Article c/o Trove.

The ruins of the Minlacowie South School can be found at the crossroads of Harry Butler Road, Jacka Road, Rogers Road, and Bublacowie Road is the old Minlacowie school. Sadly it is neglected and in a state of disrepair.

The Minlacowie Conservation Park is about 28 hectares in size and is located on the southwestern corner of Rogers Road and Savage Hut Road. It was gazetted on the 14 the day of February 2008.

The park consists of a small piece of remnant mallee/broombush vegetation and conserves a number of significant plant species including the nationally and state-vulnerable Winter Spider orchid. 

There are no walking trails and no 4WD tracks in this park. The scrub is also very thick. So we had no option but to pull into a small clearing in the scrub on Savage Hut Road and operate from the 4WD. We ran the Icom IC-7000, 100 watts, and the Codan antenna mounted on the rear of the 4WD

Above:- An aerial view of the park showing our operating spot.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2YK/p (Clinton Conservation Park VKFF-0813)
  2. VK3MDC/m
  3. VK3BBB
  4. VK2CCP
  5. VK3MTT
  6. VK5HS/m
  7. VK5LA/m
  8. VK5CZ
  9. VK3PF
  10. VK2YAK/p (Warra National Park VKFF-0517)
  11. VK4YAK/p (Warra National Park VKFF-0517)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2YK/p (Clinton Conservation Park VKFF-0813)
  2. VK3MDC/m
  3. VK3BBB
  4. VK2CCP
  5. VK3MTT
  6. VK5HS/m
  7. VK5LA/m
  8. VK5CZ
  9. VK3PF
  10. Vk2YAK/p (Warray National Park VKFF-0517)
  11. VK4YAK/p (Warra National Park VKFF-0517)
  12. VK5FANA
  13. VK3VIN
  14. VK1AO
  15. VK2MET
  16. VK3MCK
  17. VK2EXA
  18. VK3ZSC
  19. VK5BJF
  20. VK3MCA
  21. VK3UAO
  22. VK5FR/m
  23. VK5NM
  24. VK5YP
  25. VK5BJE
  26. VK3QH

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4FW
  2. VK8MM
  3. VK6NET
  4. Vk2NP
  5. VK4EW
  6. VK4TJ
  7. VK4RT
  8. VK1AO
  9. VK2MET
  10. VK2IO
  11. VK4ABF

I made the following contact on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK6NTE


  1. A Compendium of the Place Names of South Australia, 2023, <>, viewed 23rd February 2023.
  2. Wikipedia, 2023, <>, viewed 23rd February 2023.
  3. Wikipedia, 2023, <>, viewed 23rd February 2023.
  4. Wikipedia, 2023, <>, viewed 23rd February 2023.

Ramsay Way Conservation Park VKFF-0815

After leaving Port Vincent, Marija and I headed to the Ramsay Way Conservation Park VKFF-0815. I have previously activated this park.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Ramsay Way CP. Map c/o Google maps.

The Ramsay Way Conservation Park (often just referred to as Ramsay Conservation Park) is about 147 hectares in size. It is located on the western side of Power Line Road, about 7 km west of the town of Port Vincent.

Above:- An aerial view of the Ramsay Way CP looking west towards Port Vincent. Image c/o google maps.

The park was proclaimed on the 14th day of February 2008 and is located in the Minlaton Curramulka Threatened Habitat Area. The primary vegetation in the park is sheoak and mallee, with very low woodlands and a grassy understorey. The nationally and State endangered Jumping-Jack Wattle can be found in the park. This plant is not located in any other park on the Yorke Peninsula.

eBird has recorded a total of 60 species of bird in the park including Common Bronzewing, Yellow-plumed honeyeater, Striated Pardalote, and Wedge-tailed eagle.

Marija and I found an unlocked gate on Power Line Road and we drove a short distance into the park as there were no defined tracks. We operated from the vehicle running the Icom IC-7000, 100 watts, and the Codan 9350 antenna mounted on the rear of the 4WD. Despite the power lines running along the aptly named Power Line Road, we had no noise.

Unfortunately, I fell 4 contacts short of the 44 required to qualify the park for the global World Wide Flora Fauna Program.

Marija worked the following stations on 4m SSB:-

  1. VK5TRM
  2. VK5IS
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK5BJE
  5. VK5GY
  6. VK3PF
  7. VK5WRJ
  8. VK2YK
  9. VK5GA
  10. VK5FR/m

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5TRM
  2. VK5IS
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK5BJE
  5. VK5GY
  6. VK3PF
  7. VK5WRJ
  8. VK2YK
  9. VK5GA
  10. VK5FR/m
  11. Vk3TBR

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4TJ
  2. VK4HAT
  3. VK1AO
  4. VK2MET
  5. VK2IO
  6. VK3SQ

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK1AO
  2. VK2MET
  3. VK4TJ
  4. VK8DNT
  5. VK2NP
  6. VK3PF
  7. VKL2LEE
  8. VK3UH
  9. VK2VW
  10. Vk2HFI
  11. VK2IO

I worked the following stations on 10m SSB:-

  1. VK4TJ
  2. VK2IO
  3. VK1AO
  4. VK2MET
  5. VK2FADV
  6. VK2LEE
  7. VK2NP
  8. VK5KHZ
  9. VK5LA/m
  10. VK5HS/m
  11. VK5ZSA
  12. VK5KVA


  1. Department for Environment and Heritage, 2009, Mainland Conservation Parks of Yorke Peninsula
  2. Wikipedia, 2023, <>, viewed 22nd February 2023.