Wiljani Conservation Park 5CP-274 and VKFF-1159

My first park for the 2019 VK Shires Contest was the Wiljani Conservation Park 5CP-274 & VKFF-1159, which is located in the Barossa Council area (BA5).  The park is located about 55 km north east of Adelaide.

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I headed out from home at Mount Barker through the towns of Nairne, Charleston, Mount Torrens and then Birdwood.  I then travelled northeast on the Torrens Valley Road and soon entered into the southern part of the Barossa Valley.


The Barossa Valley is notable as a major wine-producing region and tourist destination.  The Barossa Valley derives its name from the Barossa Range, which was named by Colonel William Light in 1837. Light chose the name in memory of the British victory over the French in the Battle of Barrosa, in which he fought in 1811.  The name “Barossa” was registered in error, due to a clerical error in transcribing the name “Barrosa”.

This part of the southern Barossa consists of rolling green hills with pockets of native scrub and vineyards.


The Wiljani Conservation Park was gazetted on the 25th February 2016.  Wiljani was a family group of the Peramangk Aboriginal people whose traditional lands are primarily located in the Adelaide Hills.  The lands of the Tarrawatta and Yira-Ruka (Wiljani) extended to the east down as far as Mount Torrens and Mannum.

I have activated the Wiljani Conservation Park on two prior occasions.  Details of those activations can be found at…….



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Above:- An aerial view of the Wiljani Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of Google maps.


I accessed the park via Elliotts Boundary Road which runs off Cricks Mill Road which runs north-west out of the town of Mount Pleasant.

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Above:- An aerial view of the Wiljani Conservation Park showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.  The linked dipole was supported by a 7 metre heavy duty telescopic squid pole.  My power output was 40 watts.

I called CQ contest on 40m.  First in the log was Laurie VK5LJ.  I logged a total of 53 stations on 40m.  This included three New Zealand stations: Bill ZL2AYZ, Andrei ZL1TM, and Gary ZL1WL.  But the big surprise was a call from Frederic F5USK in France who had a big 5/9 signal.  I also logged Peter VK3PF/p who was activating the Won Wron Flora Reserve VKFF-2488.

I then tried 20m, calling CQ on 14.310, but had no callers.  As this was a contest I was unable to self spot on parksnpeaks.

Prior to packing up I headed to the 80m band where I logged a total of 21 stations including Bill ZL2AYZ and Paul ZL1AJY.

It was time for me to head to my next park.  I had a total of 74 stations in the log.


I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5LJ
  2. VK2FHQQ
  3. VK3EV
  4. VK2VU
  5. VK3XV
  6. VK6QM
  7. VK3TIN
  8. VK4PDX
  9. VK3MKE
  10. VK2UXO
  11. VK3TKK/m
  12. VK4VXX/2
  13. VK2ND
  14. VK7ALH
  15. VK2VIN
  16. VK3ZE
  17. VK3ZMD
  18. VK2MTM
  19. VK3MAB
  20. VK6POP
  21. VK3ERT
  22. VK3WAR
  23. VK6MB/3
  24. VK3MPR
  25. VK4FFKZ
  26. VK3BAP
  27. ZL2AYZ
  28. VK7GH
  29. ZL1TM
  30. VK4CZ
  31. VK3FGDN
  32. VK2YW
  33. VK2NP
  34. VK4SMA
  35. VK2NN
  36. F5USK
  37. VK4FARR
  38. VK4FDJL
  39. VK2PKT
  40. VK4TJ
  41. VK7LH
  42. VK2QK
  43. VK2FAAA
  44. VK3PI
  45. VK3VRO
  46. VK2GLJ
  47. VK3PF (Won Wron Flora Reserve VKFF-2488)
  48. VK3RU
  49. VK4QH
  50. VK3FAIP
  51. VK3CDR
  52. VK4SN
  53. VL2LX
  54. ZL1WL

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FMAZ
  2. VK4PDX
  3. VK3XV
  4. VK3BSA
  5. VK5FANA
  6. VK3TIN
  7. VK6MB/3
  8. VK3ANL
  9. VK3MKE
  10. VK2YW
  11. VK2IO/5
  12. VK2PAW
  13. VK3ARH
  14. VK3VBC
  15. VK2XJA
  16. VK5NM
  17. VK7JGD
  18. VK2FMEM
  19. VK3EV
  20. ZL2AYZ
  21. ZL1AJY



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

2019 VK Shires Contest

Today (Sunday 9th June 2019) and yesterday (Saturday 8th June 2019) I took part in the 2019 VK Shires Contest.  This is an official contest of the Wireless Institute of Australia and counts towards the Peter Brown Contest Champion Awards.  The objectives of this contest are for amateurs around the world to contact as many VK shires as possible in the contest period.

I activated the following parks in the following Shires:-

  1. Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159 –  Barossa Council (BA5 )
  2. Charleston Conservation Park VKFF-0777 – Adelaide Hills Council (AH5)
  3. Totness Recreation Park VKFF -1754 – Mount Barker District Council (MB5)
  4. Scott Conservation Park VKFF-0934 – Alexandrina Council (AX5)
  5. Mount Billy Conservation Park VKFF-0912 – City of Victor Harbor (VH5)
  6. Myponga Conservation Park VKFF-0921 – Yankalilla District Council (YD5)

The map below shows my day one travels on Saturday.  It was a trip north into the southern part of the Barossa Valley, and then back into the Adelaide Hills.  I was fortunate in that the weather was fine.

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Above:- Map showing my travels on day one on Saturday.  Map courtesy of Plotaroute.

And the map below shows my travels on day two on Sunday.  This was a trip down south to the Fleurieu Peninsula.  Sadly, the weather was poor, and a lot of time was spent under the bothy bag to get out of the rain.

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Above:- my travels on day two on Sunday.  Map courtesy of Plotaroute.

I used the following equipment during each activation:-

  • Yaesu FT-857d
  • 40 watts output
  • 20/40/80m linked dipole, inverted vee, 7m at the apex.

I ran VK Contest Log for the contest.

I entered into the Rover category.  A Rover station is a VK station who goes either portable or mobile for the entirety of the contest and activates more than one shire.  To be considered as a roving station you must activate a minimum of 2 shires.

All up I made a total of 310 contacts and worked a total of 258 different shiresI have a claimed score of 84,320 points.

The vast majority of those contacts were from VK, but I did work one French station on 40m, and made 13 New Zealand contacts.

  • France – 1
  • VK2 – 68
  • VK3 -97
  • VK4 – 63
  • VK5 – 30
  • VK6 – 13
  • VK7 – 25
  • New Zealand – 13
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Above:- Graph showing my contacts during the contest.  Courtesy of meta-chart.com

The map below shows my QSOs during the contest.  As you can see, the one single European contact into France.

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Above:- Map of the world showing my contacts during the VK Shires Contest.  Courtesy of QSOMap.org

I found the bands to be in reasonably good shape, all except for 20m which yielded very little contacts.

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Above:- My VK & ZL contacts during the contest.  Courtesy of QSOMap.org

As this was a contest I was unable to self spot.  Us park & SOTA activators probably take the parksnpeaks website for granted.  Because there is no doubt, that when you are not spotted, the number of callers dramatically decreases.  I spent long periods calling CQ on the 80m band and the 20m band without many callers.  The ‘regular’ park hunters didn’t appear as there was no spot on parksnpeaks.

It is permissible though for others to spot people they work during the contest.  However, as a contest participant I cannot ‘Arranging or confirming any contacts during or after the contest by use of ANY non-amateur radio means such as telephones, Internet, instant messaging, chat rooms, VoIP, email, social media or web sites.‘  For those who did spot me, I say a BIG thankyou.

The chart below shows my activity during the contest.  I kicked off at 0600 UTC (3.30 p.m. South Australian local time on Saturday and wound up my activities at around 1212 UTC (9.42 p.m. local time).  I got back into it again on Sunday at around 0047 UTC (10.17 a.m. local time) and finished when the contest concluded at 0600 UTC on Sunday.

All bands

Above:- Graph showing my hours active during the contest.  Graph courtesy of VK Contest Log.

The vast majority of my contacts were on the ever-reliable 40m band.  I made a total of 190 contacts there, followed by 112 on 80m, and just 8 on the 20m band.

  • 80m – 112
  • 40m – 190
  • 20m – 8
Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 8.27.47 pm

Above:- Graph showing the number of contacts per band during the contest.  Courtesy of meta-chart.com

The 40m band proved reliable as always.  As there was no man-made noise in any of the parks I was able to hear a pin drop.  It was evident though that some of the home stations were suffering from noise which is an ever-increasing problem in the hobby.


Above:- Graph showing my contacts on the 40m band.  Graph courtesy of VK Contest Log.

Most of my activity on 80m was on Saturday night as the graph below shows.  But I did make some good contacts on 80m during the day as well.


Above:- Graph showing my contacts on the 80m band.  Graph courtesy of VK Contest Log.

The 20m band proved a real flop for me.  I only worked a handful of VK4 & VK6 stations on that band.


ABove:- Graph showing my contacts on the 20m band.  Graph courtesy of VK Contest Log.

I made a total of 14 Park to Park contacts during the contest.

I worked the following Park to Park from Wiljani Conservation Park:-

  • Peter VK3PF – VKFF-2488

I worked the following SOTA station from Scott Conservation Park:-

  • Andrew VK1DA/2 – VK2/ ST-039

I worked the following Park to Park from Scott Conservation Park:-

  • Rob VK4SYD – VKFF-1639 (40m)
  • Angela VK7FAMP – VKFF-2930
  • Rob VK4SYD – VKFF-1639 (20m)
  • Linda VK7QP/2 – VKFF-2009
  • Alan VK2MG/4 – VKFF-2868

I worked the following Park to Park from Mount Billy Conservation Park:-

  • Alan VK2MG/4 – VKFF-2658
  • Greg VK4VXX/2 – VKFF-0204
  • Mark VK4SMA – VKFF-2873 (40m)
  • Mark VK4SMA – VKFF-2873 (20m)
  • Peter VK3TKK – VKFF-2096

I worked the following Park to Park from Mount Billy Conservation Park:-

  • Alan VK2MG/4 – VKFF-2876
  • Peter VK3TKK – VKFF-2241
  • Greg VK4VXX/2 – VKFF-0204

Many thanks to everyone who called me, and thanks to those who spotted me.

Congeratinga Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2896

Today (Monday 3rd June 2019) was my first of 2 days off after working 7 straight shifts at work.  Sadly the weather was less than ideal, with shower activity all morning and a very chilly temperature of around 10 deg C.  I had an itchy PTT finger and was keen to get out to do an activation.  I waited until after lunch when the weather cleared a little, and packed the 4WD and headed down to the Congeratinga Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2896 on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Congeratinga Native Forest Reserve.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

I travelled to the town Meadows and then through Mount Compass, and headed south on the Victor Harbor Road.  Upon reaching Victor Harbor, I stopped briefly to admire the view from Range Road.

I headed west out of Victor Harbor on the Range Road and soon reached the area of Parawa.  This is beautiful countryside, and there are some great views to be enjoyed from Range Road of the surrounding countryside.

After about an hour and twenty minutes on the road, I reached the Reserve.  It was well signposted.

Congeratinga Native Forest Reserve forms part of the Second Valley Forest Reserve.  Nearby Native Forest Reserves are Kalamunda and Springs Road.  Together they comprise 250 hectares of native vegetation.

Congeratinga is located on the northern side of Range Road, with a small section also located on the southern side of Range Road.  The reserve is about 77.3 hectares in size.  Commercial pine plantations are located to the west of the reserve, with cleared farming land located on the other boundaries of the reserve.  The Congeratinga River flows through the reserve.

Native mammals found in the reserve include the Western Grey Kangaroo, Short-beaked Echidna, Yellow-footed Antechinus, Bush Rat, and the Southern-brown Bandicoot.  It is believed that the endangered Southern Emu-wren is located in the reserve.

I found a small 4WD track which ran adjacent to Range Road.  I drove down the boggy track which followed the southern boundary of the reserve.  There was plenty of room here to stretch out the 20/40/80m linked dipole.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d and 40 watts output for this activation.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the Congeratinga Native Forest Reserve, showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

I was set up and ready to go by about 2.30 p.m. local time.  I found Rob VK4HAT/p on 7.144 calling CQ from Kurwongbah Park Nature Refuge VKFF-2868.  After logging Rob Park to Park I moved up the band to 7.150 an asked if the frequency was in use.  Dennis VK2HHA came back to let me know the frequency was clear.  I logged Dennis, followed by Peter VK3PF, and then Ron VK3AHR.

It was a weekday, but I was very pleased to have a steady flow of callers.  Contact number 10, qualifying the park for me for VKFF, was with Tom VK3ATO.  I logged a total of 35 stations on 40m before callers slowed down.  So it was down with the squid pole, and I inserted the links for the 80m band.

Unfortunately, I had no mobile phone coverage.  But thanks to some very kind hams I was spotted on parksnpeaks.  I logged a total of 6 stations on 80m.  Two of those were from VK5, and four from VK3.

I then moved to the 20m band where I logged a total of 8 stations from VK3, VK4, and VK6.  To conclude the activation I moved back to 40m where I logged a further 5 stations, before packing up and heading home.

I had qualified the park, with a total of 54 contacts in the log.


Above:- My operating spot for the afternoon.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4HAT/p (Kurwongbah Park Nature Refuge VKFF-2868)
  2. VK2HHA
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK3AHR
  5. VK4FDJL
  6. VK2NP
  7. VK3MIJ
  8. VK2YW
  9. VK7JON
  10. VK3ATO
  11. VK7FOLK
  12. VK2LEE
  13. ZL1TM
  14. VK2MG
  15. VK3FPSR
  16. VK5LG
  17. VK4TJ
  18. VK4/AC8WN
  19. VK4/VE6XT
  20. VK3UH
  21. VK2DWP/m
  22. VK2IO/m
  23. VK4VXX/2
  24. VK2UPR/p
  25. VK3FT
  26. VK4PDX
  27. VK4RF
  28. VK4HA
  29. VK3MKE
  30. VK2BHO
  31. VK4SMA
  32. VK7KT
  33. VK2DXM/m
  34. VK2ARL
  35. VK3MCK
  36. VK2UH
  37. VK3FKL
  38. VK2VW
  39. VK2MOP
  40. VK7QP/2

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK5WU
  3. VK3NBL
  4. VK3RW
  5. VK3SQ
  6. VK5AYL

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4LMB
  2. VK4HAT
  3. KH7AVC/VK4
  4. VK4SMA
  5. VK4PHD
  6. VK3PF
  7. VK3SQ
  8. VK6QS

I headed north along Hay Flat Road, stopping briefly to have a look at Ingala Falls.  It is just a short 250-metre walk from the carpark to the falls.


Above:- Ingala Falls.

I headed back home through Yankalilla, Myponga, and Meadows.  It was slow going home as it was starting to get dark and the kangaroos were out in force.





Forestry SA, 2016, ‘Kalamunda, Springs Road & Congeratinga Native Forest Reserves Management Plan’

SOTA summits activated

On the webpage for the German Mountain Activity Group, you can click on GMA Map View.  There are a number of different options that you can view on the map.

Below are my activations for the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program.  I have activated a total of 82 unique summits around the world.

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Above:- World map showing my SOTA activations in Europe, the Australian mainland, and on Norfolk Island.  Image courtesy of cqgma.org

I have activated SOTA summits in VK1, VK2, VK3, & VK5.

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Above:- My SOTA activations in VK.  Image courtesy of cqgma.org

The majority of my activations have been in my home State of South Australia (VK5).

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Above:- Map of South Australia showing my SOTA activations.  Image courtesy of cqgma.org

I have also activated a number of SOTA summits in Victoria (VK3), New South Wales (VK2) and in the Australian Capital Territory (VK1).

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Above:- My interstate SOTA activations.  Image courtesy of cqgma.org

During my 2014 visit to Europe, I was fortunate to activate two SOTA summits.  One in Belgium, and one in Germany.

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Above:- Map showing my two SOTA activations in Europe.  Image courtesy of cqgma.org


China Radio International

Yesterday I received a letter in the mail from China Radio International (CRI) in Beijing, in response to two SWL reports I sent to CRI in January 2019.

Chind Radio International

It included 2 QSL cards from the English service of CRI.

Also included in the envelope were three decorative paper cuts.

China Radio International papercuts