Saturday, 16 June 2018

WWFF Hunter 644 Award

Noticed on the WWFF Logsearch website that I'd managed to confirm over 644 park references hunted, so applied for the award. Most of the contacts were with VKFF parks. Received promptly from the Awards manager Karl DL1JKK.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

WWFF Activator 44 Award

After completing VKFF-0858 Oakey Hill Nature Reserve on Sunday I had completed 44 parks with at least 44 QSOs in each, giving me the WWFF Activator 44 Award. Thanks to Park hunters for helping me achieve this award.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

WWFF Oakey Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0858

On Sunday headed out to try and finish another WWFF park I needed more contacts from, VKFF-0858 Oakey Hill Nature Reserve. As per last activation parked near the Woden substation off Devonport Street in Lyons, where there is a locked gate entry to the park.  Sign for the park.

Walked up the hill to Oakey Hill. Some good views to the North. Black Mountain on the left, Canberra City and Mt Ainslie to the right.

Set up the squid pole on the trig. There was some rain on the horizon but it did not come my way.

Close to the trig a seat. This wasn't here on my last visit. From the sign on the seat a thank you from the ACT Parks and Conservation Service to the Oakey Hill ParkCare Group for 25 years of help.

As no one else using it I used the seat :) I placed the FT-857D on top of my pack on the ground so I could read the display easily.

Got on 40 m. First contact ZL1TM, Andrei, now a regular park hunter from New Zealand. Then VK7DW Andrew, and a park to park with VK4FW/p Bill in VKFF-1634 Reinke Scrub Conservation Park.

Continued working my way through park hunters, most with good signals.

VK2VW Brett
VK2YK Adam
VK7QP Linda
VK5VC Charlie

The hunters with multiple callsigns helped. As had enough contacts to qualify the park, and it was a cold day, packed up and headed home.

Monday, 28 May 2018

WWFF Batemans Marine Park VKFF-1406

After stopping at Batemans Bay for the long weekend had the Monday off, so before driving back home made one last activation of Batemans Marine Park, as only needing 4 contacts to finish the 44 needed for a WWFF point.

As Caseys Beach was noisy RF wise, picked another spot close enough to the Marine Park to operate from, Surf Beach, a bit further South of Batemans Bay. There is a park and lawn area here close to the beach, so set up the squid pole on a fence post, with the radio at the base of the post.

FT-857D radio on the picnic blanket from the car. A bit more comfortable than the tarp.

Got on 40 m.As a week day for other states fairly quiet. VK2JNG Gerard was in a park but unable to hear him, no NVIS short skip. Spotted myself and got a steady run of callers, most with good strong signals.

VK3YSA/p Anthony
VK7JON Jonathon
VK3PAT Chris
VK5FANA Adrian
VK2VW Brett
ZL1TM Andrei
VK2ZVG Steven

As had more than enough contacts to finish the park, packed up and headed back home to Canberra.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

SOTA Durras Mountain VK2/SC-051

After staying overnight at Batemans Bay headed out to do a SOTA activation, Durras Mountain VK2/SC-051. There are several ways to approach this summit, I took the shortest by using the 1.4 Km walking track from the end of Mountain Road. Start of the walk at the car park.

This is really nice walk, with cool temperate rain forest and lots of bird calls.

A bit further along the track.

The track joins Old Coast Road at the top of the ridge, then a short easy walk to the summit. The summit is not that high, 285 m, so only 1 SOTA point. Still worth it for the nice walk. Summit Trig.

As in previous activations used the nearby picnic table for squid pole support and operating. My partner Sarah nearby.

Shack on the table. Its getting a bit overgrown with grass underneath...

Set up my FT-857D. As only a 1.4 Km walk I had put up with the extra weight and carried it here, giving me 40w of power. Got on 40m. Found a rather lonely calling Bill, VK4FW/m in VKFF-0125 Culgoa Floodplain National Park. Worked him easily. Note a park to park as I was in VKFF-0371 Murramarang National Park.

Found a couple more park to parks. VK5LA/p Andy in VKFF-0892 Hogwash Bend Conservation Park and VK3ZPF/p Peter in VKFF-2113 Ironbark Road Nature Conservation Reserve.

After working ZL1BYZ John another park to park with VK2IO/p Gerard in VKFF-1162 Berowra Valley National Park. He was quite weak as NVIS short skip to Sydney on 40 m was poor, as we were both running some power managed to just make it.

Went on to work a few more SOTA/park hunters

VK3PF Peter
VK2AET Scott
VK7QP Linda

A surprise summit to summit contact with ZL1SKL/p Soren on ZL1/WK-158 Puketutu.
Although perhaps not given that nothing but ocean to the East of my summit to Auckland.

One more contact with VK4FDJL Deryk then headed back.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

WWFF Batemans Marine Park VKFF-1406

With a public holiday Monday in Canberra headed down to Batemans Bay for a long weekend. After stopping overnight at Batemans Bay headed South East along the bay to Caseys Beach. There were picnic tables here and a convenient fence just near the beach, to be within 100 m of the high tide mark for a marine park activation. Set up the squid pole on a fence post, dipole legs running along the fence.

FT857D radio on a nearby picnic table.

Got on 40 m. Disappointingly about S8 of noise on the band from nearby power lines.

Started with park to park contacts with Helen VK7FOLK/p and Jonathon VK7Jon/p in VKFF-1836 Trowutta Caves State Reserve. Luckily both good S9 and over the noise.

Then usual park hunters. VK3GGG-VK3PMG, VK5FANA, VK2VW, VK4SYD, VK4NH-VK4DXA -ZL4TY/VK4, VK3PF.

Another park to park with VK3ZPF/p Peter in VKFF-2109 Hurdy Gurdy Creek Nature Conservation Reserve

Worked VK3ZZS/7, then VK3YE/p Peter as usual portable Chelsea Beach, testing low power using an FT817 running from 8 x NiMH AA batteries. Managed to copy him using only 3w despite my high noise level. I'm briefly heard on his YouTube video

Went on to work VK3FLCS, VK4SMA, VK2ZVG, VK3ZMD and VK4TJ-AC8WB/VK4-VE6XT/VK4.

As getting cold in the shade gave it away and packed up. Made 21 contacts, so with my last activation of the park now only need 4 to complete the 44 for a WWFF point.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Digital Modes Club (DMC) - Worked Europa 25 Award

As well as the 30 Meter Group European Award, I also recently qualified for the Digital Modes Club - Worked Europa 25 Award. This is for working 25 members of the DMC in 25 different countries in Europe. Almost all contacts were on JT65 mode, with 1 on FT8 to make up the 25. Here it is