Monday, 3 August 2020

Brundee Swamp Nature Reserve VKFF-2547

After activating Worrigee Nature Reserve headed for the next nearest park, Brundee Swamp Nature Reserve. Initially tried to access from the end of Boston Rd, but this did look like what I expected, not an access road in. Ended up going down Springbank Rd, on the Eastern side and finding an unmarked dirt road leading to a locked park gate at the far South end of the park.


Parked and climbed through the gate. Walked along the road for a while. Very muddy.


Could tell this was a swamp, forest on the right was flooded


As not likely to be any traffic set up my station on the side of the road, squid pole supported by the table, running the dipole along the road. 


Operating Spot, map from Protected Planet



Got on 40m. A couple of park to park contacts first

VK2CDS/p David in VKFF-0120 Crowdy Bay National Park
VK4KC/p Marty in VKFF-0327 Mooloolah River National Park'

Then

VK3PF
VK4TJ
VK4FARR
VK4BXX,VK4VXX, VK4/NN3Z
VK2FMJC
VK3ZPF

The mosquitos in this park were very bad... guess to be expected near a swamp. As had 10 contacts and enough of swatting them packed up and drove off to get lunch.

Worrigee Nature Reserve VKFF-2769

Worrigee Nature Reserve is an easy drive to park just South of Nowra. Spotted a walk in access point off Worrigee Drive


Set up the table, squid pole just inside the park, dipole legs out to a couple of nearby trees


Operating spot, map from Protected Planet


Shack on the table


Got on 40m. Started with a park to park with VK3YV Tony in VKFF-2200 Sweetwater Creek Nature Conservation Reserve

Then

VK3ZPF
VK4TJ
VK3PF
VK2FMJC
VK4FARR

Tried 80m, worked

VK3SQ
VK2IO/p Gerard in VKFF-1985 Pomaderris Nature Reserve. He was not able to work me on 40m
VK2HRX

Went back to 40m, worked

VK3SG
VK2IO/p Gerard in VKFF-1985 Pomaderris Nature Reserve. Weak but workable now.

Packed up and headed for my next park, Bundee Swamp Nature Reserve

Sunday, 2 August 2020

WWFF Kangaroo River Nature Reserve VKFF-1945

After activating Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve, continued on my way to Nowra through Moss Vale and Kangaroo Valley. Just before Hampden Bridge took Bendeela Rd on the right. Was looking for Kangaroo River Nature Reserve. I was not easy to find... Just after a private property road spotted a gate hidden in the scrub, stopping to take a look found a gate and a sign for the park.


Despite the gate access was easy, a fence post on the left had fallen down and simply walked in... Went a bit into the bush to ensure within the park. Found a small sapling for squid pole support. Able to get a full 80 m dipole out. The scrub was reasonably thin at least.


Operating spot, map from Protected Planet. Note this was the first activation of this park.


Shack on the tarp


Got on 40 m. Band was not too bad with still several park stations on. Worked

VK5PAS/P Paul in VKFF-0824 Cox Scrub Conservation Park
VK3ZPF
VK2XSE/P Liz in VKFF-2706 Pulletop Nature Reserve
VK4SMA
VK3UH
VK4FDJL/P Deryk in VKFF-0315 Millstream Falls National Park
VK4KC
VK3BBB
VK3PI
VK3SG
VK5HAA

Switched the links to 80 m to work the close by hunters. Worked

VK3SQ
VK2IO/P Gerard in VKFF-1163 Bungonia National Park
VK1CT/P Chris in VKFF-0843 Gungaderra Grassland Nature Reserve

The problem with this operating spot was mosquitos, lots of them... gave it away and packed up, headed to Nowra for the evening

WWFF Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve VKFF-1906

Took a week off work to do some park activations in the Southern Highlands/Illawarra Region. Drove from a foggy Canberra to my first park, Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve, VKFF-1906. This is easy to find, a sign on the Moss Vale Rd


The park has several picnic tables. I picked one that was in the sun. The fog had gone, but still only around 13c. Set up the squid pole on the table. For a change it was easy to strap on to the end, some picnic tables are not good for support. Dipole legs out to a nearby fence and a tree.


Operating spot. Map from Openstreetmap


Shack on the table


Got on 40 m. Lots of park activators on. Worked

VK5PAS/P Paul in VKFF-0873 Bullock Hill Conservation Park
VK2IO/P Gerard on VK2/ST-039 Mount Marulan SOTA summit
VK2YK/5 Adam in VKFF-1023 Cudlee Creek Conservation Park
VK2ZVG
VK3ZPF
VK3OHM
VK4CZ
VK3ANL
VK2VH
VK4AAC/2
VK3PI
VK4TJ
VK4SMA/P Mark in VKFF-2879 Wacol Bushlands Nature Refuge

Tried 80m, only one contact with VK2IO/P Gerard on VK2/ST-039 Mount Marulan 

Packed up and took a look at the park. Nice walk along the lagoon, with a bird watching platform


Looking out across the lagoon


Saturday, 25 July 2020

Gossan Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0842

With wet weather expected this weekend decided to do a quick WWFF park activation of one of the local WWFF parks. Went to one of my close by parks, Gossan Hill Nature Reserve, VKFF-0842. As per previous activations parked in Weatherburn Pl Bruce and entered the park. Took Gossan Four walking track.


Took this to Middle Track on the right


Then scrub bashed up to Gossan Hill itself. This turned out to be just scrub, no trig, summit markers, nothing...


Just below the summit found an old star picket, set up the squid pole on it and laid out the linked dipole legs to nearby trees


Operating spot. Map from OpenTopoMap


Tested 40 m dipole, resonant at 7.138 Mhz, good.

 
Set up the shack on the tarp


Got on 7.144 Mhz and spotted on ParksnPeaks. Got a good number of callers, most quite strong. For once NVIS seemed to be working, getting good signals from close by VK2 and VK3

VK3PF
VK2IO
ZL1TM
VK4TJ
VK3BBB
VK4HNS
VK2VH
VK4AAC/2
VK5KLV
VK4SMA
VK2HHA
VK3ZK
VK4SYD
VK5HW/M
VK7AN
VK2YK/5 park to park VKFF-0776 Black Hill Conservation Park
VK5AYL
VK3AAF/M
VK4FAAR
VK3CWF
VK4FDJL

A park to park with Adam in VKFF-0776 Black Hill Conservation Park

Tried 20 m on 14.310 Mhz. 3 contacts

VK4OZI
VK4HNS
VK3PF

Interesting to work Peter VK3PF in West Gippsland, sign of sporadic e as not far away. Learnt later 10 m and 6 m winter sporadic e about.

As looked like rain soon packed up and headed home. My 3rd activation of this park, 5 needed for the Boomerang Award so will need a couple more here some time.



Sunday, 19 July 2020

SOTA Isaacs Ridge VK1/AC-041 Park VKFF-0845

With a SOTA alert for Tait VK1HAB activating VK2/SM-026 Yaouk Peak on Sunday morning, decided to try chasing him from a SOTA summit. I picked Isaacs Ridge VK1/AC-041 as I also needed to finish the Isaaacs Ridge Nature Reserve for 44 contacts for WWFF (VKFF-0845) 

As per past activations parked off Long Gully Rd in Isaacs, walked up the fire trail to the top. Set up at the trig posts to the South of the transmitting towers. Started out with just the 2 m Jpole


 Tested the 2 m Jpole on the Expert 230 Stick, just about perfect, resonant on 146.50 Mhz with an SWR of 1.05


Shack on the tarp



Got on 2m. Found out that Tait VK1HAB was only activating 40 m, and would have been out of range with me anyway, so just worked the locals. All good strong signals.

VK1MCW Bill
VK1AD Andrew
VK1MIC Wade
VK1MA Matt
VK1FPHR Peter
VL1LAJ Aaron
VK2COW Dimitris

Put up the dipole, using links for 40 m


Was not able to hear Tait on 40 m. Spotted myself, went on to work

ZL1BYZ
VK7OR
VK3NBL
VL3PF
VK3GTV
VK3ANL
VK2LX
VK4SMA
VK4CZ
VK2COW
VK7AN
VK7VZ
VK5PAS
VK5FMAZ

VK2IO/p Gerard for a park to park to VKFF-0608 Tilligerry National Park


VK3PT
VK7QP
VK4HNS

The wind had come up during the activation and was quite cold, so packed up at this point and headed home for lunch.


Saturday, 18 July 2020

SOTA Black Mountain VK1/AC-042

Saw an alert for a SOTA activation of Mt Domain VK1/AC-020 by Aaron, VK1LAJ on Saturday morning, so thought I would try to work him with a summit to summit contact. So headed to my local summit, Black Mountain, VK1/AC-042. 

This summit is very easy to find in Canberra, as it has a large communications tower on top, Telstra Tower. View of it from the car park.


I also wanted to activate Black Mountain Nature Reserve for WWFF so headed down from the car park into the scrub. The car park is not in the park. Set up in my usual spot on a minor walking track heading down to the North of the car park. There is an old gate post that serves for squid pole support


First set up on 2 m with my 2 m jpole ribbon antenna. Shack on the tarp


Not long after setting up, heard Aaron VK1LAJ with a strong signal on 146.500 FM, worked him easily.

After Aaron had worked his callers put out some calls of my own. Worked

VK1MA Matt
VK1HAM Mat
VK1MCW Bill
VK1MIC Wade
VK1KW Rob
VK1FLEX Drew.

Most quite strong. After calls on 2 m ended set up the linked dipole, first on 80 m to get the locals.


I tested the 80 m dipole SWR using my new RigExpert 230 stick, a bit low in resonant frequency but okay for use. Its usually resonant around 7.100 Mhz but was showing 3.486 Mhz.

 
Went on to work on 80 m

VK3PF Peter
VK1DW Deanne
VK3SQ Geoff

A summit to summit with Gerard VK2IO/p on VK2/HU-080 Summit Point near Newcastle.

VK3ARH Allen

When I switched the links to 40 m, found why the SWR was a bit out, I had forgotten to tie up one leg of the dipole 😐 The end was just lying on the ground... Still seemed to work though.

On 40 m worked

VK4TJ John
VK1DW Deanne
VK1MA Matt
ZL1BYZ John
ZL1WA Jacky

Seeing New Zealand was coming in on 40 m, went to 20 m to make it easier for them. Worked

ZL1SKL Soren
VK1MA Matt
ZL3JD Phil
ZL3RIK Rick.

Signals quite good on 20m.

As lunch time packed up and headed back home. The summit is only about a 15 minute drive from home.