Sunday, 24 May 2015

Mount Painter Nature Reserve VKFF-0853

After returning home for lunch from my Gossan Hill Reserve activation decided to do another newly added WWFF park nearby, Mount Painter Reserve VKFF-853

Mount Painter is close to the Canberra suburb of Cook. There is a dirt road off Coulter Drive, took this and parked. Popular place with horse owners.

Walked up the road to a locked gate and access point for walkers and horses. Noticed a new sign on the gate.

A closer look at the sign revealed the park would be closed from 5 pm to 7 am daily to the public, until 31/7/2015, due to "Firearms in Use".

I knew what this was for, the ACT Government is currently doing a Kangaroo cull to reduce the numbers, there are too many and they are bringing in shooters. Looks like my activation will end at 5 pm to avoid getting shot...

Headed up the hill. Entered the Mount Painter Nature Reserve

After a steep climb up reached a turnoff past water reservoirs to the summit

The track climbs up to a saddle, then a small hill and the final run to the top. Sign describing the re-vegetation of the hill by Friends of Mount Painter group.

Reached the top. Usual square trig point. Terrific views. Looking South

Looking to the South East, Black Mountain and tower, Lake Burley Griffin and Canberra City visible

View to the West. Good sign describing the mountains in the distance. Mount MacDonald and Mount Coree are SOTA summits.

The summit area was fairly exposed, and Mount Taylor, lots of joggers, dog walkers and fitness fanatics coming and going. Not really suitable to operate from. without the public getting tangled in antennas... As this is a park activation, not SOTA, no need to operate from here, just need to be in the park, so walked down to the saddle where there was a wooden seat suitable for a radio shack. Strapped the squid pole to the seat and laid out the 20/40 m linked dipole.

Radio shack on the seat

Got on 40 m. Signals quite good, strong from VK1, VK2, VK3 and VK5. Made Park to Park contacts with VK3MTB/P Tim in VKFF-745, and VK3FQSO/P Amanda in VKFF-759.

Changed the links to 20 m. Headed for 14.310 Mhz where I usually operate, to find it already in use, a huge pileup of EU stations after OT4V/P Danny on ONFF-297...

I joined the pileup. With my puny 5 w FT817 took several calls, being drowned out by high powered EU chasers, but eventually Danny heard me! He was peaking S5 and quite readable once the callers stopped. After working him Albert S58AL called me and asked me to go up 5, worked him with a good S7 report. After working Albert Franz ON5SWA called me coming in at S8.

As almost 5 pm and the sun setting, getting cold, and didn't want to get shot...packed up and headed home.

Track log of walk. Only logged from where I operated. It's about a Km to the summit from the parking spot.


  1. Hi Ian,

    Unfortunately I had to work. But great to see you out & about in one of the new VKFF areas in the ACT. And even more pleased to see that you were able to get through to Danny in Belgium.

    Best 73,


  2. Hi Ian, great pictures and story of you activation. Well done on working Danny and the other Europeans. I hope you told the kangaroos to leave by 5.00 pm as well!

    John Dawes