Saturday, 7 May 2016

WWFF Callum Brae Nature Reserve VKFF-0823

With a nice sunny Saturday afternoon decided to activate another previously unactivated WWFF park, VKFF-0823 Callum Brae Nature Reserve.

A bit of a search on the net found this is a park created in 2004 resumed from grazing leasehold, named after the property it came from, which is nearby. It protects a variety of different gums and is a good spot for bird watching. There are access gates off Narrabundah Lane or Mugga Lane.

I entered via the gate off Narrabundah Lane. Note at the time I activated road works had closed off the entrance from Mugga Lane. Usual green Canberra Nature Park sign.

Parked near the gate.

There is a gap in the middle of the gate, but walkers can also enter via a gap on the side of the gate.

A short distance from the gate was a wooden track marker post. This provided an ideal support for the squid pole. Set up the operating table nearby in the shade of a large gum tree.

Radio shack on the table. For more power had taken my home radio, a TS-480SAT, running off my 8400 mAH LifePO4 battery. This allowed me to run a good 30 or more watts as required. Also used my tablet tethered to my phone. Good reception here. I also took a thermos for tea time :)

Got on 40 m. Found the WWFF calling frequency already occupied by Stef VK5HSX/3 in VKFF-0739 Barmah National Park, so promptly worked him for a park to park contact.

Found a clear spot and called CQ Parks. Got found by the usual chasers, a small pileup once I got spotted on ParksnPeaks website. Calls from VK1, VK2 and VK3. Most good 59+ signals. The usual contact with Rick VK4RF/VK4HA with a good signal.

A couple more park to parks, with Rob VK4AAC/3 in VKFF-0619 Alpine NP and David VK5HDW/3 in VKFF-0213 Grampians NP.

After callers stopped on 40 m decided to give 20 m a try. Surprisingly could hear European stations coming through mid afternoon, so pushed the power up to 45 w and called after spotting myself.

Got a nice steady flow of EU callers. several of the regular WWFF hunters. HA6OB, 9A7Z, UT5PI, OM7OM, RV3ATS, RA3PCI. Also JA8RJE, and Rick VK4RF/VK4HA with a 59+ signal.

Briefly changed back to 40 m to work Andrew VK1MBE/2 doing a SOTA activation on nearby Livingston Hill, SM-093.

Returned to 20 m. Went on to work F1BLL, IK1GPG, Max, a keen chaser, EA1DR and I5FLN.

As getting late in the day and clouding over gave it away. Sun setting behind nearby Mt Mugga Mugga.

A total of 37 contacts, so need to return to make up the 44 needed for WWFF.

A map of the park and my operating spot. Map courtesy of Open Street Maps

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