With a nice mild evening decided to do a WWFF park activation after work, headed out to a nearby park Woodstock Nature Reserve, VKFF-0988. I had activated this park once before but didn't get enough contacts for the 44 required, so time for a repeat visit.
As per last activation drove along Stockdill Drive and parked at the car park for the Shepherds Lookout walk.
There is a plaque on the rock wall showing a map of the park.
As I had my heavy TS-480 radio and a table and chair didn't walk to the lookout this time, and looked for a spot close by to operate from. Entered the park via a ranger access gate on the right of the car park.
After a short walk along the road found a grassy open area on the right to set up the dipole. As nothing suitable to strap the squid pole to I used my camping table for support. Worked quite well. Station set up in the grass, quite long after all the recent rain...
Unfortunately the recent rain also meant mosquitoes were out :( Had most skin covered so wasn't too bad. Close up of the station.
Started on 20m as there was a spot on the ParksnPeaks website for Fred VK4FE/p in VKFF-1650 Speewah Conservation Park, up near Cairns North Queensland.
Fred was a good 57 signal. Tried spotting and calling myself, only one contact, F1BLL Gerard. After calling for a while went to 40m to work the locals.
Found the band very noisy with static crashes. Found out later this was from a storm approaching from the North that reached Canberra later in the evening. Close by NVIS contacts also seemed to be missing. A weak copy with Adrian VK5FANA, then Bill VK4FW with a strong signal. Went on to work Mick VK3PMG/VK3GGG, Steve VK3FSPG, Andrew VK7DW, Fred VK4FE/p again on 40 m, and Peter VK7FPRN.
Got sick of the static and returned to 20m. Found Hans VK6XN/p in VKFF-1431 Leschenaultia Conservation Park. He had a good signal, this was his first park activation and sounded like he was having fun. Tried another spot, got called by JA8RJE, Kio in Hokkaido, a good 57 signal.
Saw another spot for another activation, Phil VK6ADF/p in VKFF-1446 Jurian Bay Coastal Park. Had a bit of a chat about the joys of portable operating, and what the public think you are doing... Signal built up as the sun was setting.
After a final call ended up working Danny, ON4VT, a very active park activator and hunter in Belgium. Weak but workable. His eQSL card
Packed up and headed home for dinner. A total of 13 contacts, need to return again to this park for another 13 contacts to reach the 44 needed for WWFF.