Tuesday, 19 June 2018

30 Meter Digital Group ZL Award

The 30 Meter Digital Group offers an award for working stations in digital modes for all 4 of the main New Zealand Prefixes, ZL1, ZL2, ZL3 and ZL4 on 30 m.

ZL1 and ZL2 in the North Island are fairly easy to get, but ZL3 and especially ZL4 seem quite rare. All I needed was ZL4 to complete this award, and on Sunday finally worked ZL4TT in FT8 mode.

ZL1BDW*         2017-09-16  04:39  30M   FT8      ZL1
ZL2IFB              2018-05-12  05:55  30M   FT8      ZL2
ZL3RCK            2014-05-11  07:54  30M   JT65     ZL3
ZL4TT               2018-06-17  05:21  30M   FT8      ZL4


ZL:                           4/4 ZL prefixes

Applied for the award via Ultimate AAC software and got emailed the link to the award by the awards manager Don KB9UMT.

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


Sunday, 20 May 2018

30 Meter Digital Group Award - 10 European Entities

The 30 Meter Digital Group offers awards for working certain numbers of European countries in Digital Mode, see http://www.30mdg.org/eu.html

EU (4 Awards in Series)Work 10; 28; 56; 68 unique European Countries on 30 Meters Digital Modes

I managed to work over 10 EU countries so applied for this award via Ultimate AAC software.
Approved by the award manager. Here it is

Saturday, 19 May 2018

WWFF VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 625 Award

After confirming more park references worked in the WWFF award, managed to reach 625 parks.
Quite a few of these were made while in parks myself. Thanks to park activators for getting on air. Here is the award, a couple of Superb Fairywrens.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

WWFF Mt Pleasant Nature Reserve VKFF-1775

With a nice sunny Sunday afternoon decided to do another WWFF park activation, so decided to return to VKFF-1775 Mt Pleasant Nature Reserve. I activated this park last year in November for the VKFF parks activation weekend, but only made 35 contacts so needed another 9 more for the 44 for a WWFF point.

As per last activation drove up to the Mt Pleasant Lookout at the end of General Bridges Drive in Duntroon. Stopped at the lookout for a few photos. Looking East towards Canberra airport on the left, Fyshwick and Queanbeyan in the distance. Duntroon historic military college below.

Looking towards the lookout over the lake.

A view of Lake Burley Griffin. Russell Offices below, the lake and Black Mountain with Telstra tower in the distance.

Despite the park name Mt Pleasant itself is not in the park, and is a bit public anyway, so headed to the North East path leading down from it, entering the park through a walkers gap.

Last time I had set up just near here using a large log, however it was quite windy today so dropped down the hill to the NW a bit until finding a suitable small sapling gum tree to support the squid pole.

Shack on the table. The squid pole waved around a lot in the wind but held up okay. The wind made it seem cooler than the 16 c or so, but felt warm in the sunshine.

Got on 40 m. Found Helen VK7FOLK/p in a park, VKFF-1822 Pieman River State Reserve announcing she was putting out last calls before packing up, so quickly called her for a park to park contact. Also worked her partner VK7JON/p Jonathon.

Tuned around and heard VK4AAC/2 Rob in VKFF-0026 Ben Boyd National Park announcing he was going to 20 m, so quickly called him for another park to park contact. He offered me his frequency, 7.150 Mhz, so took this and worked the park hunters.

There were many, lots with good strong signals.

VK2IO Gerard
VK4FDJ Deryk
VK2VW Brett
VK5FANA Adrian
VK3PF Peter
VK5LA Andy
VK5DW Danny
VK5MK Mark
VK2NP Cliff
VK2YE Steve
VK5HS Ivan
VK5MR Andrew
VK3FSPG  Steve
VK3MPR Steve
VK3HN Paul
VK2FF George

As had more than enough contacts packed up and headed home before dark.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

30m Digital Group ANZA 15 Award

After working a couple of ZL stations on 30 m today, managed to get the required contacts for the 30 Meter Digital Group ANZA-15 Award

The award rules are at http://www.30mdg.org/anza.html

Work 15; 30; 45 unique VK / ZL stations on 30 Meters Digital Modes

Note: For each Award, a minimum of 5 either VK or ZL stations must be worked - the balance making up the required total.

IE: ANZA-15 - work 5 ZL ..... balance = 10 VK ( total 15 combined)

In my case I made 10 VK and 5 ZL contacts as follows:

VK3EI             2018-04-24  11:47  30M   FT8      VK
VK3FM           2017-09-15  07:36  30M   FT8      VK
VK4FNQ         2017-09-15  22:57  30M   FT8      VK
VK4WDM       2018-05-09  21:28  30M   FT8      VK
VK5DG*          2014-05-12  09:51  30M   JT65     VK
VK5RM           2018-04-27  07:10  30M   FT8      VK
VK6DW           2018-02-26  10:14  30M   FT8      VK
VK7DD            2018-04-27  07:31  30M   FT8      VK
VK7RB             2017-03-25  01:17  30M   JT65     VK
VK7TR             2014-05-12  07:39  30M   JT65     VK
ZL1BDW*        2017-09-16  04:39  30M   FT8      ZL
ZL1BRL            2018-05-11  04:59  30M   FT8      ZL
ZL1LC*            2018-05-12  03:27  30M   FT8      ZL
ZL2IFB             2018-05-12  05:55  30M   FT8      ZL
ZL3RCK           2014-05-11  07:54  30M   JT65     ZL


ANZA-15:                      15 VK(10)/ZL(5) stations

I worked ZL1LC and ZL2IFB today on FT8 mode to make up the numbers.

FT8DMC Worked All Continents Award

After working EA8AXT in the Canary Islands, counted as part of the continent of Africa, I had at last qualified for the FT8 Digital Modes Club WAC (Worked All Continents) Award. Applied via the Ultimate AAC software and downloaded the award from the FT8DMC website.

The stations I worked to achieve the award

EA8AXT              2018-05-12  06:44  40M   FT8      AF   
7L3LNF              2017-09-04  10:07  40M   FT8      AS   
SQ9UM               2018-02-16  20:11  40M   FT8      EU   
N6QQ                2017-08-01  08:28  40M   FT8      NA   
VK7AP               2017-09-04  12:24  40M   FT8      OC   
YV5JBI              2018-02-26  10:36  40M   FT8      SA   


WAC-WAC:            6/6 continents
WAC-40M:            6/6 continents on 40m band

As I had also achieved this on one band, 40 m, so also qualified for the WAC 40 Meter award.

WWFF Park to Park 264 Award

Noticed on the WWFF Logsearch page I'd made 264 Park to Park contacts, so applied for the award. These awards are issued in multiples of 44.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Digital Modes Club 200 Members Award

After making several more FT8 contacts found I was eligible for another award, this from the Digital Modes Club, for working 200 of their members. Applied using the UAAC program and downloaded from the Digital Modes Club (DMC) website.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

WGA FT8 100 Grid Locators Award

After a good opening today on 10 m FT8 to Japan I had worked enough new grid locators to qualify for the FT8 Digital Mode Club Award WGA FT8, for working 100 grids on FT8 mode.

Applied for the award using Ultimate AAC Awards manager software. Downloaded the award from the EPC website.

A breakdown of grids worked per band, for the bands I can work:

80 m - 14
40 m - 31
30 m - 21
20 m - 12
17 m - 11
10 m - 11

I don't have antennas for 15 m or 12 m. 40 m provided the most with 31% of the 100.

When you apply for the award you can display a world map of grids worked.

Most of the grid worked have been around VK, ZL and surrounding islands, not surprisingly for my location. I have also now worked most of Japans grids :) Most on 10 m and 17 m. A few European countries, not many as propagation there has been poor since starting on FT8. Yet to work Africa... The USA has been a bit better, mainly Eastern side, of 40 m and 17 m. A few rare South American and Caribbean contacts.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

WWFF Wanna Wanna Nature Reserve VKFF-2016

Sunday afternoon looked like a nice day to get out and activate a park, so decided to activate Wanna Wanna Nature Reserve. After studying maps I knew there would have to be a walk in to this park, so packed the pack with my FT-857D and just a tarp as would not be able to carry in a table and chair like other parks. Drove to Queanbeyan then Captains Flat Road, turning off onto Clydesdale Rd on the right after 10 km. Then turned off onto Pony Pl on the left. The park was along Pony Pl on the right. Parked in front of the locked gate. Sign for the park.

Despite the sign the area over the fence was not in the reserve, this is mainly an access road running between 2 private properties to get to the reserve.

Loaded up the pack and started walking along the access road. After 500 m the property on the left ended, and the park began. I had seen on maps a "through trail" so headed for this to get into the middle of the park. The through trail turned out to be very indistinct, don't think it had been used for years...

Luckily the park was mainly open woodland, in fact quite suitable for an activation as lots of old logs and stumps everywhere. I set up on a large log and set up the radio, squid pole and myself on it as a handy seat. Sorry no photo of it as I usually take one later, and ended up leaving in a hurry...

Google maps showing my walk in and operating spot, practically in the middle of the park, mid way up a hill.

Got on 40 m. A low signal park to park with VK4AAC/2 Rob down the coast in VKFF-0102 Clyde River National Park. He was at the same place I operated there, Holmes Lookout overlooking Batemans Bay.

Found a spare spot and spotted myself on ParksnPeaks, after calling CQ had an instant pileup...

Signals all S9+. VK3PF, VK5PAS, VK3ZPF, VK2EXA, VK2IO. 40 m was in great shape.

Another couple of park to park contacts. VK5LA/p Andy in VKFF-0372 Murray River National Park and VK7QP/p Linda in VKFF-1834 Three Thumbs State Reserve.

Continued working park hunters, all strong S8-S9 signals. VK3BBB, VK2FOUZ, VK2HHA, VK3ZMD, VK2YK, VK2PKT, VK3TKK/m.

Worked VK1MIC/p Wade testing out an antenna in nearby Gungahlin in a suburban park with a good signal.

Called by VK4NH Ray, who gave me his other calls, VK4DXA and ZL4TY/VK4. It was at this stage the rain started, becoming quite heavy. I quickly told others calling I had to leave,threw the tarp over the radio and packed up. Headed back to the car, getting there just before the heavier rain started. On the drive home some lightning and hail, glad I had given it away... Heard that Wade VK1MIC/p had also packed up due to the storm.

Park hunters were still calling as I packed up. Another park to return to.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Digital Modes Club (DMC) Awards

After installing the UAAC Award program added one more award group, the Digital Modes Club (DMC).

Joined up using their website http://www.digital-modes-club.org and applied for membership, which is free. Note you also need to apply for a login to the website to download awards.

Added my membership number into userdata in UAAC and imported in an adif file of all my digital QSOs. As these cover all bands and digital modes had qualified for several awards. Downloaded the awards from the DMC website, once logged in.

DXCC Hunter Award, 50 countries

Worked Europa Award, 20 European countries

ITU Zones, 40 worked Award

CQ Zones, 30 worked so far out of 40.

Worked 150 DMC members

WAC - Worked All Continents, digital modes

WAS - Worked all 50 States in the USA. I had achieved this a few years ago on JT65 mode across several bands.

30 Meter Digital Group Awards

After applying for the FT8DMC awards in UAAC, saw there is another award scheme listed for the 30 Meter Digital Group. Set set about applying for their awards as well.

First applied for membership on their website http://www.30mdg.org/ Membership is free.

Received an email with my membership certificate

Entered in my membership number into the userdata secion of the UAAC awards manager, imported in an adif list of all my 30 m digital contacts from my log and let it find my awards.

Unlike FT8DMC awards, contacts on other digital modes count, eg JT65, so quite a few qualified. Applied via the UAAC application. Found the awards just get emailed to me from the managers.

Firstly award for just making 30, 300 and 3000 QSOs on 30m. Easy enough to apply for the 30 award as I had 65 contacts in the log on 30m digital

In Continental awards, I had 5 Oceania DX entities in the log

3D2TS*              2017-03-19  06:41  30M   JT65     3D2
4F3BZ*              2017-09-15  10:09  30M   FT8      DU
VK7TR               2014-05-12  07:39  30M   JT65     VK
YB1TJ*              2017-09-13  12:37  30M   FT8      YB
ZL3RCK              2014-05-11  07:54  30M   JT65     ZL


Oceania-5:                    5 Oceanian DX entities

So applied for the basic award

In world awards usual working zone type awards

CQ Zones 15 worked

WL7CG*              2014-05-12  07:48  30M   JT65     BP61    01
AD6KH               2014-09-24  07:37  30M   JT65     CM95QL  03
WB4CIW              2014-04-29  07:53  30M   JT65     DM79CF  04
VE9DX*              2014-05-11  10:02  30M   JT65     FN75AJ  05
EA4DBS*             2014-05-11  05:14  30M   JT65     IN80CJ  14
IC8TEM              2014-09-19  21:02  30M   JT65     JN70CN  15
UR4UHE              2014-09-19  05:19  30M   JT65     KO50    16
JA1XBX              2014-05-12  10:02  30M   JT65     PM95    25
4F3BZ*              2017-09-15  10:09  30M   FT8      PK04    27
YB1TJ*              2017-09-13  12:37  30M   FT8      OI33    28
VK6DW               2018-02-26  10:14  30M   FT8      OF88    29
VK7TR               2014-05-12  07:39  30M   JT65     QE38WJ  30
ZL3RCK              2014-05-11  07:54  30M   JT65     RE66FT  32


CQ Zones-10:                  13 CQ zones

ITU Zone award for 15 zones worked

WL7CG*              2014-05-12  07:48  30M   JT65     BP61    01
AD6KH               2014-09-24  07:37  30M   JT65     CM95QL  06
WB4CIW              2014-04-29  07:53  30M   JT65     DM79CF  07
KK8MM               2014-09-17  11:37  30M   JT65     EN82GH  08
VE9DX*              2014-05-11  10:02  30M   JT65     FN75AJ  09
SM4EMO              2018-04-14  06:55  30M   FT8      JO79    18
F5RFS               2014-09-12  07:10  30M   JT65     IN96    27
HB9EFK              2014-09-12  20:20  30M   JT65     JN46JE  28
UR4UHE              2014-09-19  05:19  30M   JT65     KO50    29
EA4DBS*             2014-05-11  05:14  30M   JT65     IN80CJ  37
JA1XBX              2014-05-12  10:02  30M   JT65     PM95    45
4F3BZ*              2017-09-15  10:09  30M   FT8      PK04    50
YB1TJ*              2017-09-13  12:37  30M   FT8      OI33    54
VK4FNQ              2017-09-15  22:57  30M   FT8      QG39    55
3D2TS*              2017-03-19  06:41  30M   JT65     RH91    56
VK6DW               2018-02-26  10:14  30M   FT8      OF88    58
VK7TR               2014-05-12  07:39  30M   JT65     QE38WJ  59
ZL3RCK              2014-05-11  07:54  30M   JT65     RE66FT  60


ITU Zones-15:                 18 ITU zones

There are plenty more awards to chase, must get on 30 m digital more often!