Sunday, 14 October 2018

FT8DMC Worked All New Zealand Award 20 m

I've managed to qualify for the FT8DMC WANZ (Worked All New Zealand) Award on 80 m, after some more ZL contacts recently managed to qualify on 20 m too. For the award you need ZL1 (4 QSOs), ZL2 (3 QSOs), ZL3 ( 2 QSOs) and ZL4 (1 QSO).

Here are the contacts I made for 20 m

ZL1BBW              2018-10-13  05:27  20M   FT8      ZL1   
ZL1BD               2018-10-12  06:25  20M   FT8      ZL1   
ZL1HX               2018-04-25  01:13  20M   FT8      ZL1   
ZL1MVL              2018-10-13  03:42  20M   FT8      ZL1   
ZL2IAS              2018-10-04  08:07  20M   FT8      ZL2   
ZL2TLF              2018-10-13  05:25  20M   FT8      ZL2   
ZL2WD               2018-05-11  23:50  20M   FT8      ZL2   
ZL3GAV              2018-09-29  01:03  20M   FT8      ZL3   
ZL3JW               2018-09-15  01:21  20M   FT8      ZL3   
ZL4AS               2018-05-12  23:35  20M   FT8      ZL4   

Applied via the UAAC software, award approved by the Manager ZL1MVL Ian. Downloaded from the EPC website.

Friday, 5 October 2018

European Ros Club 50 Members Award

Noticed in Ultimate AAC software I had managed to contact over 50 members of the Eurobean Ros Club (ERC) so applied for the award. Downloaded from the EPC website. Here it is

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

FT8DMC Worked 200 Grids Awards

After some activity of FT8 lately managed to get to 200 Grid squares worked, and apply for the FT8DMC Grids WGA 200 Award, using Ultimate AAC software.

A breakdown of unique grids worked per band that I counted using Excel.

10 m - 13 Grids
17 m - 29 Grids
20 m - 26 Grids
30 m - 30 Grids
40 m - 84 Grids
80 m - 18 Grids

So most were on 40 m, to be expected at this part of the sunspot cycle... Still waiting for the higher bands to open up...

Here is the award.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

FT8DMC Worked All New Zealand 80 m Award

Noticed in the Ultimate AAC Award I only needed a few more ZL1s and a ZL2 to finish qualifying for the WANZ award on 80 m, so got on the band for a few days and found the required contacts.

For me New Zealand is fairly easy on 80 m, not that far away from VK1, most are very strong...
Contacts made. Note for the award you need 4 x ZL1, 3 x ZL2, 2 x ZL3 and 1 x ZL4

ZL1AIX    2018-09-18  08:19  80M   FT8      ZL1   
ZL1BBW  2018-09-17  09:48  80M   FT8      ZL1   
ZL1BRL   2018-09-13  08:41  80M   FT8      ZL1   
ZL1RPL    2018-09-17  09:43  80M   FT8      ZL1   

ZL2AUB   2017-08-31  08:19  80M   FT8      ZL2   
ZL2IAS     2018-09-18  08:42  80M   FT8      ZL2   
ZL2IFB     2018-09-17  07:46  80M   FT8      ZL2   

ZL3IO       2018-08-28  08:17  80M   FT8      ZL3   
ZL3TE      2017-09-03  11:27  80M   FT8      ZL3   

ZL4AD     2017-09-01  08:15  80M   FT8      ZL4   

Applied for the award online, approved by ZL1MVL Ian and downloaded from the EPC website.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

FT8DMC Worked Prefix Award

After updating Ultimate AAC software to v2.3.2 noticed there are several new awards in the FT8DMC group, including Worked Prefix (WPX) award. This requires working 100, 500, and 1000 different callsign prefixes. As I had qualified for over 100 prefixes applied for the award. Approved by the manager 9A2AA Fawaz for download from the EPC Awards wepage.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

FT8DMC Worked Philippines Award

The FT8DMC Worked Philippines Award (WPA) requires 5 different Philipinnes stations contacts on FT8 mode to qualify. Despite being a fairly easy radio path to the North from Australia it took me some time to get the 5th, finally did it today working 4F3OM on 17 m FT8.

4F3BZ               2017-09-15  10:09  30M   FT8   
DU1AVC              2018-05-19  21:47  30M   FT8   
DU1/JH1FNS          2018-05-10  00:13  20M   FT8   
DX3H                2018-05-11  23:56  20M   FT8   
4F3OM               2018-09-09  00:41  17M   FT8   

WPA-WPA:            5/5 philippine stations

Applied for the award using the UAAC software, received confirmation available for download from the Awards Manager Hannes OE1SGU. Nice award.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

WWFF Park to Park 308 Award

Following a lot of park to park contacts recently I was eligible for the next award, for 308 park to park QSOs. Thanks to other park activators for helping me achieve this.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 700 Award

Noticed on on the WWFF Logsearch page that I've managed to get over 700 unique VKFF park referenced confirmed, so applied for the award.

Thanks to all the park activators for getting out there and activating new parks.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

WWFF Gigerline Nature Reserve VKFF-0985

With a sunny Sunday afternoon decided to activate another park, and one not too far from home. Decided to return to Gigerline Nature Reserve, VKFF-0985, as when I activated it in 2016 only made 37 contacts, so would be easy enough to complete the 44 needed for a WWFF point.

Last time I activated it was from Tharwa Sandwash picnic area. I found the bands noisy there from close by power lines, so this time set off for a different spot, Angle Crossing, at the Southern end of the park. Drove down Naas Rd, turning off onto Smiths Rd, then Angle Crossing Rd. A sign for the park before the road descends down to the crossing.

Heading East to the crossing saw a road on the left, probably for access to a power transmission line tower. The gate had a sign about no unauthorized vehicles, but nothing about walkers. Parked in front of the gate, which was not locked and walked along the road a bit, setting up the squid pole on the fence.

Operating spot on a map, from Protected Planet. Well inside the park here.

Shack on the table. Note the very dry ground, the ACT and NSW are in a drought at the moment.

Got on 40 m. Started with a park to park with VK5LOL/p Leslie in VKFF-0817 The Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park. She was also in an Alara (YL) contest so gave her a contest number as well.

Spotted myself on ParksnPeaks and worked the following hunters.


Note they were all long distance, NVIS short skip missing on 40 m, yet again... So changed to 80 m to get the close by hunters. Worked the following:


All fairly strong signals, 80 m works well in the afternoon despite people thinking its only a night time band...

Saw a spot on 40 m for VK4AAC/3 Rob in VKFF-2402 Mount Warrenheip Flora Reserve so went back there. As NVIS skip not really working he was weak, 41 report and he had me 31. But made it.

Packed up and headed home.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

VKFF Activator Honour Roll 125 Award

Following my 2 weeks driving holiday to VK2 and VK4, activating a total of 28 parks, managed to qualify for the VKFF Activator Honour Roll 125 Award.

Thank you to all the park hunters who chased me at various parks, sometimes with trying HF conditions... and thanks to the volunteers who keep this award scheme running.

For overseas viewers the animal is an echidna.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

European ROS Club Awards

Noticed in an update to the awards software program UAAC the addition of a new Awards group, "European ROS Club". Seems I was eligible for several of this groups awards, as they allow contacts in any digital mode, not just ROS to count for the awards, so could use my JT65 and FT8 QSOs.

Applied by email as instructed at
After my membership was approved received a membership certificate by email

Entered my membership number into the UAAC software User data settings. Just a word of warning, you need a leading 0 to set up UAAC properly, eg my membership number is 5 numbers 02395. After which you can apply for awards.

When approved the Awards Manager EB5AG, Manolo will send you an email, that you can download the awards from the EPC website You will need to log in as your membership to this site to download them.

Awards I qualified for so far:

Worked All Continents ie WAC. You only need 5, Antarctica is not needed. Endorsements for different bands, this one is for the 40 m band.

Awards for certain numbers of unique Prefix contacts, eg Bronze for 500 contacts

Awards for different numbers of countries worked. This one for 75. Paises is Spanish for countries.

Worked all States, ie WAS. I did this a few years ago on JT65

Saturday, 11 August 2018

WWFF Wyrrabalong National Park VKFF-0550

After stopping overnight in Newcastle drove South through the Central Coast. After Noraville and Canton beach stopped at a car park for Wyrrabalong National Park on the right.

A sign with some information about the park

Walked from the car park, coming quickly to a junction. Straight ahead Burrawang Walking Track

On the right Red Gum Trail. Looked like a good spot for the radio, set up here. A few walkers on the track stopped to see what I was doing, but happy enough explaining about amateur radio.

Operating spot, map from Protected Planet

Shack on the table

Being a Saturday morning lots on air. Started with a park to park with VK2JNG/p Gerard in VKFF-2646 Linton Nature Reserve. Not very strong but workable at 52. Then spotted myself and got a stream of park hunters calling.


Tried 80 m as too close to Sydney now for 40 m. Started with a park to park with VK2IO/p Gerard in VKFF-0139 Dharug National Park

Others on 80 m


As still some way to go home packed up and had lunch in close by The Entrance town. Headed through Sydney, traffic was terrible :( After clearing Sydney the weather approaching Goulburn was cold with some rain, so glad I did an activation in the morning. Got home after 2 weeks of travelling, and activating 28 parks, a good trip.

Friday, 10 August 2018

WWFF Tilligerry Nature Reserve VKFF-2740

After lunch in Nelson Bay drove back along Nelson Bay Rd, then turned off into Port Stephens Dr. At the turnoff to Taylors Beach saw a sign for Tilligerry Nature Reserve.

Thick bush near the sign, no place to operate from. Drove down Taylors Beach Rd, eventually seeing a 4WD track on the right. It had a barrier across it by the park rangers, however looked like some of the 4WDs had made a bypass track around this... Anyway I parked off the road and carried the gear in, setting up on the track.

Operating Spot. Map from Protected Planet

Shack on the table. It seemed like a good spot, however found mosquitoes were in the area... Just swatted them and got on air on 40 m

Worked a bit of a pileup of park hunters. This was a first activation for this park so popular.


Tried 80 m as had the room for the antenna on the track. Worked


Returned to 40 m, worked some more park hunters


The mosquitoes were getting to me, so packed up and headed to Newcastle for the evening.

WWFF Tomaree National park VKFF-0490

After stopping overnight in Nelson Bay, had a look around the town in the morning then set off to activate nearby Tomaree National Park. Followed Gan Gan Rd and turned off onto Big Rocky Track in the park.

I wasn't sure what it would be like getting to the 4WD car park in my AWD car, so only went as far as the 2WD car park. This is for the start of a walk to the beach. There was no one else in the car park so set up there.

Operating spot. Map from Protected Planet

Shack on the table in the car park

Got on 40 m. Worked the usual park hunters


Tried 80 m, worked the following


Packed up and headed back to Nelson Bay for lunch.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

WWFF Booti Booti National Park VKFF-0046

After activating Kattang Nature Reserve and joining the Pacific Hwy, turned off to Forster and South along The Lakes Way, to Booti Booti National Park. Spotted a closed off track in the park to the beach, stopped here.

Walked in along the track and set up the squid pole on the table, running the dipole legs along the track.

View showing the full 80 m dipole. It does take a lot of room...

Operating Spot, map from Google Maps

Shack on the table

Got on 40m. Started with a park to park with VK4FW/p Bill in  VKFF-1632 Police Paddock Conservation Park. Then the usual park hunters


Tried 80 m, only one contact, VK4HNS Neil.

Still had a long drive ahead, packed up and continued South. Turned off the Pacific Hwy and headed to Nelson Bay, in the Port Stephens area for the night.

WWFF Kattang Nature Reserve VKFF-1947

After activating Lake Innes Nature Reserve continued heading South on Ocean Dr to Laurieton, then headed East to Camden Head. Turned off onto Charles Hamey Lookout Road and entered Kattang Nature Reserve

The road ends at a car park and Charles Hamey Lookout. View from the lookout to the South. Middle Brother and North Brother, Dooragan National Park on the right

Just in from the car park found a spot in the scrub to put up the squid pole and dipoles. A little bushy but got the station set up okay.

Another view. Just enough room for the 80 m dipole.

Got on 40 m. Worked the following park hunters. No park to parks this time.


I tried 80 m but no luck, as around mid day not surprising. Packed up and drove West, joined the Pacific Hwy again, headed South.

WWFF Lake Innes Nature Reserve VKFF-1955

After stopping overnight at Port Macquarie drove South of the town to activate Lake Innes Nature Reserve, VKFF-1955. Turned off ocean Dr onto Perch Hole Trail, a dirt road leading to Cathie Creek, that eventually drains into Lake Innes. Cathie Creek boat launching spot.

Looking up the creek towards Lake Innes

Found it a bit muddy near the lake, so decided to not operate there, instead heading back along Perch Hole Trail, until reaching a closed off management track, Bells Firetrail. Set up the squid pole on the gate, running the dipole legs along the track. Had enough room for the 80 m dipole here.

Shack on the table near the gate.

Got on 80 m. First contact VK2IO Gerard with a good signal. Then VK4HNS Neil also quite strong.
Didn't seem to be others on 80 m, so went to 40 m.

Saw a spot for VK3MEG Steve activating VKFF-2431 Sale Common Nature Conservation Reserve so worked him for a park to park.

Went on to work


Packed up and continued driving South.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

WWFF Macquarie Nature Reserve VKFF-1958

After leaving Hat Head National Park headed South to Port Macquare. As stopping in town decided to do a park within the town itself, Port Macquarie Nature Reserve. Drove to Wattle St, a sign for the park here.

The park is thick rain forest. Walked along the High Low track, until coming out onto Everard St. Near the bend in Everard St the scrub wasn't as thick, so dropped into it and set up the squid pole there, radio on the tarp.

Operating spot on a map of the park. The park does not seem to be on Protected Planet, map is from the NSW National Parks website

I was just above Wrights Creek.

Got on 40 m. As down in a gully and in rain forest, signals not great, but made a few contacts.


The sun was setting and the 40 m band was dropping out, so gave it away and packed up, headed to my nearby accommodation for the night.

WWFF Hat Head National Park VKFF-0230

After stopping overnight at Coffs Harbour headed South on the Pacific Hwy, turning off to the town of South West Rocks and Hat Head National Park. I had activated this park before, while doing a SOTA activation of Old Smoky mountain. I only made 8 contacts so not enough to qualify for VKFF needing 10 contacts. Drove down Lighthouse Rd off Arakoon Rd. Sign for the park near the junction.

A bit further along Lighthouse Rd a management track on the right. Closed off, so parked and carried the gear past the gate into the park.

Operating spot. Map from Google Maps.

Another view of the station

Shack on the table

Not long after setting up a couple of park rangers drove past and stopped to see what I was up to. One was quite chatty and knew something of amateur radio, there was a ham not too far away out of town, in fact I passed his antennas later. They left me to make some contacts.

Got on 40 m. Worked the following park hunters


A park to park with VK4FW/p Bill in VKFF-1669 Vernon Conservation Park


Tried changing to 20 m. 3 more contacts


Packed up and headed down Lighthouse Rd to have lunch at Captain Cook Lookout, near the lighthouse. View looking South from the lookout. Hat Head National Park extends all the way down the coast to the far headland, a big park.