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.

VK5HS
VK5LA
VK4RF, VK4HA
VK7QP
VK4CZ
VK4SMA
VK4FDJL
VK2HMV
VK5FLEA
ZL1TM

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:

VK3PAT
VK3PF
VK3SQ
VK2YK
VK7QP
VK2LEE

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  http://www.europeanrosclub.com/en/darse-de-alta/
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 https://epc-mc.eu 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.

VK2EXA
VK3SQ
VK3NXT
VK4KY/P
VK2VW
VK3AHR
VK3PF
VK4FDJL
VK3MRG
VK3FLCS
VK3ANL
VK2KYO

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

VK2NP
VK3SQ
VK2KBB

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.

VK3SQ
VK4FDJL
VK3AHR
VK4KY/P
VK4AAC/3
VK5IS
VK4GSF
VK2KYO

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

VK2IO/M
VK4TJ, VK4/AC8WN, VK4/VE6XT
VK4HNS

Returned to 40 m, worked some more park hunters

VK4FARR
VK4TJ, VK4/AC8WN, VK4/VE6XT
VK7ME
VK3PF
VK5FANA

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

VK3PF
VK3SQ
VK4FDJL
VK4KY/p
VK4AAC/3
VK4QQ
VK2KYO
VK4TJ, VK4/AC8WN, VK4/VE6XT

Tried 80 m, worked the following

VK2IO
VK4TJ, VK4/AC8WN, VK4/VE6XT

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

VK5PAS
VK3SQ
VK3PF
VK4FDJL
VK5KLV
VK5FANA
VK4XB
VK4RF, VK4HA
VK4FFAB
VK5PL

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.

VK3SQ
VK5PAS
VK5BJE
VK4FDJL
VK4TJ, VK4/AC8WN, VK4/VE6XT
VK2UH
VK3ANL
VK3PF
VK4RF, VK4HA
VK5FANA

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

VK3ANL
VK2EXA
VK3SQ
VK4FDJL
VK5BJE
VK3PF
VK2SLB
VK2UH.

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 https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/macquarie-nature-reserve/map

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.

VK4FDJL
VK3SQ
VK3PF
VK5HS
VK5FANA
VK5KLV.

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

VK3AHR
VK4FDJL
VK5IS
VK3PF
VK2IO
VK5PAS

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

ZL1TM
VK5FANA

Tried changing to 20 m. 3 more contacts

VK8GM
VK7QP
VK5PL

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.



Tuesday, 7 August 2018

WWFF Coffs Coast Regional Park VKFF-1780

After activating Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve set off for my third and final park in the Coffs Harbour area, Coffs Coast Regional Park. Drove to Sandy Beach to the North of Coffs Harbour, spotted the sign for the park here.


Set up the squid pole on the fence near the sign, table nearby.


Operating location, map from Protected Planet


Shack on the table


Got on 40 m. Signals not too bad for distant stations, but as getting late in the day not that good for closer by Sydney/Brisbane hunters. Worked the following park hunters.

VK3BHR
VK3PF
VK3SQ
VK5BJE
VK5PL
VK3UH
VK1AT
VK4DFJL
VK4FW
VK2UXO
VK3ZGW/2
VK5FANA
VK3FIAN

Packed up just before sunset.