Sunday, 9 June 2019

Bungonia National Park VKFF-1163

For the Queens Birthday long weekend my partner and I stayed at Goulburn. Looking at nearby parks decided to revisit Bungonia National Park. VKFF-1163. I had activated it before and got 33 contacts, so needed another 11 contacts to reach the 44 needed for WWFF.

Headed out of Goulburn along Mountain Ash Rd, until reaching the small village of Bungonia. Turned off onto The Lookdown Rd. There is a large sign in Bungonia marking this as the way to Bungonia National Park. Continued along The Lookdown Rd until reaching the park entrance sign,


Just after the sign the rangers office. Note there is an $8 visitors fee for this park. There was a machine to pay by credit card, which was broken, so placed the money in a special marked envelope and posted it at the rangers station. As getting late in the day decided to check out the lookouts first before losing light and activate after. The first lookout visited was Adams Lookout, giving a good view of Slot Canyon below


Then headed for another lookout, "The Lookdown", with a view out to the East.


Drove back to a picnic area not far from the rangers station. Used a picnic table to set up the shack, squid pole attached to the table and dipole legs to a couple of trees.


Had the full 80 m dipole set up, so left the links in and started on 80 m. Spotting in the park was tricky, having to move the mobile phone around a little before getting a spot out on Parksnpeaks. Some nice strong signals from fairly nearby park hunters

VK3SQ
VK3PF
VK2NP

Opened links to go down to 40 m. Found a non WWFF QSO in progress on 7.144, so moved down to 7.139 Mhz. Worked the following park hunters

VK4FDJL
VK5KLV
VK4SMA
VK5FANA
VK4NH VK4DXA ZL4TY/VK4
ZL1TM
VK2IO/5
VK2NP
VK4RF VK4HA
VK5PL
VK2NNN
VK4CZ
VK2VW

As getting cold and dark and more than enough contacts packed up and headed back to Goulburn for the night.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Bamarang Nature Reserve VKFF-2517

After activating Triplarina Nature Reserve in the morning set out to nearby Bamarang Nature Reserve, VKFF-2517. Set off via Yalwal Rd. Disappointed to find part of the reserve was burnt out by a fire. Turned off Yalwal Rd onto Longreach Rd, then came to the junction with Bamarang Rd.  Sign for the park here.


I looked at activating off the road behind this sign but found no where suitable. Opposite the sign was Old Bamarang Rd, a fire trail following a power line. The bush on the right was burnt, but okay on the left. Found a track leading off Old Bamarang Fire trail. Blocked off by logs but suitable for an antenna.


Operating spot. Map from Protected Planet


Shack on the table


Got on 40 m. Worked the following park hunters

VK4TJ, VK4/AC8WN, VK4/VE6XT
VK4SMA
VK3UCD
VK4FDJL
VK4CZ
VK4VXX/5
Zl1TM
VK7FRJG
VK4SYD
VK7JON.

It was slow going, conditions were not that good. Got quite windy later in the day. As had a dozen contacts qualified the park for VKFF. Packed up and headed off to have a look through the nearby FleetAirArm Museum, a display on Navy aircraft in nearby HMAS Albatross, quite good.

Triplarina Nature Reserve VKFF-2746

After stopping overnight at Nowra headed for my first park, the closest to town, Triplarina Nature Reserve, VKFF-2746. Drove down Albatross Rd, parking near a gate to the park. The track is marked as "Flinders Trail"


Just inside the park a sign about the reserve.


Walked in and found a suitable spot off just off the trail to set up the table and squid pole


Operating spot. Map from of Protected Planet.


Radio on the table


Turned on 40 m. It seemed quiet, too quiet... Tried calling Neil VK4HNS/p in a park, he told me my audio was breaking up, also the high vswr alert was showing on the radio, so quickly went clear to investigate. Got the multi meter out of the car and found one leg of the dipole, the braided side of the coax was broken somewhere. So would have had only half the dipole working...Must have damaged it after last pack up. Not knowing where the break could be to repair it, used one of the 80 m extension legs to get going again on 40 m only.

Worked the following park hunters.

VK4TJ, VK4/AC4WN, VK4/VE6XT
VK3ZPF
ZL1TM
VK3TKK/m
VK3MAB
VK3UFO

Park to park with VK6MB/3 Mike in VKFF-0405 Great Otway National Park

VK3ARH
VK4CZ
VK5HOL/3
VK4FDJL
VK7DW

As had a dozen contacts qualified for VKFF, and packed up to go to to the next park, Bamanang Nature Reserve

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Parma Creek Nature Reserve VKFF-2698

After activating Jerrawangala National Park continued driving NE along Braidwood Rd, turning off onto Hell Hole Fire Trail. The road was not as bad as it sounds, reaching the boundary of my next park, Parma Creek Nature Reserve VKFF-2698


Continued into the park. Looked for spots to turn off. There were some clearings off the road, however these were full of bee hives. Not keen to share my activation with bees... Eventually reached the junction with Parma Fire Trail and followed this back towards the Braidwood Rd. Found a turnoff to Sandy Creek Fire Trail, with a locked gate, decided that was a good spot to set up the shack as would be no traffic to worry about.


Attached the squid pole to the gate and set up the table in front.


Operating Spot. Map from Protected Planet website


Shack on the table. Set the FT-857D to around 40 w output.


Got on 40 m. Found 7.144 occupied with VK3FRC chatting to a ZL station, he indicated he was going clear so waited for a while until he signed off and put out a call. He was the first to come back to me. Worked several other park hunters after him. Most with good strong signals. The band seemed to really come to life as approaching sunset, even close by VK2s in Sydney coming in strong.

VK3FRC
VK3XPT
VK4FDJL
VK3ZPF
VK5CZ
VK3TKK
VK4HA
VK4RF
VK4CZ
VK2HHA
VK4NH
VK4DXA
ZL4TY/VK4
VK2JXA
VK5FANA
VK2NN
VK4DA
VK4TJ
VK4/AC8WN
VK4/VE6XT
VK2HRX
VK2ARL
VK2IWU
VK4SMA/P
VK4SOE/P
VK4ERM/P

Another park to park with VK2MG/p Alan in VKFF-0596 Karuah National Park. He was a good 59 at this time.

Worked a few more park hunters.

VK2ARI
VK2PCH
ZL1TM

At this stage the sun had set and getting dark, so packed up while still enough light and headed back along Parma Rd to Braidwood Rd. Drove on to nearby Nowra for the evening.

Jerrawangala National Park VKFF-0248

With a public holiday in Canberra decided to take a trip down to Nowra, and activate some of the nearby WWFF parks. On Saturday took the Kings Hwy to Braidwood, then turned off onto the Nerriga Rd. After passing through the small village of Nerriga and the locality of Sassafras reached the turn off to my first park, Jerrawangala National Park VKFF-0248


Turned off Wandean Rd into Jerrawangela Lookout Rd and into the park.


Reached the car park of the lookout. A sign here about the park


A close up of the left of the sign with some information on the park.


A map of the park on the right. There is a "You are here" marker showing the lookout location.


Wandered out to the lookout. View to the East, sign showing features on the horizon.


View to the South. Some smoke visible from a fire some distance away.


View to the North. Nowra can just be seen in the distance. The lookout is located on top of a sandstone plateau.


Looked for a place to set up my radio close to the lookout. Returning back along the lookout road found a spot I could pull off and walk onto a sandstone outcrop. Using the table to support the squid pole, set up here with one leg of the dipole tied to a small tree near the cliff, the other to a bush behind.


Operating Spot. Taken from Google maps satellite view


Radio shack on the table


Got on 40 m. As expected no problems with mobile coverage here to spot myself on ParksnPeaks.
Worked

VK4FDJL
VK2FSAV
VK7JON

A park to park with VK6MB/3 Mike in VKFF-0055 Brisbane Ranges National Park

Went on to work

VK3ZPF
VK3UH
VK4FARR
VK4SMA/p
VK4HNS/p

Another park to park with VK2MG/p Alan in VKFF-0611 Wallaroo National Park. Weak but workable with a zero noise floor here.

Worked several more park hunters

VK5FANA
VK4TJ
VK4/VE6XT
VK4/AC8WN
VK4NH
VK4DXA
ZL4TY/VK4
VK3SQ
VK3ZNK
VK2MOP
VK3HN
ZL1TM

After callers dried up on 40 m went to 20 m. Worked

VK5PAS
VK5PL
VK7JON

Laid out the 80 m extensions to give 80 m a try. After spotting on 3.610 was about to call there then heard VK3YE/p Peter calling CQ from Chelsea Beach. He was testing an 80 m top loaded vertical. I could hear him quite well at 4x1 with him using 5 w, but he had problems copying me, so ran the power up to about 50 w. He was getting me a 3x1 signal.

Saw a spot for another park, VK3OAK/p Paul in VKFF-2110 Illabrook Rail Line Nature Conservation Reserve so returned to 40 m to grab him.

With 27 contacts packed up, as wanted to do another nearby park, Parma Creek Nature Reserve before heading into Nowra.


Saturday, 18 May 2019

Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920

Saturday afternoon in Canberra was fine and sunny with no wind, so decided to do another WWFF park activation. Chose a park I needed to complete for 44 contacts, Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920.

Headed out to the park, stopping briefly in Queanbeyan for fuel as it was 4 c per litre cheaper than in Canberra... Drove out on the Kings Hwy, then turned off onto the Captains Flat Road. The park is on either side of the road for several Km. Stopped in front of a locked gate with the park sign just behind it


Note the power lines to the right of the sign. I initially set up the antenna near the sign, and found S9 of power line noise over most of 40 m :( So packed up and moved further into the park, away from the power lines. Followed "Shed" trail until finding a suitable sapling for squid pole support, set up just off the trail.


Operating spot, map from Protected Planet website.


Shack on the table.


Got on 40 m. The band seemed very quiet, apart from a few EU signals coming in. I could just hear VK3PF/p Peter in a park on 7.144 too weak to work, so headed up the band and spotted myself on 7.150 Mhz. This did have some weak EU stations on later but the callers were well over them.

Surprisingly was open, mainly to VK4 and Northern VK2, VK5, ZL. So no short NVIS skip. Some good signals. Worked the following

VK4FDJL
VK4TJ, VK4/AC8WN, VK4/VE6XT
VK2FSAV
VK4RF, VK4HA
VK4SMA
VK5DW
VK2VW
VK4NH, VK4DXA, ZL4TY/VK4
ZL1TM
VK4FARR
VK6BSA/5
ZL2IFB
VK5TN
VK3ARH
VK5FMWW
VK3VLY/p

VK6MB/3 for a P2P contact in VKFF-0968 Hepburn Regional Park

VK4CZ
VK3BSQ

As poor close in on 40 m went to 80 m to give close by park hunters a contact. On 80 m worked

VK2NP

VK3PF/p for a P2P in VKFF-0749 Shallow Inlet Coastal & Marine Park.

No further contacts on 80 m. As the sun was setting and started getting cold, packed up and headed home.




Wednesday, 8 May 2019

VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 775 Award

Found on Logsearch that I had confirmed contacts with 775 VKFF parks, so applied for the award. Thanks to the park activators for the contacts.






Friday, 3 May 2019

ERC Worked Different Australian Amateur Radio VK Awards

Just recently a whole lot of new awards were released by the Euriopen Ros Club (ERC) for working different numbers of VK calls on digital modes for various bands, ERC Worked Different Australian Amateur Radio VK Awards. As you would expect for a VK many qualified. Picked up certificate No: 0001 on 6 m for 10 and 15 contacts and 80 m for 25 contacts. Never had a No 1 certificate before :) 







Tuesday, 30 April 2019

FT8DMC 100 Prefixes on 17 m

Noticed in UAAC I'd qualified for the 100 Prefixes award on 17 m. Applied for the award, once approved downloaded the award.


Thursday, 25 April 2019

Queanbeyan Nature Reserve VKFF-1988

For ANZAC day holiday the weather was very good, warm and mostly sunny, so headed out in the afternoon to activate a WWFF park Queanbeyan Nature Reserve VKFF-1988. I had activated it before but conditions were poor then and only got 13 contacts, so returned to finish the 44 needed for WWFF. As per last time entered the park off Hoover Rd in Queanbeyan. Sign for the park just after the locked gate.



Set up the squid pole using the sign for support, dipole legs tied to the fences.


Shack on the table. FT-857D set to about 40 w output, running off a 4300 mAH Lifepo4 battery.


Got on 40 m. Started off with a Park to Park with AX5PAS/p Paul in VKFF-1886 Watts Gully Forest Natural Features Reserve with a strong signal. Then worked VK2IO/p Gerard on SOTA summit VK2/NR-039 Glenugie Peak. I had activated this peak myself, between Coffs Harbour and Grafton. Gerard also had a strong signal.

Went on to work several park hunters.

VK4CZ
VK2NP
ZL4TY/VK4
VK4DXA
VK4NH
VK4FDJL
VK4TJ
VK4/AC8WN
VK4/VE6XT
VK2VW
ZL1TM
AX4HNS
VK4HNS
VK5FANA
VK3DBP

Another Park to park with AX3ZPF/p Peter in VKFF-2224 Warramate Hills Nature Conservation Reserve. He was also on SOTA summit VK3/VC-029 Briarty Hill

Worked VK7QP, then another Park/Peak, AX1DA/p Andrew on VK1/AC034 Bullen Range and VKFF-0984 Bullen Range Nature Reserve

Worked VK3MPR, then decided to try 20 m.

Only managed 1 contact on 20 m, AX4DV Merv.

Saw a spot on 80 m for AX2MG/p Alan in a park, so quickly added the 80 m extension wires to the dipole and worked him in VKFF-0056 Brisbane Water National Park.

Worked AX3PF/VK3PF then again worked AX3ZPF/p Peter in VKFF-2224 Warramate Hills Nature Conservation Reserve on 80 m.

After contacts with VK2NP and VK6MB/3 made another park to park contact with AX5PAS/p Paul in VKFF-1886 Watts Gully Forest Natural Features Reserve. Not quite a strong as on 40 m but still an easy copy. Returned to 40 m to work a few more hunters

VK5DW
VK5MRE
VK5WU
VK3FSPN
VK2YK

Got a surprise call from IK1GPG Max in Italy! I have worked him a few times on 20 m but never on 40 m, so conditions fairly good.

Made one more contact, VK5PL, before packing up and heading home.


Monday, 22 April 2019

Macquarie Pass National Park VKFF-0298

After activating Roberston National Park on Easter Monday, my partner and I headed down to nearby Macquarie Pass National Park, VKFF-0298. This park is located on both sides of the Illawarra Hwy descending down from Robertson to Albion Park. We first headed down the pass to do the Cascades Rainforest walk. Sign for the park at the bottom of the pass.


There is a car park and picnic area here, sign at the start of the Cascades Rainforest walk.


The walk is only about 1 Km each way and suitable for families. You follow a walking track, but easy enough to drop down into the creek in places.


Lots of fan palms.


Not a lot of water in the creek after a prolonged drought.


The walk ends at Cascade Falls. I have seen it better, the lack of rain shows.


Returned to the picnic area at the start of the walk. You could probably set up and activate here, however on Easter Monday the place was busy with picnicers and children running around, so gave it a miss and headed back up the mountain.

There are not many places to pull off into the park... I eventually found a parking spot with a locked gate. Forgot to get a photo, however Google Street view shows it, near a Welcome to South Coast NSW road sign.


Operating spot, map from Protected Planet


Past the gate found an open area on the right with a fallen log for squid pole support. Shack on the tarp.


Got on 40 m on 7.144 and spotted myself. Started with a SOTA contact, VK3ZPF on VK3/VT-046 Mt Tassie. Then worked the usual park hunters. There was a bit of a pileup at times.

VK3PF
VK4TJ
VK4/AC8WN
VK4/VE6XT
VK3AHR
VK3DAC
VK3UCD
VK2VW
VK3BSG
VK2FSAV
VK4FDJL
VK4FARR
VK4SMA
VK3MIJ
VK3MDH

An S2S contact from VK5PAS/p Paul activating VKFF-2892 Knott Hill Native Forest Reserve. Paul had a good strong signal and moved off to work park hunters.

Continued on 40 m

VK4RF
VK4HA
VK5WU
VK3NAD
VK5FMWW
VK3SQ
VK3ARH
VK3HRA
VK5CZ
VK3TKK/M
VK2HHA
VK3PI
VK5FANA
ZL1TM
VK4HNS
VK4CZ
VK3BYD
VK5FLEA
VK4NH
VK4DXA
ZL4TY/VK4

As starting to get late and still having a few hours drive home, packed up, and stopped briefly for a pie at the nearby Roberston Pie shop :)