Friday, 30 September 2022

Worked 20 Chinese Provinces Award

Another award from the FT8 Digital Mode Club, for Working 20 Chinese Provinces.




Tuesday, 27 September 2022

US Counties map on Gridtracker

Recently the 10m band has had good openings to the USA, and as have Worked All States now looking for contacts into new US Counties.

Discovered the program GridTracker allows you to view maps of different awards, including US Counties.

Here is my map of US counties worked. 626 counties worked, 599 confirmed. Need 2594...


Note the large counties on the West coast, fairly easy to work in VK. The East coast is spotty, places like Florida filling in nicely. I have also completed the 3 counties in Delaware. There is a line in the middle of the USA where I have worked few counties. It runs through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Western Texas. This is more to do with a small population density rather than a lack of amateurs. Im guessing a rain shadow from the West Coast mountains blocks rainfall to this area, and not much rain comes across from the East, so hard to farm. A bit like central Australia.

A map of average precipitation shows the same line down the middle of the US. Map from Wikipedia



I get the same pattern looking at US Grids. Some rare ones to look out for.



 

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Jarramlee Grassland Nature Reserve VKFF-3180

Sunday afternoon was nice and sunny, so decided to head out and activate a park, before more rain later in the week. Returned to Jarramlee Grassland Nature Reserve VKFF-3180. Last activation I made 18 contacts, so needed another 24 to qualify for WWFF.

As per last activation parked off Hugh Mackay Cres in Dunlop and walked past a locked boom gate along the road to the park. On the way I stuck a bit of an obstacle, more on that later...

Sign for the park


I headed to the trees on the left, going a bit further away this time from the power lines as they generated some noise last spot. Set up the squid pole on a stump.


Looking to the South


Looking to the North


Checked the SWR, not too bad


Shack on the tarp


Got on 40m. Started with a park to park with VK3ASC Rory in VKFF-2113 Ironbark Road Nature Conservation Reserve.

Spotted on 7.100 and worked many hunters.

VK5LA, VK2HHA, VK3APJ, VK3ZPF, VK5BJE, VK3BBB/VK2CCP, VK4HNS, VK3PF, VK3MTT, VK2LH/VK4AAC, VK3NFS, VK4NH/VK4DXA, ZL3RIK, VK3AMO, VK2YN, VK2TKR/2, VK1BUB, VK3VIN, VK4TJ, VK2PET/m, VK2LIL/m, VK7AN, VK7ALB, VK5PAS, VK2BYN.

After went quiet moved to 20m. Worked VK1AD/p Andrew on SOTA summit VK1/AC-043 Mt Stromlo, not far away. He was working EU stations. Spotted on 20m, then the DX kicked in...

ZL1TM, KG5CIK, IZ2IHO, OH1MM, IK3IDF, OH5EP, OH4ON, DL2ND, SM1ALH, EA5GVV.

I was weak to most of them but managed to make contacts okay. As had 44 contacts qualified the park on this single activation, so packed up and headed home.

This is the obstacle I struck heading there and back. The creek crossing was flooded...



A car could have driven through, but I was on foot... I ended up taking my shoes and socks off and walking across barefoot. It wasn't too bad, at the deepest point a bit above my ankles. The water was cold though.

Made it back to the car okay and headed home. The park is only around a 10 minute drive from home.










Saturday, 24 September 2022

VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 1125 Award

Honour Roll award for working 1125 VKFF parks. Lately helped by a heap of new parks added.






Worked 200 Indonesian Stations Award

 Another award from the FT8 Digital Mode Club, FT8DMC, for working 200 Indonesian stations.




Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Molonglo River Reserve VKFF-3184

With a nice sunny afternoon decided to do a park activation, as forecast of rain for the next few days. Returned to nearby Molonglo River Nature Reserve, VKFF-3184. Last activation made 30 contacts, so just needed another 14 contacts for the 44. For something different accessed the park at another point off Stockdill Dr in Holt. A new looking sign for the park.


Access point into the park, a gate for walkers and a management road running along the boundary of the reserve. 


Followed the road for a while, when I reached a bend set up the dipole on one of the fence posts. Note my replacement squid pole from Haverford, a 6m white pole. The 7m ones were sold out so this will have to do until they get more stock.

Looking back the other way. Dipole legs supported on a small gum tree and the fence.


Looking down the slope to the West and the Molonglo River below.


Operating spot. map from Openstreetmaps


Tested the 40m dipole, good SWR at 7.113 Mhz.


Shack on the tarp. FT857 set to 30W.


Got on 40m. Worked VK4FW/VK8MM, VK4TJ, VK2MET/VK1AO, VK2AX, VK3ZPF/VK3JW.

A park to park with VK3BEZ, Peter using a club call in VKFF-0626 Morwell National Park. Also another call of his, VK3KAI

VK3MCA, VK2NJR, VK2IO, VK1AD/VK1NAM, VK3FABS/P

Tried 20m, but no calls.

Returned to 40m, and worked a few more

VK2HDN/P, VK2HHA. Made 18 contacts so with the 30 before qualified for WWFF.

As time for afternoon tea, packed up and drove home, about 10 minutes away.




Sunday, 11 September 2022

Melrose Nature Reserve VKFF-3183

With a sunny Sunday decided to get out and activate another WWFF park. Went to a newly added park, Melrose Nature Reserve


The park is located on the Eastern side of the Monaro Highway opposite Chisholm, Calwell and Theodore. Looking on a map, the easiest access appeared to be from a car park at the start of Old Tuggeranong Rd, where there is a Paintball game area. There is a locked gate across Old Tuggeranong Rd here but easy to pass through for walkers.


The road runs South for a while then swings to the East. Saw a gate and sign for Melrose Nature Reserve


Headed into the reserve and up a small hill nearby. View at the top looking SouthWest towards Tuggeranong Hill.


Looking West. The Monaro Hwy and Johnson Dr Calwell roundabout below.

There was a survey marker on the top of the hill, TG218. TG for Tuggeranong. Looking on the net later found it was used for the original survey plans for Tuggeranong.


Looked like a good spot to set up, with a log nearby for a seat. Strapped the squid pole to the survey marker and set up the linked dipole. Quite a strong wind but it held up.


Operating spot. Map from Google Maps


Shack around the survey marker and log.

Radio on the nearby log

Got on 40m. I tried to catch VK3TUN on 7.165 in a park, but he had just gone clear. Then VK3PF, Peter called looking for him too, so worked Peter, also in a park VKFF-0976 Shepparton Regional Park

Worked VK3ZPF, then another P2P with VK4AAC/VK2VH Rob in VKFF-2498 Yarrara Flora and Fauna Reserve

Then VK3BEL, VK3APJ, VK2IO/m, VK3ZSC, VK3DL, VK2LP/VK2EMS, VK3UH, VK3PWG, VK4SMA, VK2NP, VK5PAS.

Chased VK1ACE Rod on a SOTA summit, VK2/SM-052 Bald Mountain which is also in VKFF-0212 Gourock National Park

VK3TUN in VKFF-2399 Mount Jeffcott Flora and Fauna Reserve

After 40m contacts dried up went to 20m. Worked

ZL4NVW, OM0R, VK6NU.

Returned to 40m for a few more contacts. Worked

VK3ANL, VK2PKT, VK4FW/VK8MM, VK3GB, VK5FANA, VK2YK/VK5GA, VK3LSR, VK4NH/VK4DXA, VK2MET/VK1AO, VK7JS, VK1TTY, VK3UAO, VK5FB.

During operating the strong wind cracked my squid pole at the base, lashed it up with electrical tape, held out okay but I will need to get another pole... I have gone through a few over the years.


With 39 contacts in the log was getting late and packed up, so will return to get the 44 some time.