Saturday, 13 June 2015

Bruce Ridge VKFF-0835

Bruce Ridge Nature Reserve is a Canberra Nature Park to the North of Black Mountain. You can park off Belconnen Way, although this can be tricky as fairly busy. I chose to park in Calvary Hospital car park and walk under the Gungahlin Drive Extension via a tunnel.

After parking at the far end of Calvary Hospital climbed through a gate and headed for an access tunnel under Gungahlin Drive Extension.

On the other side climbed over a gate into the park

The track, Calvary Access FT, takes you up the ridge, joining "Bruce One" track

This track takes you up to a large water reservoir close to the highest point in the park. The reservoir didn't look that interesting to operate from, so headed down an unnamed track near the junction with Reservoir Ridge FT.

Found a suitable stump for supporting the squid pole. Set up the 20/40 m dipole.

Radio shack on a nearby log

A fairly comfortable operating spot, although did get some traffic noise from busy Belconnen Way below.

Got on 40 m, a SOTA contact first with Julie VK3FOWL/P on VK3/VN-028. Then a park to park contact with Alan VK5FAJS/P and Col VK5HCF/P in VKFF-805 Telford Scrub Conservation Park. Set up on one frequency and worked through a crowd of chasers from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 and VK7.

Worked another park, Rob VK4AAC/5 in VKFF-173 Flinders Chase NP on Kangaroo Island. Also Paul VK5PAS/P in Winninowie Conservation Park with a good strong signal.

After about an hour on 40 m the contacts dried up, so switched the links to 20 m. I spotted myself on the DX cluster, then the pileup began...

Many of the usual park hunters, DK4RM, ON5SWA, IK1GPG, I5FLN with good strong signals. The band was in terrific shape, even with my puny 5 w signal getting 55, 57 reports. Danny ON4VT called me a few times but failed to come back when called, probably due to QRM and QSB his end. We eventually worked. Made an impressive number of contacts, 18 into Europe, including RA3PCI, my first Russian hunter. Also worked one of the locals, VK1ANK Neil.

I caught up with Paul VK5PAS again, working his way through a massive EU pileup, he was S9+.

Returned to 40 m. Worked another park, Steve VK5SFA/P in VKFF-783 Morialta Conservation Park. A few more VKs on 40 m and I was done, 46 contacts, and had managed to get the 44 parks needed for WWFF for once...

Packed up around 4:30 pm as starting to get cold with the sun setting. Walked up to the reservoir to take a look at the views.

Looking East towards Mt Ainslie. City, Braddon and Dickson visible at the base. The road on the right is Belconnen Way


  1. Hi Ian,

    A great read as always. And it was nice to be able to work you on both 40m & 20m, both times with a great signal with your QRP set up. Band conditions were pretty good. We beat the solar flares & CME's that were to follow.

    Best wishes,


  2. Hi Paul.

    Yes band conditions were great on 20m. Even with only 5w had a good pileup of EU stations calling me. The band conditions lately not so good but it should recover.

    73 and 44
    Ian VK1DI