Sunday, 21 June 2015

OConnor Ridge VKFF-0857

OConnor Ridge is located West of the Canberra suburb of OConnor, bounded by Dryandra Street, Ginninderra Drive, Gungahlin Drive Extension and Bruce Ridge.

Parked off Dryandra Street near the cycle path. There is a large parking area here and the sign for the park visible.

Walked up the ridge using some of the many bush tracks. The area is popular with mountain bike riders and joggers.

The tracks joined a fire access road running along the ridge.

The road climbed up to the highest point on the ridge. Not too steep.

Reached the highest point in the park. Nothing much here, no trig, the view obscured by trees.

Just down from the hill from here was a large log suitable for a shack seat and table. Strapped the squid pole to the side and ran out the 20/40 m dipole legs to a couple of nearby trees.

Set up the radio shack on the stump and used it as a comfy seat.

Got on 40 m and started calling. Worked Gerard VK2IO/P on SOTA peak VK2/CT-001 Mt Canobolas with a good signal. A SOTA contact Karl VK2GKA/P on VK2/IL-005 Mt Alexandra.

Also John VK5BJE and Paul VK5PAS doing a rare activation of VKFF-278 Lake Torrens National Park. Another SOTA station Paul VK3HN on VK3/VN-030 Mt Strickland. Plus usual park hunters from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4 and VK5.

After 40 m calls dried up changed the links to 20 m and found a quiet spot to call. As I have found before the best way to get a European pileup going was to spot myself on the DX cluster first with the VKFF reference in the comments. I'm sure there must be several EU stations that monitor this constantly, because the pileup started after just one call!... Usual park hunters, I5FLN, S58AL, IK1GPG, S52KM, DL2ND, ON5SWA, ON4VT and several others, 14 European contacts.

I had one unexpected caller, another park activator in Europe! IQ6MW/P in IFF-228, a first for me a park from Italy.

Also worked a few VKs, VK6DW, VK6NU, and VK5LWR/P also running QRP.

As the shortest day of the year the sun was setting around 4:30 pm, and getting cold...Packed up and headed back. It was down to 8c when I got back to the car. A total of 34 contacts so another park to revisit for the 44 needed.

Track log of walk


  1. Hi Ian,

    Very pleased to have got you in the log whilst we were at Lake Torrens National Park VKFF-278. It is out in the middle of no-where and has only been activated twice before in the past 2 years.

    Thanks for a new one VKFF-857. You had an excellent 5/8 signal from the ACT all the way up to the north of South Australia.



    1. Thanks Paul
      You had a good strong signal too. Thanks for the new park.
      73 Ian VK1Di