Sunday, 22 May 2016

SOTA Bobbara Mountain VK2/ST-044

After activating Mt Mundoonen VK2/ST-053, drove to Yass and had lunch. After lunch drove on the Hume Highway, turning off at Bowning, then drove along Red Hill Road to Burley Griffin Way. Followed this to the small town of Binalong. Just out of Binalong turned off onto Bobbara Rd and stopped near the access gate to the mountain.

Followed the access road for a while, then cut cross country to the top, joining up with the road again close to the summit. Air Services radar visible.

Walked around the Air Service complex to the trig. Took about a half hour to get to the top.

Set up the squid pole on the trig, running out the dipole legs to tie to large weedy plants...

Another view of the trig

Set up the radio shack at the base of the trig.

Got on 40 m. As per the morning lots of QSB on signals but most fairly strong on peaks. Worked chasers in VK1, VK2, VK3 and VK5. A Summit to Summit contact with Mal VK3MEL/P on VK3/VS-009.

Gave it away after a half hour and packed up as the wind had started to pick up. A total of 17 contacts.

View heading down looking towards Yass, Mt Bowning in the distance

SOTA Mt Mundoonen VK2/ST-053

With a nice sunny Sunday decided to revisit a couple of easy summits in the Yass region to the North of Canberra, Mt Mundoonen and Bobbara Mountain. First drove to Mt Mundoonen to the East of Yass, as per other activations parked near the start of the road up to the summit.

Walked up the road. After a few bends and about a 15 minute walk reached the top. Air Navigation VLF beacon for Yass here.

Set up the squid pole on the trig. Ran out the legs of the 20/40 m linked dipole.

View of the station from the road

Radio shack on the concrete base of the trig

Got on 40 m. Signals quite good from VK2, VK3, VK5 and VK7, although quite a bit of QSB. Made a WWFF contact with Paul VK5PAS/2 activating Lane Cove National Park, VKFF-0281 in Sydney, nice signal from his portable setup.

Tried going to 20 m but no replies, despite spotting myself there. A tune around the band seemed to indicate it was just returned to 40m.

Managed to make a summit to summit contact with Mal VK3MEL/P on VK3/VS-018. Must have been heard by Gerard VK2IO as he put up a spot he was looking for me, so got on 7.085 and spotted myself, and worked him.

A few more contacts on 40 m, gave it away around noon and packed up, headed into Yass for lunch.
A total of 17 contacts.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

WWFF Callum Brae Nature Reserve VKFF-0823

With a nice sunny Saturday afternoon decided to activate another previously unactivated WWFF park, VKFF-0823 Callum Brae Nature Reserve.

A bit of a search on the net found this is a park created in 2004 resumed from grazing leasehold, named after the property it came from, which is nearby. It protects a variety of different gums and is a good spot for bird watching. There are access gates off Narrabundah Lane or Mugga Lane.

I entered via the gate off Narrabundah Lane. Note at the time I activated road works had closed off the entrance from Mugga Lane. Usual green Canberra Nature Park sign.

Parked near the gate.

There is a gap in the middle of the gate, but walkers can also enter via a gap on the side of the gate.

A short distance from the gate was a wooden track marker post. This provided an ideal support for the squid pole. Set up the operating table nearby in the shade of a large gum tree.

Radio shack on the table. For more power had taken my home radio, a TS-480SAT, running off my 8400 mAH LifePO4 battery. This allowed me to run a good 30 or more watts as required. Also used my tablet tethered to my phone. Good reception here. I also took a thermos for tea time :)

Got on 40 m. Found the WWFF calling frequency already occupied by Stef VK5HSX/3 in VKFF-0739 Barmah National Park, so promptly worked him for a park to park contact.

Found a clear spot and called CQ Parks. Got found by the usual chasers, a small pileup once I got spotted on ParksnPeaks website. Calls from VK1, VK2 and VK3. Most good 59+ signals. The usual contact with Rick VK4RF/VK4HA with a good signal.

A couple more park to parks, with Rob VK4AAC/3 in VKFF-0619 Alpine NP and David VK5HDW/3 in VKFF-0213 Grampians NP.

After callers stopped on 40 m decided to give 20 m a try. Surprisingly could hear European stations coming through mid afternoon, so pushed the power up to 45 w and called after spotting myself.

Got a nice steady flow of EU callers. several of the regular WWFF hunters. HA6OB, 9A7Z, UT5PI, OM7OM, RV3ATS, RA3PCI. Also JA8RJE, and Rick VK4RF/VK4HA with a 59+ signal.

Briefly changed back to 40 m to work Andrew VK1MBE/2 doing a SOTA activation on nearby Livingston Hill, SM-093.

Returned to 20 m. Went on to work F1BLL, IK1GPG, Max, a keen chaser, EA1DR and I5FLN.

As getting late in the day and clouding over gave it away. Sun setting behind nearby Mt Mugga Mugga.

A total of 37 contacts, so need to return to make up the 44 needed for WWFF.

A map of the park and my operating spot. Map courtesy of Open Street Maps

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

VKFF Hunter 275 Parks Award

WWFF Logsearch showed I had hunted, or contacted 275 different VKFF parks, so time for another award :)

A breakdown of the number of parks worked in each VK Call area

VK1 14
VK2 49
VK3 97
VK4 27
VK5 79
VK6 4
VK7 4
VK8 0
VK9 1

Comparing these numbers with those at 250 parks shows the following extra 25 parks worked

VK1 0
VK2 5
VK3 6
VK4 2
VK5 11
VK6 0
VK7 1
VK8 0
VK9 0
So most of the recently worked parks were in VK5, mainly due to the SANPCA weekend...

Here is the award. The photo is of Namadgi National Park here in the ACT.