Sunday, 29 October 2017

WWFF Activation Callum Brae Nature Reserve VKFF-0836

With a nice warm sunny Sunday afternoon decided to do another WWFF park activation. Returned to Callum Brae Nature Reserve VKFF-0836, to try and complete the 44 contacts needed for a WWFF point. Its a pleasant wooded Canberra Nature Park popular with bird watchers.

As per last time entered the park at the North East gate off Narrabundah Lane in Symonston. Sign for the park

Park gate. Gap next to the gate for walkers,

A map of the park on the gate

Set up the squid pole using a small gum tree sapling, and table and chairs nearby. Had my partner, Sarah along for a listen so 2 chairs set up.

FT857D radio on the table, plus afternoon tea stuff...

Started on 40 m, set the power output on the FT-857D to 30 W. Seems to be a good power output to use without draining the LifePO4 battery too much, and strong enough for chasers to copy easily.

Started with a park to park contact with VK3SMA/p, Mark in VKFF-0719 Lockyer National Park.
A bit low down but quite readable with the low noise floor in the park.

After working Mark got called by Brett VK2VW, who asked me to move down 5 to 7.130 Mhz.
Brett had a good 59 signal. After working Brett stayed on the same frequency and spotted myself on ParksnPeaks for more chasers.

Worked Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG, VK3FMKE Keith and VK1FWBK Bill.

Got called for another park to park contact with Nick, VK3ANL/p in VKFF-2113 Ironbark Road Nature Conservation Reserve, near Melbourne. He had a good S8-S9 signal.

This was it for park to park contacts. Went on to work the following chasers

VK5FANA Adrian
VK2YK Adam
VK3FI Noel
VK3BBB Brian
VK2IO Gerard
VK2ZK Dave
VK3KYF Garry
VK5FMAZ Marija
VK5HS Ivan
VK2UH Andrew.

I briefly tried switching to 20 m and tried a few calls, but no answers. There was heavy Pacific, Asian and European QRM from a world wide contest on, probably being drowned out...

Gave it away after 25 contacts. With my earlier activation 62 contacts, well over the 44 needed for the park point for WWFF.

For bird life saw some Crimson Rosellas, Eastern Rosellas, Magpies and heard some Gang Gang Cockatoos, which have a distinctive creaking door type call. A pleasant spot for an afternoon activation.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service 50 Years Hunter Award

The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service turns 50 this year

To celebrate, the VKFF awards manager created awards for hunting or activating 5 VKFF references in NSW parks during October.

I made the following contacts:

Date Band Mode MyCall DXcall Operator Reference
22/10/2017 80m SSB VK1DI VK2IO/P VK2IO VKFF-2018
22/10/2017 40m SSB VK1DI/P VK4HNS/2 VK4HNS VKFF-1347
15/10/2017 80m SSB VK1DI VK2IO/P VK2IO VKFF-1905
7/10/2017 40m SSB VK1DI VK2JNG/P VK2JNG VKFF-0116
5/10/2017 40m SSB VK1DI VK2JNG/P VK2JNG VKFF-1958

References worked

VKFF-2018 - Wianamatta Nature Reserve
VKFF-1347 - Maroomba State Conservation Area
VKFF-1905 - Castlereagh Nature Reserve
VKFF-0116 - Cottan-Bimbang National Park
VKFF-1958 - Macquarie Nature Reserve

Here is the award

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

WWFF Activation Lower Molonglo River Corridor Nature Reserve VKFF-0990

With a nice warm Sunday afternoon decided to activate a local WWFF park,  Lower Molonglo River Corridor Nature Reserve VKFF-0990. The 2017 VKFF Team Championship was on, so even if not part of a team there was a chance to grab some park to park contacts.

I have activated this park before, and set up at the same place at the end of Stockdill Drive in Holt, just before the water treatment works. After passing through a pedestrian gate set up on the table at the start of the path leading down to the river, using a park sign for squid pole support. There are 2 chairs as my partner Sarah came along to listen in.

For the first time using a newly acquired radio, a Yaesu FT-857D. Finding my FT-817 with 5 W too low a power to be heard that well now days, and my IC-7300 a bit big and too good to knock about in the field, so the FT-857D fits the purpose well of a small, high powered radio for park activations.

After some fiddling found the menu setting to set the power to 20 W and got on 40 m. Started with a park to park with Marija VK5FMAZ/p and Paul VK5PAS/p in VKFF-1763 Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park. Both were good 59 signals.

Another park to park with VK4WIP/p Mark in VKFF-0300 Main Range National Park.

Spotted myself on ParksnPeaks and  worked the usual chasers. VK7JON John, VK5HS Ivan, VK3BBB Brian, VK4TJ Brian.

Had a faint call from another VKFF Team Championship pair, VK5KLV/p Les and VK5KPR/p Pete in VKFF-1757 Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park. They were using 5 W but could hear them okay.

Worked another chaser VK3KMH Mike, then another park to park with VK4HNS/2 Neil in VKFF-1347 Maroomba State Conservation Area

Went on to work more chasers. VK7ZGK Graham, VK3AW Laurie, VK5KSW Steve, VK3LO Colin and VK2YK Adam.

While chatting to Adam felt a few spots of rain. Looking to the West noticed a line of rain moving in, so figured a good time to pack up... You can see the rain approaching in the photo.

With 16 contacts and my previous activation had more than the 44 needed for a WWFF point.

When I got home, instead of emailing my log to Paul, VK5PAS, was able to upload it myself to Logsearch. I am now the VKFF representative for the Australian Capital Territory, VK1 call area, so will be uploading logs for all VK1 VKFF park activations from now on.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

WWFF VKFF Hunter 475 Honour Roll Award

Noticed on the WWFF logsearch page I'd managed to get confirmed contacts with over 475 VKFF parks, so applied for the award.

Received promptly from the VKFF awards manager, Paul, VK5PAS.