Monday, 28 May 2018

WWFF Batemans Marine Park VKFF-1406

After stopping at Batemans Bay for the long weekend had the Monday off, so before driving back home made one last activation of Batemans Marine Park, as only needing 4 contacts to finish the 44 needed for a WWFF point.

As Caseys Beach was noisy RF wise, picked another spot close enough to the Marine Park to operate from, Surf Beach, a bit further South of Batemans Bay. There is a park and lawn area here close to the beach, so set up the squid pole on a fence post, with the radio at the base of the post.

FT-857D radio on the picnic blanket from the car. A bit more comfortable than the tarp.

Got on 40 m.As a week day for other states fairly quiet. VK2JNG Gerard was in a park but unable to hear him, no NVIS short skip. Spotted myself and got a steady run of callers, most with good strong signals.

VK3YSA/p Anthony
VK7JON Jonathon
VK3PAT Chris
VK5FANA Adrian
VK2VW Brett
ZL1TM Andrei
VK2ZVG Steven

As had more than enough contacts to finish the park, packed up and headed back home to Canberra.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

SOTA Durras Mountain VK2/SC-051

After staying overnight at Batemans Bay headed out to do a SOTA activation, Durras Mountain VK2/SC-051. There are several ways to approach this summit, I took the shortest by using the 1.4 Km walking track from the end of Mountain Road. Start of the walk at the car park.

This is really nice walk, with cool temperate rain forest and lots of bird calls.

A bit further along the track.

The track joins Old Coast Road at the top of the ridge, then a short easy walk to the summit. The summit is not that high, 285 m, so only 1 SOTA point. Still worth it for the nice walk. Summit Trig.

As in previous activations used the nearby picnic table for squid pole support and operating. My partner Sarah nearby.

Shack on the table. Its getting a bit overgrown with grass underneath...

Set up my FT-857D. As only a 1.4 Km walk I had put up with the extra weight and carried it here, giving me 40w of power. Got on 40m. Found a rather lonely calling Bill, VK4FW/m in VKFF-0125 Culgoa Floodplain National Park. Worked him easily. Note a park to park as I was in VKFF-0371 Murramarang National Park.

Found a couple more park to parks. VK5LA/p Andy in VKFF-0892 Hogwash Bend Conservation Park and VK3ZPF/p Peter in VKFF-2113 Ironbark Road Nature Conservation Reserve.

After working ZL1BYZ John another park to park with VK2IO/p Gerard in VKFF-1162 Berowra Valley National Park. He was quite weak as NVIS short skip to Sydney on 40 m was poor, as we were both running some power managed to just make it.

Went on to work a few more SOTA/park hunters

VK3PF Peter
VK2AET Scott
VK7QP Linda

A surprise summit to summit contact with ZL1SKL/p Soren on ZL1/WK-158 Puketutu.
Although perhaps not given that nothing but ocean to the East of my summit to Auckland.

One more contact with VK4FDJL Deryk then headed back.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

WWFF Batemans Marine Park VKFF-1406

With a public holiday Monday in Canberra headed down to Batemans Bay for a long weekend. After stopping overnight at Batemans Bay headed South East along the bay to Caseys Beach. There were picnic tables here and a convenient fence just near the beach, to be within 100 m of the high tide mark for a marine park activation. Set up the squid pole on a fence post, dipole legs running along the fence.

FT857D radio on a nearby picnic table.

Got on 40 m. Disappointingly about S8 of noise on the band from nearby power lines.

Started with park to park contacts with Helen VK7FOLK/p and Jonathon VK7Jon/p in VKFF-1836 Trowutta Caves State Reserve. Luckily both good S9 and over the noise.

Then usual park hunters. VK3GGG-VK3PMG, VK5FANA, VK2VW, VK4SYD, VK4NH-VK4DXA -ZL4TY/VK4, VK3PF.

Another park to park with VK3ZPF/p Peter in VKFF-2109 Hurdy Gurdy Creek Nature Conservation Reserve

Worked VK3ZZS/7, then VK3YE/p Peter as usual portable Chelsea Beach, testing low power using an FT817 running from 8 x NiMH AA batteries. Managed to copy him using only 3w despite my high noise level. I'm briefly heard on his YouTube video

Went on to work VK3FLCS, VK4SMA, VK2ZVG, VK3ZMD and VK4TJ-AC8WB/VK4-VE6XT/VK4.

As getting cold in the shade gave it away and packed up. Made 21 contacts, so with my last activation of the park now only need 4 to complete the 44 for a WWFF point.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Digital Modes Club (DMC) - Worked Europa 25 Award

As well as the 30 Meter Group European Award, I also recently qualified for the Digital Modes Club - Worked Europa 25 Award. This is for working 25 members of the DMC in 25 different countries in Europe. Almost all contacts were on JT65 mode, with 1 on FT8 to make up the 25. Here it is


Sunday, 20 May 2018

30 Meter Digital Group Award - 10 European Entities

The 30 Meter Digital Group offers awards for working certain numbers of European countries in Digital Mode, see

EU (4 Awards in Series)Work 10; 28; 56; 68 unique European Countries on 30 Meters Digital Modes

I managed to work over 10 EU countries so applied for this award via Ultimate AAC software.
Approved by the award manager. Here it is

Saturday, 19 May 2018

VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 625 Award

After confirming more park references worked in the WWFF award, managed to reach 625 parks.
Quite a few of these were made while in parks myself. Thanks to park activators for getting on air. Here is the award, a couple of Superb Fairywrens.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

WWFF Mt Pleasant Nature Reserve VKFF-1775

With a nice sunny Sunday afternoon decided to do another WWFF park activation, so decided to return to VKFF-1775 Mt Pleasant Nature Reserve. I activated this park last year in November for the VKFF parks activation weekend, but only made 35 contacts so needed another 9 more for the 44 for a WWFF point.

As per last activation drove up to the Mt Pleasant Lookout at the end of General Bridges Drive in Duntroon. Stopped at the lookout for a few photos. Looking East towards Canberra airport on the left, Fyshwick and Queanbeyan in the distance. Duntroon historic military college below.

Looking towards the lookout over the lake.

A view of Lake Burley Griffin. Russell Offices below, the lake and Black Mountain with Telstra tower in the distance.

Despite the park name Mt Pleasant itself is not in the park, and is a bit public anyway, so headed to the North East path leading down from it, entering the park through a walkers gap.

Last time I had set up just near here using a large log, however it was quite windy today so dropped down the hill to the NW a bit until finding a suitable small sapling gum tree to support the squid pole.

Shack on the table. The squid pole waved around a lot in the wind but held up okay. The wind made it seem cooler than the 16 c or so, but felt warm in the sunshine.

Got on 40 m. Found Helen VK7FOLK/p in a park, VKFF-1822 Pieman River State Reserve announcing she was putting out last calls before packing up, so quickly called her for a park to park contact. Also worked her partner VK7JON/p Jonathon.

Tuned around and heard VK4AAC/2 Rob in VKFF-0026 Ben Boyd National Park announcing he was going to 20 m, so quickly called him for another park to park contact. He offered me his frequency, 7.150 Mhz, so took this and worked the park hunters.

There were many, lots with good strong signals.

VK2IO Gerard
VK4FDJ Deryk
VK2VW Brett
VK5FANA Adrian
VK3PF Peter
VK5LA Andy
VK5DW Danny
VK5MK Mark
VK2NP Cliff
VK2YE Steve
VK5HS Ivan
VK5MR Andrew
VK3FSPG  Steve
VK3MPR Steve
VK3HN Paul
VK2FF George

As had more than enough contacts packed up and headed home before dark.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

30m Digital Group ANZA 15 Award

After working a couple of ZL stations on 30 m today, managed to get the required contacts for the 30 Meter Digital Group ANZA-15 Award

The award rules are at

Work 15; 30; 45 unique VK / ZL stations on 30 Meters Digital Modes

Note: For each Award, a minimum of 5 either VK or ZL stations must be worked - the balance making up the required total.

IE: ANZA-15 - work 5 ZL ..... balance = 10 VK ( total 15 combined)

In my case I made 10 VK and 5 ZL contacts as follows:

VK3EI             2018-04-24  11:47  30M   FT8      VK
VK3FM           2017-09-15  07:36  30M   FT8      VK
VK4FNQ         2017-09-15  22:57  30M   FT8      VK
VK4WDM       2018-05-09  21:28  30M   FT8      VK
VK5DG*          2014-05-12  09:51  30M   JT65     VK
VK5RM           2018-04-27  07:10  30M   FT8      VK
VK6DW           2018-02-26  10:14  30M   FT8      VK
VK7DD            2018-04-27  07:31  30M   FT8      VK
VK7RB             2017-03-25  01:17  30M   JT65     VK
VK7TR             2014-05-12  07:39  30M   JT65     VK
ZL1BDW*        2017-09-16  04:39  30M   FT8      ZL
ZL1BRL            2018-05-11  04:59  30M   FT8      ZL
ZL1LC*            2018-05-12  03:27  30M   FT8      ZL
ZL2IFB             2018-05-12  05:55  30M   FT8      ZL
ZL3RCK           2014-05-11  07:54  30M   JT65     ZL


ANZA-15:                      15 VK(10)/ZL(5) stations

I worked ZL1LC and ZL2IFB today on FT8 mode to make up the numbers.

FT8DMC Worked All Continents Award

After working EA8AXT in the Canary Islands, counted as part of the continent of Africa, I had at last qualified for the FT8 Digital Modes Club WAC (Worked All Continents) Award. Applied via the Ultimate AAC software and downloaded the award from the FT8DMC website.

The stations I worked to achieve the award

EA8AXT              2018-05-12  06:44  40M   FT8      AF   
7L3LNF              2017-09-04  10:07  40M   FT8      AS   
SQ9UM               2018-02-16  20:11  40M   FT8      EU   
N6QQ                2017-08-01  08:28  40M   FT8      NA   
VK7AP               2017-09-04  12:24  40M   FT8      OC   
YV5JBI              2018-02-26  10:36  40M   FT8      SA   


WAC-WAC:            6/6 continents
WAC-40M:            6/6 continents on 40m band

As I had also achieved this on one band, 40 m, so also qualified for the WAC 40 Meter award.

WWFF Park to Park 264 Award

Noticed on the WWFF Logsearch page I'd made 264 Park to Park contacts, so applied for the award. These awards are issued in multiples of 44.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Digital Modes Club 200 Members Award

After making several more FT8 contacts found I was eligible for another award, this from the Digital Modes Club, for working 200 of their members. Applied using the UAAC program and downloaded from the Digital Modes Club (DMC) website.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

WGA FT8 100 Grid Locators Award

After a good opening today on 10 m FT8 to Japan I had worked enough new grid locators to qualify for the FT8 Digital Mode Club Award WGA FT8, for working 100 grids on FT8 mode.

Applied for the award using Ultimate AAC Awards manager software. Downloaded the award from the EPC website.

A breakdown of grids worked per band, for the bands I can work:

80 m - 14
40 m - 31
30 m - 21
20 m - 12
17 m - 11
10 m - 11

I don't have antennas for 15 m or 12 m. 40 m provided the most with 31% of the 100.

When you apply for the award you can display a world map of grids worked.

Most of the grid worked have been around VK, ZL and surrounding islands, not surprisingly for my location. I have also now worked most of Japans grids :) Most on 10 m and 17 m. A few European countries, not many as propagation there has been poor since starting on FT8. Yet to work Africa... The USA has been a bit better, mainly Eastern side, of 40 m and 17 m. A few rare South American and Caribbean contacts.