Wednesday, 28 November 2018

VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 725 Award

Following lots of park to park contacts during the last the VKFF activation weekend, I had worked 725 different park references, and applied for the VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 725 Award.

Thanks to all the park activators who helped me achieve this award.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

FT8DMC Award - Worked All Australia Award (WAAA)

After working VK8ZI Paula on 17 m FT8 mode was finally able to apply for the FT8DMC Worked All Australia Award (WAAA FT8). This requires FT8 QSOs with each of the main Australian States and Territories.

VK1 - Australian Capital Territory
VK2 - New South Wales
VK3 - Victoria
VK4 - Queensland
VK5 - South Australia
VK6 - Western Australia
VK7 - Tasmania
VK8 - Northern Territory.

It took me a long time to complete by contacting VK8... just not many amateurs there. Nice award.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

WWFF Farrer Ridge Nature Reserve VKFF-0840

For the Sunday of the VKFF Activation weekend, headed for Farrer Ridge Nature Reserve VKFF-0840. Parked off Athlon Drive in Farrer near a gate entrance to the park. Sign for the park.

Set up the shack just to the right of the gate in the park, using a small gum tree for support.

Got on 40 m. Disappointingly found S7 noise all over the band, probably from the nearby power
lines... I heard Mark VK4SMA/2 in VKFF-0268 Koreelah National Park, just about to pack up, so called him for a park to park. He was just above the noise so could copy him okay.

As would be here for a while decided to pack up and move up the hill to get away from the power line noise. Wandered up until finding a suitable spot to operate from, a log near a water reservoir on top of the hill. Map of both operating spots from Protected Planet.

Shack on a log. Fence nearby is for the water reservoir.

 Looking back the other way. Radio and myself on the log.

This new spot was nice and quiet on 40 m.

Got on and worked several park to parks

VK4AAC/2 Rob in VKFF-0187 Freshwater National Park
VK3FLCS/p Brett in VKFF-2071 Costerfield Nature Conservation Reserve
VK4HNS/p Neil in VKFF-2536 Boomi Nature Reserve
VK3ANL/p Nick in VKFF-2113 Ironbark Road Nature Conservation Reserve
VK2XSE/p Liz in VKFF-2706 Pulletop Nature Reserve
VK3FLEA /p in VKFF-0781 Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park

Spotted myself to work the park hunters

Another couple of park to parks. Nice to have some NVIS skip in to the Sydney area

VK2MG/p Alan in VKFF-1361 Munmorah State Conservation Area
VK2IO/p Gerard in VKFF-1881 Agnes Banks Nature Reserve

Worked a few more park hunters


A park to park with VK3ZPF/p Peter in VKFF-2031 Langwarrin Flora & Fauna Reserve Conservation Park


Some more park to parks

VK3PF/p Peter in VKFF-2282 Bruthen Flora Reserve
VK2KNV/p Peter in VKFF-2706 Pulletop Nature Reserve with Liz VK2SXE
VK5PAS/3 Paul in VKFF-0628 Point Nepean National Park
VK1CT/p Chris in VKFF-0835 Bruce Ridge Nature Reserve

Worked another park hunter, VK3TNL. At this stage noticed some spots of rain, looked at the sky to the South West, it was dark and threatening... A look at the rain radar showed a rain shower not far away. Quickly packed up, got back to the car just as was getting heavy...

Saturday, 24 November 2018

WWFF Urambi Hills Nature Reserve VKFF-0864

Every year in Australia there is the VKFF Activation weekend, to promote WWFF park activating in Australia. This year activated the 2 remaining parks in the ACT that I have not visited before, Urambi Hills Nature Reserve on Saturday and Farrer Ridge Nature Reserve on Sunday.

For Urambi Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0864 parked off Merideth Circuit in Kambah. There is an initial pedestrian gate, then after a short walk another gate and entry to the park. Sign for the park at the start of the track up to Urambi Hill trig.

I had planned to operate at the trig, which has great views, however today was really very windy so set up near the park sign, which was in a valley with some shelter from the wind. Some walks back to the car to get all the gear, table, chair, pack with radio, squid pole and battery. Used the park sign for squid pole support.

Operating spot in the park. Map from Protected Planet

Shack on the table.

Got on 40 m. As you would expect for a parks activation weekend plenty of parks on air. Spent a while just working park to parks with the ones on first, before finding a clear spot and calling myself.

VK5KLV/p Les and VK5MSD/p Steve in VKFF-0920 Munyaroo Conservation Park
VK2QR/3 Rob in VKFF-2132 Lonsdale Nature Conservation Reserve
VK3XV/p Tony in VKFF-2070 Corindhap Nature Conservation Reserve
VK4HNS/p Neil in VKFF-2590 Dthinna Dthinnawan Nature Reserve
VK4SOE/2 Ade and VK4FNOR/2 Steve in VKFF-0011 Bald Rock National Park
VK3PF/p Peter in VKFF-2253 Ada Tall Trees Reserve Conservation Reserve

After working all parks gave park hunters a bit of a go for a while...

VK2UXO/m Peter
VK7QP Linda
VK3SQ Geoff

A few more Parks to Parks

VK2IO/p Gerard in VKFF-0041 Blue Mountains National Park, also SOTA summit Mt Banks
VK5FLEA/p John in VKFF-0910 Montacute Conservation Park

VK4TJ John
VK5LA Andy
VK7NWT Scott
VK2PEZ Andrew
VK1VIC/2 Tony portable at Bungendore

Another park to park

VK3ALN/p Alan in VKFF-0628 Point Nepean National Park

VK1UU Murray

Park to park with VK4AAC/p Rob in VKFF-1493 Bunyaville Conservation Park

VK2LX Grant
VK2BY Brad
VK2NNN Darren

Worked parks to parks with VK5FMAZ/2 Maria and VK5PAS/3 Paul in VKFF-2135 Main Ridge Nature Conservation Reserve. They were getting rained on so were doing a quick activation. Both good signals.

A couple more park to parks

VK5LA Andy who had left home to activate VKFF-0372 Murray River National Park
VK2XSE/p Liz and VK2KNV/p Peter in VKFF-2651 Loughnan Nature Reserve

While operating the squid pole had detelescoped a few times in the wind. As the wind was picking up even more decided to pack up and head home after 33 contacts. A park to finish off another day.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

WWFF Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve VKFF-1918

After spending the night at Batemans Bay headed off to do another park, Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve VKFF-1918. I had activated this park before but needed more contacts to make up the 44 needed for WWFF. The park is in 2 sections on each side of Cullendulla Creek, this time went to the Western side of the creek, near Surfside Beach. Parked at the end of a side road off Myamba Parade. Note at the end of Myamba Parade is private property with no access to the park, so need to walk around it. Sign indicating 300 m to the park.

After 300 m reached a sign explaining a bit more about the park. This is on the park boundary.

 A little further along the beach a sign for the park.

Behind the sign Cullendulla Creek walking track. If you continue to the right you can do a nice walk on a raised platform among mangroves. To avoid the crowd went to the left along the track and set up the station just off the track. Used a wooden stake for squid pole support.

Shack on the tarp.

Got on 40 m. First contact was a park to park with Paul, VK5PAS activating VKFF-1030 Finnis Conservation Park. As per the day before at Broulee Island he was using a special event call VI5LWF, , "Lest We Forget"  It is one of a number of commemorative callsigns in Australia and Europe, to commemorate the centennary of the signing of the World War I armistice on 11th November 1918. Also worked Paul under his own call.

Found a clear spot and spotted myself. Park hunters were down in signals today with lots of QSB.


Another park to park with VK4SMA/p mark in VKFF-1671 Wararba Creek Conservation Park.Weak but we could hear each other as both in radio quiet parks.

Worked a few more park hunters


Unfortunately my 4200 maH LifePO4 battery, which I had also used yesterday, decided it had had enough and I could no longer transmit. I had forgotten to take a charger to recharge it overnight. So packed up and drove back home. Need to return again to this park for the 44 contacts.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

WWFF Broulee Island Nature Reserve VKFF-2546

Stopping for the weekend with my partner at Batemans Bay, decided to activate a nearby WWFF park that had not been activated before, Broulee Island Nature Reserve VKFF-2546

Broulee Island lies off the coast near the holiday village of Broulee. Looking on Google Maps it does appear as an island

However switching to Satellite View shows there is a narrow land connection to the mainland

Looking on the web the island has had an interesting history, having an Inn built on it in 1842, and even a small town of South Broulee planned in the 1980s but never built. It has been a proper island and then joined to the mainland, and lost again over time. The current connection has been in place since the 1990s.

Parked at the end of Bayside St in the North Broulee Beach Car park.

After a short walk reached North Broulee beach. The island can be seen in the distance

The walk to the island is about a Km. Found a bit of a clearing on the Northern side of the island and set up the squid pole on a tree stump.

Shack on the grass on the tarp nearby.

Got on 40 m. Found VK5PAS, Paul on 7.144 Mhz calling from VKFF-1754 Totness Recreation Park. He was using a special event callsign VI5LWF, "Lest We Forget"  It is one of a number of commemorative callsigns in Australia and Europe, to commemorate the centennary of the signing of the World War I armistice on 11th November 1918.

Also worked Paul under his own call. Paul kindly offered me the frequency.

Usual park hunters called. As a new park fairly popular.


Most signals fairly strong but lots of QSB. As usual the short NVIS skip was missing, nothing from nearby Canberra or Sydney. Could just hear VK2IO Gerard calling me, but did not hear me reply.

Packed up after 28 contacts and walked back to the car, headed back to Batemans Bay for the evening.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

FT8DMC Award Worked All Japan Call Area 17 meters

After working some missing Japanese call areas on FT8 17 m I had completed all JA call areas for the FT8DMC WAJCA FT8 award. Stations worked

JA0EVI  2017-09-02  23:27  17M   FT8  JA0
7N4OHN  2018-04-20  08:09  17M   FT8  JA1
JA2EDG  2018-04-20  07:56  17M   FT8  JA2
JH3FGI  2018-09-15  23:45  17M   FT8  JA3
JM4WUZ  2018-05-05  22:23  17M   FT8  JA4
JA5CBU  2018-10-30  08:09  17M   FT8  JA5
JH6VXP  2018-10-30  09:06  17M   FT8  JA6
JF7RJM  2018-04-20  08:02  17M   FT8  JA7
JG8FWH  2018-10-14  05:28  17M   FT8  JA8
JA9CAC  2017-12-03  05:53  17M   FT8  JA9

Applied for the award using Ultimate AAC software and once approved by the award manager downloaded from the the EPC Awards website.