Monday, 30 December 2019

European ROS Club Worked 25 Australian Stations 17m Award

Found in Ultimate AAC awards software qualified for 25 Australian stations worked on 17m. Applied for this ERC award and received confirmation from the awards manager approved. Downloaded from the EPC website. Here it is.

Saturday, 28 December 2019

SOTA The Cascades VK2/SM-014

With some time off work decided to escape the heat for a while and head up to Thredbo for a few days. The temperature there at altitude is in the low 20s instead of mid to high 30s at home. Decided to activate a nearby summit, The Cascades, VK2/SM-014, which I have done a few other times but still enjoy doing.

Drove SW out of Thredbo along the Alpine Way until reaching the Thredbo River crossing and the car park for the walk. The car park is known as Dead Horse Gap. At 9:00 am it was crowded, got one of the few spots left to park. Followed the Cascade walking trail

The trail follows the Thredbo river, initially high above but after a few km drops down to the river

 Reached a metal bridge over the river.

Looking upstream.

Looking downstream where I had come from and to the main range

Climbed up the track on the other side, steep in places. After a few more Km headed into the bush towards the summit. A little swampy in places but with the drought not that deep.

Reached the summit, a large rocky outcrop with an old wooden trig.

It was very windy. Set up on an old stump, the rocks protected me from the wind but the squid pole was bouncing around everywhere.

Looking the other way.

Squid pole attached to the stump

Radio perched on my pack.

Got on 40 m on 7.090. After a call got VK3AFW Ron quite strong. Worked VK3GTV Col next, then a summit to summit from VK3PF/p Peter on VK3/VE-159. Quite surprising as the summit was in NE Victoria, only about 100 km W of me.

Went on to work

VK3SQ Geoff

After contacting Geoff the squid pole collapsed, twice... Really very windy.

VK3XPT/7 called me, on a beach in VK7 using an old military type portable radio. Audio sounded like a telephone handset... He had some company, worked VK7FOLK Helen and VK7JON Jonathon as well on the same radio.

The VK3ZPF Peter, VK2IO/m Gerard and a faint copy on VK4TJ John.

Went to 20m. Worked ZL1BYZ John, then another summit to summit, with ZL/VK2GPL and ZL1SKL on ZL1/WK-158 Puketutu. Both weak but workable

Worked ZL1TM Andrei, and VK5AYL Sue. Packed up and headed back down. Track log of walk, map from Google Maps. Its around 4.7 Km each way.

Monday, 23 December 2019

FT8DMC Worked Region 1 Award Bronze 30 contacts

Checking in Ultimate AAC award software, found I had qualified for the FT8DMC Worked Region 1 Award, for working 30 stations in the Region 1 area, ie Europe. This was following some good openings into Europe on 17m recently. The award.

European ROS Club Worked 150 Japanese stations on 10m Award

After working a lot of JA stations on 10m FT8 recently found I had qualified for the European ROS Club Worked 150 Japanese stations on 10m Award. Here it is

Sunday, 8 December 2019

European ROS Club Worked 50 Australian Stations 10m Award

After working a heap of VK stations on 10m FT8 recently, found I had qualified for the ERC Worked 50 Australian Amateur Radio Stations on 10m award. Here it is


Sunday, 24 November 2019

Farrer Ridge Nature Reserve VKFF-0840

With a nice sunny Sunday afternoon, with the temperatures in the low 20s decided to get out and do a park activation. Went back to Farrer Ridge Nature Reserve VKFF-0840 which I had activated last year but had to abandon early due to rain... Still needed 11 contacts for 44.

For something different to last time did not come off Athlon Drive, instead headed up to Farrer Trig, the highest point in the park. Parked off Hawkesbury Cres Fadden and walked through a lane into the park. Reached the Farrer Hill trail up to the trig. Sign for the trail.

The track up to the trig. not too steep.

Only a short 200 m walk to the trig. The trig is nothing special, just some yellow survey marker posts.

To the South of the trig a seat, with a good view to the South. Mt Tennent, a SOTA summit on the left. Lake Tuggeranong on the right.

Looking East a good view of nearby Isaacs Ridge, another SOTA summit. Towers on the left.

I used one of the trig posts as squid pole support.

I had no tree to tie one end of the dipole to, so just supported it on top of a rock. The dipole leg was the 80 m extension so not worried about the low height.

For the other dipole end I eventually reached a small tree down the hill to tie to.

Operating Spot. Map from Protected Planet

Shack near the trig post, used a log as a seat.

Got on 40 m. The band seemed in good shape with close by contacts. Worked the following park hunters

VK3IL/m near Wangaratta

Saw a spot for VK4SMA/p Mark in VKFF-2879 Wacol Bushlands Nature Refuge.
Changed the links to 20 m and worked him for a P2P, about a 52, weak but workable.

Set up on 14.310 Mhz and spotted myself. Worked


Saw Mark, VK4SMA/p had moved to 40m, so returned there to work him again for a P2P to VKFF-2879 Wacol Bushlands Nature Refuge.

Had enough contacts to qualify, packed up and headed home.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

FT8DMC Worked 5 Hong Kong Stations Award

With 17 m being open in the evenings to Asia recently, managed to work 2 Hong Kong stations and complete 5 contacts for the FT8DMC Worked 5 Hong Kong Stations Award. Here it is

FT8DMC Worked 10 German Stations Award

After a few openings to Europe on 17 m managed to contact 10 German Amateur station on FT8, and applied for the FT8DMC award. Here it is.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

FT8FMC Worked 300 Oceanian Stations Award

Noticed on Ultimate AAC that I was only a few off 300 contacts with Oceanian Stations, so after a few contacts was able to apply for the award. Nice looking award.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

FT8DMC Worked 100 Prefixes 20 m Award

After some recent contacts on 20 m FT8 found had over 100 different prefixes worked, so appliied for the FT8DMC Award. Here it is.

Friday, 8 November 2019

European ROS Club 50 Indonesian Stations Award

Noticed in Ultimate AAC software I've managed to work 50 Indonesian stations in digital modes. Fairly easy to do from Australia, mostly on 17 m which has been good lately. The award.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

FT8 Worked Korea Stations Award 5 contacts

Following a contact with a South Korea station on 17 m FT8, had 5 South Korea contacts and able to apply for the FT8DMC Worked Korea Stations Class III award.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

VKFF Activator Honour Roll 175 Award

Following my recent trip to VK3 have now activated 175 VKFF parks, so able to claim the VKFF Activator Honour Roll 175 award. Thanks to park hunters for the contacts.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Lake Tyers State Park VKFF-0761

After lunch in Lakes Entrance headed East on the Princes Hwy, then NE heading to Nowa Nowa. Turned off into Lake Tyers State Park on Burnt Bridge Rd on the right. A short drive to a picnic area and sign for the park.

Took Cherry Tree track on the left to Cherry Tree picnic area. A nice spot on an arm of Lake Tyers. Looking North

Looking South.

The picnic area was in use, plus being down in a valley no mobile reception, so headed back along Cherry Tree Track to a place I spotted on the way in, a loop track off the track for the start of a walk, Marsdenia Rainforest Walk. Used the walk sign for squid pole support

Plenty of room for the 80 m dipole

Operating Spot. Map from Open Street Maps

Shack on the table.

Got on 40m. Conditions had improved a lot since the morning park and started getting small pileups of hunters. Worked

ZL2ODD/p near New Plymouth, using just 20w
VK5PAS/m Paul on the way to a park

A park to park with VK4HNS/2 Neil in VKFF-2537 Boomi West Nature Reserve


Another P2P with VK4SYD/p Rob in VKFF-0391 Noosa National Park


VK5PAS/p Paul who had set up in VKFF-1701 Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve

I let Paul have the frequency and headed to 80m

Only 1 contact there, VK3SQ Geoff.

Packed up and headed back to Lakes Entrance for the evening. Had dinner at the Bowling Club, quite nice.

Colquhoun Regional Park VKFF-0962

After stopping overnight in Lakes Entrance headed for my first park, Colquhoun Regional Park VKFF-0962. Followed the Princes Hwy out of town to the West, driving through Kalimna West, then turning off on Uncle Rd on the right into the park. This is unsealed but okay for 2WD. Drove to log crossing picnic area. This was nice, however many campers there and down in a gully so not good for radio and phone reception. Continued on Uncle Rd until spotting a suitable stump in the scrub on the side of the road for squid pole support. Set up the station

Operating spot. Map from Google Maps.

Shack on the table

Got on 40m. Able to spot myself okay on the mobile. Conditions as per yesterday not too good...Worked the following calls


Went to 80m. Only 1 contact, VK3PF Peter.

Returned to 40m. A few more calls to make up 10 for VKFF


Packed up and headed back to Lakes Entrance for lunch.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Mount Raymond Regional Park VKFF-0975

After activating Lind National Park headed West on the Princes Hwy, through the small localities of Bellbird Creek and Cabbage Tree Creek, until turning off onto Tower RD to my next park, Mount Raymond Regional Park, VKFF-0975.

Followed Tower Rd and turned off to the lookout. A sign for the park next to the communications towers for the park.

 Close up of the sign, with some information on the park. Mount Raymond is 300 m high.

View from the lookout, looking SW towards Marlo

The nearby communications towers. Did not seem to worry me on the amateur bands.

A trig, hiding away on the other side of the towers to the lookout.

Just down from the trig was a rough service track heading down, set up the station there, using a tree stump for support.

Looking back the other way to the towers.

Operating spot. Map from Google Maps

Shack on the table.

Got on 40m. Asked if 7.144 Mhz was in use, VK5BJE John answered me to say it was clear so worked him... Worked VK5FSAM, then a park to park with VK6MB/5 Mike in VKFF-0788 Scott Creek Conservation Park, as per my last park.

Went on to contact


Tried 80m, worked


With 13 contacts had qualified with 10 for VKFF, so packed up. Headed West on the Princes Hwy to Orbost, Nowa Nowa, then Lakes Entrance where I had booked accommodation for 2 nights in a holiday unit.