Monday, 28 January 2019

Oakdale Nature Reserve VKFF-2694

With a break in the summer heat and the temperature around 22 c for a change decided to do a new WWFF park activation, Oakdale Nature Reserve, VKFF-2694.

This park is just West of the village of Collector to the North of Canberra. Drove down the Federal Highway, turning off to Collector and the Collector Road. Followed this until getting to the park, just before the Collector Road Marked Tree Road junction. Sign for the park.

A little past the sign found a spot to get over the fence and enter the park. Fairly open woodland.

Set up near the fence using a fence post to support the squid pole. Operating spot, map from Protected Planet.

Shack on the table. FT857-D running about 40 w.

Got on 40 m. Conditions not good, not hearing that many stations. Worked the following park hunters.

VK3PF/p Peter in VKFF-0971 Kurth Kiln Regional Park

Felt a few spots of rain so packed up, just before it started raining heavily... For a change drove back via Marked Tree Road to Gundaroo, then Mulligans Flat Road through Gungahlin back home.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

FT8DMC WAC 20 m Award

Following a contact with VK0HZ at Davis station Antarctica managed to qualify for the FT8 Digital Mode Club Worked All Continents (WAC) award for the 20 meter band.

VK0HZ               2019-01-14  11:30  20M   FT8      AN     
JG1LRE              2018-01-08  07:13  20M   FT8      AS     
OM7PY               2018-10-09  06:24  20M   FT8      EU     
W4IMD               2017-12-03  04:57  20M   FT8      NA     
5W0RR               2017-08-03  06:09  20M   FT8      OC     
HC2AO               2018-12-21  06:04  20M   FT8      SA     

Thanks to the awards manager A92AA Fawaz.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

European ROS Club Awards

Checking Ultimate AAC recently, found I had qualified for several more European ROS Club Awards. These are for working calls on any digital mode, not just ROS. They were gained using a mix of JT65 and FT8.

Firstly a certificate for contacting 100 European ROS Club members

Another Diploma for contacting 6 South American countries. Not easy from Australia, the East-West path is not open that often here... Mainly made on 20 m.

Calls worked

CE6MBK              2013-11-05  11:08  20M   JT65     CE
CP1FF               2012-11-06  09:20  20M   JT65     CP
HC2AO               2018-12-21  06:04  20M   FT8      HC
HK3J                2018-04-27  08:09  40M   FT8      HK
LU8WAG              2010-12-22  09:51  20M   JT65     LU
YV6EJI              2011-01-24  10:48  40M   JT65     YV

The award

Next Awards for working all Japan Call Areas, JA0 to JA9. Stations worked all on 10 m

JA0IXW              2018-04-21  06:14  10M   FT8      JA0   
JQ1TIV              2011-09-10  00:06  10M   JT65     JA1   
JA2ACI              2011-04-05  07:44  10M   JT65     JA2   
JH3BJG              2011-04-09  01:23  10M   JT65     JA3   
JA4CXX              2011-02-20  02:46  10M   JT65     JA4   
JA5BDZ              2013-10-21  09:10  10M   JT65     JA5   
JA6IUQ              2011-10-27  06:55  10M   JT65     JA6   
JA7BVS              2011-04-06  23:02  10M   JT65     JA7   
JH8XVH              2018-05-06  04:49  10M   FT8      JA8   
JA9AVA              2011-03-12  02:11  10M   JT65     JA9   

The 10 Meter WAJACA Award

Worked all JA call areas on 17 m

JA0EVI              2017-09-02  23:27  17M   FT8      JA0     
JH1XOX              2017-03-14  07:50  17M   JT65     JA1     
JA2LWA              2017-03-17  22:49  17M   JT65     JA2     
JJ3DKQ              2017-03-17  07:26  17M   JT65     JA3     
JH4PBQ              2017-03-16  09:05  17M   JT65     JA4     
JA5CBU              2018-10-30  08:09  17M   FT8      JA5     
JS6SVV              2017-08-02  23:20  17M   JT65     JA6     
JF7RJM              2018-04-20  08:02  17M   FT8      JA7     
JG8FWH              2018-10-14  05:28  17M   FT8      JA8     
JA9CAC              2017-03-18  23:26  17M   JT65     JA9     

The Award for WAJACA on 17 Meters

Monday, 7 January 2019

WWFF Hunter 744 References Award

Noticed on the WWFF Logsearch website that I've managed to work 744 different WWFF parks.
Here is the award. Thanks Karl DL1JKK awards manager.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

VKFF 2018 Activation Weekend Certificate

Checking my email, received a certificate for activating 2 ACT VKFF parks during the VKFF Activation Weekend on 24th-25th November from Paul, VK5PAS. Thanks Paul. These activation weekends are a lot of fun.

WWFF Ironmungy Nature Reserve VKFF-2624

After activating SOTA summit Box Ridge VK2/SM-065, drove back to Barry Way, then North back towards Jindabyne, turning off to the right onto the Snowy River Way to Dalgety. Crossed the Dalgety bridge, and turned off onto Barnes St, which continues on as the Snowy River Way. After a while turned off to the right onto an unsealed road, Ironmungy Rd. This then enters Ironmungy Nature Reserve

Continued into the park. I had seen Ironmungy Fire Trail on the map and had planned to drive up it, however when getting there found a locked gate...

So just climbed over the gate and set up the squid pole and table on a nearbv tree sapling.

Operating spot, map from Protected Planet. After looking at the map later I probably could have set up either side of the road and still have been within the park.

Another view of the station

Shack on the table. Still a lot of smoke haze from the bush fires to the South. I checked on the NSW "Fires Near Me" app, the fire was a long way away.

Got on 40 m. Started with a park to park with VK3OAK/p Malcolm in VKFF-2131 Lexton Nature Conservation Reserve

Able to spot myself on ParksnPeaks. Was worried I was about to get rained on, but it stopped after a few spots. Worked the following park hunters.


Tried 20 m. It was working well with summer sporadic e


Returned to 40 m. Some storm static about made copying difficult.


38 contacts made, so short of the 44 for WWFF.

After working VK3HQZ I felt some rain drops, looking at the BOM radar on the mobile saw a front of rain approaching... quickly packed up. Got quite heavy driving to Cooma. After Coffee in Cooma drove home to Canberra.

SOTA Box Ridge VK2/SM-065 and Paupong Nature Reserve VKFF-2699

After staying overnight at Jindabyne headed South to do a SOTA activation of Box Ridge, VK2/SM-065. As well as a SOTA peak the summit is in Paupong Nature Reserve, which was recently added to the WWFF list of parks, VKFF-2699. This was to be a first activation of this park. Headed South on Barry Way, turning off to the left onto Gullies Rd. This is initially sealed but changes to a dirt road. Took a road off onto the left Thornybush Rd. This is a private road so make sure to shut the gate to stop cattle getting out. Drove along Thornybush Rd and entered Paupong Nature Reserve

Map showing the park location. From Protected Planet.

Came to the 4 way junction, Thornybrush Trail and Paupong Fire trail.

Continued along Paupong Trail , until reaching the SOTA "summit", actually just a high point in the terrain. The road runs right over the top of it. Map from SOTA maps, Google Map view

 Set up the squid pole on a roadside Telstra cable sign.

Shack on the table. Note the haze, there was a bush fire well to the South of me close to the Victorian border.

Got on 40 m . Plenty of keen chasers as a Saturday morning. Most fairly strong signals


Tried changing the links to 20 m. There was summer sporadic e about so lots of calls there too, including some ZLs


After 28 contacts had morning tea and packed up, heading for my next park, Ironmungy Nature Reserve VKFF-2624

Friday, 4 January 2019

SOTA Mount Perisher VK2/SM-007

After staying overnight at Jindabyne drove to Perisher Valley to climb Mount Perisher for SOTA. A view of the mountain by the sign for the village of Perisher Valley, the mountain just to the right of the sign.

As per other activations stopped at the base of the Eyre T Bar. There is a Cafe there during the summer called Alpine Eyre.

Rather than climb directly up under the shut down T bar walked up a rough access track to the left, avoiding some boggy bits and dense vegetation.

Joined back up with the track under the T bar

A first aid hut used during the ski season, deserted now.

The top of Mount Perisher, as far as all the lifts go.

Theres a rough access track past a radio mast on the right of the summit, took this.

The summit trig on top of Mount Perisher. Noticed there is now a flag placed on top of the trig for the Perisher Valley resort. The old broken trig that was below it was gone. Not the best spot to operate, it was blowing a gale!

Terrific views here. Looking back down over the ski resort.

View to the Snowy mountains range, including Australias highest peak, Mount Kosciuzsko, VK2/SM-001 at 2228 m. Here I was around 2000 m. You can just make out a few patches of snow on the main range.

Looking the other direction towards Geehi.

Got down as far too windy to operate at the summit. Set up the squid pole jammed in some rocks just below the summit.

Laid out the 20m 40 m linked dipole. The squid pole bounced and bent in the wind but stayed up.

Looking at the antenna from just below the summit.

I managed to find a small amount of shade for the radio behind a rock, and a bit of shelter from the wind.

Got on 40 m. I was able to spot myself easily on my phone, suspect there was a mobile tower close by... Worked the following on 40 m SSB.

VK2IO Gerard
VK2LBG Barry
VK3ZPF Peter
VK3SQ Geoff
VK3PF Peter
VK4TJ John
VK2PEZ Andrew
VK2YK/P Adam
VK3HN Paul
VK3ZPF Peter

VK2YK/p Adam was in park VKFF-1410 Port Stephens/Great Lakes Marine Park. A park to park as I was in VKFF-0269 Kosciuzko National Park.

Tried 20 m. It was in good shape, with summer sporadic e meaning I could work some of the same stations again with strong signals

ZL1SKL Soren
VK3SQ Goeff
VK2IO Gerard
VK3PF Peter
ZL4DVG Daniel
VK3WRL/P Ben S2S on VK3/VG-022 Mt Pendergast

As in a prime VHF spot could not resist giving 2 m a try. Called on the Canberra VK1RGI Mt Ginini repeater, which was full scale, got VK1MA Matt coming back. We tried 2 m FM simplex first on 146.500 Mhz. I had him 52, he received me 41. Not bad around 147 Km away! Also tried 2 m SSB, but signals were similar, just less hiss than 2 m FM. Note was just using a 2 m Jpole ribbon antenna. No other callers on 2 m, returned to 20 m.

Saw a spot for ZL2ATH/p Wynne on ZL1/NL-062 Mount Tiger in the North Island of New Zealand, so called him for an S2S contact. Always nice to make an S2S overseas.

Also managed to work VK1MA Matt on 20 m, somehow.

Worked VK6NU John and VK3ARH/m Allen, before packing up and heading down. 

Thursday, 3 January 2019

WWFF Nimmo Nature Reserve VKFF-2685

After lunch at Cooma headed South West on Kosciuzko Rd, turning off right onto Rocky Plains Rd. Followed this along to the West until reaching the junction with Eucumbene Rd. Turned right and turned off onto a dirt road on the left, Nimmo Rd. After crossing the Eucumbene River turned off onto Harleys Trail. This took me to Nimmo Nature Reserve. No hope of driving into it, a padlocked gate stopping vehicle entry into the park.


I could have climbed over the fence and operated from inside the park on the side of the road, however being a warm day in the low 30c wanted a more shady spot. Headed down the park fence boundary towards the Eucumbene River. Found a nice shady grassy place. Operating spot, map from Protected Planet

Squid pole on the fence, radio on the table nearby. A bit of shade from the trees. Quite a pleasant spot with bird calls from the trees and the nearby river,

Close up of the shack.

Found no mobile coverage here as a fairly isolated area and down in a valley. So got on the parks calling frequency 7.144 Mhz and started calling. Worked VK3MKE, then VK3PF Peter who spotted me, helping me a lot.

A park to park with VK3ZPF/p Peter in VKFF-0971 Kurth Kiln Regional Park.

Then some of the usual park hunters.


As had 12 contacts qualified the park for VKFF. Was getting warm and still some drive to Jindabyne so packed up.

Headed back to Eucumbene Rd, followed this South until joining Kosciuszko Rd and headed to Jindabyne accommodation for the evening.

WWFF Kuma Nature Reserve VKFF-1954

I had a few days off work between New Years Day and the 7th January so decided to head to the Snowy Mountains area to do some walking in cool conditions. On the way stopped to do a few WWFF activations. The first park was WWFF Kuma Nature Reserve, VKFF-1954, near Cooma NSW. Drove down The Snowy Mountains Hwy from Cooma on the road to Nimmitabel, the park is not far out of town on the left near the junction of Old Dandelong Rd. A stile over the fence to access the park.

Operating location in the park. Map from Protected Planet

Set up the squid pole on the sign. Not much else around, no trees...This is a grasslands reserve.

Radio on the table. It was a bit warm with no shade

Got on 40 m. Mobile phone coverage good, able to spot myself on ParksnPeaks. Usual park hunters called


Tried 20 m. Some strong signals on sporadic e.


Could just hear VK3SQ Geoff calling me on 20 m but unable to hear my reply. So went back to 40 m to try and work him there. Nothing from him at all on 40 m though...

Stayed on 40 m and worked


As getting warm in the sun and near lunch time packed up and headed back to Cooma for lunch.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

SOTA Mount Taylor VK1/AC-037 New Years Day rollover

Here in Eastern Australia the UTC New Year starts at 11:00 am local time, so its easily possible to work SOTA both before and after New Year and get points for the summit for each year. Really just an excuse to get a whole lot of Summit to Summit contacts... This year picked Mount Taylor, VK1/AC-037 as I also needed to complete the associated WWFF park Mount Taylor Nature Reserve VKFF-0854.

As per other activations parked in the car park at the end of Waldock St in Chifley. There is a new sign at the start of the walk for the Mount Tayor Nature Reserve.

Followed the track next to the sign up the hill. A bit steep but quickly gained altitude. Looking NE towards Woden and Civic.

After 15 minutes walking reached the trig

Near the trig a lookout over Woden.

The summit area can get quite busy with walkers, joggers and dog walkers, so as per other activations set up the station just to the West of the summit using a small tree for squid pole support.

Sat on the tarp. Had a bit of shade from the nearby trees. Needed it as the temperature climbed later to around 30 c, quite a warm day.

Initially got going on 2 m FM, 146.500 Mhz as only a half hour before rollover and would be a lot of locals on summits listening there. Worked the following.

VK1RX/2 on VK2/SM-093 Livingstone Hill
VK1MIC on VK1/AC-040 Mt Ainslie also P2P VKFF-0850
VK1AD/2 on VK2/ST-053 Mt Mundoonen
VK1DA/2 on VK2/ST-042 Mt Bowning

Got on 40 m and worked by tuning and pouncing on calling stations.

VK2HRX/P on VK3/VE-005 Mt Loch
VK2IO/P on VK2/HU-093 Mt Elliot
VK3ALN/P on VK3/VC-002 Mt Donna Buang
VK5FMAZ/P on VK5/SE-005 Mt Lofty, also P2P VKFF-0778
VK5PAS/P on VK5/SE-005 Mt Lofty, also P2P VKFF-0778

After working Paul, VK5PAS at 2359 z worked him again after UTC rollover and Maria VK5FMAZ

VK5PAS/P on VK5/SE-005 Mt Lofty, also P2P VKFF-0778
VK5FMAZ/P on VK5/SE-005 Mt Lofty, also P2P VKFF-0778
VK3ZPF/P on VK3/VT-026 Mt Toorongo Range

Returned to 2 m FM to grab the locals in the new year

VK1MIC on VK1/AC-040 Mt Ainslie also P2P VKFF-0850
VK1MCW/P on VK1/AC-039 Yellow Rabbit Hill
VK1AD/2 on VK2/ST-053 Mt Mundoonen

Returned to 40 m, spotting myself as now plenty of time to work others.

VK2HRX/P on VK3/VE-005 Mt Loch
VK2CDS/P on VK2/HU-054 Broken Back Range
VK3ARH/P on VK3/VT-006 Mt Saint Phillack
VK3ARR/P on VK3/VT-006 Mt Saint Phillack
VK1MA/P on VK1/AC-039 Yellow Rabbit Hill
VK3OAK/P on VK3/VS-015 Blue Mountain
VA3OZI/VK4 on VK4/SE-006 Goonburra St Forest

Gave 2 m FM another go, worked

VK1MA/P on VK1/AC-039 Yellow Rabbit Hill

Changed to 20 m. Worked the following

VK1MIC on VK1/AC-040 Mt Ainslie also P2P VKFF-0850

Returned to 40 m to work

VK3KLI on VK3/VC-007 Mt Macedon
VK3ZNR/2 on VK3/VC-007 Mt Macedon
VK3GTV/P on VK3/VC-007 Mt Macedon
VK3ALN/P on VK3/VC-002  Mt Donna Buang
VK2IO/P on VK2/HU-093 Mt Elliot
VK5FLEA/P on VK5/SE-005 Mt Lofty, also P2P VKFF-0778

Combined with other activations had over 44 contacts so qualified the park for WWFF. Getting a bit warm to continue. Packed up and headed back down to have lunch at nearby Woden