Thursday, 17 June 2021

Broulee Island Nature Reserve VKFF-2546

For a bit of a break from Canberra winter headed down to Batemans Bay on the South Coast. South of Batemans Bay is Broulee Island, near the town of Broulee. I had activated Broulee Island Nature Reserve before and made 28 contacts, so returned to finish the 44 needed for WWFF.

Parked at the car park for the walk to the island and made the short walk across the sand bar 

This is the short walk to the island. It was a proper island in the past, but the sand bar connecting it to the mainland has built up so much its vegetated, so an easy walk on what really is a peninsula.

Crossed over to the Northern side of the island and headed for the Northern most point

Just off the beach found a suitable stump for the squid pole and set up the 40 m dipole

Operating spot, map from Openstreetmap

Checked the SWR with the Rig Expert stick antenna analyzer, very good 1.04 at 7.168 Mhz.

Got on 40 m. Started by working VK2IO/p Gerard in VKFF-3109 Wells Crossing Flora Reserve

Then spotted myself on 7.150 and worked several park hunters


Worked a couple more parks that had spotted on Parksnpeaks, 

VK3DAC/p Fred in VKFF-0333 Mornington Peninsula National Park
VK3AWA/p Daryl in VKFF-0758 Holey Plains State Park

I tried going to 20 m and calling for a while, no takers there, so returned to 40 m.

Worked some more hunters


As more than enough to get 44 now packed up. I decided to continue walking around to see the South side of the island, not that great, mainly rocks. If you want to activate the Northern side of the island is best for sandy beaches and vegetation.

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Spanish numbers and grids worked awards

The European Ros Club recently released some new awards for contacting Spanish EA stations. For contacting 50 Spanish stations

For 5 Spanish grids

 For 10 Spanish grids

For 15 Spanish Grids

For 20 Spanish grids

A count in the log shows I have 24 Spanish grids worked, a look on the map think there are about 18 more grids to work.

Monday, 7 June 2021

Mount Majura VK1/AC-034


With Andrew VK1AD activating Tumorrama Hill and some other SOTA activations, decided to head up one of the local SOTA summits for some summit to summit contacts. Returned to Mount Majura, VK1/AC-034. For something different climbed it from Mackenzie St in Hackett. I found the car park full, so parked around the corner in Grayson St. Sign at the start of the walk.

The track up to Mount Majura is on the Canberra Centenary walking track. So just follow this up to the top. The top green-blue symbol on the post indicates on this track. 

The track climbs up Mount Majura via a series of zig zag bends. Track is in good condition, probably due to heavy use by walkers. It gets steep in places.

After 50 minutes and 2.5 Km reached the top, Mount Majura Trig

Since Covid there is a lot more activity on Canberra suburban summits, with many walkers, joggers and dog walkers visiting the trig. To avoid most of them decided to move away to a quieter location, the road just below the trig to the Mount Majura radar facility. Set up on one of the fence posts on the road. Still within the 25m activation zone. You can just make out the trig on the left. Still got a few people walking past, but most went straight up to the trig around the corner. Got 2m vertical and 40 m dipole set up along the road.

Looking back the other way. Quite close to the Mount Majura radar facility. This is for Canberra airport. As it turned out did affect 2m FM

Radio on the tarp off the road

Got on 2m FM  Heard Chris VK1CT and Bill VK1MCW working each other for a S2S, so worked them both after. Chris VK1CT was on VK1/AC-040 Mt Ainslie, Bill VK1MCW on VK1/AC-048 Mount McDonald. Both very strong. Also worked Al VK1RX. I thought I heard part of a call from Andrew, VK1AD/2, but the signal was broken up with some voice interference. Probably from the nearby radar building... I got an SMS from Andrew saying he could hear me and asking me to try 2m SSB, so headed for 144.2 Mhz.

Heard Andrew VK1AD/2 a good S2, so able to work him for a S2S to VK2/SW-036 Tumorrama Hill. This was about 70 Km away to the West. Worked Matt VK1MA, very strong. A while later Wade VK1MIC came up on 2m SSB from VK1/AC-042 Black Mountain for another S2S, very strong.

Went to 40m. Another S2S with Andrew VK2MWP on VK2/SC-042 Wandera Mountain, down the South Coast near Moruya, a good S7. Worked VK4AAC/5 Rob in park VKFF-0875 Caroona Creek Conservation Park for a park to park, as I was in VKFF-0851 Mount Majura Nature Reserve.

Called CQ on 40m and worked

VK3NCR, ZL1BQD, VK3GTV, VK3ZPF, VK1MA, VK5IS, VK1AD/2 again, VK5HAA on 40m.

As getting late in the day and still a 2.5 Km walk back down, packed up and walked back to the car.
Track log of walk. Map from

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Hong Kong ERC 2 and 5 stations awards

A couple more awards from the European Ros Club, for working stations in Hong Kong on FT8. 

For 2 stations

For 5 stations

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Aranda Bushland Nature Reserve VKFF-0833

With Andrew VK1AD activating Stony Creek Nature Reserve, VKFF-0986, decided to chase him from a nearby park that had not activated for a while, Aranda Bushland Nature Reserve VKFF-0833.

Parked at the end of Galali Pl in Aranda and walked into the park. At the top of the hill a sign for the park, one of the new metal ones the ACT Government has put in, replacing the old wooden ones.

A close up of the map part of the sign

Wandered along the track towards the high point in the park. Dropped off down the slope when I spotted a tree stump suitable for squid pole support and set up the 40m dipole. Note there are lots of mountain bike tracks in the scrub here so access is fairly easy, and the scrub not that thick.

Squid pole attached to the tree stump

Looking back the other way. Houses in Aranda visible, still far enough away to not cause QRM.

Operating Spot, from Protected Planet

Radio perched on a nearby log, with a rough log seat. In the sun so quite warm, even if it made reading the tablet logging screen a bit hard... There were also mosquitos, but was well covered up.

Got on 40m. Managed to work Andrew VK1AD/p in Stony Creek Nature Reserve, VKFF-0986 with a good strong signal. Then had a look for other parks on. Worked

VK1IO/p Gerard in VKFF-1787 Wolli Creek Regional Park

Spotted myself on Parks n Peaks and worked


Andrew VK1AD had suggested trying a 2m contact, so stuck up the 2m Jpole ribbon antenna on the squid pole. Andrew was 59... I had a look later, he was only around 5 Km away so no wonder.

Also worked VK1MA Matt, mobile on William Hovell Drive just below me, was very strong...

Returned to 40m and worked

VK3MTT, VK2YK/5, VK5GA, VK3ZPF, VI100AF with VK5PAS operating, VK7ME, VK7QP, VK3DAC.

A couple more park to parks, VK3PF/p Peter and VK3NRB/p Ross in VKFF-2235 Wonthaggi Heathlands Nature Conservation Reserve

VK2PKT, then another park to park, VK5CZ/p Ian in VKFF-0812 Clements Gap Conservation Park

Also VK3AWA/p Daryl in VKFF-2329 Herb Guyatt Flora Reserve

Finally VK2VRO/p Joel on SOTA summit VK3/VC-022 Mt Cowley

Packed up and headed home for afternoon tea.

Saturday, 22 May 2021

The Pinnacle Nature Reserve VKFF-0852

Decided to activate WWFF park The Pinnacle Nature Reserve VKFF-0852. Mainly to work Andrew VK1AD/p park to park in Mt Mugga Mugga Nature Reserve on 2m, also to add another activation towards the Boomerang Award. Parked off Springvale Drive and headed into the park. The ACT Government appear to be updating the old wooden park signs with metal ones. New sign for the park.

Walked along the track to the Pinnacle summit

Approaching the Pinnacle. Not that hard a hill to climb.

View from the Pinnacle. The roads in the foreground with no houses is the new suburb of Whitlam under construction. Mt Stromlo on the right.

Did not stop here, it gets busy with walkers. Headed down the hill to find a suitable operating spot. View to the West over the Brindabella range

Found a large dead tree a bit down the hill, set up at the base of it on some logs.

 Operating spot, map from Openstreetmap

Radio on my pack, using a nearby log as a seat.

Started on 2m FM. Easily worked Andrew in Mt Mugga Mugga VKFF-0852, a strong S9 signal 8 Km South of me.

Got on 40m, worked a few park to parks first

VK3BBB Brian and VK3MTT Therese in VKFF-2382 Merbein South Flora Reserve

VK3CMA Peter in VKFF-2229 Whroo Nature Conservation Reserve

VK3CRG Craig and Debbie in VKFF-0982 You Yangs Regional Park

VK3TV Mal in VKFF-0747 Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park

VK3AWA Daryl in VKFF-2321 Giffard Flora Reserve

Spotted myself and worked the usual Hunters


A SOTA contact with VK3TUN David on VK3/VW-016 West of England Fire Tower. Also in park VKFF-0629


I tried switching to 20m. Worked VK1CT Chris in VKFF-0984 Bullen Range Nature Reserve, but no luck with further calls. Packed up and headed home for afternoon tea. The park is only about a 10 minute drive from home.


Friday, 21 May 2021

30 CQ Zones on 30m Award

Checking my awards status recently in Ultimate AAC software, found had worked 30 CQ zones on 30 m, so applied for the award.

Monday, 17 May 2021

10 Taiwanese Prefixes Award

 The latest award for me, for working 10 Taiwanese prefixes on FT8. 

Monday, 10 May 2021

VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 925 Award

Checking on the WWFF logsearch website, found had confirmed contacts with over 925 VKFF parks, so applied for the hunter award. 

Sunday, 9 May 2021

WIA Awards for DXCC and Worked All States VHF Digital

Checked my awards status in the WIA Awards website, after uploading/updating my log in ADIF found have qualified for a few new awards

DXCC, both in Open and Digital Mode. They both look the same, here is the digital version. Mostly done on FT8 mode.

Worked All States (VHF). This is for contacting all the Australian States and Territories excluding Islands and Antarctica, basically VK1 through to VK8. All done on 6m, Digital, FT8 mode.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Mcleods Creek Nature Reserve VKFF-2653

With a warm sunny Sunday afternoon in Canberra decided to make the most of the nice weather and activate another WWFF park, Mcleods Creek Nature Reserve VKFF-2653. Last activation there was in winter and was cold, so would be a good change. Only made 22 contacts so needed to return to make up the 44 contacts for WWFF.

From my home in Belconnen the easiest way to reach it is via Gungahlin, Mulligans Flat Rd then continue on Sutton Rd to Gundaroo. Turn left at the end of town into Rosemel St that becomes Marked Tree Road. Last time I operated on the Western side of the park, this time found a gate on the Eastern end of the park for access. Locked but able to access the park on foot okay. Sign for the park.

Set up the shack near the sign, using the park fence for support

Looking back the other way

Park operating spot location. Map from Google maps

Tested the 40m dipole, SWR okay, a little bit high I think due to nearby branches. Seems to be resonant at the top end of the band. Still quite good SWR across the band.

Shack on the table. using my new Galaxy Tab 8 inch tablet again for logging.

Got on 40m. The band was wide open with strong signals. Started with a Park to park with VK2IO/p Gerard in VKFF-1881 Agnes Banks Nature Reserve

Also VK3AWA/p Daryl in VKFF-0758 Holey Plains State Park

Spotted myself on 7.130, and got a pileup... heaps of stations calling




Another park to park with VK3PF/p Peter and VK3NRB/p Ross in VKFF-2045 Bengworden Nature Conservation Reserve

Went on to work several more park hunters



Another park to park with VK2IO/p Gerard in a new park VKFF-0558 Yellomundee Regional Park

Then more hunters


Tried going to 20m, but no answers, despite hearing some strong US stations coming in. Suspect running amplifiers... Saw a spot for VK3PF/p Peter and VK3NRB/p Ross in another park on 40m, so returned to work them in VKFF-2425 Providence Ponds Flora and Fauna Reserve.

Sun starting to set, and still had a 45 minute drive home, so packed up. More than enough contacts to qualify. Did a brief walk along the road along the boundary of the park


Saturday, 1 May 2021

Stony Creek Nature Reserve VKFF-1997

With nice weather on Saturday afternoon decided to activate a WWFF park. Returned to finish off Stony Creek Nature Reserve, VKFF-1997. Last time logged 22 contacts so needed to complete the 44 needed for WWFF.

Access was per last time, head to Queanbeyan, then the Kings Hwy, then Captains Flat Rd. A few Km along the road the park is on the left. Parked near the gate. Pleased to see the fence was repaired. Last time I was here the left fence post was on the ground, and illegal trail bikes were entering the park, which I saw. Now its harder for them to enter.

Set up the squid pole on the park sign. While setting up a large flock of yellow tailed black cockatoos were flying around the nearby trees, noisy large parrots. Too far away to photograph.

Looking the other way. 

Tested the dipole, quite low SWR at the top end of 40m. Fairly flat across the whole band anyway.

Shack on the table. Now using a new Galaxy Tab A 8 inch tablet for park logging. Its a bit heavy for SOTA but good for parks, has a large battery that lasts for hours.

Got on 40. Started by making a couple of park to parks, both good strong signals.

VK3CRG Craig and 2nd op Debbie in VKFF-0055 Brisbane Ranges National Park

VK3YV Tony in VKFF-0758 Holey Plains State Park

Spotted myself on 7.155 and worked a heap of park hunters.


Another park to park with VK2YK/5, Adam in VKFF-1707 Encounter Marine Park


I did briefly try 20m, but no reply to my calls. Could barely hear VK3YV and VK2YK/5 in their parks.

Copied VK0PD Paul in Antarctica quite well, but he was having a good chat with someone, left him to it.

Park more than qualified. Packed up and headed home.