Sunday, 12 November 2017

WWFF Activation Dunlop Grasslands Nature Reserve VKFF-0839

With the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award activation weekend on there were lots of VK3 National Parks on the air, so decided to chase them from a local WWFF park for park to park contacts. I decided to return to Dunlop Grasslands Nature Reserve VKFF-0839. Needed to get 16 contacts to complete the 44 needed for a WWFF point, plus its a nice park to visit.

As per last time drove to the Canberra suburb of Fraser, parked next to the gate closing off Binns St, and walked to the reserve. As some distance to walk just took a carry bag with the radio, battery, antenna, and squid pole, no table and chair this time. Sign for Dunlop Grasslands Nature Reserve, a Canberra Nature Park.



 
Near the sign a gate for entrance to the park. Despite the sign didn't see any cattle, only kangaroos. As you can see the gate was locked, so just climbed over it.


Walked into the reserve until finding the log under the large gum tree I operated from last time.


Set up here. Map showing the location in the park, from protectedplanet.net website.


Set up the squid pole on the log. Dipole legs tied out to a couple of nearby trees.


Shack on the log. Made a good table/seat with some shade.


Got on 40m. On air just in time to hear Gerard VK2IO/p in a park, asking for last calls before going QRT. I quickly called him. He was in VKFF-2014 Wambina Nature Reserve.

Also worked Andrew VK2UH in Yass, for once I could hear him, NVIS has not been good lately for close by stations... Then chased another park activation on ParksnPeaks, Jonathon VK7JON/p in VKFF-1133 Bay of Fires Conservation Area.

Went on to work some of the regular park hunters. VK2NP Cliff, VK2HHA Dennis, VK2YK Adam,
VK4TJ John.

Got called for another park to park with VK3ANL/p Nick in VKFF-2104 Gresswell Hill Nature Conservation Reserve with a good signal.

Worked usual park hunter Rick VK4RF/VK4HA with a good signal, then a stream of park to park contacts.

VK3PF/p on Arthurs Seat SOTA summit VK3/VC-031, also VKFF-0750 Arthurs Seat State Park
VK3SRC/p Joe in VKFF-0621 Churchill National Park
VK4HNS/p Neil in VKFF-1574 Knapp Creek Conservation Park
VK5PAS/p Paul and VK5FMAZ/p Maria in VKFF-0113 Coopracambra National Park
VK3FLCS/p Brett in VKFF-0264 Kinglake National Park

Worked a few more park hunters. VK3SQ Geoff, VK2PKT Keith
Another SOTA summit, VK3IL/p on VK3/VE-036 Mt Winstanley

Another park to park with VK2JNG/p Gerard in VKFF-0491 Tooloom National Park with a good strong signal.

Worked VK3SFG Sergio, then VK3OAK/p Malcolm in VKFF-0728 Cobboboonee National Park

Had a very weak call from VK7BEN/p Ben, he was difficult to copy but think I got him in VKFF-0347 Mount Field National Park. 

Gave 20 m a try. Managed to contact VK6NI Nigel, VK7BEN/p again, a little bit stronger on 20 m and VK5QI Mark.

Went back to 40 m before packing up for a last listen. Heard VK3PF/p calling in another park, VKFF-0333 Mornington Peninsula National Park.

Well and truly qualified the park, headed home.




Sunday, 5 November 2017

WWFF Activation Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve VKFF-1918

Having stopped overnight at Batemans Bay on a bit of a weekend break with my partner decided to do a first time activation of a nearby WWFF park, Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve VKFF-1918.

The park is to the North of Batemans Bay and consists of two sections, one on the Western side of Cullendulla Creek, mainly mangroves, and another section on the Eastern side and to the South called Square Head. From Batemans Bay drove North on the Princes Highway, turning off onto Cullendulla Drive. Turned off this onto Blairs Road into Long Beach housing estate. Turned off and parked at the car park for the start of the walking tracks into Square Head.


Set up the WWFF station in the car park. Operating spot shown, map from protectedplanet.net


Used one of the bollards in the car park for the squid pole support, table and chairs set up nearby for the radio.


Looking up the hill at the shack


Close up of the shack. My FT-857D running off a LifePO4 battery. Set the power to 30 W.


Got on 40 m. Disappointingly a lot of local electrical QRM, probably from the nearby houses on the edge of the reserve. Many had solar panel systems which can be quite noisy electrically.

I first worked Peter, VK3TKK/p in VKFF-0231 Hattah-Kulkyne National Park. He was about to go clear, so quickly called him, even though I had not even looked up the VKFF number of my park yet.

Made the mistake of spotting myself on 7.144 Mhz. It sounded quiet to me but was only 2 Khz below the VK2 WIA broadcast on 7.146 Mhz from Sydney. There was no short hop propagation there but they were affecting chasers, so moved to 7.140 Mhz. Must remember this for Sunday morning activations...

Went on the work VK2XXM Robert, VK3OHM Mark, VK6ZRW/7 Ray, VK3MRG/p Marshall and VK2VW Brett.

Got called again by Peter, VK3TKK/p, this time in another park, VKFF-0373 Murray-Sunset National Park. So another park to park contact.

Got called by Gerard VK2IO in Sydney, who advised I had come out of the noise to a good strong signal. So NVIS short hop was working again. Went on to work VK5BJE John, VK3BBB Brian, VK3FLCS Brett.

Spoke to VK2HEY/p Ross, in Sydney but using a remote station in Cowra. He was quite strong. VK7MPR Mark, VK2YW John in Wagga very strong, and VK2PKT Keith in Parkes, also strong.

Hunters seemed to dry up, so packed up for lunch after 16 contacts. Don't mind returning to this park for the remainder of the 44 contacts, very attractive with lots of Burrawang Palms and Spotted Gum Trees.

A photo from a walk I did earlier here.


View across to Batemans Bay from the Southern end of Square Head