Sunday, 26 March 2017

WWFF Percival Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0859

With a nice sunny Sunday afternoon decided to do a nearby WWFF park activation of VKFF-0859 Percival Hill Nature Reserve. I had activated it once before in June 2015, and the cold drove me off air before completing the 44 contacts needed for a WWFF point. In fact made 42 contacts, so only need to make 2 more contacts. As close to 30c no problem with the cold today...

As per last activation approached via an access point off Schow Place in Nicholls. After a short walk reached the Percival Hill trig.


Even though a fairly low hill at 622 m some good views. Looking South East over Crace towards Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie.


Looking South West to Belconnen and the Brindabella Ranges. The Barton Highway roundabout below.


Looking North West towards Harcourt Hill. One Tree Hill on the right.


Set up the squid pole on the trig, One leg tied to a nearby fence post, the other leg just tied the end of the support rope around a rock.



Shack on the tarp. The FT-817 being black got hot in the sun, used the carry bag as a sun shade... Not much shade for myself however.


Got on 40m. Worked a few chasers in VK2, VK3 and VK7.

Got a call from Bill VK4FW/p in VKFF-1480 Boat Mountain Conservation Park for a park to park. Lots of QSB, he had problems copying me, but made it eventually.

Also another park to park with regular park activator Rob VK4AAC/p in VKFF-0682 Gympie National Park. These were both new parks for me as a hunter.

Continued on working VK2, VK3  park hunters. The band wasn't great, made several calls with no replies. Tuned about and heard Diane, VI100RTF, a special event station for Rotary, made a contact with her.

There was a contest on 20m, didn't even try calling there, too much high power QRM... As had 12 contacts and only needed 2 gave it away and went home.

Contacts made on 40m

1. VK2VZ/p
2. VK3SQ
3. VK7DW
4. VK4FW/p park to park VKFF-1480
5. VK4AAC/park to park VKFF-0682
6. VK3GGG
7. VK3PMG
8. VK3ARH
9. VK2IO
10. VK2GDI
11. VK2JAZ
12. VI100TRF

Friday, 10 March 2017

WWFF Bungonia National Park VKFF-1163

With a nice sunny Friday off work decided to activate a new WWFF park for me, VKFF-1163 Bungonia National Park. The park is located to the East of Goulburn, and took me about 1.5 hours to drive to. The entrance to the park on Lookdown Road.


A short distance past the sign was a car parking area near the rangers office, and a ticket machine for the entrance ticket. It costs $8 a day. Note if you don't have the correct coins it takes credit cards, which I ended up using. Just past the rangers office was a picnic area that I used for activating later. Continued on as wanted to have a look at the views first. View from the Bungonia Lookdown lookout at the end of the road. Spectacular view to the East down into Bungonia Gorge.


View to the North. The quarry is Marulan Quarry.


Returned to the picnic area. This is known as Kerrileau Car Park. Map of the park here.


Set up the radio shack on one of the picnic tables in the shade.


Another view of the shack.


Radio this time my newly acquired IC7300. As with most LCD screens a bit hard to read the radio display in sunlight, however the main frequency stood out in white okay.


I dropped the power down to 20 w to conserve the battery. As a week day not a lot of signals on 40 m, however did manage to start with a park to park contact, with VK3TKK/p Peter in VKFF-0952 Point Addis Marine National Park with a good 58 signal.

Worked Karl VK2GKA in nearby Picton, and Peter VK3PF. Then another park to park, VK3FLCS/p Brett in VKFF-0765 Lerderderg State Park. Brett was struggling getting contacts, had no mobile coverage so gave him a hand with a spot on ParksnPeaks.

Continued on. Slow going on a weekday, working VK2s, VK3s and VK7s. Quite a few of the callers running FT817s and 5 w, quite good signals into the park on 40 m.

Went for a drive after lunch to check out the other lookout in the park, Adams lookout. Looking down into Slot Canyon and the Marulan Creek.


Returned to the picnic area. and continued working 40 m park hunters, a few VK5s now. Briefly tried 20 m, heard VK5YX come back to me but very weak, the band wasn't open enough for a contact.

Gave it away and headed home around 4 pm. Only 33 contact so need to return some time for the 44 needed for WWFF points, also Bungonia State Conservation Area nearby, must activate this park the next time.


Thursday, 9 March 2017

WWFF Park to Park 132 References Certificate

Noticed on WWFF Logsearch I've managed to make over 132 Park to Park contacts, so applied for the award. Received promptly from the awards manager Danny, ON4VT.


Sunday, 5 March 2017

New Radio Icom IC-7300

My shack radio, a Kenwood TS-480SAT recently developed a fault in the transmitted audio, becoming distorted with RF. Rather than wait for it to be repaired decided time for an upgrade, and got a new Icom IC-7300.


I think these must be very popular as the dealer had run out of stock, and had to wait a few weeks for a shipment from Japan to arrive...

First impressions good, the receiver audio is superb and it seems quite sensitive, plus there is a band scope, something I've never had on a radio before. As can see whats around me can pick up calls I would otherwise miss out, found this useful on 10m where there is a lot of band to cover,,,

Eventually got it set up on WSPR and JT65 modes, where it works quite well. I know more about the menus now... Make sure you select USB-D if you are operating digital modes! Made contacts into Japan and VK4 on 10m, and into the USA on 40m. Lots of fun. Using a Toshiba laptop for decoding.


Some minor faults, there is only one connector, my TS-480 had 2 which would auto select between the dipole and 10m yagi. Need to get an antenna switch. Also find the up/down band buttons a bit close to the tuning knob, tending to knock it, getting around this by using the up/down buttons on the microphone.

A very nice radio thats fun to operate.