VKFF Hunter Award, worked 550 references, 9th July 2018

Hunter 550

My certificate arrived for working 550 references. Thanks to Paul, VK5PAS, the WWFF Australia Awards Manager, for providing the awards and thanks to all of the activators who are currently braving the cooler/cold weather to keep the program vital. An examination of my log shows that I enjoyed over 125 park contacts in June/July (so far) and about 15 of these were CW (morse code). I am trying to increase the proportion of CW contacts and am aiming for about 25%. Only time will tell whether I can achieve this goal!

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International Amateur Radio Union, Region 3, 50th Anniversary Award, 21 June 2018

Region 3 50IARU

Here is my award which I down-loaded today. The Globe is divided into three regions and Australia is located within Region 3.  The Region 3 administrative arm was established on 12th April 1968, just eight years before I became a radio amateur. There are now 39 member countries. The IARU works to preserve and harmonise our frequency bands and provides information and assistance to national amateur radio organisations.

IARU Region 3 qsl

Here is the official qsl card. I thought I should print this one confirming a contact with VI50IARU3 (operator Paul, VK5PAS), hand held to hand held from home to Mount Lofty.

VKFF-Hunter Award 475 different VKFF areas, 26th May 2018

VK5BJE VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 475

Thanks to all of the activators who have helped to make chasing such fun and challenging as well, especially with the poor propagation conditions we have been experiencing of late. I would like to pay a special thanks to the CW operators (morse code) whose activities add to the richness of my experience: VK2IO/P, Gerard; VK3BYD/P, Warren and VK3AFW/9, Ron at Norfolk Island during the WIA Annual General Meeting in 2016. Gerard and Warren show up quite a few times in my log.

Scott Creek Conservation Park, VKFF-0788, 30th March 2018: walking for fitness and pleasure.

One day to go and the first month of Autumn will be in the past! I now have a medically supervised regime in place which requires me to walk with moments of additional load achieved by either walking more quickly or walking up a hill. Scott Creek Conservation Park provides many opportunities for walking up and down hills! The theory is that this will eventually strengthen the heart muscle and reduce episodes of Atrial Fibrillation (AF). AF occurs when the heart does not pump properly but rather flutters, resulting in poor circulation and efficiency. I am taking part in a trial, comparing an exercise group with a non-exercise group, and am in the experimental group. So I decided to go for a walk in Scott Creek Conservation Park departing from Gate 8 (my favourite radio activation spot). The weather was excellent for a walk: cool, mainly sunny but a handful of rain-drops as I started out. Others had a similar idea and I passed a large group of walkers as I was heading down the hill speaking into my hand held radio. They were on the way up the hill but offered a greeting and we spoke for a while. Yes I did take a radio: two in fact (IC-80AD and a Yaesu VX5) and a few spare batteries!

I also posted an alert on Parks and Peaks indicating I would be active at 00:30z on 146.5 FM. Next time I will self-spot and indicate a QRV time!  QRV means ‘are you ready?’ But it is also used to indicate a time when the operator will be ready.

As I left gate 8 I tuned to VK5RMB, the Murray Bridge Repeater and heard some activity. I recognised a voice I knew and arranged to try 146.5 FM with Tony, VK5MRT at Strathalbyn. There was no direct path. I was a bit surprised at this. So I kept walking and then tuned the radio to VK5RSV, the South Coast Amateur Radio Club’s two metre repeater. I was hoping to stir up some activity, as the area immediately south and south west of the Park, I suspected would provide some good contacts. All I heard was silence!

I kept on walking and tried VK5RSV again. This time VK5XD, Neville answered me. He offered to QSY (change frequency to 146.5 Mhz) and success followed. Neville’s signal was full scale on my Icom IC-80AD, I was amazed. Neville lives in the suburb of Warradale, near Glenelg, but further inland. I received a report of 5 and 5. I had a quarter wave length antenna on my radio and was using full power, five watts. Neville told me he was using 50 watts into a collinear antenna.  We should have experimented with lower power!

Contact

00:51z 146.500 FM VK5XD 59s 55r

VK5XD qsl

Here is Neville’s splendid eqsl.

So what was the cost? Well my GPS showed a total activity time of 53 minutes. But the moving time was just 25 minutes! So I spent nearly half my time playing radio rather than walking. Perhaps I had better leave the radios at home?

I have activated Scott Creek Conservation Park many times. Here is a link to my previous activation.

https://vk5bje.com/2017/11/04/scott-creek-conservation-park-vkff-0788-5cp-207-2nd-november-2017/

Scott Creek walk 30th March

The walk I took begins at Gate 8 and follows Cup Gum Track. I stopped just before the fairly steep descent to the junction of Gum Track Track with Currawong Ridge Track.

Currowang ridge traCK

The elevation gain was 35 metres. The plot is shown below. The times are clearly shown including radio time.

Scott Creekwalk 30th elevation

This walk is one of a number I have taken in the Park over the last few weeks. Most, but not all, of the walks have been on sections of the track I have previously described as a loop. See my earlier posts on this beautiful park.
Gate 4
Another walk began at Gate 4 taking the right hand side track down to the creek line.
 Gray fantail in flight
Grey Fantail in flight. This little bird did not take much notice of me but was busy catching insects.
Gray Fantail 2
Gray Fantail in motion.
Common brown
Common brown butterfly.
Stumpy tail lizard
Stumpy tale lizard. A pity about the stick over the end of his nose: but I did not want to disturb her sun-baking any more than necessary.

eAustralia award: 8 call areas, 20th March 2018

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This award came last night. It is one level below the highest grade, which is for nine call areas, that is VK0 as well. While I have worked Australian Antarctic Territories many times and have confirmations by traditional QSL cards I am still to gain a confirmation by eqsl. So this award captures all mainland, including Tasmania (VK7), call areas (VKs 1 to 8) and VK9. It was a contact with the dxpedition to Ashmore Reef that tipped the scales for me. Here is that eqsl card. I applied for the eAustralia award for seven (7 call areas) back in April 2016, making the level two award nearly two years later.

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Murray River Parks Award, 23rd January 2018

VK5BJE Murray River Parks Hunter 30 v2

I was pleased to receive this award. The river has been a favourite place for us for 48 years of camping, boating, holidaying and playing radio. I have been conspicuously absent from activating in recent times. My last excursion was with Paul, VK5PAS, in November 2017. I do, however, hope to get back to visiting parks. I had a bit of a set-back in December and am not allowed to drive at present. I will be reviewed again at the end of March 2018. My previous review was this week. There is still a problem with the TCXO! In the meantime I am embarking on an exercise program, under medical supervision, to try and reduce the amount of Atrial Fibrillation. Many people have this condition and are not aware of it. So keep active.