While driving from Ballarat to Horsham I decided to go back to the Grampians National Park, VKFF-0213 and try and complete my score to at least 44 stations so as to activate the park successfully for the WWFF award. After studying the maps we had we saw that the Park adjoins the Western Highway at two locations. We decided to take the first turn off, travelling West from Ballarat, following the Roses Gap Road. We did not go as far as Roses Gap. We probably would had stayed at Halls Gap but our favourite location was booked out – no surprises there, but no harm done by checking. We found a quiet spot and while Jenny went bird-watching I played radio!
I have previously activated this Park from Mount William, SOTA summit VK3/VS-001. Here is a link to that activation:
Internet coverage was problematic and I could not spot myself.
I found quite a few frequencies which appeared unoccupied and after checking 7.090 I called CQ at 04:57 and was answered by VK3MCD/P, Brian, 59s 56r. I did not want to occupy the SOTA calling frequency and migrated to 7.105 where I stayed until moving to 20 metres. Signals were really good but some VK5 stations suggested that conditions were not as good there.
At 04:59 VK5ATQ, Trevor 59s 56r
05:02 VK3MRH, 59s 59r Rod at Wodonga
05:05 VK7VKV, 59s 56r Ray in the Central Highlands of Tasmania
05:05 VK3FOWL, 59s 59r Julie
05:06 VK5HAC, 59s 59r Bob Salisbury
05:08 VK3YFC, 59s 59r, Joe
05:09 VK2VW, 59s 56r, Brett
05:10 VK3AWG, 59s 59r, Chris
05:12 VK3AMX, 59s 59r, Alex
15:15 VK3IL/P, 58s 56r, David at Philip Island
05:17 VK5SRP, 59s 58r, Phil
05:18 VK5PL, 59s 59r, David
05:21 VK3DBP/QRP, 57s 58r, Paul
05:22 VK3SIL, 59s 59r, Simon
05:23 VK3PF/P, 57s 58r, Peter on Mount Lawson, VK3/VE-129
05:25 VK5PAS, 59s 59r, Paul
05:26 VK3ZPF/P, 59s 59r, Peter in VKFF-0791 P2P
05:27 VK5HSX/P, 59s 53r, Stef in the Coorong National Park, VKFF-0115 P2P
05:27 VK3DAC, 59s 55r, Fred
05:30 VK2HAA, 59s 59r, Dennis Albury
05:31 VK2QR, 59s 59r, Rob Tumut
05:32 VK3PMG, 59s 56r, Mick was the closest station to me, just down the road at Stawell.
05:34 VK3FIRM, 59s 59r, Mike Eltham
05:35 VK3UH, 59s 59r, Ken Yarram
05:36 VK5FANA, 59s 59r, Adrian
05:83 VK5FDEC, 57s 57r, Damien
05:40 VK3BYD, 59s 59r, Warren
I then moved to 14.310 and heard Adam, VK2YK/P, on 13.310. I tried to work him unsuccessfully. I could hear him and heard him say he was going QRT. I took over the frequency and called CQ.
05:47 VK4RF, 59s 59r, Rick
05:49 VK4HA, 59s 59r, Rick
05:51 VK4MNM, 59s 57r, Mike
05:44 ZL2OPB, 58s 57r, Owen, New Plymouth
I called CQ for a few more time and all was quite. There were no VK6 stations audible. I decided to return to 40 metres and found 7.110 to be unoccupied.
06:01 VK2HAV, 57s 51r, Brad, Batemans Bay
06:06 VK5FRGY/P, 59s 59r, Garry Morialta Conservation Park, VKFF-0783
06:07 VK3FAPH, 59s 57r, Aaron
06:08 VK2IO, 59s 46r, Gerard
06:11 VK3OF, 59s 58r, Rex
06:13 VK3NBL, 59s 58r, Ray, Melton
06:14 VK2UH, 59s 59r, Andrew, Yass
06:16 VK7NWT, 59s 57r, Scott
06:17 VK5ZGY, 58s 58r, Greg
06:19 VK7DIK, 57s 59r, Dick
06:20 VK5AK/QRP, 57s 57r, Bob, home brew transceiver
06:22 VK5FAKV, 59s 59r, Shawn, Renmark
As we were travelling on to Horsham I decided to pack up. I called a few more times after the last contact and all was quiet. Forty five contacts were made, which with my previous activation, will ensure that the Grampians National Park is complete as far as the WWFF award is concerned. Thanks for the spotters and the callers. You are all greatly appreciated. It was a fun activation. I used my FT897 running 10 watts for 40 metres and 40 watts for 20 metres. The radio was powered from my 33 amp hour ‘thumper’.
The Grampians are a series of abrupt sandstone mountains that rise from the surrounding plains. Sighting the Grampians from the plains, especially from the Western Highway, is always interesting no matter what the weather.