Today, 11th December 2015, was set aside for a late afternoon, early evening, activation day for those interested in portable operation from South Australian national and conservation parks. I chose to return to Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, the closest protected area to our home. I set myself a goal of 25 contacts, which, when added to my score from 28th June 2015 would give me at least 44 contacts so as to successfully activate the Park for the WWFF award. It was not to be. The 40 and 20 metre bands were in poor shape! The bands were noisy (QRN or natural noise: today from stormy weather on the east coast of the country). I made just nine contacts. I was using my Ten Tec Argonaut VI, set for ten watts. There was no propagation close in around Adelaide and the only VK5 station I contacted was Neville (Nev) VK5WG at Crystal Brook in the mid-north of the State. I spotted myself on Parks and Peaks and Nev told me he was waiting for me: Mark Oliphant was a new Park for him!
Here is a link to my previous activation of this Park.
I commenced calling at 05:03 on 7.105 after checking to see whether the frequency was occupied.
05:15 VK3XDM/P Mitch was on SOTA summit VK3/VE-007, Mt McKay (10 points)
I then moved to 14.310 and once again put up a spot on Parks and Peaks.
05:35 I called CQ and VK2IO, Gerard, was 5 and 7. I called him back but he could not hear me. I called quite a few time and was not successful in gaining a contact.
I then moved back to 40 metres and after listening around the band decided I could not hear any of the VK5 park activators so I dismantled my station and drove home.
After arriving home I checked Parks and Peaks and saw that Paul, VK5PAS, was activating Mount George Conservation Park, VKFF-0784, just a few kilometres from my place and I thought I would have a listen for him. I had a great contact with Paul: he was 5 and 7 and I was 5 and 9.
Sorry I missed you John. There was strong QRN in the east with 3 different storms raging. Only later on was I able to hear VK5 on 40m and 20m. Next time…
As you say – next time. I will return to the Park and try and get my 44.
Sorry to hear you didn’t get the required number of contacts. I had a listen for you from home but couldn’t hear a peep. I did hear the park hunters though.
So when you called in with such a strong signal when I was in Mt George, I was very surprised.
Best 73 and thanks for being out there,
Hi John, I was listening to chasers working you but no sign of your voice or signal. Sorry I missed you, I was looking forward to a short chat. 🙂
Hello Andrew, Sorry I have been a bit slow in responding to you. Propagation has certainly been variable to say the least. I have been doing a few activations of late and planning some more soon. I am going to the Grampians NP in April/May and will activate a couple of peaks and a nearby park. I have my 44 for the Grampians but Mt William is always a challenge!
Hi Paul, I was too early and with just ten watts, I didn’t make the grade. May be next time. However, it was great to get out in the Park.
Band conditions in general have been very challenging John. Lots of QSB on 40m and close if contacts a real struggle. There have been some great openings on most of the bands at certain times, including 15m 10m & 6m. But you’ve just got to be lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
Merry Christmas and thanks as always for being an active park Activator and Hunter,