On Friday morning we, myself and xyl, Jenny, decided to go for a walk in the Mylor Conservation Park, VKFF-0785 and 5CP-156. Mylor Conservation Park is 49 hectares and preserves remnant bushland in the Adelaide Hills. The walk though the Park is not strenuous and the bush is magnificent. The Park is near Mylor and is just over seven kilometres from my house. I previously activated this Park for the WWFF program two Friday afternoons previously, that is on the 12th February. On that occasion I brought the activation to an end as a result of being bitten by ants. I was aiming for 44 contacts. I did not reach that goal.
So we thought we would explore the Park thoroughly and we did. I was hoping to find an activation spot away from power lines, nearby houses and on gravel or some other hard surface to minimise the risk of ants. We entered the Park at the main gate and followed the sealed track to the end of the Park. Here we saw a wooden building which can be hired for camping.
There were also open areas nearby, which, if not for the high tension lines on Whitehead Road, would provide great activation spots. The Park is on the left hand side of the picture opposite Gate 2.
I explored another side track which took me to Gate 5 and we returned to the car park on the track which is also part of the famous Heysen Trail. The picture below shows that the unnumbered Gate was on the Hooper Road boundary. I did consider this previously (12th February) as an activation spot but thought the bundled power lines overhead would cause too much noise.
We also took coordinates where we found a very small patch of couch grass on the track in a low spot which was still damp. These coordinates will be sent to the Friends of Mylor Conservation Park. About half way along the sealed track (an old road) there is a cross road: this is roughly in the centre of the Park and there are posts in place for mounting squid poles. This would make a great QRP location away from the noise, reasonable elevation, probably 330 metres above sea level, but the only access is by hiking. You would have to be prepared to take a ground sheet and sit on the ground. This is not much fun for a Park activation!
The map was taken from http://www.walkingsa.org.au
My operating point was half way between 1 and 8 on the Centre Track.
I decided to compromise. I would walk into the Park carrying my gear. In preparation for the late afternoon activation, I loaded the large ruck sack with my Ipad and modem, three LiFePO4 batteries, two antennas, log book, water and jacket. The exercise required two trips to carry my gear. On the first I carried my tripod, squid pole, table and chair. The walk was about 300 metres uphill. On the second trip I carried the back pack and my FT897 in its black plastic case. I have learned the hard way: the gear is heavy but I have an FT857D on order which will help! All together with the walk in the morning and the afternoon return visit my pedometer reported I had walked 15,146 steps (my goal is 10,000 per day) or 12.25 kilometres and that I had burned 2990 calories. I have to report that on Thursday afternoon, VK5PAS, Paul, VK5KC, David and I had indulged in coffee, cake and cream! So I had extra motivation for the walk!
I set up my gear and was on the air at 05:52. I found 7.120 to be clear and called CQ. I was answered by VK5HDW, David in Ferner Conservation Park. I gave David 5 and 8 and received 5 and 9. I thought that 40 metres looked pretty good for a change! I saw that Rob, VK4AAC/P5 was operating on 7.100 from Danggali Conservation Park and secured a contact before going back to 7.120: 5 and 9 each way. VK3PMG/M, Mick, was driving west near Ararat and we had a contact 5 and 6 each way. Then I was called by VK3PF, Peter who gave me 5 and 8 and I gave him 5 and 6. Then Brian, VK5FMID, from Mount Gambier called: he was 5 and 8 and he gave me 5 and 7. At 06:03 Rick, VK4RF/VK4HA called: signals were 5 and 6 each way. Thus with six contacts around South Eastern Australia, I was able to determine that propagation on the 40 metre band was really quite good and it should be a fun activation.
Then in quick succession followed VK5NRG, Roy; VK5FANA, Adrian on Yorke Penninsular; VK5PAS/M, Paul on his way to Kaiser Stuhl Conservation Park; VK5GJ, Greg; VK5YX, Hans; VK3TKK/M3, Peter 5 and 9 both ways; VK3DBP, Paul; VK5NFT/M, Tom; VK3FJBA, Joe near Melbourne; VK5PL, David; VK5AV, Tim; VK2HHA, Dennis from Albury 5 and 8 both ways; VK3FIRM, Mike; VK5EE, Tom; VK5ZGY, Greg from Mount Gambier. I them moved to 7.144 and listened before callling VK5HSX/P, Stef in Deep Creek Conservation Park. I decided to chase Stef, VK5HSX/ because DX stations, although weak, were on 7.110 and making the going a bit hard. I decided to stay on 7.110 for just a little longer to and worked VK5KLV/P, Les in Winninowie Conservation Park. At 06:45 I worked a succession of stations: VK5FPAC, Bob; VK3JK, Craig; VK5KKS, Kevin; VK3BNC, Bob; VK5KPR, Peter; and at 07:08, VK5PAS/P, Paul, at Kaiser Stuhl Conservation Park, and on 7.085, VK1DI/P1, Ian in Pinnacle Nature Reserve, VKFF-0862, 5 and 7 and 5 and 8.
I thought I would try for some VK6s. I posted my intention to migrate to 14.312 which I found clear. I called CQ a few times to allow chasers to see my post on Parks and Peaks and was soon answered at 07:33 by VK4RF/VK4HA, Rick 5 and 9 each way: F1BBL, 5 and 5 and 5 and 3 received and finally, JA1QVR, Sam 5 and 8 both ways. I was using 40 watts and a linked dipole and Sam was transmitting with a kilowatt and a four element beam. He was chuffed and so was I.
I enjoyed myself making 36 contacts with one duplicate. Thanks to all of the chasers and, of course, the activators. I made five park to park contacts.