Brisbane Ranges National Park, VKFF-0055, 17th April 2016

My reason for going to the Brisbane Ranges National Park was to participate in Amateur Radio Victoria’s ‘Show and Tell’.  I had been reading the various emails on the groups to which I belong and thought I would attend. It would be very easy to tack on two or three extra days to our trip to the Grampians National Park. I did not publicly commit to going until the Saturday before the Show and Tell. I wanted to create a bit of a surprise.

I drove on the route from Ballarat to Brisbane Ranges National Park using the track suggested by the GPS in the 4 x 4. This approach has a few narrow roads and some gravel but it is a shorter way than driving to Ballan down the freeway and driving to Boar Gully Camp Ground (the approach I took on an earlier activation).

Boar Gully Camping ground

When we arrived at the camping ground, which is just inside the Park boundary, I spotted Tony’s vehicle. We shared a warm hello and he said that the interstate parking lot is the next one down the track. He had hired two camping spots for the day. We noticed a camper already in this area but there was plenty of room for our vehicle. The owner was John, VK2AWJ, from Gol Gol New South Wales. Gol Gol is not far from Mildura, more or less on the other side of the Murray River. So the two Johns shared a car park. I have had contacts with John of many occasions and it was great to meet him. I made a point of meeting all of the participants.  I was later to have a contact, with VK5PAS/P, using John’s KX3.

There were a number of intrepid SOTA and Parks operators present and I really enjoyed meeting them all and learning from their presentations.

We had met Tony, VK3VTH, previously when I was activating Barmah National Park. Everyone else was new to me: all I had to work with was memories of photos on blogs and various websites. It worked well. I met VK3ZPF, Peter; VK3ARH, Allen; Amanda, VK3FQSO; her husband, Bob, VK3FLAK (and their three children), Chris, VK3PAT and Peter, VK3TKK. All of the above amateurs are frequently on the bands activating or chasing and I have had many contacts with them.

I also caught up again with Marc, VK3OHM, whom I met at the WIA annual general meeting 2015 in Canberra. Finally, it was really good to meet Joe and Julie, VK3YSP and VK3FOWL. We have had lots of contacts over the last three years. I learned many new ideas from Joe: his adaptation of the Aboriginal Woomera is most impressive. Instead of launching a spear this very smart device launches a lead ball with a light weight rope into very high trees. He might have had the rockets at the Woomera Rocket Range in South Australia in mind when we were all advised to stand well back from the launching area! Joe and Julie demonstrated their portable sattelite station and had a contact (which I did not see as I was discussing antennas with Tony at that time). I was also very impressed with his ‘tree-grabbers’, which provide another way of getting an antenna into a tree.

The other folk I was introduced to were all new to me.

Allen, VK3ARH, showed me his trail friendly Mountaintopper three band CW transceiver. If one was disciplined enough to use one of these the reduction in weight carried on SOTA activations would be enormous. These radios are about the size of a deck of cards!

I had quite a discussion with Bob, VK3FLAK, on air one day about remote area power supplies. He has since that discussion increased their system with more panels and larger battery size to handle more demanding loads. We have replaced the battery once and we are now in our fifteenth year of being off-grid. Most of those present displayed some parts of their portable stations and many were on the air.

At one stage I hear Paul, VK5PAS/P calling and John VK2AWJ, offered his KX3 already set up to enable me to contact Paul.

This was my only contact from Brisbane Ranges National Park.

00:40 7.095 VK5PAS/P, Paul, Cooltong Conservation Park, VKFF-0823,  s53 r57.

Show and Tell reduced

This photo shows some of the displays at the Boar Gully Camping Ground and also Bob, VK3FLAK, deep in discussion with Peter, VK3ZPF. Tony’s set up, including his tent, in in the background of the picture.

Thanks Tony, VK3VTH  and Amateur Radio Victoria and those who attended making it a most enjoyable day.

 

 

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Mount Buangor State Park, VKFF-0766, 16th April 2016

After leaving Halls Gap in the Grampians we travelled along the Western Highway towards Ballarat. On leaving Ararat, Mount Langi Ghiran looms high on the left horizon above the plains. I thought an activation of Langi Ghiran State Park would be feasible. We turned off the Western Highway near the park boundary, stopped at the railway line which is right on the Park boundary to check for trains and, as it was clear, we drove into the Park along Kartuk Road to the Langi Ghiran Picnic and Camping area. There were a number of campers at the ground and I thought my activity would be too intrusive so we drove the Langi Ghiran track though the park to exit onto the Western Highway a little closer to Ballarat. The Victorian Parks Visitors Guide has an excellent map of this Park. We did not find any safe parking areas along this track suitable for an activation. I did see an excellent spot soon after driving into the Park just off Kartuk Road, but that can wait for another time.

We decided to move onto Mount Buangor State Park, VKFF-0766. From late 1970 to the end of 1972 I worked at Langi Kal Kal Youth Training Centre. When I first went there on a work experience placement for three months at the end on 1967, I was told in very clear terms to stop at railway crossings and check carefully for trains. I was told that a staff member’s wife was killed at the crossing on Langi Kal Kal Road just a few years earlier. I used to think that the goods trains on the broad gauge were impressive – but the trains on the standard gauge are even more so and they travel faster! However, the broad gauge line from Ballarat to Ararat remains just that, a broad gauge line.

We have fond memories of Mt Buangor and Mount Cole State Forest. We purchased the first of our 4 x 4 vehicles, a short wheel based Toyota Landcruiser, while we lived at Langi Kal Kal and we honed our driving skills on the often wet and slippery forest tracks.

On this visit we drove in on the Ferntree Gully Road to the Bailes Visitor Area.

Bailes visitor area

JCD photo

There was no one there. I decided to activate the Park and saw a Park bench and table that would suit my purposes admirably. I was hoping the rain would hold off: and it did! Soon after I had set up a 4 x 4 and trailer arrived with three males on board. The trailer had off-road and dirt bikes on board. I thought that would be the end of my peace and quiet. I met the Father of one of the younger men and he said that they would set up camp, the two boys would go riding and he would go back to work on a nearby property. The lads set off on the reasonably quiet bikes, the father left, I completed my activation and we had left before they returned. You can be lucky!

I set up the FT897, linked dipole on a squid pole tied to a Park post and I was on the air at 02:14z.

Radio at Mount Buangor State Park

This photo shows my squid pole affixed to a car park boundary marker with the pole protected with a PVC pipe sleeve. JCD photo

Bailes Picnic & camping ground.png

JCD photo

This photo gives a view of the Visitors Area. There are picnic tables in place and toilets. The surrounding bush land gives a good idea of what it might have been like before logging.

Bush scene at Mt Buangor

JCD photo

I had a great time. Paul, VK5PAS/P, at the Overland Corner meeting in SA, had organised the attendees to give me a call on the portable radio (a Codan) setup  by Ivan, VK5HS. I had a steady stream of contacts from Overland Corner interspersed by other stations, probably enhanced by my activation of a lesser activated Park?

Signals were really good.

VK5KBB/P5 VKFF-0783 P2P

VK3BNJ

VK5KC/P

VK5ZAI/P

VK5FMAZ/P Marija s59 r59

VK5PAS/P

VK5FLEX/P

VK3VIN

VK3FQSO, Amanda told me she planned to attend the ‘Show and Tell’ at the Brisbane Ranges National Park. I said not to tell any VK3s and that I hoped none were listening because I would be attending as well. I want my attendance to be a surprise!

VK3FIRM

VK3SQ

VK3GGG/M

VK5ZK

VK3ZPF

VK5TRM/P

VK2SK

VK5MJ/P

VK3DAC

VK5HS/P

VK3FAPH

VK3FCLK

VK3FMRC

VK5GJ/QRP

VK3VBC

VK5TT

VK3VEK

VK3TJK

VK2PKT

VK5MRE

VK5FTVR/P

VK3VEF/P5 Frank at Overland Corner

VK3SIM

VK2HHA/P5, Dennis at Overland Corner

VK3XV/P, Brisbane Ranges National Park, VKFF-0055

VK3ELH

VK5MBD/P5

VK5PL

VK3MCK

VK5FCDL

VK2IO/P2 VKFF-0528 P2P

VK4AAC/P3

VK7AN

VK3SQ

VK5ZGY/M

VK7FMPR, Mark, near Cradle Mountain

Thanks to all who gave me a call.

It was time to pack up and drive to our accommodation at Ballarat.

At 06:12, I had a contact from the motel parking lot with Paul, VK5PAS/P5 at Pooginook Conservation Park. Signals were 5 and 9 both ways. I have an 857D in the car and I mounted my Hustler vertical antenna for 40 metres on the base on the bull bar. The Hustler whips are great. They are centre-loaded and work really well: but they are tall!

 

Black Range State Park, VKFF-0751, 15th April 2016

On Tuesday 12th April we had a family day. In the morning we walked to MacKenzie Falls. I recommend this splendid walk if you are able to visit the Grampians. The Falls are not far from Halls Gap and there are various turn-around points if you don’t think the walk to the bottom is for you!

The path to the base of the Falls

This photo shows the track down to the base of the Falls.

MacKenzie Falls 1

This photo shows MacKenzie Falls from the base and the bridge to the other side of the stream composed of five large rocks.

Regulations 1

Three homo sapiens and a canis lupus

This photo shows three homo sapiens and a canis lupus sharing a bench.

Which living being cannot read? See the tail hanging below bench second from the left!

Thursday the 14th of April was the last day together with our Sydney family. They began the return journey on Friday morning. On Thursday we enjoyed some non-radio activities in and near the Grampians.

We travelled to Great Western to visit the Seppelt Winery where we had lunch and tasted a few wines. After lunch the family, including my xyl, left to do some more walking while I took the tour of the underground cellars. This facility is to close mid year. I had never visited it before and I am sure pleased I did. After the tour we (three visitors) were invited to try three sparking wines, two whites and a shiraz. They were excellent.

MJD underground

Various bottles

This photo shows the various bottle sizes used to package sparking wines. Most of them have names from the Old Testament (Jewish Scriptures).

My last activity on Thursday afternoon was to visit Mick, VK3PMG and VK3GGG. Mick is an active amateur who has risen through the ranks from F call, intermediate call and now full call, is a park activator and a very successful chaser/hunter. We arranged this meeting earlier and after an hour and a half it was time to go. It was great to see Mick’s shack and antennas and talk about our love of the hobby.

On Friday morning our Sydney family began the journey home. We decided to visit the Black Range State Park, VKFF-0751. Black Range State Park is located West of the Grampians National Park. We accessed the Park near the corner of Cherrypool and Black Range Roads. While the Park has recently suffered the ravages of a wild fire, where we entered the Park was untouched by fire. We found an excellent clearing and only had two visitors while we were there. We had a number of maps including the Black Range Self Drive Tour map which was quite helpful.

MJD at Black Range 2

I enjoyed this activation a great deal. While chasers were a bit slow to find me initially I was soon working a steady stream of amateurs. Here are the call-signs of the chasers.

I began the activation at 00:48 on 7.095 with:

VK7AX

VK3CM Thanks to Brenton for inviting me to take the frequency.

VK5PAS

VK3CAT/P3 This was a dual mode contact: VK3BYD/P transmitted CW and I replied in SSB. Warren was activating VK3/VC-020 in VKFF-0264.

VK5FANA

VK5MBD/M

VK3PF

VK5MLB

VK1DI

VK2XXM

VK4RF  s55 r52 & VK4HA

VK5FMID

VK5KLV

VK5JK

VK2YK/P2  in VKFF-0195

VK2IO/M

VK2MTC

VK5ALZ

VK3ARR/P7 on VK7/SC-001

VK2NP

VK3PRF/M

VK5PAS

VK2DLG

VK7LTD

VK5HSX/M

VK3VIN

VK5AW/M

VK3TKK/M

VK3GGG, Mick with his new call-sign

VK3MCK

VK3TJC/M

VK3PMG

VK5WG

VK3VBI

VK3SQ

VK3FAPH

VK5CM

VK3NXT

VK2CRF

VK5FD

VK5HS/M

VK5ATN

VK3FQSO

VK3MEG

VK3ANP

VK6MB 51s r35

I then moved to 14.310

VK6MB 59s 58r

VK6NU s55 r55

I spent about half an hour listening around on 20 metres. There were some strong stations around 14.150 to 14.250, but I would not be competitive with 10 watts and a dipole. I did not work work any further stations on 20 metres and moved back to 40 metres and had a further two contacts:

VK5KC/P s59 r59 David was portable at the Overland Corner ready for the Riverland Group’s meeting on Saturday and Sunday as was VK5IS (04:40z) , Ian was also s59 r59. I enjoyed a total of 51 contacts. My equipment on the day was an FT897, set for 10 watts and linked dipole.

Thanks to all the chasers who helped make this such an enjoyable activation.

 

 

Mount Zero, VK3/VW-020 & Grampians National Park, 13th April 2016

SOTA Summit, Mount Zero, VK3/VW-020, is within the Grampians National Park, VKFF-0213. I have activated the Grampians National Park a number of times. Here is a link to my last activation:

https://vk5bje.com/category/grampians-national-park/

I wanted to activate a second summit in the Grampians National Park. I have previously activated Mount William. Mount Zero is worth one point to the activator, and it is a much harder one point to earn, than the one point earned at Mount Arapiles! However, I did not think that the walk and time spent on Mount William would keep two active Grandchildren busy (as well as their parents). So the family, including my xyl, Jenny, all went rock climbing at Hollow Mountain. This suited me as Hollow Mountain car park to the Mount Zero car park is only a further two or three kilometres, but over a badly corrugated road.

Jayden Hollow Mountain 2

The photo shows our six year old (nearly seven) grandson near the top of the cliff. The organiser of the rock climbing experience said her youngest climber was aged four and her oldest in her/his eighties. All three women (three generations) in the party abseiled down the cliff. Congratulations to them. JCD photo

In preparing for this activation I read a number of blogs from other amateurs who have successfully activated the summit. They were all helpful. However, my only reservation about the advice given was that I did not adequately consider the age differences between them and me. I am a few years older than all of them! The walk is rated at medium. I would rate it as hard. The track is marked with yellow triangles and, towards the summit, additional markers. I had trouble on the return journey missing markers near the end of the track. I thought I would find my own way back to the car park though the bush and I was only one hundred metres out! So that was no great drama. I did not feel in the mood to retrace my steps by climbing back up the track to see the markers. The car park, or rather vehicles in the car park, are visible on the return walk so I knew I was close to the target.

Another message I received from the blogs, and also over the air with am amateur who has previously activated Mount Zero, is that the summit area is small and very exposed. As there were walkers, climbers and ‘boulderers’ on the mountain I chose to activate from a ledge just below the summit. I wondered what the persons were who were carrying something looking a bit like a single bed up the mountain?  I stopped and had a exposition from a young chap so equipped! The ‘mattress’ is a safety device for when you fall! He was a ‘boulderer’!

I was given until about 13:30 local time to complete the activation and return to Hollow Mountain car park. However, I was given a reprieve via a phone message from my xyl who indicated that the family’s climbing experience would take longer. That was bad timing as I was already on the way down!

Here is my log for the activation:

Mt Zero Log 1

I should point out that the contact at 01:26z with Warren, VK3BYD/P was dual mode, that is he used CW and I responded in SSB. How did Warren know to do this? Well I have had contacts from home in CW using my CW call, VK5PF. I did not have any CW gear on the summit – that will come!

Also the contacts at 01:33z with VK2UHI/P , Steve and his son, Thomas, VK2FTES/P were summit to summit and park to park as Steve and Thomas were activating Mount Kosciusko, VK2/SM-001 and VKFF-0269. Logs in the SOTA data base cannot be edited and the other choice is to delete the log and start again!

My SOTA gear

Once again I wish to thank all the chasers who helped make this activation so enjoyable.

Was all the effort worth one SOTA point! Absolutely yes! I recommend the walk.

 

 

Mount Arapiles, VK3/VW-022, VKFF-0765, 11th April 2016

After leaving Butcher Gap Conservation Park and Kingston SE we drove to Naracoorte where we stayed overnight. The next day, Monday, we were to drive to the Grampians National Park to stay in the small resort town of Halls Creek for a few days. There we would meet our son and his family from Sydney. We had plenty of time for the journey so we had planned to re-visit Mount Arapiles, Sota peak, VK3/VW-022, worth one point to the SOTA activator. However, while I had qualified the peak on a previous visit, I could now activate the peak again in a new year for an additional SOTA point.

Here is the link to that activation:

https://vk5bje.com/category/mount-arapilies/

Also since the last activation, Mt Arapiles-Tooan State Park has now been added to the available parks for the purposes of the WWFF program as VKFF-0765. So there are now two reasons to visit this magnificent location.

While driving to the summit, accessible to two-wheeled vehicles, I noticed that the sky was threatening rain. Perhaps this was the remnant rain which passed over the Coorong National Park as we drove from Adelaide. At Mount Arapiles the wind was blowing but not quite at gale force. On my previous activation I did not set up at the summit – there were simply too many rock climbers and visitors around.  This time I decided to seek a more sheltered spot.

We spent just over an hour at Mt Arapiles and I qualified the summit with 20 contacts and made a reasonable start towards WWFF qualification.

Here is my SOTA log for the activation.

Mt Arapiles Log

view from Mount Arapiles

JCD photo

This photo shows a view looking towards the summit of Mount Arapiles showing the grain cropping land of the Wimmera in the background. The views from Mount Arapilies are spectacular. The Northern end of the Grampians is just visible in the photo. The distance between Mount Arapiles and the Grampians is stated on a plaque at Reeds Lookout in the Grampians as 45 kilometres.

Once again thank you to all of the chasers. It was great fun.

Butcher Gap Conservation Park, 5CP-027, VKFF-0793, 10th April 2016

South Australia has two towns with the name of Kingston. There is Kingston on Murray and Kingston SE. Both are named after a late Victorian politician who became a Founding Father of Federation. Sir Charles Kingston was that man, a prominent South Australian politician of liberal persuasion with a commitment to protectionism.

Why is this relevant to this activation? Well the Butcher Gap Conservation Park is located in Kingston SE, a small, but very attractive town on the South East Coast of South Australia. Kingston SE is about two thirds of the way between Adelaide and Mount Gambier. It relies on the fishing industry and tourism. One land mark, in need of repair, is the large red cray fish on the outskirts on the town. It is surrounded by a safety fence and appears in a sorry state. The lobster dates from the days when small country towns had to have a large structure to differentiate them and highlight local attractions: so we have the big orange, big banana and big ram. I am sure there many are more!

Shack at Butcher Gap Conservation Park

The photo shows me tucked away out of the wind in the typically coastal landscape preserved in this park.

Butcher Gap Conservation Park

Map: Courtesy of Mapcarta

Here is a photo/map showing Butcher Gap conservation Park. I accessed the Park north of the lake and behind the houses. I carried my gear into the Park for about 100 metres to avoid the wind. The photo of my operating position shows that I had to guy the squid pole against the wind from the sea.

I have previously activated this Park for the South Australian National Parks and Conservation Parks award. Here is a link to that activation:

https://vk5bje.com/category/butcher-gap-conservation-park/

But this activation was for the VKFF program. It was my intention to activate the Coorong National Park on the way to Naracoorte but when we arrived at the park it was raining. Heavy showers were passing through the area. When we arrived at Kingston SE, the sun was shining, just a light breeze was blowing and it was quite warm: shirt weather and no jacket!

Contacts

I was on the air at 04:55 and completed my activation at 06:46, just under two hours. I was able to gain 47 contacts and thus succeed in activating this Park for the WWFF program.

I decided to check around the band and to try and have contacts with the current activators before settling down on one frequency. My first contact was with Rob, VK4AAC/P3 (7.144) who was activating Wodonga Regional Park, VKFF-0980. Signals were 5 and 9 both ways.

Then on 7.130 I found VK5FMAZ, Marija, who was activating Kenneth Stirling Conservation  Park with her husband Paul, (VK5PAS). I was delighted to have this contact with Marija and signals were 5 and 9 both ways. I listened a bit more and checked from about 7.085 up to 7.150 and I believed I had worked all the portable stations on the air at that time. I then checked 7.120 and set up on this frequency as it was clear at that time.

I called on 7.120 and worked the following stations: VK5PMG, Mick; VK5FANA, Adrian; VK5KC, David; VK4RF and VK4HA, Rick s5 6 and r5  3; VK3BBB, Brian; VK3DAC, Fred; VK5ANL/P3, Nick on VK3/VC-019, Mount Warrenheip; VK3UCD, David; VK2KF, Tom; VK3AWG, Chris; VK7NWT, Scott; VK3ZMD, Mike; VK5FAKV, Shawn; VK6MB, Mike, s5 3 r3 5; VK7LTD, Tony; VK5LSB, David; VK3NCR, Craig; VK3TKK, Peter at the Organ Pipes National Park, VKFF-0627; VK5JK, Jeff; VK5AV, Tim; VK3LIP, Edward; VK5KBJ, Barry; VK5WG, Nev; VK1DI, Ian; VK2NP, Cliff and VK5FMLO, Michael. Due to changing conditions it became apparent that interstate stations (VK4) were not hearing me  and the QRM became too distracting! I decided to QSY to another frequency and found 7.144 to be vacant. I then had contacts with Glenn, VK2FGOE/QRP at Bathurst; VK3YSP, Joe; VK5ZEA, Michael at Port Lincoln;  VK3FAPH, Aaron; VK2YW, John; VK5SFA, Steve; VK3FOWL, Julie; VK5ZGG, Ian; VK4FW, Bill at Toowoomba 5 and 8 both ways; VK3MC, Murray; VK3DBP, Paul; VK3PAT, Chris; VK2HOC/M, Paul, VK2LEE, Lee, VK3FTAD, Fred and finally, at 06:46, VK3MCK, Don. It was time to pack up and head for Naracoorte where we had arranged accommodation overnight before travelling to the Grampians National Park in Victoria.

I was very pleased with the activation, signals generally were excellent. I used my Yaesu 897 set for 10 watts, a linked dipole for 20 and 40 metres and, to cap it off, I had contacts with some amateurs who were new to me. Thanks to all who gave me a call.

 

Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park, 3rd April 2016, VKFF-0781, 5CP-104

An Activation to commemorate the third anniversary of the South Australian National and Conservation Parks award program for radio amateurs.

Kenneth Stirling CP Wotton Scrub

I chose to activate the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park in the Wottons Scrub section. The Park is in four sections: Filsell Hill, Wottons Scrub, White Scrub and Burdett Scrub. Filsell Hill is the largest of the four sections and some time ago I set to activate this section. The Park is only accessible though private property and as I had made no arrangements I abandoned my plans. However, Wottons Scrub is easy to find and is well sign-posted. My wife and I checked out access about a week ago and have resolved to return to Wottons Scrub for a walk. Much of the land for this Park has been acquired for the people of  South Australia and the nation by the generosity of benefactors. The park is named in memory of Kenneth Stirling, one such benefactor and so was Wottons Scrub (a Mr Wotton).

I chose to set up in the park on the track which leaves the gate where I parked. I took my gear about 100 metres into the park within a small cleared area and set up my station there. I was probably invisible to motorists driving the road, but I could see back to the car park from my spot and I made sure I did not impede bushwalkers. However, there were no walkers: I had the Park to myself.

The Shack

 

FT897, log and LiFePO4 battery

The photo shows the Yaesu 897, my LiFePo4 battery (8.4 amp hours), clock in UTC, and my log (with writing showing the end result of being a note taker for too long!).

My station & ten metre squid pole mounted on tripod

This photo shows another view of my station. The ten metre squid pole is mounted on my tripod and the ends of the linked dipole are in trees at about two metres from the ground. It is a splendid location.

Looking down the track

This photo shows the view looking down the track away from the gate.

Looking towards Gate from track

This photo is taken from the track looking back to the Gate. My operating position was on the right hand side of the track heading away from the gate.

My contacts

I was on the air at 23:45 UTC (2nd April 2016) and my first contact was with Peter, VK3PF/P in VKFF-0113, Coopracambra National Park, in East Gippsland. Signals were 5 and 7 both ways. A Park to Park contact over such a distance with two low power stations was a good omen. Thanks Peter for the excursion to East Gippsland.

23:17 VK4AAC/P3 Rob was in VKFF-0961 Cobram Regional Park. Signals were 5 and 9 both ways. A second Park to Park contact sequentially – this is really great. Thanks Rob, we appreciate your mammoth excursion. Then in succession I had contacts with: VK2BJP, VK3ZPF, VK3MCD, VK3FADM, VK4FW, VK2IO/p at 23:32. Gerard was in Belford National Park, VKFF-0023, 5 and 2 both ways. I had already worked Gerard in this park from home but it was great to have a Park to Park contact. Then followed VK3AFW, VK2XXM, VK3MRH and then VK6MB. I gave Mike 5 and 6 but he had noise and he gave me 3 and 2 However, it was great to have the contact on 40 metres. VK4RF and VK4HA were both 5 and 8 and I received 5 and 5. It was good to get Rick at such a good level.  Then followed VK1MA, VK3DPG, VK3VWS/P, VK2NP and on the 3rd of April just after UTC rollover, Peter, VK3TKK and  Tony, VK3AN, about to do a Foundation assessment for an aspiring amateur, Barry, with whom I had a discussion and wished him well and then VK7MBP near New Norfolk in Tasmania s5 and 8 and 4 and 5 received.  At 02:22 Mick, VK3PMG, 5 and 7 and 5 and 5. There were no South Australians in the log at this stage. Perhaps they were all worn out and were sleeping in? I knew they were out and about and had received reports from other stations commenting on the number of VK5s in the field. There was no short skip. I saw the contact with Mick, VK3PMG as a sign conditions were beginning to change. The came VK3MCK, VK3ZMD, VK3FQSO, VK3AWG, VK3FAHP/P and VK3AN a second time.

At 00:40 I had a slightly longer contact with Tony, VK5ZAI/P3 who was camped at Laanecoorie Weir, about 30 kilometres from Bendigo, Signals were 5 and 8 and 5 and 9 received.  At 00:50, VK3DBP, VK1AT/P3 at Raymond Island in Gippsland, VK5PAS/P, Paul, a Park to Park contact who was operating from VKFF-0940, Waitpinga Conservation Park. While we made a successful contact it was hard work for Paul, 5 and 7 and 5 and 1 received.

At 01:18  I had contacts with VK5GJ/P, Greg and VK5GI/P, Norm, who were operating from VKFF-0999, Bandon Conservation Park. At last a sure sign that propagation was beginning to open up locally. I then worked John, VK2YW, 5 and 9 both ways, VK3VTH/P5, Tony at VKFF-0792, Big Heath Conservation Park in the South East of South Australia and VK5ZGY/P, Greg in Billiatt Conservation Park, VKFF-0821. Then followed VK3EJS and VK5PL, David in the Marne Valley Conservation Park, VKFF-0906. Adrian, VK5FANA was in VKFF-0876,  Carribie Conservation Park. I then worked Peter, VK3PF/P at Mount Raymond, in Mount Raymond Regional Park, VKFF-0975.

Then followed VK3AIG, VK5HSX/P, Stef in Beachport Conservation Park, VKFF-0791, VK5TN, VK3SIM, VK5AAH, David in the Fort Glanville Conservation Park, VKFF-1031, VK5PAS/P, Paul in Waitpinga Conservation Park, VKFF-0940, VK7CW, Steve in Tasmania, VK3MEG, VK5AV and finally, VK1AD, Andrew. This was a rare contact for Andrew and I. He is either QRP and propagation is not working in our favour or noise is an issue at his end.

In summary, I enjoyed 51 contacts and thus qualified the Park, with contacts from VKs 1 through to 7. The highlight for me was working 14 other Park operators, or Park to Park contacts. Thanks to all of the operators: at home or in the field who helped make this morning activation so successful.