WWFF Hunter 264

Here is my latest certificate for hunting references – slowly!

H 264 2016 VK5BJE 286 v1

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WIA Norfolk Island Award 2016

It was my intention to attend the Wireless Institute of Australia Annual General Meeting held on Norfolk Island over the weekend of 27th, 28th and 29th May. I indicated this while in Canberra attending the 2015 AGM. A change in health status made attending risky. So I could not join the considerable contingent from VK5 (over thirty persons). However, I shared in the event as best I could, vicariously, by chasing stations for the Norfolk Island Award and multiple contacts with VK5 stations on Norfolk Island and through enjoying posts on Facebook. I have reproduced my application log below.

Norfolk Island award blogNI award blog

As you can see there are a few issues noticeable to seasoned observers. My claimed contacts are highlighted. First, there is only one contact shown for 40 metres with VK9PAS/9. While I heard VK6FMON, Monique, and VK5FMAZ, Marija, operating QRP stations from Mount Bates, on 40 metres, conditions were just not able to support two-way contacts. Secondly, I was only able to secure one CW contact, with Ron, VK3AFW/P9 on the 20 metre band. I used my VK5PF call, reserved for CW. And finally, there are no contacts with the Australian DX station, VK9NT. This wasn’t for want on trying. I restricted myself to just two modes: ssb and CW and listened quite a bit for them. One evening I listened to the station on 80 metres: signals into the Adelaide Hills were excellent, over S9 and the band was quiet. I thought I had a chance, but I just couldn’t make it with 100 watts! And then they closed down the station!

Thanks to the WIA awards team. It was fun chasing these stations and the Award certainly created some interest on the mainland.

 

 

Bullock Hill Conservation Park, VKFF-0873 & 5CP-265, 7th August 2016

Bullock Hill CP my op pos7082016

Today, on a beautiful late Winter’s day, I was able to indulge in two of my passions: music and radio. Each year the Payneham City Concert Band plays a bracket of numbers at the Strathalbyn Band Festival: sufficient to fill a half hour time slot.  I have participated a number of times now and, in 2013, I also played radio after the event.

Payneham Band V2

The Festival is a great event, not a competition, but a chance to play to entertain the audience. The Festival extends over two Sundays and we were the first band for the first Sunday and completed our section by noon. Strathalbyn is 55.7 kilometres from Adelaide and is a pleasant drive through the Hills from my place. The town is on the plains below the Hills and overlooks the Coorong Lakes and the Southern Ocean. After our contribution I visited the coffee shop and ordered a sandwich for my lunch and set out to cover the 13 kilometres to the Bullock Hill Conservation Park, which is just off the Strathalbyn to Ashbourne Road. Bullock Hill Conservation Park is a fairly new Park and was gazetted on 30th January 2014. It has been activated a number of times previously but this was my first activation.

The photo above shows the Park notice board being pressed into service to support my ten metre squid pole. The land was too uneven to use the tripod. And the rear of the notice board provided a back stop for my table and gear.  I used my newly purchased, and second, Yaesu 857D, for the activation. I purchased my first from Wyong over a decade ago and it gives great service in our 4 x 4. These radios are old technology but they are great for portable use, tolerant of low battery voltage (11.73 volts), rugged, small and easy to use.

Bullock Hill CP 857D behind park notice

I spent a few sessions at home setting up the radio for my usage patterns, particularly the audio response to suit my voice, added some six and two metre beacons, a few for 70 centimetres, a handful of repeaters, WWVH for accurate time keeping and for an indication of propagation on the 20 metre band and 891 ABC Adelaide, for fire warnings in the Summer. I also installed the 500 Hz filter for CW. I had the power set for 10 watts.

I made my first contact at 03:25, with Ron, VK3AFW/P who was operating from Mount Strickland, VK3/VN-030 and my last was with Gordon, VK3EJ, at 06:20 making 46 contacts. It took over three hours to secure these contacts: perhaps everyone was ‘radioed out’ by Sunday afternoon? I tried 20 metres at 06:05 but I could not post myself which is always a handicap. Nevertheless it was a successful activation and,  as always, thanks to all who gave me a call.

The following stations were contacted on 40 metres:

VK3AFW/P SOTA VK3/VN-030

VK3KIM/P SOTA VK3/VN-030

VK5AFZ/P Coorong National Park

VK7EK

VK2TH

VK3PF/P SOTA VK3/VT-078 and Bunyip State Park

VK7CW

VK4AAC/P3 Croajingolong National Park

VK3FIRM

VK3SQ

VK4CFS

VK3UH

VK3TJC

VK3SFG

VK3FSTA

VK4RF

VK4HA

VK5PAS/M

VK3BWZ

VK2EXA

VK2KYO

VK3TJS

VK3BBB

VK3ELH

VK3BNJ

VK2HJW/QRP

VK5PAS/M

VK3BNJ

VK3CMR

VK3AJA

VK3FOTO/M

VK3IO

VK3KCD

VK2FJPR

VK5PAS/P Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve VKFF-1701

VK3CAT

VK4HNS

VK3XZ

VK2IO/P SOTA VK2/ST-009 & VKFF-1375

VK4FAAS

VK3MCX

VK2FAAA/M

VK3KRH

VK3FSPG

Tried 20m without success

VK4SOE/P (7113 xtal locked transmitter)

VK3EJ

Total 46 stations with two duplicates. A glance at the stations contacted shows that propagation to Queensland was quite good, but not for the Western area of Victoria or in South Australia.