On the 14th December 2016 we left home on our driving holiday to Sydney to see our son and his family for Christmas. This is the seventh such road trip and before that he lived in Perth. We made at least three visits to Western Australia to see him and they were all camping trips with added expeditions, always involving radio and often staying in and activating National Parks before the WWFF program was conceived. Many, but not all, contacts were pre-arranged.
Our first overnight was at Naracoorte and early the next day set out for Ballarat where we were visiting old friends from our University days in the 1960s. On the way we visited Mount Arapiles-Tooan State Park to activate the summit. I was not eligible for the one point on offer as I had activated Mount Arapiles in March. Here is a link to that activation, my second:https://vk5bje.com/2016/04/21/mount-arapiles-vk3vw-022-vkff-0765-11th-april-2016/
However, I was keen to secure sufficient contacts to qualify the Park for the WWFF program aiming for at least 44 contacts. I made 24 contacts with VK 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 stations and, with those already in the bank, now have the 44 needed. Here is my log for the activation:
Date:15/Dec/2016 Summit:VK3/VW-022 (Mt Arapiles) Call Used:VK5BJE/3 Points: 0 Bonus: 0 Delete
Time Call Band Mode Notes
00:06z VK5FANA 7MHz SSB
00:10z VK2UH 7MHz SSB
00:13z VK3PF 7MHz SSB
00:14z VK2KYO 7MHz SSB
00:15z VK3RW 7MHz SSB Ray Benalla
00:17z VK2HHA 7MHz SSB
00:19z VK2IO 7MHz SSB
00:22z VK7LTD 7MHz SSB
00:23z VK1DI 7MHz SSB
00:26z VK7FAMP 7MHz SSB XYL VK7LTD
00:29z VK5GJ 7MHz SSB
00:37z VK5PL 7MHz SSB
00:39z VK5PAS 7MHz SSB
00:42z VK5ZK 7MHz SSB
00:44z VK2EXA/3 7MHz SSB
00:55z VK3KAI 7MHz SSB
01:01z VK3GP/M 7MHz SSB
01:12z VK5GP 7MHz SSB Glynn Murray Bridge
01:14z VK5NRG 7MHz SSB
01:18z VK5GI 7MHz SSB
01:18z VK5ZPG 7MHz SSB
01:18z VK3GV 7MHz SSB
01:18z VK5ZPG 7MHz SSB
01:19z VK3SQ 7MHz SSB
01:20z VK5FANA 7MHz SSB
01:25z VK2UH 7MHz SSB
01:26z VK1DA/2 7MHz SSB
I did set up my antenna for 80 metres, but the only way I could do this was with each leg at 90 degrees to the other. I could not get the VSWR down low enough to use it. One of the challenges of setting up a portable antenna (a dipole) for 80 metres is the space required and on Mount Arapiles this was a challenge. I have subsequently used the antenna in a more traditional layout and it works really well. See my forthcoming post from Greater Bendigo National Park.
I would like to thank all of those operators who, during the busy Christmas period, took time out to give me a call. I hope Santa brought you all a new radio!
Interesting the problems you had with the 80m linked dipole. There is certainly not a huge amount of room on Mt Arapiles unless you’re prepared to scramble over all the rocks. Anyway, it was great to get you in the log, with a very nice signal from western Victoria,
Santa did not bring me any AR toys, but he was kind to me none the less.
I am generally pretty happy with the multi-band linked dipole and I agree with you about the crocodile clips for band-switching. They are fiddly and the plastic clips make them hard to grip when re-clipping or un-clipping. I used my dual band home brew dipole a couple times on the trip (it has Anderson power pole connectors) and it is really good and very easy to change bands.
I am glad to finish at Mount Arapiles: it is too hard to scramble over rocks!
Thanks for the comments.
Despite the rock climbing, Mount Arapiles is a great place. Its an easy summit to access, just that short walk up the stairs. A lot of my relatives live in Horsham and I have great memories of going out to Mt Arapiles, ‘exploring’ as a child. My Nana spent her last years at the nursing home at Natimuk just below the summit.