Some fun on HF, 23rd December 2020

I was enjoying a bit of time on 15 metres using FT8 when I worked this special station from Belgium – OT6SAFE, encouraging amateurs to stay at home because of Covid 19. While the contact has not been confirmed on Log Book of the World I did receive a confirmation in the form of the certificate shown above.

The contact was made on 23rd December 2020 at 009:51 UTC.on the fourth line from the top of the LOTW excerpt.

I have been using Log Book of the World for many years and have uploaded about 7,000 contacts. Confirmations dribble in, often many years after the contacts were made.

Here is my current LOTW status for the DXCC: I need two more confirmations. I am waiting LOTW confirmations for Kalingrad and Sardinia. I have worked Luxembourg, Pakistan and Crete and none of these stations confirm on LOTW. I have about 130 countries/entities confirmed, the balance with QSL cards. Eventually I might sort them all out and apply for a WIA award – But I enjoy working them more!

My digital station is an IC7300 dedicated for digital. I run 30 watts to a three element beam (20, 15 and 10 metres) and an OCF (off-centre fed dipole) for 80, 40 and 18 metres and a half-wave end fed for 30 metres.

Mount Billy Conservation Park, VKFF- 0912 and 5CP-143, 26th December 2020

My wife, Jenny, and I, have for the past ten years driven to Sydney to see our son and his family for Christmas. Our usual practice was to make a leisurely trip to reach our destination, staying over night at about three locations and activating some parks for the WWFF program. This year is different. We stayed in our own backyard. Victor Harbor was our base for three days over Christmas. And for the first time since July I was able to activate a park – Mount Billy Conservation Park. We decided we would not visit Sydney because of Covid 19 and the possibility of not getting back to South Australia or being ‘detained’ in Victoria.

So on Boxing Day we set out to activate Mount Billy Conservation Park. Mount Billy CP is just a short drive from Victor Highway taking the Adelaide Road and then a left hand turn off the highway to the Park The walking trail around the park is just 4.7 kilometres and has some steep sections and is graded moderate.

Map courtesy of Mapcarta

My location: just inside a gate. I left enough room for a park vehicle to access the park if necessary. JCD photo.

My activation commenced on Christmas day, a few minutes before UTC roll over and counts for the VKFF program as well as the SA Parks award as I was really portable. My station comprised a Yaesu 857D running at 10 watts to a linked dipole powered by a small lead acid battery. I used both the 40 and 20 metre bands and conditions were just average. The skip distance was so short on 40 metres that contacts were easily made into Adelaide and near environs. Gerard, VK2IO/P reported that he could not hear me on 40 metres near Sydney. We had a successful contact on the 20 metre band.

Mount Billy CP showing fire trail and walking track. JCD photo


7.150 ssb

23:42 VK5MRD





00:01 26th December 2020



VK3PF/P VK3/VE-098














14.310 ssb



VK3PF/P VK3/VE-097

Thanks to all the operators who gave me a call – they are always appreciated.