I was pleased to participate in the in the 2021 VKFF Activation Weekend. I notified Paul, VK5PAS, over two weeks ago and expressed the usual caveat relating to the weather. I would not visit the parks if the weather was inclement. We have had a wet and cold Spring. And two weeks out was too early for the Weather Bureau to provide a provisional forecast. On the Saturday the weather was great. I indicated that I would activate The Knoll Conservation Park, VKFF-0937. The last time I activated this park was on the 1st March 2013, eight years ago. In those days there were fewer amateurs interested in low power portable operations and I made seven contacts. Here is a link to that activation: https://vk5bje.com/2013/08/21/closer-to-home-some-adelaide-parks/
I have driven past The Knoll Conservation Park many times. I remembered where I set up my station and the main features of the park. But what I had forgotten was the ‘QRM’, audio, noise from cars speeding past the park. There was no or very little electrical noise – just the noise of cars, trucks and motorbikes passing by. It is an old park, established in 1967 and about 520 metres above sea level. the highest point is home to commercial/ public service radio installations. It is just two hectares in size and I have had the place to myself on the two radio visits I have made.
A search of the internet turns up many entries including one by VK5PAS. Birds SA has a site indicating the various bird species found in the park.
Map Courtesy of Mapcarta
I use a paper log book and transcribe my contacts into FLE (Fast Log Entry) by DF3CB. I used the WWFF formatting settings as all my contacts (five) were with stations in other parks, If you work a SOTA (Summits on the air) station as well as Parks stations change the settings accordingly. All my contacts were on the 40m band: none on 80m or 20m. I spent some time trying to find the fault in the antenna and will say more about that matter when I write a post on Mylor Conservation Park which I activated on Sunday 28th November. I have qualified this park for VKFF. I am very unlikely to return to The Knoll Conservation Park. I am just a few days off an unwanted award, well I really don’t mind getting it and ‘time marches on’. The award is the OBE: over b…..80! So I was pleased with my efforts. Thanks to all who gave me a call and I was delighted to have contacts with them all!
For the activation my station consisted of a Yaesu 857D transceiver set for ten watts and a five band linked dipole. I later substituted a home brewed dipole for 40m and 20m.
Finally, I had a visitor. John, VK5HAA who was activating VKFF-2891, he told me he was packing up and would call in at The Knoll Conservation Park to catch up. He said it would probably be an hour before he arrived. I was pulling down my station when he walked up the fire trail. We had a great eye ball contact and he brought me up to date with the changes he has made to his station. It was really good to see him.