Excellent weather greeted me on day two of the special WWFF Activation Weekend. My chosen park was the Mylor Conservation Park near home. This is also quite a small attractive park which I have been walking in (along with the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park) while Scott Creek Conservation Park remains closed due to the fire about 12 months ago. I was hoping the Scott Creek Conservation Park might have been opened in time for this weekend. It was not to be. I have activated Mylor Conservation Park on three previous occasions and I will return for a fifth to make up for the lack of contacts over the weekend due to antenna faults.
I arrived at the Park about 8.30 on Sunday morning and carried my gear into the park: about four trips. I have got to reduce the amount of clutter I carry. Take antennas for example. I carry about five antennas for all bands but only one of my antennas is designed for 80 metres. I have resolved to build another antenna which will cover 80 metres. There are lots of antenna designs for 80 metres but by the time you filter out verticals, loops and doublets you are left with just dipoles. I use a centre fed resonant linked dipole for 80 metres. Mine is from SotaBeams. I laid it out on the ground, an old sealed road, Whitehead Track, and armed with my MFJ analyser and my eyes I set out to find the fault in what has been an excellent antenna. Now I am gentle with my gear and look after it carefully but the antenna is long and it is easy to snag on a bush or a stick on the ground while laying it out or packing it up. The antenna works 80, 40, 30, 20 and 15 metres and a check with my analyser confirmed it was not working on any of the bands. With a linked dipole set for 80 metres all of the links need to be closed. I checked mine and found that to be correct. At the Knoll on Saturday I confirmed my radio was working by changing to a home brew antenna for 40 and 20 metres. So I started at one end and began a check by examining every soldered joint. I eventually found the fault: the wire had broken at the point where is attaches to the crocodile clip at the 15m metre links just on one side. It was hanging together by the insulation on the wire!
So I packed the antenna away and substituted another and proceeded to work 17 stations on 40 metres. I missed the 80m band. I enjoy this band for close-in contacts in South Australia and Victoria. I only worked one VK5 station at home (John VK5HAA).
I have visited Mylor Conservation Park on three occasions and here is a link to my last visit:
This Park has been described in detail with photos in my previous posts.
2234 7.150 VK7DW/P 53 41 VKFF-1818 Drew
2236 7.155 VK3PF/P 57 57 VKFF-2329 Peter
2240 7.160 VK3VIN 59 57 Ian, Bendigo
2250 7.160 VK4AAC/3 59 53 VKFF-2189 Rob also spotted me on 7.160 Thanks Rob
2253 7.160 VK2VH/3 59 54 VKFF-2189
2253 7.160 VK3SQ 59 55 Geoff Beechworth
2255 7.160 VK3YE/P 53 54 Peter portable at Seaford Beach
2257 7.160 VK2VW 57 55 Brett
2258 7.160 VK2HFI 57 55
2252 7.160 VK5HAA 59 39 John at home in noisy environment
2301 7.160 VK3IH 59 54 Paul at Walkerville
2318 7.113 VK5MAZ/P 51 52 Marija VKFF-1078
2319 7.113 VK5PAS/P 51 52 Paul VKFF-1078
2321 7.120 VK3PF/P 59 59 Peter VKFF-2431
2326 7.160 VK3AWA/P 59 57 Darryl VKFF-2141
2328 7.160 VK3TV 59 57 Mal 2141
2352 7.140 VK2IO/P 51 44 Gerard VKFF-0473
I enjoyed the morning in the park and spent some time speaking with visitors about amateur radio. And a special thank you to all who gave me a contact.
Really pleased you were able to head out and take part in the 2021 VKFF Activation Weekend and it was great to get a Park to Park contact with you.
I hope Scott Opens soon. Great sleuthing on the SOTA. I worry about mine with corroded crocodile clips…
Scott Creek C P has been closed for a year. However, the new fencing is underway at the moment and both the Friends Group and contractors are busy with the weeds. I have also worked out why the top insulator breaks with a squid pole collapse with SOTA beams linked dipoles. The hole in the insulator slides down the squid pole and the weight of the antenna causes it to grip very tightly – so tightly that it snaps in two with the shock of hitting the ground as well as the squid pole section number two. I am going to look at other methods of attaching the antenna to the top of the pole. Paul has a good system. Thanks for the comment.
I enjoyed the activation and am sure pleased I took part. I am looking forward to a few more activations in 2022 including a return visit to Mylor CP. Thanks for the comment Paul.
John D, VK5BJE/VK5PF