One of my regular activities is walking and on Sunday last, I walked my usual trail in Mylor Conservation Park. I listen to the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) broadcast on the VK5RDF, two metre C4FM repeater. The signal is good for the whole walk, although it weakens towards the northerly end of the park because of a rise on the westerly side. I always call in on the callback and announce that I am pedestrian mobile. Now I know that this is not HF, no WWFF, but it is still fun. I have taken this walk for a number of years and never mentioned that this is how I usually listen to the broadcast. Of course the regular listeners know! I use a Yaesu FT-70D set for 0.5 watts, that is, half a watt. I have no trouble accessing the two metre and 70 centimetre repeaters (VK5RDF) with such such low power.
You can see from the walk profile that the total ascent is just 42 metres and most of that is from the entry to the park to the north-south track – the hard part of the walk (about 500 metres) is over at the beginning!
And the listening is great, the WIA national news, VK5 club news and then the call back. We have a group from Detroit, Michigan, which is expanding in numbers and who call in, a Californian and one or two from the East plus some interstate amateurs. VK5RDF is linked to all of the C4FM repeaters in the state and the 10G backbone as well as being accessible through Wires x.
Thursday was a magic Winter’s Day. While the temperature was in the low teens the sun shone in a cloudless sky and there was no wind. I thought I would make it a radio day and try out my new Icom 705 in the field. My last activation was on the 18th April and I sustained an injury which kept me at home following hospital treatment.
I went to my usual activation spot about 100 metres into the Park on Whitehead Track. I tried out the radio as a QRP rig, running five watts, using the supplied battery and later supported by a Lithium Iron battery (LiFePO4) I ran 10 watts. I used a home made dipole and the Icom AH5 coupler. What I am attempting to do is make my footprint and load smaller, without going overboard! I have even tried out my Palm Iambic paddle matched to the keyer in the radio. It works well. I have had it for some years but did not use it, preferring a hand key. But I have made this move to reduce weight as I want to walk to more activation spots.
Secondly, I am chasing the first level WWFF Boomerang Award, that is, five activations on separate days with at least 10 contacts at each activation. I will check this out over the next few weeks.
Here is a link to my last activation at Mylor Conservation Park.
All the contracts listed above were completed using the internal battery on the IC 705, that is, five watts. I then changed to an external battery and worked the following stations:
0226 VK3BEL/P Ross Park to Park VKFF-2021
Thanks to all who gave me a call and to Paul, VK5PAS, who spotted me on ParksnPeaks. Unfortunately, my Night Hawk modem has died!
Today the weather was not as good and I was going to add a few more contacts using a vertical antenna – but I changed my mind and walked the Park instead.
I entered the Park at the Whitehead Road entrance and walked up the hill on Whitehead track to the junction and turned left and walked to the end of the park at Hooper Road. I then re-traced my steps to the southern end of the Park near the entrance to the Thai Forest Monastery. The walk is about three and a half kilometres and took me about 47 minutes, including time out to speak with another walker.
I have described this park in previous posts and I have enjoyed my many visits. However, I will now shift most of my walking to Mark Oliphant and Scott Creek Conservation Parks where the walks are more challenging. Mylor Conservation Park is one of a number of parks make up the Greater Mount Lofty Parks.
I am interested in the Park tracks, which includes a section of the iconic Heysen Trail. Are these tracks built on earlier walking paths established by the local First Nations People? I cannot answer this definitely. It is unlikely as the Park contains re-growth forest and there is a sign near the main gate which suggests the Park was once a farm.
Here is some photographic evidence I have collected on my camera as I have gone about my walks.
I have found about five of these stumps and they are all located on the Eastern side of the Whitehead track and all are on the shoulder of the road. These were big trees and my guess is that they were removed when the road was made. Much of the forest re-growth is made up of trees with smaller diameters.
Once again I thank all of the radio amateurs who gave me a call and got me over the Boomerang Award threshold.