On Monday evening I checked the weather forecast and the Bureau of Meteorology suggested a fine and sunny day for Adelaide.I decided that I would activate Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park at the Wottons Scrub Block. This park has four sections and a fuller description can be found at my earlier post on this park dating from April 2016.
On that occasion I made 51 contacts thus activating the park for the WWFF award. Here is a link to that activation – https://vk5bje.com/category/amateur-radio/sa-conservation-parks/kenneth-stirling-conservation-park/
I set up my station in the same location. But just about everything had changed – previously I used a second hand Yaesu 897D and a Sota beams linked dipole antenna. I no longer own the 897D – it was a good radio but a bit too big and I mainly used 10, sometimes 20 watts, so I purchased a Yaesu 857D, the same radio apparently in a smaller package. I had it with me yesterday but did not use it. My set up is now an IC705 and the matching AH5 tuner, a 12 amp hour LiFePO4 battery and two home made antennas. One is a linked dipole for 40 and 20 metres and the other is a linked dipole for 15, 17 and 10 metres.
I set up for 15 metres and did not get a contact. I did not try 17 but moved to 40 metres after changing the antenna. Propagation was strange. Signals came and went in seconds I could get a word, for example, a callsign and not hear the rest of the transmission. This happened with VK2IO on 20 metres. There was also echo on some signals. I was told by others who were activating parks on the east coast that they had similar experiences. At least it wasn’t a total black-out. I was told what we experienced was the end of solar storms and ejections and that conditions will probably stabilise in a day or two! A check of some of the sun weather internet sites confirmed what I was told and what I had suspected, that the earth was in a direct path from a storm on the sun; a second wave, on Monday.
I enjoyed the following contacts on 40 metres before transferring to 20 metres.
01:44 Z VK3BEZ/P in VKFF-0753 Brian
VK5IS, 59 56 There was an interesting echo on Ian’s voice.
VK3BWS/P in VKFF-0747 Barry
20 metres 02:37 Z
ZL1BQD 51 52 Roly
VK3BWS/P in VKFF-0747 Barry
VK4EMP Mark Brisbane
ZL1TM 52 57Andrei
Thank you to the successful callers and to those who tried to make a two way contact.
Sorry I was unable to hear you on 40m or 20m. Not a peep down here at Ashbourne.
Really pleased that you are back out and about in the field activating parks.
Kenneth Stirling is a beautiful park with a fascinating history.
thanks for the comment. I enjoyed the activation and the weather was great. I will go back as soon as I can and make three activations – but I might make this a potential boomerang park! I had the place to myself. I looked up the walk from the SA walking web pages and the walk is rated as a challenge. there are a number of very steep sections and a few navigation challenges. Too much for me!
73 John D