National Wattle Day, 1st September 2022

Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, VKFF-0782

I decided I would return to Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, VKFF-0782, to celebrate National Wattle Day. I last activated this Park on 15th January 2016.

Here is a link to that activation – https://vk5bje.com/2016/01/17/mark-oliphant-conservation-park-vkff-0782-15th-january-2016/.

As well I activated this park on 2nd August 2020 for National Tree Day.

Since my last activation the authorities have developed a new car park, provided a picnic area with a table and seating, modernised the signage, planted new trees and marked out some new trails.

Fungi – photo taken in June 2021

As well the plaque noting the dedication of the park to the memory of Sir Mark Oliphant is now in a better position clearly visible to visitors. This park is a popular walking location and has a number of steep trails, is a site for scientific experiments under the auspices of Flinders University and seems to be much busier with cars seemingly always in the car park.

When I arrived on Thursday afternoon I had in my mind the concept of Terra Nullius. I thought the new picnic area would make a great activation spot and save me the work of carrying my gear further into the park. I decided I would leave that area alone and set up a few more metres into the park just off the main track. It took me a few trips back and forth to the 4×4: table and chair, radio and batteries and a three bags of antennas. In the end I set up my home made 40m and 20 m dipole in inverted v fashion with the ICOM 705, AH5 coupler and my palm key.

Other bits and pieces included two log books (one for VK5BJE and one for VK5PF), a clock on UTC time and my Samsung tablet and Netgear Nighthawk modem. The Samsung tablet, with its android operating system, replaced an ancient Ipad which I used for many years in the field. I posted my QRV and details on a windows machine before I left home. However, when I changed to 20 metres and wanted to post my frequency and reference, I could not get Parksnpeaks to accept my post. I kept getting a message suggesting I needed two FFs and that my reference was incorrect. I tried various approaches to entering the reference number. In the end I settled on 14.032 and called QRL? a few times and then called CQ. I did not attract any interest! If anyone with more developed computer skills than me can offer a suggestion on what has caused the difficulties with my attempts at posting I will be very pleased. However, after a flash of inspiration, I have found the issue after observing a trial posting (by Adam, VK2YK, VK5GA) at the Amateur Radio Experiments’ Group (AREG) buy and sell on the 3rd September. When I arrived home I checked my WordPress site. WordPress gives three options for viewing: desktop, tablet and mobile. This can be understood another way: portrait or landscape. I was using my tablet in portrait mode/mobile mode and it would not bring up the drop down list for selecting a park. Turning the tablet on to a horizontal plane, or as a desktop brought up the drop down park list. This may be a problem for other young activators as well as the not so young!

I enjoyed 14 contacts on 40 metres, including six park to park qsos, before deciding it was getting cold and the rain was about to start. I am glad I made the effort to help celebrate National Wattle day and the 1st day of Spring. It rained as I drove home – great timing!

Contacts

7.155 ssb

05:22 VK2EXA

05:26 VK2MET/P park to park VKFF-0490

05:27 VK3BEZ/P park to park VKFF-0764

05:28 VK5GY

0530 VK5FANA

05:33 VK3SQ

07:35 VK5DG park to park VKFF-0900

05:36 VK1TTY

05:38 VK3PRG

05:40 VK1DA Andrew

05:42 VK2MOE/P park to park VKFF-3030

05:44 VK1VIC park to park VKFF-0164

05:46 VK2IO/P park to park 3198

Thank you to all of the activators and chasers who gave me a contact. Contacts are always very much appreciated.

2 thoughts on “National Wattle Day, 1st September 2022

  1. Hi John,

    It is great to see that they have added some more facilities in the park.

    I have just sent you a National Wattle Day participation certificate. I hope you like it.

    73,

    Paul VK5PAS.

  2. Hi Paul
    I have been walking in the park for the last two years plus (especially following the Scott Creek CP fire). The other park I walk in regularly is Mylor CP. I will be doing another activation from Mylor soon to give me five activations with at least ten qsos. Mark Oliphant is becoming very popular – well done National Parks and Wildlife Service.
    73 John D
    VK5BJE/VK5PF

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