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.
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!
05:26 VK2MET/P park to park VKFF-0490
05:27 VK3BEZ/P park to park VKFF-0764
07:35 VK5DG park to park VKFF-0900
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.