On Sunday morning I decided I would visit Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park, Wottons Scrub block, for a chance at completing five activations of this park with at least ten contacts per visit. Please check previous posts for details of this attractive park. As per usual with this park I had the place to myself. I enjoyed a slow, relaxed pathway to ten contacts, swapping antennas and I am fairly certain the the sun was responsible for a gap in the contacts mid to late morning: making contacts was hard going. Here is the link to my previous visit to this park.
23:23 7.135 Mhz VK5VC 59 57 Charlie. Charlie was conducting the call-back on 40m after the Sunday morning Wireless Institute of Australia broadcast. I listened to the broadcast on VK5RAD, two metre FM repeater, as I was driving to the park. He invited me to take the frequency after the call-back. Thank you Charlie.
23:38 VK5NPP 57 53
23:40 VK5AR/P 58 53
23:42 VK5PAS, Oceania DX station 59847, 59001. Paul went on to make over 1009 contacts in the Oceania DX contest. See Paul’s blog for a detailed report.
23:45 VK5YP, 59 53, Wayne at Kadina
23:48 VK5ZX/P in Riverland near SA/Vic border. Matt. 59 52
7.130 00:54 VK5KAA 59 59 Gordon
14.316 01:15 VK5KAA 56 51
14.300 01:20 VK4BAR 59081 59002
14.190 01:30 VK2R (operator, Gerard, VK2IO) 59167 59003, Gerard was in VKFF-3260, making a Park to Park contact.
14.290 02:00 VK2W, 59055 59003
14.300 02:15 VK4BAR, 59082, 59006
Total 12 contacts, one duplicate. Thanks to all who gave me a call.
For all contacts made on 40 metres I used a Buddipole Pro vertical antenna. I am not in a position to make a comparison with the 40/20 metre home brewed dipole but it seemed to work well. It is smaller and fairly easy to erect and get going. I experimented in trying to get it tuned in the first instance following the instructions. In the end I found that using my analyser confirmed my settings . My practice took place at home and on some park visits. I could get a really good match. On Sunday I decided I would rely on my practice to get it going on two bands. I did not use the analyser. The radio, an IC705, showed a vswr of about 1 to 7, on 40 metres, therefore usable. However the AH5 tuner quickly adjusted the tuning so that the radio was looking into a 50 ohm load. Finding the correct positions for the taps on the antenna coil (centre loaded) is foolproof. The most critical adjustment is that for the counterpoise. There are coloured indicators on the wind-out wire for each band and on 40, 20 and 15 no adjustment of the whip is required.
On 20 metres the first two contacts were made on the vertical and the remainder on the dipole. I had a tune around the bands and the DX was strong. Operating at ten watts I decided not to get amongst the DX stations. I worked a few Australians on 20 metres and all were easy contacts. I found to ensure a repeatable installation the counterpoise needs to be close to a metre above ground (three feet above the ground, US manufactured antenna) and I used a steel electric fence pole, just a bit over a metre long and with plastic insulators strategically placed along the pole and a place for your foot to drive it into the ground. Using the top insulator the counterpoise is at least three feet above ground. I had trouble with the tuning until I sorted out the counterpoise. The antenna is very well made and I mounted mine on an aluminium camera tripod. I will take some photos next time I use the antenna in a park.
I suspect theoretically the dipole will work better on close-in stations and the vertical, with a lower angle of radiation, may be better with DX stations.
I will try the vertical on DX soon.
Many thanks for the contact.
I know we spoke previously about verticals, so congrats on giving it a go. I will be interested to see how it goes in the future with the DX.
And what a great park – the 4 sections. Kenneth Stirling was certainly a very interesting gentleman.