Scott Creek Conservation Park, VKFF-0788, 8th February 2023

This photo shows VK5BJE working VK5TIL. park to park, from Scott Creek Conservation Park. Photo by JCD

I enjoyed two contacts from this park to Troubridge Island late afternoon on the 8th February. It was quite warm and pleasant in the park. My setup was my Yaesu 857 D set for ten watts FM. I used a speaker tripod (light as it is made from aluminium with an extension and a gain vertical antenna on top). The contact was on the two metre FM calling frequency of 146.500. We exchanged signal reports and call-signs – 5 and 3 both ways.

The second contact, about two minutes later at 07:10 UTC was on the ssb calling frequency of 144.100 Mhz. signal reports were 5 and 5 for both of us, possibly demonstrating the superior talk power of ssb and the value of my three element beam. Jenny, held the beam aloft, and horizontal, facing west, and I called VK5TIL.

The operator at VK5TIL was Adam (VK2YK) and we were both delighted with the contacts.

I have activated Scott Creek Conservation Park many times. An index is located on the first page of this blog. Find Scott Creek and click. Below is the eqsl confirming our contact on 144.100 ssb.

Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, VKFF-0782, 7th February 2023

I went for my morning walk of 7th February taking with me a 22 year old radio: a VX5R, by Yaesu. This radio is a three band hand held and I had mine tuned to the two metre band calling frequency of 146.5 Mhz. I knew that the DXpeditioners were to arrive on Troubridge Island on Tuesday morning and were probably setting up their station while I walked. The track I take for about a three and a half kilometre walk reaches a high point of over 435 metres. Anyway I thought I would call VK5TIL and see what might happen. I called VK5TIL and identified as VK5BJE and was amazed when Ivan’s voice (VK5HS) rang out from my radio, with our contact counting as a park to park, p2p, qso. My radio has four power output levels and I was using just 250 milliwatts!

My interest in VK5TIL is because all of the operators are friends of mine and that Troubridge Island ,a Conservation Park, is included in the WWFF program with the number VKFF-1108.

Heath Track

Camp Track has some steep sections

Loftia Track towards the high spot

These three photos are typical track views in the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park. More photos can be found by clicking on the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park in the index on the first page of this blog.

Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park, VKFF-0781, 3rd January 2023

I decided to return to Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park and try for a final activation of at least ten contacts for the Boomerang Award. The VKFF Boomerang Award recognises and rewards activators for multiple activations (at least five) to encourage ongoing visits to parks and generate activity.

I posted my intention to be on air at 00:01 UTC and I was a few minutes late. I was looking for a snake free location! Snakes have become active since the recent burst of warm/hot weather and I like to see what is around me (now more difficult because of the long grass). I get engrossed in my radio activity and it is too easy to not keep an eye open on the surrounds.

I made 11 contacts on HF: one on 80 metres and the remainder on 40. All these contacts were voice (ssb) and I used my VK5BJE call-sign.

Here is my log:

3.610 00:23 VK5KAA 59 58

7.144 00:48 VK5AYL 59 49

00:48 VK5KAA 59 49

00:51 VK2OAK/P p2p VKFF-2084 It was good to get a park to park contact with Malcolm 59 both ways.

00:52 VK3KYF 59 57

00:54 VK7QP 57 44

00:58 Vk3ZSC 56 57

01:00 VK3ACU/P qrp 53 51 Jordan was using an IC705 with power being drawn from the internal battery. I was using my IC705 with an external LiFePO4 battery.

01:04 VK3AHR 59 59 Ron at Wodonga

01:06 VK3PF 59 45

01:08 VK3SMW 59 56 Steve

I then posted on ParksPeaks that I would operate on 7.032 CW, as VK5PF. I called for 15 minutes without success. When I arrived home I checked my post and it was not on the list in ParksnPeaks. I am less surprised now about no CW contacts! I changed my radio for CW as I decided to use my stainless steel paddle which which is held in place by three strong magnets on the steel case of the radio, an FT857D. The IC705 is en-cased in a composite plastic material. Magnets do not work but I have Palm Key which also has magnets but is easier to use being held with the left hand and operated by the right. That is not an entirely satisfactory arrangement so the quest continues. the underlying parameter is to keep everything as simple and as light as possible.

The photos show, Chinese stainless steel paddle; the paddle attached to the FT857D by very strong magnets, the IC705 showing my operating frequency and finally my paper log. I can just decipher my writing!

The stainless steel paddle works well – but bear in mind it is not a precision instrument but with the internal electronic keyer in the radio the cw is quite acceptable.

Finally, I wish to thank all of the chasers and VK3OAK, Malcolm, for the park to park contact. Conditions on 40 metres are improving and I was delighted with my contact with VK3AHR at Wodonga, 5 and 9 both ways. VK2 and further north is conspicuous by absence from my log.

VKFF Hunter 1000 Parks, 4th December 2022

I was delighted to also receive this award for making contacts with radio amateurs in 1000 unique parks.Hunters have had a great time through November and early December because of the increased activity with special park expeditions to Tasmania (VK7) by VK3SRC, VK7XV, VK5PAS and VK5MAZ . These amateurs helped compress the gap between 975 and 1000. Once again thanks to all of the activators and especially the volunteers whom do all of the work behind the scenes to keep the WWFF program going.

Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park, VKFF-0971, Sunday 6th November 2022

I last visited this park on 2nd October 2022 as part of my quest to qualify for the first level of the Boomerang Award for activators. However, I should have read the rules more closely: for an activation to count for this award you need ten contacts on the one UTC day. I reached the required number of contacts but they were spread over two UTC days. Here is a link to that activation:

Sunday was a warm early summer day, almost clear sky and no wind and I chose to visit the park in the mid afternoon.

I commenced my activation at 03:59 on 7.155 Mhz on the 40 metre band.

03:59 VK3ZPF, Peter 59 57

04:17 VK2IO/P Gerard, 51 45, Park to park Gerard was at Cape Banks Aquatic Reserve, VKFF-3251

04:07 VK2VH Rob 59 55

04:08 VK4AAC/2

04:08 VK3GJG 59 54

04:17 VK2EXA 59 45

04:19 VK5HAA 59 55


04:23 VK5GA

04:29 VK3VJP 57 57

04:31 VK5YX 59 56

04:37 VK2MET. Alan, 53 52

04:37 VK1AO

04:39 VK5IS 59 59

04:40 VK5BJF

04:43 VK3BWS/P 57 41 Barry Park to park

Band conditions were better than the last few days despite QRN (mainly electrical storms in the north west and north east of the state) and atmospheric frying noise. Fading was slow and deep and I was most aware of this after calling CQ on 7.032. I called a few times and was answered by a station sending too fast for me to decode in my head. And his signal disappeared for seconds in the deep fades. I might have had a chance of a contact if the QSB was not so tough. So VK5PF didn’t get much of a run! Thanks to all who gave me a call.

Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park, VKFF-0971, Sunday 2nd October 2022

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.

Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, VKFF-0782, 6th September 2022

I decided to return to this park to activate it for the Boomerang Award. It was my fifth activation with at least 10 contacts. I will now concentrate on other local parks. My last activation was for National Wattle Day on the 1st September 2022.

I used my ICOM 705, AH5 coupler and a five band linked dipole antenna. I used a seven amp hour LiFePO4 battery. I chose the same location as for the activation on the 1st September. I made 18 contacts.


80 metres ssb

00:50 VK5NPP

01:01 VK5KAA

40m metres ssb

01:06 VK5PAS

01:09 VK5NPP

01:15 VK3PF

01:17 VK3SQ

01:18 VK3ZSC

01:22 VK1TTY

01:23 VK3PRG

01:24 VK2IO

20 metres ssb

01:44 VK5HAA

01:48 VK1AO {Alan}

01:50 VK2IO

40 metres ssb

01:56 VK3DAE

02:00 VK5AO

02:21 VK5PL

02:29 VK2HQ/P

VK5PF my CW call

40m CW

01:30 VK3PF