International Amateur Radio Union, Region 3, 50th Anniversary Award, 21 June 2018

Region 3 50IARU

Here is my award which I down-loaded today. The Globe is divided into three regions and Australia is located within Region 3.  The Region 3 administrative arm was established on 12th April 1968, just eight years before I became a radio amateur. There are now 39 member countries. The IARU works to preserve and harmonise our frequency bands and provides information and assistance to national amateur radio organisations.

IARU Region 3 qsl

Here is the official qsl card. I thought I should print this one confirming a contact with VI50IARU3 (operator Paul, VK5PAS), hand held to hand held from home to Mount Lofty.


VKFF-Hunter Award 475 different VKFF areas, 26th May 2018

VK5BJE VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 475

Thanks to all of the activators who have helped to make chasing such fun and challenging as well, especially with the poor propagation conditions we have been experiencing of late. I would like to pay a special thanks to the CW operators (morse code) whose activities add to the richness of my experience: VK2IO/P, Gerard; VK3BYD/P, Warren and VK3AFW/9, Ron at Norfolk Island during the WIA Annual General Meeting in 2016. Gerard and Warren show up quite a few times in my log.

Scott Creek Conservation Park, VKFF-0788, 30th March 2018: walking for fitness and pleasure.

One day to go and the first month of Autumn will be in the past! I now have a medically supervised regime in place which requires me to walk with moments of additional load achieved by either walking more quickly or walking up a hill. Scott Creek Conservation Park provides many opportunities for walking up and down hills! The theory is that this will eventually strengthen the heart muscle and reduce episodes of Atrial Fibrillation (AF). AF occurs when the heart does not pump properly but rather flutters, resulting in poor circulation and efficiency. I am taking part in a trial, comparing an exercise group with a non-exercise group, and am in the experimental group. So I decided to go for a walk in Scott Creek Conservation Park departing from Gate 8 (my favourite radio activation spot). The weather was excellent for a walk: cool, mainly sunny but a handful of rain-drops as I started out. Others had a similar idea and I passed a large group of walkers as I was heading down the hill speaking into my hand held radio. They were on the way up the hill but offered a greeting and we spoke for a while. Yes I did take a radio: two in fact (IC-80AD and a Yaesu VX5) and a few spare batteries!

I also posted an alert on Parks and Peaks indicating I would be active at 00:30z on 146.5 FM. Next time I will self-spot and indicate a QRV time!  QRV means ‘are you ready?’ But it is also used to indicate a time when the operator will be ready.

As I left gate 8 I tuned to VK5RMB, the Murray Bridge Repeater and heard some activity. I recognised a voice I knew and arranged to try 146.5 FM with Tony, VK5MRT at Strathalbyn. There was no direct path. I was a bit surprised at this. So I kept walking and then tuned the radio to VK5RSV, the South Coast Amateur Radio Club’s two metre repeater. I was hoping to stir up some activity, as the area immediately south and south west of the Park, I suspected would provide some good contacts. All I heard was silence!

I kept on walking and tried VK5RSV again. This time VK5XD, Neville answered me. He offered to QSY (change frequency to 146.5 Mhz) and success followed. Neville’s signal was full scale on my Icom IC-80AD, I was amazed. Neville lives in the suburb of Warradale, near Glenelg, but further inland. I received a report of 5 and 5. I had a quarter wave length antenna on my radio and was using full power, five watts. Neville told me he was using 50 watts into a collinear antenna.  We should have experimented with lower power!


00:51z 146.500 FM VK5XD 59s 55r

VK5XD qsl

Here is Neville’s splendid eqsl.

So what was the cost? Well my GPS showed a total activity time of 53 minutes. But the moving time was just 25 minutes! So I spent nearly half my time playing radio rather than walking. Perhaps I had better leave the radios at home?

I have activated Scott Creek Conservation Park many times. Here is a link to my previous activation.

Scott Creek walk 30th March

The walk I took begins at Gate 8 and follows Cup Gum Track. I stopped just before the fairly steep descent to the junction of Gum Track Track with Currawong Ridge Track.

Currowang ridge traCK

The elevation gain was 35 metres. The plot is shown below. The times are clearly shown including radio time.

Scott Creekwalk 30th elevation

This walk is one of a number I have taken in the Park over the last few weeks. Most, but not all, of the walks have been on sections of the track I have previously described as a loop. See my earlier posts on this beautiful park.
Gate 4
Another walk began at Gate 4 taking the right hand side track down to the creek line.
 Gray fantail in flight
Grey Fantail in flight. This little bird did not take much notice of me but was busy catching insects.
Gray Fantail 2
Gray Fantail in motion.
Common brown
Common brown butterfly.
Stumpy tail lizard
Stumpy tale lizard. A pity about the stick over the end of his nose: but I did not want to disturb her sun-baking any more than necessary.

eAustralia award: 8 call areas, 20th March 2018


This award came last night. It is one level below the highest grade, which is for nine call areas, that is VK0 as well. While I have worked Australian Antarctic Territories many times and have confirmations by traditional QSL cards I am still to gain a confirmation by eqsl. So this award captures all mainland, including Tasmania (VK7), call areas (VKs 1 to 8) and VK9. It was a contact with the dxpedition to Ashmore Reef that tipped the scales for me. Here is that eqsl card. I applied for the eAustralia award for seven (7 call areas) back in April 2016, making the level two award nearly two years later.


Murray River Parks Award, 23rd January 2018

VK5BJE Murray River Parks Hunter 30 v2

I was pleased to receive this award. The river has been a favourite place for us for 48 years of camping, boating, holidaying and playing radio. I have been conspicuously absent from activating in recent times. My last excursion was with Paul, VK5PAS, in November 2017. I do, however, hope to get back to visiting parks. I had a bit of a set-back in December and am not allowed to drive at present. I will be reviewed again at the end of March 2018. My previous review was this week. There is still a problem with the TCXO! In the meantime I am embarking on an exercise program, under medical supervision, to try and reduce the amount of Atrial Fibrillation. Many people have this condition and are not aware of it. So keep active.

Scott Creek Conservation Park, VKFF-0788 & 5CP-207, 2nd November 2017

Paul at Scott Creek

VK5PAS/P at Scott Creek Conservation Park, near Gate 8

Around lunch time on Thursday the phone rang. Paul, VK5PAS, had taken delivery of two radios: a new Yaesu 857D and a pre-loved Yaesu 897D (purchased at our radio club’s silent auction) and he was keen to try them out given his forthcoming interstate visit to Victoria and New South Wales.  Paul and Marija have lots of portable activity proposed. Paul invited me to come with him to Scott Creek Conservation Park, very close to my home, to put the radios through their paces. I met Paul at the park about 25 minutes later. He had just arrived at Gate 8 when I arrived. Now I would like to correct the impression given by Paul on air that he had to twist my arm and almost wrestle me to come! Rather, I jumped at the chance! Some of you will know I have been out of action for the last three months and, other than one failed attempt to activate the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park in late September and early October, I have not been active. I just didn’t have the energy. However, I am getting stronger every day and feel considerably more like getting back to my usual activities and the weather was good. It was lightly overcast and potentially warm and as the afternoon passed we moved into the shade and it was really very pleasant in the park. Paul and I have activated this park together on previous occasions and I took a group to the Park as part of  WIA AGM Radio is Magic events on the Sunday morning late May (see below).

Here is a link to my previous radio activations on this park:

The Park

Scott Creek Conservation Park is located in the Adelaide Hills and is one of the key metropolitan parks. It is close to Belair and Onkaparinga River National Parks and Cleland Conservation Park including Mount Lofty Summit. Scott Creek Conservation Park has an active Friends Group and here is a link to their web pages:

On Sunday morning 5th November I decided to pay a visit to the Friends Bird-banding Group. The first photo shows a Golden Whistler, the photo below on the left is of a Yellow Faced Honeyeater and on the right a Horsfield Cuckoo. These birds are caught in a net measured and released. The data is forwarded to Canberra where it is available to researchers.

Golden whistler


We commenced operations on 7.139 MHz after looking around the band a bit higher to see if we could hear any other stations nearby. VK2JNG/P, Gerard was on air but we could not hear him. We later worked him P2P on two bands.

  1. 0248 VK2HHA 7.135MHz
  2. 0249 VK2MRH
  3. 0252 VK3PF 7.155 MHz
  4. 0254 VK3GGG
  5. 0155 VK3PMG
  6. 0256 VK3SQ
  7. 0300 VK3ANL
  8. 0302 VK2NEO
  9. 0309 VK7MPR Mark with his new upgraded call-sign: the F has gone. Congratulations!
  10. 0314 VK1LAJ/P
  11. 0318 VK2IO/P 52 55 Gerard P2P VKFF-2012 Wallumatta Nature Reserve
  12. 0320 VK7JON
  13. 0325 VK5BW
  14. 0333 VK7FOLK
  15. 0336 VK3VGB/P
  16. 0343 VK2FANT
  17. 0348 VK5KBJ It was great to have a contact with Barry who has also been on the sick list
  18. 0351 VK5GJ
  19. 0355 VK3VIN
  20. 0400 VK3UP
  21. 0415 VK2JNG/P 7.170 MHz Gerard 53 54 P2P VKFF-0431 Richmond River Nature Reserve
  22. 0428 VK5BW 3.610 MHz 59 59 Barry at Bridgewater on 80 metres: less than 10 kilometres from us.
  23. 0433 VK5GJ
  24. 0446 VK5FANA  We were disappointed with just three contacts on 80 metres. We learned that the usual operators on this band were otherwise occupied during the afternoon.
  25. 0457 VK2NP 14.310 MHz
  26. 0501 VK4PDX
  27. 0503 VK2IO/P Gerard P2P VKFF-2012 Wallumatta Nature Reserve
  28. 0506 VK2JNG/P Gerard P2P VKFF-0431 Richmond River Nature Reserve
  29. 0508 VK4RF
  30. 0508 VK4HA
  31. 0509 VK2HOT
  32. 0512 VK4HNS We then moved to 14.183 and listened to the ANZA net and at the appropriate break in the proceedings Paul booked both of us into the net. The net controller was Col, VK4CC who, with his usual style, was a splendid net controller. As the afternoon moved on we were invited to make three calls each.
  33. 0533 FK8HZ Maurice in , Noumea, New Caledonia 59 58
  34. 0543 VK1TX Tex who called me from Canberra 59 59
  35. 0556 YJ0MB Mike Vanuatu
  36. 0602 VK4NH Ray
  37. 0607 E51JD Jim South Cook Islands
  38. 0617 VK4DXA Ray
  39. 0623 7.144 MHz VK3NBL
  40. 0626 VK2VW
  41. 0628 VK5NRG
  42. 0638 VK2SVN
  43. 0635 VK3NCC
  44. 0639 VK3KRH
  45. 0644 VK3BBB
  46. 0648 VK2ZK
  47. 0650 VK4NH
  48. 0651 VK4DXA
  49. 0652 VK3HSB/P 59 59 P2P VKFF-0619 Alpine National Park
  50. 0654 VK2LEE
  51. 0656 VK3FMKE

We had a most enjoyable day. Three contacts were made on 80 metres, 14 on 20 metres including three Pacific Island Nation DX stations and 34 on 40 metres. Five Park to Park contacts on a weekday were a bonus! The way we shared the station was that the person with the microphone called CQ, QRZ or answered a caller and then the second operator took over and followed the same procedure. Our logs are almost but not quite identical. The times and order of stations will differ because of our approach to sharing.

Scott Creek Conservation Park WIA AGM 21st May 2017

I did not complete an entry for this activation as I became unwell soon after the AGM. However, although not many contacts were made it was an important event because a number of local amateurs were hosts to visitors interested in learning more about portable operations and techniques. In my case, I had three amateurs who wanted to come to Scott Creek Conservation Park for the opportunity of learning and getting on air. We met at Gate 8 at about 0900 local time. Each of my visitors, all amateurs, made contacts on HF on the 40 metre band and on VHF on two metres with VK5PAS/P, Paul and his crew at Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, about five kilometres away. We each kept out own log of contacts. I made four contacts on HF.

It was a beautiful late Autumn day and my wife dropped off morning tea and some chairs and we socialised as well as discussing appropriate gear for portable operations. It was great!

0016 VK1AD/2 7.095 MHz Andrew was in the Kosciusko National Park, VKFF-0269 and on VK2/SM-027 Mt Nungar worth ten SOTA points to a chaser. I thought that this contact was a great start to the morning.

0019 7.095 VK3PAT Chris at Cape Conrad Coastal Park, VKFF-0744

0116 7.095 VK3ARW/5 Allan at VK5/SE-005 Mount Lofty and Cleland Conservation Park, VKFF-0778

0017 VK5FR/P Chris at VK5/SE-005 Mount Lofty and Cleland Conservation Park, VKFF-0778

Four contacts were made but all great and all Park to Park as well as SOTA in three instances.

This activation and the one described above (2nd November) make five WWFF activations by me at Scott Creek Conservation Park, the threshold number for the Boomerang Award.

Finally, I was pleased to see our South Australian AGM and Convention Organising Group was recognised by the WIA. Here is my certificate. Our group worked for 16 months to ensure a successful WIA and Convention. The Sunday afternoon Radio is Magic demonstrations and field day activities were very popular and lots of positive comments were received.

WIA Certificate of Appreciation