Scheyville National Park, VKFF-0444, 27th December 2016

Scheyville National Park is only a 20 minute drive from our son’s home at The Ponds. It is the closest national park to this area and Cattai National Park is not that much further to go. Here is a link to an earlier activation which includes some photos:

The land contains the remnants of a built environment. More details are provided in my earlier post. I did drive right through the park on this occasion looking for activation spots and chose to return to my first location used last time.

I thought I would make an early start at the Park and there was no one else there that I could see. I did have a break when a Ranger spotted me and drove down to my location from Memorial drive. He had never heard of amateur radio. He was quite interested in my set up and was fascinated by HF communications. Of course he knew about radio communications and pointed out the radio in his Departmental vehicle.  I showed him my log and at 22:42 UTC I had a contact with Ian, VK1DI/p, who was at Yurammie State Conservation Area, VKFF-1403 and my only park to park contact. He was impressed. I also showed him my post for my last visit to Scheyville, two years ago to the day. He pointed this out. He also told me that the ants that were attacking us were meat ants. They track down their prey – in this case humans and even if you move to a new location they soon find you! This is the first time I have spoken to a NSW Government Ranger.

I thought I would begin my activation on 3.610 Mhz at 22:02 UTC hoping to attract some nearby NSW amateurs and posted to this effect on Parks and Peaks. I did not get a contact on 80 metres which was a bit disappointing as I and others, especially Paul, VK5PAS, make good use of this band for portable activity at home and I had some success on 80 metres at the Greater Bendigo National Park.

I moved to 7.144 Mhz and called CQ at 22:09. Peter, VK3ZPF answered my call with s53 r52. A promising start was made on 40m and I had high expectations of a good morning, even though it is a public holiday here in NSW (and may be elsewhere).

Quite a few CQs later I worked Tom, VK5EE, at Mount Gambier 57 54

22:19 VK3FORD 55 55 Matt at Swan Hill

22:25 VK4HNS/P Neil 58 55

22:28 VK3PMG Mick at Stawell 59 57

22:29 VK3GGG 59 57

22:30 VK7AN Al on the North East Coast of Tasmania 59 57

22:33 VK5HCF Tom at Mount Gambier 59 54

22:35 VK5PAS 59 57

22:38 VK3SQ Geoff 59 54

22:42 VK1DI/2 Ian at VKFF-1403

22:45 VK2KYO Ken 59 55

22:48 VK2HHA 59 59 Denis Albury

22:51 VK5FMWW Mike 55 45

22:52 VK5FVSV 55 45

22:54 VK5ZGY Greg 51 51

22:57 VK7CW Steve 59 57

22:59 VK2MTC 59 59 Greg at Cooma

23:00 VK2XXM 59 58 Robert

23:03 VK3MRG 51 51 Marshall

23:07 VK3RV Peter 59 55

23:15 VK3WQ Jenny 59 56

23:19 VK4RF Rick 59 57

23:10 VK4HA 59 57

This is the point where the Ranger visited and at 23:43 I called CQ on 14.310 for quite a few minutes before returning to 7.144. I made no more contacts but it was a most enjoyable activation and thanks to all who gave me a call.

Scheyville National Park, 27th December 2014, VKFF-444

Scheyville (pronounced Sky-ville) National Park is 920 hectares and located about five kilometres east of Windsor and North- West of Sydney.

It has both geological significance being the largest single remnant of Cumberland Plain vegetation on shale soil. It has grey box, forest red gums and narrow-leafed ironbark trees. It includes the Longneck Lagoon where we went for a walk. This was a great place for birds and bird-song.

Longneck Lagoon Scheyville National Park

Longneck Lagoon Scheyville National Park

Walk at Longneck Lagoon

Walk at Longneck Lagoon

Elevation - Longneck Lagoon - a small rise at the end was challenging for Grandchildren

Elevation – Longneck Lagoon – a small rise at the end was challenging for Grandchildren

On a historical view the Park includes relics of military buildings dating from the 1920s to the 1960s. And more recently Scheyville was used as a migrant hostel.

Historic Hut Scheyville National Park

Historic Hut Scheyville National Park

These few notes were take from the excellent NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service brochure. We obtained our brochure from the information centre at the Cumberland North Area Office of the service located near the 1929 Georgian Revival administration office within the Park.

I set up my station on an old building formation about 400 metres away from the administration building. I had great expectations of getting at least 10 contacts. After all is was Saturday! I checked out the noise levels on the car transceiver (Yaesu 857D).  It was noisy in an RF sense, and, later, I could even hear a nearby landowner at work with a lawn-mower. The noise peaked on 7.100 Mhz. Nevertheless I thought is was manageable and I decided to stay. I set the power level to 10 watts. I called (on 7.110 Mhz) VK3VTH/P3, Tony (01:50 UTC) who was in the Organ Pipes National Park. Signals varied but eventually we made a good contact after I wound my power up to 30 watts. I gave Tony 5 and 9 and he gave me 5 and 3. He was using a 100 watt transceiver. He was pleased with a new Park for the VKFF award.

I then heard Nick, VK3ANL/P3, on 7.105 Mhz in Churchill National Park. I first called Nick at 01:48 UTC and the finish time in my log is 01:56, but it was hard going. I gave Nick 5 and 2 and I received 4 and 6.

I heard no other stations well enough for a contact. I did hear Joe, VK3YSP/P3, but in and out of the noise. He was speaking with Peter, VK3PF/M who was on his way to a summit. My aim was to have a contact with Joe at Burrowa-Pine Mountain National Park. (I have four Parks remaining for the 45 needed for the KRMNPA, including Burrowa-Pine Mountain NP). But I heard Joe say he was two hours from his destination. I decided I would move to another Park – hopefully with less noise and in time to work Joe and Julie. Cattai National Park, VKFF-092 was set as the new destination in the GPS.

I am sure it would be possible to find an RF quieter location. Maybe the locals know the best spot. But given this was ‘taking’ a few hours off from family time I am pleased to have had two contacts.