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

WIA AGM Awards 2017

As indicated in my previous post relating to VK5WOW and VI5WOW I applied for the General and Gold Awards. Three contacts were obtained while operating from Victorian National Parks and the remainder were from my home station and while at Hahndorf. Here are the certificates:


GOLD award

Unfortunately I could not indicate my preferred name, which is John. Nevertheless I am pleased to add these to my collection of virtual wall-paper!

VK5WOW and VI5WOW, May 2017


The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), the peak body for radio amateurs in this country, held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Convention at Hahndorf in the the Adelaide Hills over the weekend of 19th to the 21st May 2017. The theme for the weekend was Inspiring Leadership – the Future of Amateur Radio.

As part of the event two special call-signs were obtained and the two stations were operated, in the case of VK5WOW, from early April through the AGM weekend and for VI5WOW, for just two weeks over the convention weekend beginning May 14th. The suffix ‘WOW’ contains the common word used as an exclamation of surprise or wonder. This became the basis of the sub-theme (Radio is Magic) used on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday for showcasing some of the innovative developments in our hobby. VK and VI are unique Australian prefixes used in radio as is VH for aircraft (as you see every time you fly). Amateur call-signs have the prefix VK and VI is allocated for special events as in the case the AGM. The number 5 is allocated as the unique call area number for South Australia.

A special award named General Award can be achieved by obtaining five contacts with VK5WOW or VI5WOW. Within those contacts the chasing station had to work another station (either VK5WOW or VI5WOW for the Gold Award) in a National or Conservation Park or the chaser had to have at least one digital contact with either of the special stations. A digital contact could be either using a digital voice mode or a computer generated mode such as Radio Teletype (RTTY).

I enjoyed 12 contacts with both VK5WOW and VI5WOW and will apply for the special awards. Perhaps the highlight was working VI5WOW cross-band on the balloon. The up-link frequency was 145.775 FM with the CTSS frequency of 91.5 and the down-link frequency was 438.850 FM. I used my ICOM 80AD with the two frequencies programmed in adjoining channels and used the channel selector switch to move to the down-link frequency after transmitting and vice versa.

In addition I applied to use the VK5WOW call sign in the lead up to the weekend event. I also used the VI5WOW call sign briefly on the Sunday at the showcase event. I was able to make digital contacts on the 15 and 20 metre bands, including overseas contacts and a digital voice contact on the two (2) metre band as well as ssb contacts on the lower HF bands.

Here are my contacts from my home station as VK5WOW:

date 2017-05-15
0246 UA0AD -11 -18 Russia
0254 JA1KXQ -12 -21 Japan
0311 VK2EBN -08 -14 NSW
0316 VA7QI -18 -14 Canada, BC
0333 VK6AS -13 -18 Western Australia
0351 JH3OWW -13 -12 Japan
0405 JA8ECS -12 -11 Japan
0413 JN1VXT -12 -21 Japan
0442 BG8IXQ -13 -13 China

0453 JI1NSF -24 -20 Japan
0524 JE8VZK -11 -07 Japan
0515 HL1TKF -11 -21 Korea
0543 WE5EE -14 -17 USA
40m ssb
0615 VK4AAT 59 57 Queensland
0621 VK5PAS 57 57
0624 VK5DPG 57 57
0627 VK4HNS/P 57 56
0636 VK5TW
0636 VK2GAZ 55 57
0640 VK6EA 58 58
0643 VK3OHM
0647 VK7GG Tasmania
0654 VK5KLV 58 59
0653 VK2NNN 58 57
0658 VK5ZK 57 53
80m ssb
0858 VK5FANA 57 59
0904 VK5PAS/M 57 59
0907 VK3PF
0910 VK5FMAZ/M
0912 VK7MPR
0915 VK5WAW 43 31
0915 VK2LAD
0920 VK3OHM
0930 VK2GAZ 53 32
0931 VK5NJ
0934 VK3AN 53 55
0935 VK3DN
0942 VK3VIN
0947 VK5KC
0949 VK5KBJ 57 59
0951 VK3TJS
0953 VK3ARH 54 59
0956 VK3NLK 57 59
0957 VK5BZ 57 57
2m FM
1004 VK5KBJ 59 59
1006 VK5KC 59 55
1009 VK5JDS
1028 VK5COM 52 52
1033 VK5FMWW 59 54

date 2017-05-16

YE6YE 20m JT65A 20170516 0152 -18 -20 Indonesia
YB5QZ 20m JT65A 20170516 0220 -11 -01 Indonesia
VK4SJ 20m JT65A 20170516 0220 -09 -01
ZL1BDW 20m JT65A 20170516 0230 -12 -09 New Zealand
VK2HFP 20m JT65A 20170516 0346 -09 -08
FK8CE 20m JT65A 20170516 0414 -13 -12 New Caledonia
VK2LGW 20m JT65A 20170516 0422 -16 -01
VK3OHM 20m JT65A 20170516 0434 -18 -22
VK5WU 20m JT65A 20170516 0444 -16 -16
VK4NJR 20m JT65A 20170516 0536 -09 -01
VK3OHM 40m JT65A 20170516 0558 -15 -01
VK5ZK 40m JT65A 20170516 0604 -08 -01
VK4RF 80m SSB 20170516 0926 54 55
VK4HA 80m SSB 20170516 0927 54 55
VK4RF 80m JT65A 20170516 0944 -12 -10
ZL1BV 80m JT65A 20170516 0956 -12 -21

2017-05-21 VI5WOW/P operator VK5BJE

VK3PF/5 2m DSTAR 59 59 Hahndorf

These tables have been derived from Fast Log Entry by DF3CB and my contribution to the overall score was an additional 67 qsos. I was pleased to be able to add JT65 and DSTAR to the mix of modes as well as SSB (voice).

For digital modes on HF I use an ICOM 7000 operating at 20 watts and a three-element tri-band Yagi antenna and an off-centre fed dipole on the lower bands. My HF voice and cw station is an ICOM 7600 operating at 100 watts PEP sharing the same antenna system as described above. I use a hand key for CW and my call-sign VK5PF.

As a member of the organising group my use of the special call-signs had to be squeezed in between my work for the weekend. All feedback received about the weekend has been very positive, but it was a lot of work over about 16 months to get everything ready. Was it worth it? The short answer is yes.