So today I went out to Beachmere Conservation Park for a quick activation. Had to walk a small ways into the park to find a nice location to setup and operate from. I was kind of hoping for a picnic table or something, but alas the carpark was tiny and there was no room there to setup. So off i went in search of somewhere to setup.
Found a nice log that would serve as both table and chair and squid pole mount, setup the dipole and plugged the antenna into the radio and got to calling CQ.
Started out on CW with the HB1B YouKits radio and in quick succession worked 3 stations, then nothing. A whole lot of calling and no one home to work me. Such is life.
So, I packed the CW rig away and fired up the Bitx 40m thinking SSB would be my savior and was quickly disappointed. Propagation was good, all the way down to the VK3 boarder, but there was just no one about to work. That and the LO in the radio was drifting madly all over the place, the direct sun on the case, causing the LO to heat up and just never get stable. Lesson learned, the next job will be to stick a DDS/Synth in there and make it rock solid.
Anyway, I cannot complain about my office, this is what it looked like when I arrived.
And this is what it looked like when I left 1 hour later. Boy that tide came up quickly. All up I did not make many contacts, just 10, enough to qualify the park, so it is one I will have to go back to at some point and finish up for the 44. But, hey, I had fun and I learned somethings about my gear that I can now improve on. And well that is what really matters.
So I decided to finish work early today and nick off and play some radio. Packed up the ute and headed off to VKFF-1493, Bunyaville Conservation Park, one of the new parks that have been added in VK4. The park is on the north side of Brisbane and only a short drive from my home. After setting up I gave the CW a go, as is my usual way to kick off a park and and in short order had 6 contacts in the log. There were a couple of calls i could not work out, a vk3 and 7 qrm and qsb at times making those weaker signals very hard to copy.
Switched then to SSB and worked another 19 stations including park to park contacts again with Hans and Lesley VK5YX and VK5LOL working portable from Idailia NP in far west QLD, out near Blackall. VK2,3,4 and 5 worked only in the somewhat trying conditions. Any hoover, this is a nice easy park for me to get to, and I will head back next week in the middle of the week and finish off the 44 for this one.
Thanks to those all who called in and or took the time to work CW also. We need more park CW action, so cheers for being there.
The sign at the front gate.
Setting up the antenna.
Some typical Brisbane bushland
Ohhh the velvet rope, you cannot cross the velvet rope.
Operating Position: -27.374336, 152.968746
Thanks to all the chasers today, made for a very successful first activation of Clear Mountain Conservation Park, VKFF-1511
Big thanks to those who called in CW, especially Allen Harvie who I managed to destroy his call about 5 times before i got it right HIHI and thanks for the patience 🙂
Also thanks to those who gave 15m a shot with Brian VK3BBB and Paul VK5PAS both making a contact, joining Rick who was just on the other side of the lake 🙂
Managed a whole swag of park to parks with Rob VK4AAC/2, Andrew VK7DW and a surprise call in from Hans and Leslie VK5YX and VK5LOL/4 who were in Moorrinyah National Park in the middle of nowhere in QLD. Also a quick SOTA with VK3GRK as well.
No DX, but, I was hearing US dx on 40m. not that they could hear me. All in all, had a good activation and enjoyed the couple of hours out portable.
Operating Position: -27.290364, 152.893480
Setup on top of a hill.
Nice RF quiet location, the only QRM was from the traffic on the main road.
DO NO ENTER. Ohhh do not cross the velvet rope or bad things might happen.
Gave the new CW key mount a go from this park and it worked a treat. Almost makes the most horrible key in the world usable.