Sunday, 18 February 2018

WWFF Bimberi Nature Reserve VKFF-1890

With a warm Sunday of 35 c predicted for Canberra decided to head for the mountains to escape the heat, and activate a recently added WWFF park, Bimberi Nature Reserve VKFF-1890.

Drove up the Brindabella Road and turned off onto the Mount Franklin Road. A short drive a sign for Bimberi Nature Reserve on the right.


Bimberi Nature Reserve is on the Western side of the Brindabella Ranges in NSW, between Kosciuszko National Park and Namadgi National Park in the ACT. It is a large reserve of 10,868 ha. Map of the park from Protected Planet website.


I looked at Bulls Head picnic area on a map, but this is just outside the park, a pity as it would be a good spot to operate from. Continued South, looking for a place to park off the road and easy access to the park, also not too steep... Found a spot with a turnoff to a water tank used for fire fighting, very close to the park boundary of the ACT/NSW border. Parked here.


A short walk and I was in NSW and inside the reserve. The ACT/NSW Western border is defined by the Brindabella mountains water catchment, so simply looked for where the ground started to slope down to the West.

Used a burnt out tree stump for squid pole mast support.


Operating spot, from Protected Planet website. I was between the Bendora Arboretum and Mount Franklin.


Looking back the other way. Think one leg of the dipole may have partly been in VK1!...


Shack on the table. It was quite pleasant here, around 25 c. My altitude was around 1,400 m.


Got on 40 m. Started by chasing another park activation on 7.139 Mhz, VK7QP/5 Linda in VKFF-0802 Penambol Conservation Park, near Mount Gambier. Took a while to get over the park hunters but got called in the end.

Worked the following park hunters. Thanks to Peter VK3ZPF for spotting me on ParksnPeaks, there was no mobile coverage here.

VK2FDJL Deryk
VK3ZPF Peter
VK3SQ Geoff
VK4TJ, VK4/AC8WN/VE6XT John
VK2IO Gerard
VK4FMHT Matt
VK2HHA Dennis
VK4NH/VK4DXA/ZL4TY Ray
VK2VW Brett
VK2BBB Brian
VK3BSG Erik
VK3DAC Fred
VK2AR Andrew
VK5FMWW Micheal
VK5FANA Adrian

Got called for another park to park, with VK2JNG/p in VKFF-1989 Queens Lake Nature Reserve near Port Macquarie.

VK4FARR Glen
VK3CM Brenton
VK3PF Peter
VK3HN Paul
VK3FSPG/VK3MPR Steve
VK3ARH Allen

When 40 m dried up switched to 20 m. Had a weak signal contact with VK6GLX, Garry, then a very strong signal from VK2HOT Bruce in Port Macquarie,

Packed up. Headed South to visit the Mount Franklin Ski Chalet memorial. This was lost in the Canberra January 2003 fires. An old photo I took of the chalet in July 2001. Scanned from a print.


The chalet memorial now. Only the wood shed stone foundation and tank stand remain...


The outdoor toilet also survived.


Sign nearby. The toilet and part of the Chalet are in Bimberi Nature Reserve, so could return here for the next activation of the park. There was mobile coverage here.


Thursday, 8 February 2018

WWFF Hunter 544 References Award

Noticed on the WWFF Logsearch website I'd managed to confirm working 544 park references, so eligible for the WWFF Hunter 544 references award. These are issued every 44 references confirmed.

Award received promptly from the awards manager, Pit YO3JW


Thursday, 1 February 2018

WWFF 33 References Activator Certificate

After reactivating some of the local WWFF parks and getting 44 contacts or more total managed to get 33 references activated, and claim the certificate. These are issued every 11 parks activated and completed, ie 11, 22, 33. The next one will be for 44. Thanks Pit YO3JW for the certificate.








Sunday, 28 January 2018

WWFF Activation Meroo National Park VKFF-0312

After spending a long weekend down the NSW South Coast at Mollymook it was time to head back to Canberra. Was going to return the same way I came, via the Nowra-Nerriga Road, but found traffic almost at a stand still going through Milton, as the end of a long weekend. Decided to head back via inland, through Yadbora and the Western Distributor road, so headed out from Milton on Woodstock Road. On the way saw a sign for Milton National Park, so stopped to activate it at the next turnoff. Found a locked gate, so set up the radio on the other side of the gate within the park.


Operating location off Woodstock Road. Park map from Protected Planet website


Looking back the other way


Shack on the tarp. A little bit of shade.


Got on 40 m. Sounded fairly quiet. Worked the following park hunters

VK4GSF George
VK3SQ Geoff
VK2USH Steve
VK2HHA Dennis
VK3GGG/VK3PMG Mick
VK3MCD Brian.
Brian was on SOTA summit VK3/VC-002 Mt Donna Buang.

VK3FMHT Chris
VK3PF Peter
VK2ZRD Rod
Rod was just down the road from me, near Milton.

VK2IO Gerard
VK4TJ John

Packed up and headed to Pigeon House Mountain picnic area for lunch. The trip back via the Western Distributor Road was easy with hardly any cars, but got caught in the holiday traffic coming into Braidwood :(




Saturday, 27 January 2018

WWFF Activation Narrawallee Creek Nature Reserve VKFF-1979

For the Australia Day long weekend 26-28th January headed down to the NSW South Coast to Mollymook for a few days with my partner, to swim and enjoy the warm weather.

After going for a swim at Narawallee Beach in the morning, had lunch at Mollymook shops, then set off to try activating a new WWFF park, VKFF-1979 Narrawallee Creek Nature Reserve. This has not been activated previously.

I initially tried to access the park via Narrawallee Creek Road off Lake Conjola Entrance Road, but came to a locked gate... So back tracked to Lake Conjola Entrance Road, drove to Lake Conjola village, took Thorne Street to the South, then turned off onto Conjola Beach Trail. This was a dirt track but okay for 2WDs. Passed Pattimores Lagoon and finally entered the park.



Got to Conjola Beach Carpark. Unfortunately very small with only a few picnic tables in the bush, really unsuitable for operating a radio from, and no room for antennas.


Wandered up the hill to the beach. There was a lookout platform above the beach which would have to do for an operating spot. 

Set up the squid pole on the railing of the lookout platform


One dipole leg had just enough room to run down to a nearby fence. The other leg was challenging...
Ended up throwing the wire over some bushes, then bush bashing to the end and tying it to a branch.


Operating spot, map from Protected Planet website


Radio on the lookout platform deck, hiding from the sun behind a grass bush...


Set the power to 40 W and got on 40m on 7.144 Mhz. Found my phone battery had died so unable to spot myself, so got my first contact, Geoff VK3SQ to spot me.

Went on to work the following park hunters

VK4TJ John
VK5FMPW Michael
VK3PF Peter
VK3GGG/VK3PMG Mick
VK4SYD Rob
VK4GSF George
VK3MRG Marshall
VK4CPS Paul
VK3OHM Marc

I got another call from John VK4TJ, he also worked me with his US and Canadian calls to help my call count, thanks John.

Note mainly long distance contacts on 40 m, close by NVIS not working... Tried 20 m also but no luck. As had over 10 contacts for VKFF gave it away and headed back to Mollymook for dinner.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

10 m beacons on summer sporadic e

It has been a pretty good season for summer sporadic e, most evenings can hear several beacons coming in. Here is a screen capture from my IC-7300 taken last night, for 28.000 to 28.300 Mhz at 9:31 pm local time.



On the left is an unknown WSPR station on the standard frequency 28.124 Mhz.

On 28.187 Mhz is a beacon run by VK5KV in Port Augusta.

There are heaps on the right around 28.260-28.267 Mhz. They transmit a bit out of sync so hard to see them all going at once.

28.260 Mhz - VK5WI Adelaide
28.263 Mhz - VK3RRU Mildura
28.265 Mhz - VK4RRC Brisbane
28.266 Mhz - VK4RST St George
28.267 Mhz - VK7RAE Devonport

Despite all the beacon activity not many on SSB. I tried the 29.620 Mhz FM Adelaide beacon, it came back S9 but no-one replied.



Thursday, 4 January 2018

WWFF Coornatha Nature Reserve VKFF-1914

After stopping overnight at Jindabyne drove to Cooma for lunch. After lunch drove out to Coornatha Nature Reserve, to make a few more contacts as I still didn't have the 44 needed for WWFF.

Found the park gate not just unlocked but open. Left it as it was. Set up the radio near the car in the same spot as my last activation here.


Shack on the tarp. Used power from the car battery as per last activation.


Got on 40 m. Started with a park to park contact with Rob VK4AAC/2 in VKFF-0495 Towarri National Park.

Then worked the following park hunters

VK2IO Gerard
VK3SQ Geoff
VK2NP Cliff
VK3PF Peter
VK2LL Ian
VK3SFG Sergio
VK4TJ John
VK2VW Brett
VK3GGG/VK3PMG Mick
VK2LKW Wolfgang.

Conditions were not that good, and starting to warm up in the sun, so packed up and headed home. Still need another 7 contacts to finish this park, at least not that far from home.