2018-07-28 Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area

VKFF-1340 is a strange “park”. It’s dotted in many discrete sections around the Lake.


I drove up the Pacific Highway to just past Montefiore Rd, which looks to be closest to Catherine Hill Bay. There was a gate into a slightly raised area that I could set up in. Turns out I was about 144m above sea level on a nice ridge with good take-off in all directions.

There was a *LOT* of park activator activity today. I ended up with 16 park to park calls across eleven unique parks. A total of 59 calls with four duplicates, easily qualifying the park.

The first challenge was trying to get the squid pole up. In the direction that I wanted to run the antenna, there was only really one tree that I could use. The ground was also caked clay so putting up a star picket to mount the pole on was a challenge. I found a small pile of looser dirt to put it in while I set three guy ropes up. Doing it this way means that I really don’t need to get the picket far into the ground. Just enough so the base won’t move. It’s then velcrod to the picket at top and bottom of the first segment.

The next challenge was what to do with the South Eastern leg of the dipole. There was a tree a bit north of where I wanted so that was out. I ended up driving the car close to the position that I wanted and tieing off the South-East leg to the roof racks.

I got to 26 calls in the first hour and then it slowed down a bit. The whole 59 took just under three hours.

I was especially happy to end the day catching VK6XN/P (Hans) and VK6NDX/P (Nick) on 20m (14.310MHz) in VKFF-0552 – Yalgorup National Park on the other side of the country – 3340km away on 6 watts.

A really satisfying day. Thanks to all the hunters and activators that I spoke with.

This screenshot was more to record the Lat/Long/Height above Sea Level
This one shows a bit better where I set up.
The set up into the second hour. Yes, it’s just water. Yes, the grass did blow in to my face a lot.
From another angle.
A bit of a lean on the pole.


The NW end, I was able to toss the rope over a branch about 2.5m up.
Necessity being the mother of invention. Tied off the SE end to the front roof rack of the car. Focus on car.
Trying to be clever re-doing the previous shot with focus shifter to the squid pole.
You get an idea of what type of ground I was set up on here.

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