2018-10-02 Popran National Park

I’ve been trying to find a place to do this park (VKFF-0417) for quite some time. The problem was that the sites I was looking at either required a 4WD or a nice long walk.

I found this spot with the aid of Google Earth (see the planning images).

I parked on the Old Pacific Highway just outside the gate and went for a walk.

There was a magnificent spot just beyond the park sign which would have likely given me a lovely ground wave on 40m in to Sydney. Unfortunately it was also outside the actual park boundary. I’ve learned that lesson before about trusting the park sign.

So, I went for a bit of a walk down the track to the north, ending up in a nice cleared area (which is apparently where the high pressure gas main for the area runs).

I set the pole up just near some large stones that worked well as a table, running the active side of the linked dipole West of South-West and the other side down the other trail to the South-East.

I should mention at this point that when throwing my rope up through a tree on the active side, I managed to get it and the bit of wood I was using to weight it (no-where near heavy enough) stuck. It took me quite some time to get it to the point the I could pull on it to raise the dipole. I ended up velcro-ing a stick to the end of a tent pole and managing to wrap the rope around it and pull.

Unfortunately there was no tree close enough to tie off the South East end, so I resorted to velcro-ing the tent pole to a 45cm star picket.

In hind-sight (isn’t it always hind-sight?) I realised that I should have walked up to the top of the hill to the south-west, where I would likely have got a much better take off to Sydney.

It was a slow day. I managed no contacts on 20m & 30m. There was an hour between 3:30 and 4:30 (5:30-6:30 UTC) when I had nothing at all.

With seven contacts required I was starting to be concerned that I’d have to pack up before I got there, as I was approaching sunset and had no decent lantern.

Fortunately we had a few more chasers and a couple of AM contacts as well on 80m to get over the line about 25 minutes after sunset.

A quick pack up saw me back at the car just as it would have been too dark to walk out without light.

Stats for the day

Modes
AM: 3
SSB: 41

Parks
0 park contacts - 0 unique

Bands
40M: 25
80M: 19

44 unique contacts (0 duplicates)
planned-vkff-0417
The full extent of Popran National Park with X marking where I planned to go.
planned-vkff-0417-2
Planning using Google Earth
aprs-15
This shows the route home. I was sure that I turned on APRS before I left, but there you go. I actually approached the park from the East crossing the bridge over the M1 after taking the south-bound Calga exit.
aprs-25
This shows better where I would have come from the east. Unfortunately I didn’t turn on APRS until I arrived. The park to the east of the motorway is Brisbane Water National Park
dsc_00651
The entrance had a sign.. The sign is well outside the park.
dsc_00661
I left my table packed up today and set upon a big stone. As I managed to leave the wood at home that I normally place under the FT-818, one of my sand-pegs had to suffice.
dsc_0067
A lovely view of the M1 Motorway.
dsc_0068
Looking down to the SE end of the dipole
dsc_0069
Looking up to the SW end of the dipole. I *should* have set up on top of that rise.
dsc_0070
Looking down the hill towards the set up on the rocks.
dsc_0071
Looking down to the pole from the SW end of the dipole
dsc_0072
The horrible tree that snagged the rope and caused me so much grief.

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