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

AM: 3
SSB: 41

0 park contacts - 0 unique

40M: 25
80M: 19

44 unique contacts (0 duplicates)
The full extent of Popran National Park with X marking where I planned to go.
Planning using Google Earth
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.
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
The entrance had a sign.. The sign is well outside the park.
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.
A lovely view of the M1 Motorway.
Looking down to the SE end of the dipole
Looking up to the SW end of the dipole. I *should* have set up on top of that rise.
Looking down the hill towards the set up on the rocks.
Looking down to the pole from the SW end of the dipole
The horrible tree that snagged the rope and caused me so much grief.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s