This is another of those nearby parks that I’d been unsure about entry to. It’s VKFF-1983 Palm Grove Nature Reserve
Again I forgot to enable APRS when I left home. I turned it on when I parked.
I left the M1 at Peats Ridge Rd, turned on to Wisemans Ferry Rd, about 100m down Dog Trap Rd and then Kilkenny Rd.
Parked at the end of Kilkenny Rd then walked downhill down Cedar Brush Walk to enter the park. I set up about 20m after the turn to the East.
Google Earth appears to have Cedar Brush Walk placed slightly wrong. I was actually set up on the north edge of the walk.
Where I was in Palm Grove is on part of the Great Northern Walk. I had a bit of a scare while setting up. I stupidly threaded the VHF rubber duck from the FT-818 under the chair on the side of the pack. Of course it fell out. Fortunately, I found it quickly about 100m up the hill back towards the car.
So I set up on the northern side of the walk. Guying the star picket was “interesting”. The ground was soft and that big log presented some challenges. Fortunately the guy ropes were long enough to get over it.
The western end of the antenna runs off just to the right of the large tree.
Another challenging day. First contact was at 1:34pm (2:34 UTC). Twelve contacts in the first 25 minutes would normally have been a good start, then it got quiet.
Between 2pm and 3pm (3:00-4:00 UTC) I made five, Between 3pm and 4pm (4-5UTC) I made twelve. Between 4pm and 6pm (5-7 UTC) I made two (4:54pm and 5:59pm). Finished the day with only two more for a total of 33.
While calling CQ on 20m during one of these quiet periods, I had a pest decide to answer my calls with a CQ in CW. It’s the closest that I’ve come to using the key in an activation. I got as far as plugging it in but they had then stopped. In a way it’s a shame that it was a pest, as they had a lovely tone and a very strong signal.
Being that sunset was around 7:25pm I decided at about 7:15that I wanted to be packed up before it got too dark as gathering up the antenna meant trekking through a bit of scrub, and I’d prefer to do that before it got dangerous. One last contact at 7:18pm while I was gathering up odds and ends to go in the backpack before attacking the antenna.
Modes SSB: 33 Parks 0 park contacts - 0 unique Bands 40M: 23 20M: 4 30M: 3 80M: 3 33 unique contacts (0 duplicates) 33 log entries
Took this well in to the day when things were quiet.
I’m a little disappointed that it doesn’t show clearly in this photo, but the rope holding the west end of the dipole was hooked over this branch about 4-5m up.
I had to tie some extra cord on to the one I normally use as this tree was just too good to pass up for the Eastern end. The advantage was that I just held one end of the rope and threw the spool over, getting it first go.
This took a few attempts to take trying to work out focus and the timer on the camera. This is pretty much what I look like entering and exiting. The point being that I can do it in a single trip (in theory). The tube in my left hand holds the quid pole, a tent pole and a 45cm star picket. The 180cm star picket is strapped to the outside of it with velcro. The camera bag (and the reflective lining) is in my right hand. The FT70D is on my belt. On the trek back to the car, I also had a chat on the Somersby 2m repeated (VK2RAG) with VK2FOMG about the day.
I’ll come back to get the final eleven to properly qualify it later.