Gir-um-bit National Park (VKFF-0589) and Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park (VKFF-1410)

Doing my Google Earth research last night I thought I had hit upon the perfect spot to activate both of these parks from, requiring no movement between activations.

ge1

What I hadn’t planned on was rain. That spot above was on a sandy surface around sea level.  It was marshy and swampy; under about half an inch of water. Also, the road was not inside the Marine Park 100m boundary.

ge2

Not wanting to waste too much time (I arrived around 11am), I drove up the road a little  and considered around where the yellow X was. Also pretty wet and mushy grass; it looked like it may also be private property.

Similar with the pink X which would have been within both parks At the yellow there was a sign pointing out that beyond that point it was private property and under surveillance.

ge3

Pulling out Google Earth again I noticed another overlap a few kilometres away, this time somewhere that I could park and operate from inside the car (which was good as it rained most of the day).

I should also note that when I arrived at the first location at about 11am, it was still 8°C. It didn’t get above 11°C all day.

You probably already guessed by now that I forgot to enable APRS for maps.

Google Earthimg_1076

As can be seen from above and below, I set up well inside the boundary for Gir-Um-Bit National Park and the 100m zone for Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park.

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Setting Up

I didn’t actually take these until I was ready to go, but you get the idea.

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With the pole just in front of the car, I could run one end back towards the main road and the other along the track; remaining within both parks and having sufficient coax to come in to the car.

On that note, I’m glad I brought two runs of coax with me. The one I normally use appears to have a problem. I’ll have a look at it during the week.

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With the tree above the pole I could only get the dipole up about 8m but that appeared to be more than fine. I also didn’t bother with the 80m legs. This was looking back to the car from the end near the main road, which was tied off to a waist high road sign.

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Looking back to the car from the other end down the track.

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I also remembered to put the flag up. It needs to come inside and dry now.

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The ground was just soft enough to get the pole and the tent pegs in, though I had to do the guy on the side of the track to be as short as I possibly could.

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I ran the coax in through the drivers window then wound it up as far as I could without crushing it.

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This was the last frequency that I worked. I got VK4RF here before finishing.

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And with the key on my left leg. The passenger seat looks a bit of a mess but it did the job.

The Activation

VKFF-0589

Contacts came quick and fast today.

I started with VKFF-0589. Of course it was a few calls in before I had it pointed out to me that I’d spotted with the /4 suffix that I used last week in Queensland. After a few calls I had a chance to fix that. I had to do some editing of the logs before submission to set my on-air callsign to what I was using (VK2MG/P).

So first call was at 12:44 pm (2:44 UTC) on 40m; so much for that early start. By 1pm there were 20 contacts in the log. By 2pm there was another 25.  Picked up another one and then decided to eat lunch before changing to VKFF-1410.

Before I changed I picked up another park to park with VK1FTRA and finally VK4CZ.

VKFF-0589 Statistics

Modes
 CW: 9
SSB: 39

Parks
 VKFF-1798: 2
 VKFF-0463: 1
 VKFF-0884: 2
 VKFF-2239: 1
 VKFF-1663: 1
 VKFF-0817: 1
 VKFF-0831: 2
 VKFF-0837: 1
11 park contacts - 8 unique

Bands
 40M: 48

48 unique contacts (0 duplicates)

48 log entries

All contacts were on 40m at 25 watts.

VKFF-1410

Started off at 2:20pm (4:20 UTC), continuing on 40m. Again, contacts came thick and fast.

By 3pm I had 39 in the log, all on 40m SSB; at which time I moved to 20m and cranked up to 100W. I had thought to go CW on 40m but US Field Day had kicked off and there was nowhere for me to start calling.

I picked up 8 SSB contacts on 20m by 3:21, and then had my brother call me on the phone call for a while (always happy to chat with my brother). I was happy to get Steven (KG5CIG), Jess (W6LEN) and Rick (N6PE) in that bunch.

Went down the band to 14.044 for some CW after getting off the phone and got Steven and Jess again in CW. Unfortunately I lost K2DLL before we could exchange signal reports.

Decided to give 30m a try at about 4:12pm getting one last contact before realising that if I didn’t get a move on I was going to be late home for my 6pm online gig. I made it home with 5 minutes to set up the audio gear for that.

VKFF-1410 Statistics

Modes
 CW: 3
SSB: 46

Parks
 VKFF-1798: 2
 VKFF-2448: 1
 VKFF-0463: 1
 VKFF-0884: 1
 VKFF-1663: 1
 VKFF-0778: 1
 VKFF-0837: 1
8 park contacts - 7 unique

Bands
 40M: 37
 20M: 11
 30M: 1

49 unique contacts (0 duplicates)

49 log entries

Epilogue

A highly productive day and mostly enjoyable in spite of the rain. I’m particularly happy with 15 more park to parks and the US CW calls on 20m.

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