2019-11-10 Samford Conservation Park (VKFF-1639)

I was supposed to drive back to the Central Coast today. Given the current fire situation, I thought it best to remain until things quiet down a little.

This freed me up to do the other park that I meant to do yesterday but couldn’t get to.

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It was a bout a 40 minute drive to where I thought I wanted to go.

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Unfortunately, the comms towers site that I wanted to get to was behind locked gates, with an uninviting 900m hike.

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I ended up doubling back to the car park for Ironbark Picnic area.

Google Earth

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The dot is a little north of where I set up, but I was definitely inside the park.

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I was on the southern side of the park.

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and a more geographical perspective on the park location.

The Set Up

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Given that I’d got out and set up before midday, I thought to leave the 40m segment of the linked dipole detached. This game me some flexibility on where I could put the ends.

I attached the squid pole to the back of the bike paths sign.

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Another shot of the set up.

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The southern end had nothing convenient to tie to, so I tied it off to my roof racks. This is not the first time I’ve had to do this.

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Looking back to the set up from the souther end.

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The northern end was tied off to this tree.

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and looking back from the northern end.

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and what I laid out on my camp table.

The Activation

Today started much better than yesterday.

First contact was at 11:37pm (01:37UTC), with a park to park with Shane (VK2LUV) who was in a park I’ve previously activated (Belford). Eight calls on 40m in the first 11 minutes. This was shaping up nicely.

Then it got quiet for a bit.

I saw Gerard VK2IO was doing CW on 20m and quickly ducked up to contact him at 12:01 (02:01UTC).

I then went up to 30m to pick up another six by 12:28 (02:28 UTC).

At 12:34 (02:34 UTC) I went back to 40m to pick up a four more SSB then to CW at 1:36pm (03:06 UTC), picking up four there as well.

Having it go quiet CW, at 1:28pm (03:28 UTC) I went back up the band to pick up another five phone contacts.

At 1:51pm (03:51 UTC) I went back to 20m and picked up another five SSB contacts.

With level let to get it was starting to look a bit bleak. I went about an hour without any more contacts.

Time to bite the bullet  and rearrange the antenna to add the 80m segments of the dipole.

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I took the 6m squid pole out and ran the southern end to it

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I tied it off about 2m from the top.

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Looking back to the set up from the  new southern end of the now 80m linked dipole.

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Looking back to the set up and the car from the new northern end of the 80m dipole.

dsc_0205The VKFF flag flying nicely in the breeze.

Now, that I had 80m present I set about getting the remaining needed contacts at about 2:56pm (04:56 UTC). I picked up eight SSB contacts in the next 15 minutes before shifting ti CW and picking up four more.

WhileI had the contacts that I needed, I noticed that Marija (VK5FMAZ/3) and Paul (VK5PAS/3) were in a new park on 40m.

Marija was much in demand and they changed operators before I managed to make Paul my final contact of the day at 3:35pm (05:35 UTC).

The Statistics

Modes
 CW: 9
SSB: 37

Parks
 VKFF-0556: 2
 VKFF-1709: 1
 VKFF-1162: 3
 VKFF-2456: 2
 VKFF-0629: 1
 VKFF-0549: 1
 VKFF-1926: 1
 VKFF-0023: 1
12 park contacts - 8 unique

Bands
 40M: 22
 20M: 6
 30M: 6
 80M: 12

46 unique contacts (0 duplicates)

My Compainion

I did have a companion throughout the day who was very skittish at me trying to get too close to photograph him.

 

 

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