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.


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


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


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

Google Earth


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


I was on the southern side of the park.


and a more geographical perspective on the park location.

The Set Up


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.


Another shot of the set up.


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.


Looking back to the set up from the souther end.


The northern end was tied off to this tree.


and looking back from the northern end.


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.


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


I tied it off about 2m from the top.


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


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

 CW: 9
SSB: 37

 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

 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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