I was getting itchy feet as I hadn’t done an activation since January, and that was the day at Mount Elliot with the Club. I decided to do my six hours for the field day in VKFF-0049, as this would make it the third park (of five required) that I have five qualifying activations for in order to qualify for the VKFF Boomerang Award.
As usual I headed out through Terrigal towards Kincumber,
then East on the Scenic Road
Towards the Mt Bouddi Picnic Area.
The trip home had me heading West on The Scenic Road down to Empirre Bay Dr and then back how I came.
This was taken before I was fully set up, you’ll notice I don’t have the key out yet.
This is becoming a pretty standard setup for this location. The 7m pole to the south.
The 6m pole to the north.
and the 10m pole (only up 8-9m) on this same post. With the concrete under the post I was getting some issues with the bottom of the pole sliding around. I ended up tying off the pole at the top of the first segment to a small sapling in the opposite direction that the top would move.
I picked up a second battery on the way in (another 12AH gel cell), as my 9AH one finally hit the point of not being able to sustain a charge and I really like the idea of having backup battery. I ended up not needing it, but we all know what would have happened if I didn’t have it.
I had elected to run QRP as I normally do for competitions, so I was only running 5 watts, which is probably why I didn’t need the second battery. Unfortunately I had not read the contest rules properly. I really hobbled myself doing this as there was no QRP section in the contest. Perhaps next year I’ll run with a bit more power.
Anyway, I started off at 1:59pm (02:59UTC) and spent a long time on 40m. The contest is staggered in to three hour blocks, which started at midday, so starting late allowed me to make use of three blocks. The idea of a block is that a contact with the same station (same band and mode) only counts once within a block. AS I was only running for teh six hour section, this allowed me a few more contacts.
By 5:40pm (6:40UTC) I’d made 41 contacts on 40m and decided to give 80m a go.
80m hadn’t quite come to life yet and I only picked up five before returning to 40m at about 6:20pm (7:30UTC) picking another 16 in the next hour.
I was able to pick up another eight on 80m before my six hours was up at 7:58pm (8:58UTC).
It had gotten completely dark by then, and I had managed to leave the lantern at home. Fortunately I was set up about 2m from the car, so I was able to pack up using the car headlights and my phone light.
Of course, I found the mozzie spray once I’d packed up.
Modes CW: 2 SSB: 68 Parks VKFF-2784: 3 VKFF-0556: 1 VKFF-1971: 2 VKFF-0199: 2 VKFF-828: 1 VKFF-0828: 2 VKFF-0867: 1 12 park contacts - 7 unique Bands 40M: 57 80M: 13 53 unique contacts (17 duplicates) 70 log entries
Of course working the three hour blocks there were going to be duplicates from the perspective of the park activation.
From the perspective of the contest, all contacts were valid. As I was a portable station, voice contacts counted two points and CW counted four, so I ended up with 144 points, which for 5 watts was pretty decent.
In addition I also contacted operators for one SOTA summit and seven unique park to park.
All in all a pretty fun afternoon/evening.