VKFF-1983 – Palm Grove Nature Reserve

Today I headed out to Palm Grove for a fourth time (one more for boomerang) with the thought that I just needed ten contacts to make it count as a return park.

Where I go in Palm Grove is on the Great Northern Walk.




Palm Grove Nature Reserve is relatively local, about a 30 minute drive from home.


Heading out we get pretty close to the VK2RAG repeater side in Somersby. It’s just off the bottom of the above map below the big Somersby intersection.


I parked at the end of Kilkenny Rd and walked down the Great North Walk to where I generally set up.

The Setup

What a day.

It started, … poorly.

I got myself set up and went to set up my tablet for the log. I started getting java errors saying that it could not access the SD card. I tried pulling the micro SD card cleaning it off and putting it back a couple of times to no avail.

OK, I’ve got a micro SD in my phone, maybe I could put that in. Unfortunately I didn’t have something the strength of a paper clip to eject it.

OK, I thought, I can download and install only phone and use that.

Nope. The current version wasn’t available (It was made available for me later in the day and I now have a backup on my phone. Thanks for that Peter).

I then thought that maybe I could email a copy of the android  package through gmail from the tablet to my phone.

Nope, for some reason the email wouldn’t send.

I was about to give up, pack up and go home (as I had nothing to log on) and magically the tablet started working.


Just as I was about to start I had a pole collapse. On having a closer look, I saw that one of my solder joins (which I cover in head shrink) on the 20-30m segment, had come adrift.



I ended up tying a knot in the cable and twisting it back together. It may not quite be resonant but it seemed to work OK.


So here are two views of where I set up. While today I remembered to bring the star picket, why spend the time setting that up when I have a handy sign to velcro the squid pole to?


Of course I forgot to take pictures of the antenna until I started packing up.


So the Eastern end was tied around a tree up about as high as I could safely stretch.


and the Western was up over this branch, and I didn’t notice when I took it that the camera focussed on the background rather than where I wanted it. I was in a bit of a rush as I wanted to pack up.

The Activation

I started transmitting around 1:26pm (3:26 UTC), with 100W on 40m. I was stunned at how quickly I was making contacts. By 2pm, I had 30 contacts in the log. Within an hour of starting, I’d got to 48.

With two more contacts I was going to go to 20m, but saw Gerard spot on 80m, so bagged a part to park with him and a contact with Geoff VK3SQ before heading to 20m, adding the US, Canada and New Zealand to the log in a swag of eleven 20m contacts.

I went down to 30m with high opes for it but only managed another six.

On spec I went up to 17m, picking up two more before giving 15m a short go with no luck and then heading back 40m at 3:4pm (5:45 UTC). I stayed on 40m for the remainder of the activation, picking up another 21 before calling it a day at about 4:30pm (6:30 UTC) with 91 contacts.

I think that’s the most I’ve picked up in a single park, even when contesting. If not, then it’s close.

The Stats

 CW: 1
SSB: 90

 VKFF-0176: 1
 VKFF-0092: 1
 VKFF-1348: 3
5 park contacts - 3 unique

 17M: 2
 40M: 70
 20M: 11
 30M: 6
 80M: 2

91 unique contacts (0 duplicates)

91 log entries

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