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.

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APRS

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

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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.

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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.

Cool.

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.

 

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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.

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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?

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

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

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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

Modes
 CW: 1
SSB: 90

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

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

91 unique contacts (0 duplicates)

91 log entries

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