2021-04-11 VKFF-0550 Wyrrabalong National Park

So, today I managed to get out for the second time this year. I chose a good day as it was a big VK3 activation weekend. I still have some issues to deal with since my last outing, namely I have a bit of a split in the 4th top segment of the 10m pole, so I made sure I threw in a big roll of gaffa tape.

I was aiming at a 2pm-ish start.

I arrived at the park to find that the place in the car park that I normally set up was full of cars, so I elected to head to the south-eastern end, which was empty. Unfortunately this end of the car park was too short to string up the full 80m linked dipole in a straight line so I had to cross the car park to a tree on the other side. As it ended up I didn’t use 80m so could have got by without it.

Taken from just to the north of the southern end looking back at the car.

I went to set up the pole against one of these posts, only to find that I’d left all but one of my velcro tapes at home. That one that you can see had about 1cm overlap. Fortunately I also had some rope in the car that I could lash the bottom end of the pole to the post with.

Southern end over the top of a small branch about 2m up and tied off.

Looking back to the pole, you can see we ended up with a bit of a lean. Also, I didn’t put the pole all the way up because of the winds and the fact that I had two segments gaffa taped together to stop them collapsing.

The northern end just looped over the top of the “No Exit” sign.

You can definitely see the lean from this side and that this leg really did droop. Lucky I didn’t need 80m.

I guess that the reason that I didn’t change bands much was that I’d have to walk around the fence to get to the pole to lower it. One amusing thing when I did go from 40m to 20m is that I had not realised how taught the southern leg was. With how far over the pole was, as I lowered it the dipole flew off the end of the pole; necessitating me taking the pole completely down (as I didn’t want to have to remove the gaffa tape on the bad segment and put it back on.

You can just see the gaffa tape above the flag.

and looking back to the northern end.

These shots were taken at the end of the activation and you can see the beginnings of a lovey sunset.

and of course the coax running through the passenger side window. I elected to use the 20m run of RG-174 so I wasn’t taught to the top of the dipole from the car.

The set up inside. I brought one of my “newer” keys with me today. I only got one QSO with it although I did call for a bit on 20m. I think I need to get the base on it. It wasn’t as easy to use like this on my leg as the cheaper one. Note that at this stage I had turned off the linear as the batteries I was using (not the car) were no longer up to a 20A draw.

This is what I use for logging. Oh I also had to adjust that back to read 5W after I got back.

The Activation

Wow. Lots of activity right from the get go. Started the day with eight park to parks. 40m was amazing today. 29 contacts in the first hour, all on 40m. In the second hour I went up to 20m. Picked up a few VK5s, and then was surprised to get a call back from OK2TS. Followed this up with a park to park with Paul, VK0PD at Casey station, Antarctica before going back to 40m for an other 16 contacts, including ON4BW.

I had a highly enjoyable day and really need to get out and do this more often.

The one downside of the day is tat I think my linear is locked on 100W output as I ran down those two 12AH batteries far too quickly. At one point the voltage dropped sufficiently under transmit that the FT818 turned off. At this point I just turned the linear off and did the rest of the day on 5W.

Statistics

Modes
 CW: 1
SSB: 50

Parks
 VKFF-0132: 1
 VKFF-1738: 1
 VKFF-0213: 1
 VKFF-0539: 1
 VKFF-0620: 1
 VKFF-0361: 1
 VKFF-0629: 1
 VKFF-0402: 1
 VKFF-2713: 2
 VKFF-1908: 1
 VKFF-0571: 1
 VKFF-0231: 2
 VKFF-2043: 1
15 park contacts - 13 unique

Bands
 40M: 46
 20M: 5

51 unique contacts (0 duplicates)

51 log entries

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