I was shopping in town on Friday when I bumped into Owen, VK5HOS, who was out on his daily walk. He asked when we were doing our next park and the light bulb glowed brightly. “How about tomorrow?” I asked. “Done deal” he replied and so when I got home I posted all the details on Parks n Peaks and the Yahoo group sites for the S.A.N.&C.P. and VKFF sites and we were set to go.
We arrived in Penambol nice and early but Murphy had hitched a ride as well.
Once set up I turned on the KX3 and hit the tune button. The swr came up as 29:1. Oops. There followed a process of elimination which left the only possible culprit being the coaxial cable. (I hoped). Luckily I had a 2 metre length in the boot of the shopping trolley and after moving the operating position to directly under the matchbox of the PAR 40 metre end fed and connecting it all up, bingo, 1:1 (Beauty)! Owen is still very active and enjoys coming along on these sessions and helping to set up, pack up and generally act as a gopher but just enjoys relaxing in the great outdoors and has no desire to operate the radio so while I started to bounce my gums he got out my small el cheapo multi meter and checked the offending coax. Sure enough, a faulty solder joint in the centre pin on one end. (easily fixed at home). Conditions were pretty good, with no rf noise and seemingly good propagation and we started out well. We finished up having worked 34 stations after waiting about 20 minutes for Paul, VK5PAS to get to Cox’s Scrub C.P. and set up. As soon as we had worked Paul we packed up and headed home. It was starting to come in cold and with poor circulation I find it hard to cope with. (Too many years of smoking the dreaded fags even though I gave up 15 years ago). First to reply to my plaintive cq calls was Tony, VK3VTH in Werribee Gorge S.P. (VKFF-775). Tony was chased by the following callers: Paul, VK5PAS/5 in the Kyeema C.P. (VKFF-826) Ian, VK1DI/1 in the Percival Hill Nature Park, (VKFF-859) Peter, VK3PF, Roy, VK5NRM. Julie, VK3FOWL/3 at the Melbourne Museum. Michael, VK3FIRM, Tom, VK5FTRG, Paul, VK3BDP in Melbourne, Brian, VK5FMID, Mick, VK3PMG, Charlie, VK3ZD, Jack, VK5CJC, Alan, VK3HRA in Ballarat, Neil, VK4HNS in Goondiwindi, Peter, VK3YE who was using 2 watts from home. (You are a legend Peter). Amanda, VK3FQSO, Greg, VK5GJ, Rob, VK4AAC/5 on Kangaroo Island, Col, VK5FCDL in Murray Bridge, Ray, VK3NBL in Keilor, Gerrard, VK2IO in Sydney, Rex, VK3OF, Nev, VK5WG, Greg, VK5ZGY/m, John, VK5FTCT, Paul, VK1ATP, Paul, VK5PAS/m requesting that we wait for him to get set up in Cox’s Scrub, John, VK5TD, Les, VK3FLES, (who had called earlier but I was unable to copy his report), Dennis, VK3DPG, Phil, VK5GM, Grant, VK2LX in Canberra, and the tail end Charlie, Paul, VK5PAS/5 in the Cox’s Scrub C.P. (VKFF-824) I could also hear VK4FFAB/4 well enough to call but, unfortunately he could not hear me. Many thanks to all who took the time to give us a call and I have now added another 4 VKFF parks to my slowly growing tally. I am not sure if I will post the video as muppett accidently turned off the microphone in the camera so we have no sound track. I will have a play and see what happens. (Silly me!)