This was a Friday twilight activation and our first for the New Year.
Tom, VK5EE and I decided to head to Telford Scrub C.P. as it is only about 14km. North of Mt. Gambier.
There has been a small fire adjacent to the car park which was obviously spotted very early as only about 200 square metres had burnt. At a rough guess I would say that some thoughtless fool threw a cigarette butt onto the ground without bothering to make sure that it was out. Very lucky. The park has deteriorated since our last visit and there has obviously been no maintenance work carried out. A very sad state of affairs but, like every other government department, there is no money available.
We arrived at 3 p.m. and set up in the car park using the 40 metre P.A.R. end fed as an inverted V. We ran this out more or less East West and parallel with the road. On turning on the radio the noise was S7 and it would have been a pain to operate like that so we decided to take it all down and move up the track into the park. We threw the fishing sinker up into a gum tree at about 8 metres and set up the inverted V in a North South direction so that it was at right angles to the power lines out on the road. This dropped the noise level down to an acceptable S2-3.
We fired up with me calling C.Q.
For the first 5 minutes or so I thought that we would be packing up and heading home but then David, VK5PL gave us a call and the contacts slowly but surely followed.
The band was quite severely affected by qsb with a couple of stations disappearing all together but with a little patience we were able to gain valid contacts. Others were booming in. It is amazing how propagation can be so different from one location to another.
At one point Tom suggested that we swap the KX3 for his FT-857 as he was lusting for some more power. We swapped the radios over but I could pick no difference even though Tom was now using 50 watts. (I think he is trying to trash my battery?) Tom has the unfortunate habit of subscribing to the “More is good” members of the watt brigade whereas I prefer to “Do more with less”. Next thing you know we will be carting a 200 Amp/Hr battery around and nursing our hernias. Mention has been made of an amplifier.(sigh).
Although the contacts were a bit slow in coming we both had a good number and we thank all of those who called in, particularly the couple who faded right out but who persevered and with a bit of patience the contacts were completed.
Tom worked the following stations:-
and last but by no means least
These were all on the FT-857 at 50 watts.
Using the KX3 and 10 watts I was lucky enough to be called by:-
Many thanks to all of you and we hope to catch you again soon.
I will post some video shortly.