The weekend of the 1st and 2nd of April 2017 was the 4th. Anniversary activation weekend for the VK5 Parks Award.
As I have been involved with this Award scheme pretty much right from the start I was keen to do some activating myself.
As I had chosen to go to Penambol C.P. on the Saturday afternoon for a “Meet and Greet” with Tony VK3XV and XYL Sheryl, I decided that I would activate Tantanoola C.P. in the late morning on Sunday, (At present I do the rebroadcast of the W.I.A. National News and then the local call backs here in the South East Of S.A. so it is impossible to get an early start on Sunday morning), followed by Gower C.P. in the afternoon.
I got to Tantanoola C.P. pretty much on time but because I had built a new antenna it took a little while to get it set up.
(I have built a (roughly), 80 metre half wave dipole fed with 450 Ohm ladder line which I was keen to try out, as sometimes lately 80 metres seems to perform better during the day than 40 metres. I was also hoping that the internal tuner in the KX3 would tune it on all bands. The swr at 3.610 Mhz showed 1:1 but I could hear very little on the band. I did make two contacts though, before I switched over to 40 metres). 40 metres also appeared to tune up with an indicated swr of 1:1 across the band but I am not sure how much of my ten watts was actually being radiated. (The swr on 20 meters appears to be about 4.6:1, not good so some work to do there).
I set up on the lawns between the carpark and the Highway at the Caves Interpretive Centre. Using one of the park type benches it is an easy spot to set up in.
My first contact on 3.610 Mhz was Allen, VK3ARH, at 01:50 U.T.C. closely followed by Peter, VK3PF/3 who was in the Little Desert N.P. Both of these were a bit difficult with a 4 x 3 sent to Allen and 5 x 2 received. Peter was 4 x 4 to me and I gave him a 5 x 7. After calling for a few minutes and not being able to hear anything by scanning up and down the band I switched over to 40 metres which resulted in a slow but steady trickle of callers. I did not have phone coverage and was not able to self spot, unfortunately.
At one stage I had quite a long and enjoyable chat to Gerrard, VK2IO who was portable in the Werakata C.P..
I stuck around until 0340 U.T.C. but as I had indicated that I would be at Gower at about 2 p.m. local I decided to pack up and move to keep the faith.
I forgot to take any still or video footage of this activation for which I apologise.
Here is a copy of my F.L.E. log for this Park:-
Many thanks to all who gave me a call and it was nice to catch up with you again after a long absence on my part.
I look forward to doing it again soon’
73 & 44