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

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4 Responses to TANTANOOLA CAVES C.P. 5CP-225. VKFF-0804

  1. VK5PAS, Paul says:

    G’day Col,

    Thanks for the P2P contacts from Waitpinga CP. And all good on the home brew antenna. You had a strong signal to us on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

    73 mate.

    Paul VK5PAS.

  2. vk5hcf says:

    Thanks again Paul. It’s always a pleasure to work you, (and now Marija as well).
    I look forward to many more qso’s to come.
    73 & 44 mate

  3. vk5bje says:

    Hi Col
    You might be asking too much of the coupler in the radio to match a universal dipole. You might find a full-size coupler, either balanced or using a balun might, provide a better match. At least you would be in a better position to know if it works or not. If you keep our power down the open wire dipole should work well with a coupler using a balun. There are plenty of articles on the so-called universal dipole. Good luck with the experiments.
    John D

  4. vk5hcfCol says:

    Hi John,
    The tuner in the KX3 is a pretty awesome device and is capable of matching a lot more than most built in tuners. Having said that however I am thinking of carting a tuner out on my next activation anyway. This will allow me to compare swr’s and really get a good grip on how well the KX3 tuner actually works. I have a little You Kits analyser which works very well.
    I very rarely run more than 5 watts out, unless conditions are really bad in which case I might bump it up to 10 watts, (or even, heaven forbid, the full 15 watts).
    Thanks for the comments and I hope to do a post on the new dipole soon.

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