New Shopping Trolley – Antennas and radios.

It has taken a little while but my Icom 208H and the Yaesu FT-857 are now in the new car.

Both are out of sight and I must thank Norbert, VK5MQ for an extremely tidy installation.


Front on view

Front on view

As you can see from the photos I had a custom made aluminium number plate mount made for the front. This was then powder coated to match the grill colour.

Viewed from the side

Viewed from the side

I think it looks pretty good without looking too cumbersome.

The Icom 208H position

The Icom 208H position

The two metre dual band whip works OK but I still have some work to do with the HF side of things. I have yet to make a bracket to mount the remote head of the 857 and it may be necessary to run a tuner of some sort for the 40 metre mono band antenna, (Fitting on R.H.S. of mounting plate), as it has a limited bandwidth.

I am currently thinking of putting the 857 remote head just in front of the gear selector on the front edge of the silver part of the console. It would be mounted in such a way that it is easily removed for security as it will be pretty visible in that spot.

The white cable which is visible in the console shot is the audio lead from both radios into the cars auxiliary socket to the in car audio system. It works well with no hum and stacks of volume. (If required).

So far it looks to be pretty well free of any vehicle generated noise of any real consequence. (Fingers crossed).




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After 10 years and 88,000 kms the 2005 Ford Fiesta, (a.k.a. “The Shopping Trolley”) has gone.


This was a great little car which served us very well and which was economical and reliable.

However I felt that it was time to upgrade and the xyl agreed. (?)


After a bit of research and some looking around we found an ex demo 2014 Kia Rio SLI with 140 km. on the clock and we traded the Fiesta on it.

1980 x 1280


After 4 days of ownership we are very happy with our choice.

The real test however will be when it ventures out to a park.

I am confident that it will perform well but we will have to wait and see.

Watch this space for warts and all comments.



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Another certificate

Paul ,VK5PAS has sent me this very attractive certificate just for being “Out and About” in a park or two over the VKFF annual activation weekend which was held on Saturday 28th. and Sunday 29th. of November 2015.


Another for the collection

Another for the collection

Paul seems to have a flair for graphic design as all of his certificates are first class  and are well worth putting in a frame and hanging on the shack wall.

Unfortunately my shack is pretty small and so I resort to placing mine in one of those folders with the clear plastic sleeves in it. This probably saves the printed images from the ravages of sunlight as well.


Thanks for your fine efforts Paul. It is always a pleasure to go out and spend a bit of time in the bush away from all the RF noise generated by led lights, plasma tv’s  and all the other trappings of modern society which our standards people pass without much testing and which are extremely RF dirty. (sigh).

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My portable operating table and the radio and clock mounting plates.

Hi all,

Following a question from a Ham Radio Australia Facebook page member I put together a very quick video showing what I have done. It is a bit rough and ready but it works.

As I only have a Ford Fiesta as transport I have to keep all my gear small. (This happens to suit me fine).

The slots in the table were made by using an Ozito Multi Function Tool and the small plunge type saw.

The mounting brackets are light guage aluminium sheet roughly cut to shape with a pair of straight shears. Being flat the plates fit easily in my little case with the radio, assorted cables, coax adapters clock etc.

Here is the video:-

I hope that this help someone by giving them a better idea or just by using this as a guide.




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Telford Scrub C.P. (VKFF-0805). 8th. January 2016

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.

Telford Scrub C.P.

Telford Scrub C.P.

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.


Information leaflet

Information leaflet

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:-

Ron, VK3VBI,

Gavin, VK3MLU?

Greg, VK5GJ,

Mick, VK3PMG,

Ray, VK3YAR,

Damien, VK5FDEC,

Adrian, VK5FANA,

Don, VK3MCK,

Hans, KHZ,

Peter, VK5PET,

Gerrard, VK2IO,

Jeff, VK4RF,

Jeff, VK4HA,

Jeff, VK5JK,

and last but by no means least

Joe, VK3YSP.

These were all on the FT-857 at 50 watts.

Using the KX3 and 10 watts I was lucky enough to be called by:-

David, VK5PL,

Dennis, VK2HHA,

Greg, VK5GJ,

Adrian, VK5FANA,

Peter, VK3PF,

Mick, VK3PMG,

Paul, VK3DBP,

Amanda, VK3FQSO,

Les, VK5KLV,

Shaun, VK5FAKV,

Roscoe, VK3KRH,

Chris, VK3AWG,

Jeff, VK5JK,


Peter, VK5PET,

Many thanks to all of you and we hope to catch you again soon.

Start of the 100 metre long boardwalk

Start of the 100 metre long boardwalk

I will post some video shortly.






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Douglass Point was the 3rd. and final activation for Sunday and the weekend overall.

My G.P.S. got all confused over this one and kept telling us to turn around and go back on a regular basis. Fortunately we pretty much knew what we were doing anyway and had a bit of fun listening to Robot Woman getting cranky with us for not doing what we were being told.




More information on this park can be found here:-

After very carefully driving along the washed out and deeply rutted access road we arrived at the cliff top car park. Although the cliffs here are not very high they can be treacherous and have been known to collapse without warning.

A 30 year old woman lost her life here in a tragic accident in 2010.

My apologies for the angle. I had to hold a grass tussock aside with my foot to get a clear view of the plaque.

My apologies for the angle. I had to hold a grass tussock aside with my foot to get a clear view of the plaque.

Tom, VK5EE and I set up in our usual spot and we were on the air in short order.

Tom, VK5EE managing the pileup.

Tom, VK5EE managing the pileup.

A local turned up on his quad bike with his two small grandsons on board shortly after Tom started. He was very interested when I explained the purpose of the weekend and how many parks we had worked in most of the states of VK. The boys started getting restless so he cut the conversation short and took off for greener pastures. A number of four wheel drives came and went during our activation with a few venturing up and over the rocky hill you see in the photographs. Definitely not shopping trolley territory.

Our rugged operating position and “the shopping trolley”

This bit of coastline is quite rugged and certainly picturesque.

Rugged reefs and rocks

Rugged reefs and rocks

Tom did the bulk of the operating from here but I still managed to work the following stations:-

Paul, VK5PAS/5 in Nixon-Skinner C.P. VKFF-0923.

Greg, VK5ZGY/m.

Rob, VK4AAC.

John, VK5DJ.

Matt, VK1MA.

Marc, VK3PI on Balmattum Hill. VK3. VU-006.

Dennis, VK2HHA.

Greg, VK5GJ.

Neville, VK5WG.

Ken, VK3UH.

10 contacts with 1 Park to Park and one summit. A very pleasing effort.

Here is some video:-



Many thanks to those who gave Tom and I a call. It is always appreciated.

Looking South.

Looking South.

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EWENS PONDS C.P. VKFF-0796. (29th. November 2015)

Ewens Ponds Conservation Park was our 2nd. activation on the Sunday of the VKFF activation weekend.




When Tom, VK5EE and I arrived there were a number of cars were in the carpark and it was obvious that the occupants had been diving in the ponds. The positioning of some of these cars made setting up a bit of a challenge with the antenna touching some tree branches which, initially caused us a bit of concern. However, once we started calling it appeared that all was good and no degradation of signals was evident. A good start. Curiosity got the better of one of the divers and he came over for a chat. He seemed fascinated with what we were doing but, of course, he had the usual layman’s problem of not being able to grasp the difference between CB and Amateur Radio. He went away quite impressed with our setup as we had had contacts into VK1, VK2, VK3, VK5 and VK7 up to that point. They all packed up and left shortly after that and for a while we had the park to ourselves.

Ewens Ponds is a very pretty spot but there is not a lot of room for antennas if it is busy. We had managed to set up out of the way however and conditions were quite good.


Tom, VK5EE busy chasing chasers

Tom, VK5EE busy chasing chasers

Once again Tom and I took turns operating and I was able to get 22 contacts into my log. 8 of those were Park to Park contacts which was really great.

I worked the following callers:-

Greg, VK5ZGY/5 in Penola C.P. VKFF-0803.

Adrian, VK5FANA/5 in Clinton C.P. VKFF-0813.

Brian, VK5FMID.

Hans, VK5YX.

Marc, VK3OHM.

Tim, VK5AV.

Rob, VK4AAC/5 in Beachport C.P. VKFF-0791.

Stef, AVK5HSX/2 in Murrumbidgee Valley N.P. VKFF-0554.

Ron, VK3VBI.

Ron, VK3MRH.

John, VK5DJ.

Ray, VK3NBL.

Gerrard,VK2IO/2 in Cattai N.P. VKFF-0092.

Eric, VK3BSG.

Peter, VK3PF/3 in Port Phillip Heads M.N.P. VKFF-0954.

Andrew, VK1DA/2 on Mt. Browning. VK2. ST-042.

David, VK3MDB.

David, VK5HYZ.

Jeff, VK5JK.

Bill, VK3LY.

Tony, VK5FTVR.

Ian, VK1DI/2 in Molonglo Gorge N.R. VKFF-0991.

Another very enjoyable, (and profitable), activation.


Shady Tom.

Shady Tom.

Thank you to all who gave Tom and I a shout. It is very much appreciated.

Here is some video:-


We packed up at about 3.30 U.T.C. and headed for our last Park for the day – Douglass Point C.P. VKFF-0795.


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