26112017 – 2017 VKFF Activation Weekend

2017 VKFF Activation Weekend

This is a annual event organised by VK5PAS Paul framed to promote WWFF. This year there was activator representation from all States and Territories around Australia. There were alerts for 60 VKFF sites posted on ParksnPeaks across 89 activations for 42 activators. Weather and conditions resulted in a couple of cancellations and with these type of events, there are always a group of activators who decide to go on short notice which resulted in this case with at least 75 unique sites activated over the weekend. It is a great weekend to gain P2P contacts.

WWFF activations can be made from a mobile setup. This allows the activators to deploy tarps, tables, more elaborate antenna and higher power radios as the associated with your car is not an issue. I had been acquiring components to complete a HF radio in Subie this year. The final piece was a Outbacker Stealth vertical to replace the unit lost on recent SOTA activations. So this gives me 80 to 6m with the FT891. Can still deploy a independent portable setup or external antenna but have a loaded 1/4 wave vertical with 100w ready to go.  

I stayed close to home activating sites that were added to the VKFF list August this year. Whilst the Enfield State Park had been previously activated, this will be the first for both Corindhap and Mount Mercer Nature Conservation Reserves.

Corindhap VKFF 2070

WWFF Corindhap Nature Conservation Reserve (VKFF-2070) 

Situated on the edge of the town of Corindhap on the Colac-Ballarat Road. Open clear access but no facilities. I had Telstra phone coverage so able to spot and watch ParksnPeaks.org on the iPad.

Secured 24 contacts including 8 P2P contacts; 

  • VK3FLCS Brett in Mount Sugarloaf Nature Conservation Reserve (VKFF-2158)
  • VK5FMAZ Marija in Morgan Conservation Park (VKFF-0911)
  • VK5PAS Paul in Morgan Conservation Park (VKFF-0911)
  • VK1DI Ian in Mount Pleasant Nature Reserve (VKFF-1775)
  • VK3PF Peter in Swallow Lagoon Nature Conservation Reserve (VKFF-2199)
  • VK7JON John in Ferndene State Reserve (VKFF-1802)
  • VK7FLOK Helen in Ferndene State Reserve (VKFF-1802)
  • VK2IO Gerard in Blue Mountains National Park (VKFF-0041)

 WWFF Enfield State Park (VKFF-0757) 

Enfield State Park was a quick stop on the way to Mt Mercer to gain Park to Park contacts;

  • VK2XSE Liz in Balowra State Conservation Area (VKFF-1269)
  • VK3ZPF Peter in Main Ridge Nature Conservation Reserve (VKFF-2135)
  • VK1DI Ian in Mount Pleasant Nature Reserve (VKFF-1775)
as the road goes through the park. Pull over and secure SSB contacts then off to Mount Mercer Nature Conservation Reserve… too easy.

Mount Mercer VKFF 2154Mount Mercer Nature Conservation Reserve (VKFF-2154) 

I had a bit of trouble finding the site. Not because it is hard to find, quite the contrary,  the site is on a major road between Bunninyong and Geelong but because it does not have any trees.Driving along the road and looking at the tree’d areas did not work. The GPS was correct as found the sign so after running out of park before trees I realised the intend was to operate from the grassed land. Ok got it.  In the 6 years I have been activating SOTA and Parks this i the first grass land, no treed site. There are a few Alpine summits (Mt Feathertop, Mt Marjorie, Mt Hotham) that are as barren but this was a Park.hmmm. Ended up at Gundies Road without finding any clear access so decided to turn back towards Bunnyiong and headed for the start of the park as the sign was down from the CFA shed. 

Left the car at the CFA shed and jumped the fence to operate from a chair using the KX3 and dipole off 7M squid pole stopped to the fence. Nice comfy operating position. No need to go too far in. Snakes one reason…

I could hear a lot of static crashes and there was thunder and lightening (to the east) visible so this was not going to be a long activation.

Nothing from the Mt Mercer Wind Farm. This is consistence with an activation of VK3/VS-024 (Mt Misery) near Waubra wind farm on HF and VHF where again no interference could be noted from the wind turbines.

Again the weather was not brilliant and so only operated for half a hour as not keen on the thunder storm activity. Secured 3 P2P contacts;

  • VK2IO Gerard in Pitt Town Nature Reserve (VKFF-1984)
  • VK5FMAZ Marija in Ridley Conservation Park (VKFF-0932)
  • VK5PAS Paul in Ridley Conservation Park (VKFF-0932)

and headed home. 

Update: 23122017. Received a ‘Participation certificate’ from Paul. Nice work Paul, thanks