VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award
April 2013 saw the launch of a new award the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award.
It promotes portable operation in South Australia’s 21 National Parks and 262 Conservation Parks. Details as to parks – http://www.ahars.com.au/htm/parks_list.html
Finally picked up enough unique entries to qualify for (belated Bronze) Silver Status,
Each South Australian National Park shall qualify with 2 points. Each South Australian Conservation Park shall qualify with 1 point.
For Australian amateur radio operators / Australian short wave listeners, the Award will be issued in 5 levels as follows:
(a) Bronze A total of 10 points
(b) Silver A total of 20 points
(c) Gold A total of 35 points
(d) Platinum A total of 50 points
(e) Diamond A total of 70 points
Activated VK3/VC-014 Mt Disappointment and VK3/VC-034 – Pretty Sally 3rd March 2013.
APRS Yes. Dipole Yes. Seasonal activation N/A
KRMNPA – Kinglake NP.
APRS shows the relationship between these two summits.
VK3/VC-034 was activated on the way home. You can also see where I missed the turn on the way to VK3/VC-014 and wasted 20min.
VK3/VC-014 Mt Disappointment
VK3PF suggested following Mt Disappointment Rd. Can drive to activation zone but VK3ZPF put me onto Blairs Hut and the ‘Summit track’.
The track is overgrown but still easy to follow. Actually on a hot day there would be a lot of protection form the sun. Tho other option is to drive up and go bush through the scrub . Personally think better to part at Blairs hut and take track. there are tables, BBQ pits and toilets.
GPS log. Limits to the resolution here as base map is 1:250K in MACGPSPro. The GPS is a eTrex Legend with open source maps transferred via GPSMapper. In SOTA activation zone and in KingLake NP by a good metre !
KRMNPA – Kinglake NP
KingLake NP is just off the summit. Follow ‘Summit track’ up. Good walk. Sign says 1.2Km but GPS measured 800m to summit. Once on top go past the summit and through the fence into Kinglake National Park.
Setup the squid pole on one of the posts 1m in the park. Exposed position. Low noise but a quite day. The majority of contacts were S2S,
VK3/VC-034 – Pretty Sally
PArked car off the road on Beauview Drive and walked down road looking for a shady spot to setup. The summit is on private land but the road measures in at 509m for the 525m summit. Setup dipole along the fence line. No real response from Melbourne other that VK3MRG at Flinders Peak. Good signals into VK2 and VK1. Not the best spot as setup between road and fence. get contacts and go home.
Overall a good day out.
Activated VK3/VT-006 (Mt Saint Phillack)1st February 2013.
APRS Limited. Dipole Yes. Seasonal activation Yes
This is a candidate for activation during winter. 8K return walking on good tracks. Just stay on walking tracks and don’t go missing tracks.
5hrs via M1 to Mt Baw Baw from home. The time is in the curves towards the end. Consider ‘South face’ road from Moe via Erica.
Drive in and park in car park near the resort information and administrative office. Follow Candle Heath Drive to the track start. The walking tracks are not as well marked as well as could be. They are of high quality and it is a ski resort after all. Had a chat to a park man there and got good directions. I missed the turn and went down Beach track for a while. It felt wrong so tuned back and found track head. You are looking for Muellers track which starts just behind Maltese Cross T-bar. Follow the yellow triangles and stay on the walking track. There are several ski runs that adds to the confusion but keep following the walking track. Its a good walk.
KRMNPA – Baw Baw NP. The Baw Baw Village ski resort is outside the National Park. You cross into the NP as Mt Saint Phillack is in the park. Keep walking only half way there.
Summit is signed. Nice clearing. Setup antenna using the rocks. Cold and wet but not a issue. This was the launch of VK1. I was late so missed the initial frenzy but still obtained 12 contacts including 4 summit to summit in 45 minutes.
Had an interesting puzzle on site. When I got to the top the GPS was telling me the summit was another 227 m away. Went and had a look and there was no mountain hiding in the trees. Measured the height at 1582m. The sign states 1558m and SOTA database records the height as 1565m. Ok within 25m but there WAS STILL SOMETHING WRONG. Worked it out. I had purchased a walking map and scanned it into MacGPS pro for planning. This map was based on Aus66 datum and the SOTA entries and my base maps are GDA94. Placed the waypoints on this map then this data was uploaded into GPS. The GPS uses WGS84. The difference between WGS84 and GDA94 is negligible and has not given me issues in the past. The difference between AUS66/84 and GDA94 is approx 200m and well known. (http://www.auslig.gov.au/earth-monitoring/geodesy/geodetic-datums/other/differences.html). You can see the difference on this map. Have been aware of these differences in the past but ensuring the activation is in the ‘SOTA zone’ has lead to closer verification of positions. You can see the waypoints are off the track and all different to the recorded track log. Wont be using AUS66 based maps again. Pity as the walking maps are very well suited to task and cleared up confusion when the ski runs were annoying me. Just more fun to the process.
Decided not to activate VT-010 Talbot Peak. Already was an hour behind and didn’t want another late run home. Will come up in the seasonal period from the Erica car park.