The past weekend was a ‘long weekend’. Thursday was a public holiday and I took Friday off work so I got 4 days off in a row. To make the most of the time I planned four national park activations for the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks award.
On Thursday I revisited Great Otway National Park. Last time I set up in the Moggs Creek picnic area but this time I chose a short track in the north east corner of the park about 8km north of Anglesea.
I followed the track until it came to an end where a tree had fallen. Here I chose to set up but there was no suitable support to attach my 10 m squid pole that supports the switched inverted vee antenna. After thinking a little about it I thought I would try attaching the pole to the front wheel. This proved to work quite well. If you want to try this method be careful of the disc brake’s rotor as it may be hot :).
From here I made contacts on 10 m to Japan, 15 m to VK6 and 40 m to VK2 and VK5. Only one QSO was an active award chaser.
From there I headed north to the Brisbane Ranges National Park.
I’ve worked from Brisbane Ranges National Park twice before but I really wanted to add a couple more bands to my tally, I parked on the side of a track just north of the small town of Anakie. Here, I again used my switched inverted vee antenna on the squid pole attached to a gate post.
I worked one Japanese station on 15 m and one VK3 on 80 m. Despite my calling on 10 m and 40 m I couldn’t get any more QSOs in my log.
On Saturday my wife and I headed to the Mitchel River National Park. This proved to be a successful activation with 15 QSOs across the 10, 15, 20, 40 and 80 m bands in the 90 minutes we were there. I had posted my activation on the KRMNPA yahoo group and I worked a few award chasers from this park. We worked from the Den of Nargun car park where we got a bit of interest from passersby.
From Mitchell River we headed back toward town stopping briefly at the Morwell National Park. Again, this was a park I had been to before that I wanted to work on new bands. I worked 7 stations across 4 bands for 10 QSOs. I was unable to get any contacts on 10 m so I’ll save that band for later. Peter, VK3PF, told me of a different location in the park which may work better than the Fosters Gully Visitors Area. This wouldn’t be hard as the Fosters Gully Visitors Area is exactly that. A gully.