Managed to find a bit of time and got out to activate one of the new parks as a first activator this afternoon.
With good early spring WX I packed up and headed out. After having a lot of reports of the bands being well and truly on the decline, I packed the amp as well.
We headed around to the park and set up near the top of the range off Range Rd, While it offers elevation, it also has a very nice 415Kv transmission lines running right across the top of the park and I was hoping it would not be too noisy.
Planned on a PSK and SSB activation and set up initially on 20m. Had a few issues but finally managed to get everything working and started calling CQ on PSK31 on 20m, at around 06:45UTC
No luck at all – called for about 15-20 minutes and not a single response, so dropped that and went to SSB. Knowing things were probably not too good, I had the HR-50 amp on and was running around 40w
Posted a spot and called and first call was replied by F1BLL. over the next 20 minutes worked VK4, ON4 and VK6 before moving down to 40m
It was a fairly constant response on 40m and worked callers from VK1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7!
In the mix today, there were a couple – well 3 P2P contacts – the first with Phil, VK6ADF operating from VKFF-1446 on 20m then the next was with Gerard VK2IO from VKFF-0048 on 40m and then just as I called for final contacts, Phil, VK6ADF again from VKFF-1446 this time on 40m.
By the time we finished chatting with Phil, the sun was down and the light was rapidly dropping, it was a mad dash to pack up and walk back to the car in the last light.
At the end of the day, there were 48 contacts in the logs making the very first activation of this park a big success. Those HT lines – well, not such an issue – sure, there was a little bit of noise, but hardly anything to cause issues.
This activation was the first time I used the VK-Port-a-Log for all logging. Wow, what a difference it makes vs paper logging – much easier, especially considering that when I got home it was trivial to send off the logs to Paul for upload to WWFF and also import into my other logging program for upload to E-QSL, Clublog LOTW etc.
Seriously, if you have not tried it- give it a go on your next activation!
It was a great day to be out playing radio in a park!