Mt Kaputar NP activation & the JMMFD

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Just a quick report on the John Moyle Memorial Field Days and the VKFF park activation last weekend. I hadn`t really unpacked from the previous trip, so not a lot to prepare, restocked the fridge and loaded my clothes after lunch on Friday and headed off.

A bit of light rain on the way up, thankfully not enough to make access to the park difficult. Arrived at the John Perry Rest Area around 2:00pm & got started on putting up the G5RV between two large gums along a ridge line. Managed to get it 40 feet off the ground using a fishing rod and sinker, then hauling up the guy ropes.

Made a quick coffee, then got the Icom 7000 out of the Patrol, along with the Laptop & Netbook as well as a portable to monitor the nearby repeater.

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Started calling CQ for VKFF around 0600 UTC on 40 meters, didn`t take too long to make some contacts,which were logged on the Netbook. Worked for about an hour then finished setting up camp, had a quick meal before calling some more. Logged into the 7.130 DX net at 0930 UTC for an hour or so then called it quits for the night.

Weather was good, not too cold, unusual for that altitude that time of year, didn`t even light a fire. Arose early Saturday morning, joining in on the Coral Coast Earlybirds net on 7.060 for a quick QSO wth some of the guys, then onto 3.590 to catch up with the local Hams. The boys were playing around with 2 meter SSB, so I threw up the twin 2 meter Moxon and joined in. Worked the locals pretty easily from that altitude, even had a contact on FM with Brent, VK2PB in Narrabri about 50km down the hill.

Worked Mark, VK2EMA at Tottenham, some 370km to the north on 2 meter SSB using the Twin Moxon and 10 watts, also worked Cris, VK2BOZ in Werris Creek, 220km away, got to be happy with that!.

Closed down the station around 2200 UTC to let the batteries recharge and to get ready for the Moyle.

Fired the Icom up about 15 minutes before the contest start, tuned up and got ready for the starting gun. Was averaging a contact every 3 minutes for the first 5 blocks when around 1430 UTC the Netbook failed, loosing all the logging data. I tried to continue with a paper log, but it was too difficult to do halfway through a block, and with half an hour wait till the next one I decided to close down the station. I had just logged my 200th QSO at the time.

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 Dinner Saturday Night.

Next time I will remember to backup the log, hopefully avoiding the situation again. I decided to retire for the night, getting up around 1900 UTC and had a QSO with the locals on 3.590 until mid morning, logged a few more contacts for VKFF, on paper this time, and then packed up camp.

I had planned on activating Horton Fall NP for a couple of days, but the weather turned nasty as I arrived at the campsite, had a 1/4 wave endfed up already, but the lightning was pretty close, so I packed up and headed home. I will activate this park another time.

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Campsite, John Perry Rest Area

Great weekend otherwise, plenty of contacts about. Hopefully the lessons learned from this trip will make things easier next time. Thanks to all the stations that called in.

73`s for now.

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Mt Dowe transmission tower, 220 meters high.

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     View looking south from the Eastern Park entrance

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