[VK5PAS] 2016 stats and highlights
2016 stats and highlights
Posted: 01 Jun 2018 04:45 AM PDT
During 2016 I undertook a total of 74 activations for the VK5 National &
Conservation Parks Award.¬* This included a number of parks for the ever
popular Friday afternoon/evening activation event.¬* During one of those
Friday activations, in the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, I spoke with
Joe W5JI,¬*who was previously K5THB many many years ago.¬* I have very good
memories of listening as an SWL, to Joe some 35 plus years ago when I was a
teenager. ¬*Joe was a regular on 40m talking with W4MIP and W2GO and other
The Wiljani Conservation Park was gazetted and in April I headed out to the
park to activate it for the very first time.¬* As this was a new park I had
plenty of callers.¬* In fact I ended up with 101 contacts in the log.¬* And
in August, a park very close to home was added to the VKFF program.¬* This
being the Totness Recreation Park, which I activated for the very first
time on 3rd August, making a total of 77 contacts.¬* And in December I
activated the newly gazetted Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National
During the year I activated a number of parks with other amateurs including
my good wife Marija VK5FMAZ (who obtained her licence in 2016), Marcus
VK5WTF at the Kaiser Stuhl Conservation Park, and John VK5BJE at the Scott
Creek Conservation Park.
The WWFF program increased dramatically in popularity during 2016.¬* I
conducted a total of 100 park activations for WWFF/VKFF in 2016.
I activated a total of 11 SOTA summits in 2016.¬* Four of those were in
South Australia, six in Victoria, and one on Norfolk Island.
The highlight of 2016 for SOTA for me was receiving my Super Sloth
certificate, issued for having reached 10,000 points as a SOTA chaser.
The year 2016 kicked off for me with an activation of Mount Lofty summit
VK5/ SE-005 in the Cleland Conservation Park 5CP-042 & VKFF-0778.¬* This was
on New Years Day as part of the annual VK NY Day SOTA event.¬* I spent about
3 hours on the summit and made a total of 93 contacts, including 36 Summit
to Summit contacts.
Above:- at Mount Lofty VK5/ SE-005 & the Cleland Conservation Park.
On Australia Day I activated Mount Gawler summit VK5/ SE-013 using the
special AX prefix.¬* Stuart VK5STU & Nigel VK5NIG joined me for the
activation.¬* I made a total of 82 contacts.¬* Later that day I activated The
Knoll Conservation Park and made a total of 60 QSOs.
In early 2016 I became a Director on the Board of the Wireless Institute of
I took part in the John Moyle Memorial Field Day during March, activating
the Monarto Conservation Park.¬* I entered into the 6 hour portable section
and made a total of 229 contacts.¬* I came in at First Place for this
category with a total of 458 points.
The VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award celebrated its 3rd birthday in
2016, and during April a special activation weekend was held.¬* A total of
26 amateurs took part in the weekend, activating a total of 62 different
parks.¬* I activated a total of 6 parks on the Fleurieu Peninusla south of
Adelaide, and made a total of 602 QSOs.
In March 2016 my lovely wife Marija undertook the Foundation licence course
held by the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society.¬* She was later issued
with the call of VK5FMAZ.
On the 10th April 2016 Marija undertook her first park activation at the
Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.¬* Marija made a
total of 69 QSOs including 4 Park to Park contacts.¬* Below is a short video
showing some of her contacts during the activation.
Later that month in April, Marija I drove up to the Riverland and attended
the BRL Gathering at the historic Overland Corner Hotel.¬*¬*A boot sale was
one of the features of the gathering, with a number of bargains on
offer. ¬*I was fortunate to come away with a few goodies, including an IC751
transceiver, a Mini Palm Paddle and two antenna tuners (all previously
owned by Larry VK5LY-now silent key).¬* I gave a very short talk on the WIA
and the recent proposal submitted to ACMA.
The BRL Gathering is a great social event and each Saturday night a group
of us normally head out for tea.¬* In 2016 Marija and I were joined by Ivan
VK5HS and his wife Sheryl, Di (wife of Larry VK5LY), and Peter VK5PE.
Whilst away Marija and I activated a number of parks in the Riverland.¬* It
was great having Marija doing the activating with me, with her brand new
On the 25th April, Anzac Day, I activated the Ferries McDonald Conservation
Park using the special AX prefix.¬* I made a total of 120 contacts including
five Park to Park contacts, and numerous DX contacts on both 15m & 20m.
In May Marija and I flew to Norfolk Island to attend the Annual General
Meeting of the Wireless Institute of Australia.¬* This was a very memorable
trip and was well organised.¬* On Saturday, following the AGM, I delivered a
presentation on operating portable.
Norfolk Island was a very social event, with the opportunity of catching up
with many amateurs.¬* One of the highlights was a night out at the Jolly
Roger, with Peter VK3PF, Heath VK3TWO and his wife Monique VK6FMON.
Whilst on Norfolk I managed to get on air as VK9PAS on 6 occasions
activating from both VKFF-0392 and Mount Bates VK9/ NO-001.¬* Marija also
operated from Mount Bates.¬* All up I made a total of 599 contacts, working
19 different DXCC entities.¬* I was pretty happy with this considering all
of my activations were portable, using the Yaesu FT-857, about 40 watts and
the linked dipole.¬* We powered the radio with a car battery which was
kindly loaned to us by the hire car company.
Whilst on Norfolk I was also fortunate to be able to operate with the
special call of VI9ANZAC.
Above:- On air from Norfolk Island as VI9ANZAC
We also paid a visit to the VK9NT DXpedition team: Chris VK3QB, Luke VK3HJ,
Lee VK3GK, Brenton VK3YB, and Allan VK2CA.
Above:- at the VK9NT accomodation
For anyone that worked me during my visit to Norfolk, I have a special
VK9PAS QSL card which is available through my QSL Manager, Charles M0OXO.
There was also a special Norfolk Island Award which was on offer.
In June I drove down to the South East to attend the South East Radio Clubs
annual convention and the National Fox Hunting Championships.¬* I delivered
a presentation on the WIA at the convention to around 75 people.
The SERG Convention coincides with the VK Shires Contest.¬* So when I had
some time I headed out for some VK Shire activity.¬* ¬*I operated during the
contest from the Telford Scrub Conservation Park 5CP-226 & VKFF-0805, and
the Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park 5CP-038 & VKFF-1018.¬*¬*I came first in
the Rover section with a total score of 16,704 points.
In late June the very first Freeze your Butt Off contest was held in
Australia.¬* I activated the Ettrick Conservation Park and made a total of
151 contacts in 8 deg C and rainy conditions.¬* I came first in the portable
section with a total of 22,550 points.
In July I took part in the Trans Tasman Low Band Contest.¬*¬*The contest has
an aim to encourage Low Band activity trans Tasman, that is between VK and
ZL, on the 160, 80 and 40m bands.¬* I activated the¬*Mowantjie Willauwar
Conservation Park on the way home from the Coorong, and made a total of 90
contacts in about 90 minutes.¬* I received a certificate of merit for taking
part in the contest.
In August the ACT Summits on the Air (SOTA) enthusiasts held their annual
VK1 SOTA Winter QSO Party.¬* Marija and I headed down the Fleurieu Peninsula
to the little one point summit of¬*Black Bullock Hill VK5/ SE-016¬*to take
part in the event.¬* ¬*At the end of the activation¬*I had a total of 65
contacts in the log, including 35 Summit to Summit contacts (113 S2S
points). ¬*Marija had also qualified the summit with a total of 9 contacts
and 8 Summit to Summit contacts (19 S2S points).
The John Moyle Memorial Field Day took place on Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th
August.¬* I decided to go portable this year and I activated the Totness
Recreation Park just down the road from home.¬* I made a total of 426
contacts during the contest and came in 2nd place in VK5, and 14th overall
in the Single Operator-Phone section.¬* I was really pleased with this
considering I was operating portable.
A little later in August and it was time for the International Lighthouse &
Lightship Weekend (ILLW).¬* Together with a number of other amateurs from
the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society, I headed over to Kangaroo Island
to activate the Cape WIlloughby lighthouse, using the special call of
Our final QSO count for the 2016 ILLW was 547 contacts on the 160, 80, 40,
30, 20 and 2 m bands, on PHONE, CW, PSK, and JT65. ¬*We worked a total of 36
Other than a lot of contacts being made, this was a terrific social event,
with plenty of great food and lots of red wine.
I remained on Kangaroo Island following the ILLW and activated 10 different
Conservation Parks, making a total of 542 QSOs.¬* Many of these parks had
only been activated once before, so they were in high demand by the WWFF
On Sunday 11th September, the¬*Belair National Park¬*celebrated its 125 year
anniversary.¬* And as part of these celebrations, an Open Day was held at
the park.¬* My good friend John VK5BJE was approached by the Senior Ranger
for the Mount Lofty Parklands, asking if he would be interested in setting
up an amateur radio station in the park as part of the Open Day. ¬*John
kindly invited myself and my wife Marija VK5FMAZ, to come along and
We had quite a bit of interaction with the public during the day, including
a visit by a scout group.¬* We even convinced a number of people during the
day to pick up the mic and say gday.
John, Marija, and I made a total of 221 contacts over the duration of the
A few of the highlights of the day for me we-
convincing some of the children to pick up the microphone to say hello
contact with newly licenced amateur, Helen VK7FOLK/p
contact with Stephen VK2LAD, activating his very first park
contact with Chris VK5CP, operating portable with just 200 milliwatts
contact into St Lucia in the Carribean with J68HZ, a rare DXCC entity.
contact on 40m with my mate Danny ON4VT in Belgium
contact with Peter VK2PV using 300m of fencing wire as his antenna
Also in September Marija and I travelled to Whyalla in the Iron Triangle
region of South Australia.¬* This trip was to stay with, and visit family
and friends, but whilst there I activated a number of parks.
Above:- Activating the Whyalla Conservation Park, with Wild Dog Hill in the
In early October 2016 Andrew VK6AS and I travelled around South Australia
to deliver a number of presentations to various clubs about the WIA.¬* We
covered around 1,100 km in 3 days.¬* Whilst away we activated a handful of
parks including Mount Monster Conservation Park, Peebinga Conservation
Park, and Loch Luna Game Reserve.
On the 16th October, Marija and I activated the Monarto Conservation Park
as part of the inaugural VKFF Team Championship.¬* A total of 8 teams took
part in the event.¬* Sadly band conditions and weather conditions were
pretty average.¬* But we did make¬*a total of 138 contacts.¬* This included 23
Park to Park contacts.¬* Marija made 70 contacts and I made 68 contacts and
won the 2 ops/single tx/40m & 15m/100 watts or less section.¬* The overall
winners were Team Kookaburra consisting of Tony VK3XV and Mick VK3GGG.
National Bird Week was held between 17th-23rd October 2016, and this
aligned nicely with two newly gazetted Conservation Parks in South
Australia.¬* So for Bird Week I activated one of those parks, the Monarto
Woodlands Conservation Park.¬* I made a total of 60 contacts from the park.¬*
I have a special QSL card for anyone who worked me.
In late October I headed over to Western Australia, where Andrew and I
delivered another presentation on the WIA.¬* Andrew was kind enough to put
me up at his house.¬* Whilst in VK6 I also snuck in a few park activations.¬*
It was certainly very different operating over in VK6, with the number of
callers during activations far less than over in VK5 and on the east coast.
The Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society held their annual Buy and Sell
on¬*¬*Sunday 6th November 2016. ¬*Myself and Ian VK5CZ, the SOTA VK5 Manager,
set up a display at the Buy and Sell, promoting the various Parks programs
(including World Wide Flora Fauna, & VK5 Parks Award), and the Summits on
the Air (SOTA) program.
Above:- Our SOTA & Parks display at the AHARS Buy and Sell
On Friday 11th November 2016 I headed to Victoria for the annual parks
activation weekend for the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award. ¬*And
whilst interstate I had arranged to team up with fellow Director of the
Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), Andrew VK6AS to deliver some
presentations. ¬*I returned home on Thursday 17th Nov 2016, after delivering
4 WIA presentations and activating a total of nine parks and five summits
of the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program.
Above: delivering a presentation at the Eastern Mountain Districts Radio
I made a total of 570 contacts whilst away.
Above:- a top spot alongside the Murray River in the Gunbower National Park.
Whilst in VK3 I caught up with my good mate Bob VK3SX at the ranch at
Gunbower.¬* We even did an activation together at the Gunbower National
Park.¬*¬*I also called in to see Peter VK3FPSR in Cobram.
In late November the 2016 VKFF Activation Weekend was held.¬* This proved to
be a very popular weekend, with a total of 43 activators taking part.¬*¬*A
total of¬*2,655 QSOs were made over the weekend.¬*¬*Of those, a total of 1,373
QSOs were made on the Saturday, whilst a further 1,282 were made on the
Sunday.¬*¬*There were an amazing number of Park to Park (P2P) contacts over
the weekend. ¬*In fact, a¬*total of 1,010 P2P QSOs (490 on the Saturday and
520 on Sunday).
Marija VK5FMAZ and I activated 2 parks on Saturday 26th: Poonthie Ruwe
Conservation Park VKFF-1082, and Mowantjie Willauwar Conservation Park
VKFF-0919. We made a total of 233 QSOs including 74 Park to Park
contacts.¬*¬*On Sunday 27th I activated 3 parks: Marne Valley Conservation
Park VKFF-0906, Swan Reach Conservation Park VKFF-0832, and Ridley
Conservation Park VKFF-0932. I made a total of 191 QSOs including 48 Park
to Park contacts.
All activators who took part in the weekend received a participation
In 2016 I decided that my wife deserved a little token of my appreciation,
so I made up a Certificate of Appreciation.¬* This became so popular that I
was asked by a number of other amateurs to make up a certificate for their
During 2016 I met a number of amateurs.¬* This included Brian VK3MCD who was
visiting from Victoria.¬* We also had a handful of SOTA/Parks coffee
mornings, where hams who are interested in portable activity had a chance
for a chat and to exchange ideas.
I delivered a number of presentations during 2016 to various clubs which
included the South Coast Amateur Radio Club, the South East Radio Group,
the Elizabeth Amateur Radio Club, and the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group.
Above:- delivering a presentation on operating portable, for the Amateur
Radio Experimenters Group.
I received a number of awards during 2016 including the following:-
SOTA Summit to Summit 500 points
SOTA Super Sloth 10,000 chaser points
SOTA Platinum Mountain Hunter
5BFF (Cyprus) 3 references worked
Keith Roget Activated 10 parks
Pine Cone Award 50 QSOs 10 locations
Pine Cone Award 75 QSOs 15 locations
Pine Cone Award 100 QSOs 20 locations
Pine Cone Award 125 QSOs 25 locations
DLFF (Germany) Silver Hunter
Murray River Parks Hunter 10
Murray River Parks Hunter 20
Murray River Parks Hunter 30
DXFF Activator 6
WWFF Park to Park 10
WWFF Park to Park 44
WWFF Park to Park 88
WWFF Park to Park 132
WWFF Global Hunter 544
WWFF Global Hunter 644
WWFF Global Hunter 744
VKFF Activator Honour Roll 100
VKFF Activator Honour Roll 125
VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 350
VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 375
VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 400
VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 425
VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 450
VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 475
VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 500
VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 525
VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 550
VKFF Hunter Honour Roll 575
WWFF Activator 77
WWFF Activator 88
WWFF Activator 99
WWFF Activator 110
WWFF Activator 121
WWFF Activator 132
Click to view slideshow.
In 2016 I featured in the Top 44 list again.¬* I received a certificate for
being number 12 in the world for activated references, and another
certificate for being number 33 in the world for the number of QSOS whilst
Propagation during 2016 continued to be quite good, with a number of DX
SOTA & Parks activators appearing in my log including Andy G7SQW, Bernard
PB7Z, Chris OU7M, Iratxe EA2DNQ, Antonio EX2AG, Dariusz SP9DPM, and Nadika
Above:- Iratxe EA2DNQS sent me this photo of her during her SOTA activation.
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