Esk National Park Activation

Esk NP is a small un-signposted remnant wetland park just west of Brisbane. There are no walking track, no facilities, no nothing. So i found some space just off the side of the road and setup my gear. 10m was a bust when i tried at 3pm, but would later provide the surprise of the activation.

So, 15m was next and it started off great, Hawaii, Russia, VK6, Sth Korea, VK5, Japan, Vk4 all in the log in very short order and New zealand added a little latter on, then a whole lot of calling where i could not buy a contact. I then went and played 2m ssb and cw with Rick VK4RF and made my first 2m contacts with a chaser 100km away.

Jumped on 40m next and made a bunch of contacts, vk1,2,3,4,5. 40m was its usual horrid noise and the FT897 is not the nicest receiver to have in any conditions other than perfect, I am so lucky to have an IC-7410 at home with modern DSP filtering that does wonders to noise and close by stations. Hope to upgrade the 897 soon to an IC7300 once i know what the price is like.
Anyways, i digress, from 40 i flipped over to 10m to play with rick, and while we were sitting there gas bagging about stuff, cause calling cq with no takers was getting boring, we had Jonathan VK6JON and Ted VK6NTE call in and get in the log. Being on a 10m tuned up 40m dipole made for tough going to vk6, but we made the exchange and then qsy’d to 15m and had a nice QSO at 57 or better. After this i started calling cq and well 15mins of calling later and nothing, i could not buy a contact. So off i went playing search and pounce, adding a couple more dx contacts to my tally.

A quick trip back to 40m for a few calls while the last of the daylight faded away behind the mountains and I was done. Packed up, went to a friends place who live near by and had a beer and some dinner.

CW, i did call on 10m and 15m cw and did not go very well at all, like most of this activation, i could not buy a contact, but i did make some CW contacts with John 6NU, Rick 4RF/HA, Gerard 2IO, Steve 3MEG and Ben 6FBLJ. All in all, 58 QSO or there abouts from 35 calls, not sure if bands and modes matter in making the 44, but making 44 is not a high priority for me, having fun is, and to be honest, even though i started to lose my voice and today my throat feels like gravel today, I had a bunch of fun this activation, and for me, that is everything.


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