Just a short video of a CW qso with Roy VK7ROY, Roy was using a straight key and I was using a Begali Single Lever.
Day: 7 August 2016
4 Park Multi Activation Weekend
So the final installment of all this activation activity was The Great Sandy. We were camped on Lake Cootharabra and I used this as my base camp for the activation’s of Tuchekoi, Tewantin and Woondum. I did not put a full activation of this park on as I have done it a number of times already. But rather just chased the other activators for park to park contacts.
I worked VK5PAS, VK5KLV, VK4AAC and VK7DW all park to park in and around my other activation’s.
We had this pair of ducks decide that our campsite was going to be their campsite for the whole weekend. They slept under the table, chased away any other birds and pretty much took ownership of everything. Pretty funny.
Woodum National Park
Woondum is also another new park. It is also a SOTA peak and i did a dual activation for both programs. I am not much of a SOTA person, this was my first SOTA activation ever. SOTA in vk4 is a lot of work for little reward, most peaks are low value, this one was 1 point, and most require a lot of effort to climb to the summit.
Anyway, this summit was also a drive up and a short walk. I made 56 contacts from VK1,2,3,4,5,7,8 and ZL. As well as park to park contacts with VK4AAC and VK3ANL. It was also nice to have Sid and Adelle ZS5AYC and ZS5APT call in, who are both back in VK4 again visiting with family. Both are very keen on SOTA and will be out and about doing activation in the not to distant future.
Activating Position APPROX -26.262834, 152.813716 using google maps, need to use SOTAMAPS to get the exact summit co-ords.
Tewantin National Park
Tuchekoi National Park
Tuchekoi National Park is one of a number of new parks that have been added to the VKFF list in VK4. This was the first activation of this park. I was only on the air for a small amount of time but managed 25 contacts in vk2,3,4,5,7 in somewhat trying conditions. I need to start to remember to use my phone to take some photos of the location.
Operating Position -26.363480, 152.829172
Clear Mountain Conservation Park
Thanks to all the chasers today, made for a very successful first activation of Clear Mountain Conservation Park, VKFF-1511
Big thanks to those who called in CW, especially Allen Harvie who I managed to destroy his call about 5 times before i got it right HIHI and thanks for the patience 🙂
Also thanks to those who gave 15m a shot with Brian VK3BBB and Paul VK5PAS both making a contact, joining Rick who was just on the other side of the lake 🙂
Managed a whole swag of park to parks with Rob VK4AAC/2, Andrew VK7DW and a surprise call in from Hans and Leslie VK5YX and VK5LOL/4 who were in Moorrinyah National Park in the middle of nowhere in QLD. Also a quick SOTA with VK3GRK as well.
No DX, but, I was hearing US dx on 40m. not that they could hear me. All in all, had a good activation and enjoyed the couple of hours out portable.
Operating Position: -27.290364, 152.893480
Setup on top of a hill.
Nice RF quiet location, the only QRM was from the traffic on the main road.
DO NO ENTER. Ohhh do not cross the velvet rope or bad things might happen.
Gave the new CW key mount a go from this park and it worked a treat. Almost makes the most horrible key in the world usable.
Portable CW Key
So i have one of those god awful chinese cw keys designed for the FT817 that I use portable so i do not have to take the Begali with me. Expensive key being bashed about does not sound appealing to me. Anyway, i have used tape and all sorts of methods of holding this thing in place for use. But the other day I finally made up a suitable base for it to make the worst key in the world almost usable.
I routed up some bits of 6mm ply on the CNC and did a quick dry run to see if it was going to work.
Next i droped the rig in place and all seemed to be good.
Gave it a good sanding and then glued it all together with some 5min epoxy
The end result, the weight of the light weight rig is enough to hold the key in place and make it useable.
Sometimes when laying out a board you have to create your own footprints. Out comes the digital calipers and you start making measurements, but, what if you make a mistake, the board becomes a waste of time. So, i like to print out the board layout at 1:1 resolution and then overlay my parts and where possible push the pins through the page to check everything lines up right. Saves in the long run 🙂