VKFF-1663 – Toohey Forest Park
Yesterday (7 Jan 2018) I did my first WWFF activation; Toohey Forest Conservation Park – VKFF-1663.
This activity was a case of “let me see what the fuss is all about” and I can say that I found it quite interesting. I managed to log 44 QSOs so I’m quite happy about that.
While waiting for my FT-891, squid pole and some other light stuff delivery I thought I’d give it a go with my home shack gear.
The radio I used was FT-DX3000 (10kg), antenna was a multi-band vertical Hustler 6BTV, probably another 10kg, my morse paddle is Kent, with a very heavy base (1.2 kg), coax was a 25m roll of RG213 … The only light things were the batteries, 3 x LiFePO4 4200 mAh, and the hand microphone.
My multi-band vertical antenna was in pieces for quite some time and with all labeling gone it required a bit of work to figure out which trap is for which band. It took me quite a while to assemble it the right way and even longer to tune it.
This antenna is one of the best multi band verticals but it can be very twitchy to tune it properly. The 40m was still a bit off with SWR around 1:2.5 but I didn’t want to waste any more time.
I ran at 20 watts most of the time, the first battery lasted for about an hour, the other two were somewhat better. Last 15 minutes I ran with about 50 watts, I had the “power to spare” hi.
Conditions were – so-so. Because I had a vertical antenna so the angle of radiation didn’t help much for local work, but it performed okay. I was hoping to work some EU stations on 20 m long-path but there was nothing. I worked one JA station, he was solid S9 and he gave me 59 as well.
Thanks to everyone who called and made this activation a success and also those who helped with spotting me on various DX clusters/lists.
I can’t wait the next opportunity, probably in 2 or 3 weeks time, once my little radio is here.
Congratulations on your first activation. It is great fun. I have been doing it since 2013 but I have operated in all states from National Parks before the WWFF program began. Contacts generally had to be organised in advance or by sked. WWFF changed all of that!
The FT891 should be great. A linked dipole is the way to go and they are easy to build. LIFePO4 batteries are also excellent for our use.
73 John D