VKFF-1630 with new Icom IC-7300

Just about two weeks ago I bought a new radio, an Icom IC-7300 and last weekend was time to take it out for some action. I went down to Gold Coast on Saturday and operated for a couple of hours from Pine Ridge Conservation park (WWFF VKFF-1630).

I used FT891 for my portable operations before and I was a little anxious about how the new Icom will fit into my routine, it looked way too big comparing to the little Yaesu, but it turned out to be just right. It’s twice the weight (4kg) and much larger, but it still fits nicely in my back pack and it doesn’t break the back.

To be fair, I didn’t have to carry it too far, just a few minutes into the park, so all good. I also had the camping table and chair and a small laptop in my hands. If I go climbing some peaks for SOTA, I think I’ll opt for the FT891 in any case.

I dind’t know what to expect of the conditions for local contacts, but 40m has delivered in the best way. I was QRV from about 2:30 – 4:30 PM (4:30 – 6:30 UTC) and signals on 40m were excellent from all directions.

I was operating with 50 watts and sloping dipole for 40m and I logged just over 50 QSOs, all VKs and one ZL station.

The day was beautiful and sunny, but from 4 PM it was getting rather cold and I had to pack pretty soon and head back to Brisbane.

I hope to be able to ado one more park activation before heading off for a five week holiday in Europe from mid July. If not, I hope to work you from there, I’ll be QRV from E7, 4O and DL.

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.


Yaesu FT-DX3000 with LiFePO4 battery

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.