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.

The new blog is here …

Hi, I’m Mike VK4DX from Brisbane. I have recently moved to an apartment building and having no antenna options here I’m completely QRT when it comes to HF bands operation.

However, thanks to a good friend of mine Mario DJ2MX, in recent weeks I have started considering getting on foot and operating from some summits here in SE Queensland. I have also planned visiting a few islands to get a bit active in the IOTA program.

My SOTA experience is pretty much zero, except from what I’ve read on number of VK SOTA gurus blogs. However I’m pretty excited to join up the ranks.

Equipment wise – I have nothing. Not exactly nothing, but nothing that one can lug up the mountain, such as FT-DX3000. I’m in process of getting a new tiny FT891 and building some portable antennas so that I can be ready around end of January.

The only thing I’m still not sure about is the power, I’m guessing the LiFePo 4 batteries are the way to go, the 8400 mAh sounds the right one to get but Hobby King seems to be out of stock at the moment, which is unfortunate. Hopefully they get some stock pretty soon.

While I’m at it (SOTA), I may think of activating some of the VKFF locations, not sure about the program details, but I’m hoping to educate myself about it in coming days.

I hope to see you all on the air, mostly 40 and 20m.