VK5ARG/P Para Wirra Park This Weekend Cancelled

AREG OCDX Contest Field Day Event

CANCELLED!

Due to the unprecedented weather in SA over the last few days, National Parks South Australia have advised that Para Wirra Park will again be closed today. This has lead to AREG making the decision to cancel the planned activities in the park.

Operation in the contest will still go ahead but from a private location. See further reports for updates.


The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group is again entering the Oceania DX SSB Contest over the October long weekend (October 1st and 2nd).

The club is once more mounting a major portable operation from Para Wirra Recreation Park. VK5ARG will be active on all bands from 160-10m during the contest using 5 QRO (high power) stations.

Station Visitors Most Welcome!

As has been the case the last couple of years, the station construction will commence from Friday morning, with the aim of having the major components operational no later than midday Saturday. This provides an ideal opportunity for members, but more importantly general amateurs and members of the community, to come along and “have a try”. AREG will be turning the station over to all takers for the hours before the contest so that people can experience operating the station.

To come and visit, you will need to head to Para Wirra Recreation Park, You will find us here. For those who pre-register, there will be catering available on a “Pay as you Go” basis for modest prices. The station will be active for the full 24hrs from 0800 UTC Saturday to 0800UTC Sunday. Visitors should call the station on 2m (146.550) when you reach the park.

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Para Wirra Park Map

The Station: VK5ARG/P

The station will be substantial with full size rotatable dipoles on 40m, a 3 element beam on 20m, a Spiderbeam for 15m and 10m and full size dipoles on 160m and 80m. All stations will be running 400W. It is certainly impressive to see the arrays of antennas in use during the event…..

Qualification of World Wide Flora and Fauna park: VKFF-1739

Back in May 2016, the Para Wirra Recreation Park was redesignated a conservation park, and so it now qualifies for the world wide flora and fauna awards program as well. As the station is operating in the OCDX contest we wont be conducting the usual publicity of a parks activations. However, contacts with VK5ARG/P will still qualify for the VKFF-1739 park! We will ensure the log is uploaded to the Parks and Peaks database at the conclusion of the activation. You may also find us on air testing from as early as Friday night through to Sunday night.

So look out for us calling CQ during the contest, and if you are in the Adelaide area, come on up to Para Wirra Conservation Park and say hello! We would love to see you!

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10/15m Station illuminated at night – Starlapse by VK5GR

 

AREG Participation in the SPDX RTTY Contest: Report

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CQ SPDX TEST DE VK5ARG VK5ARG KK

The AREG team tried something new on Sunday April 24th 2016, operating portable from the Morialta Conservation Park just east of Adelaide hexbeamin the Polish Radiovideography Club’s SPDX RTTY contest . A lot of fun was had by those members who operated and visited us during the activation. 29 valid contacts were made including 5 out of 17 Polish provinces. Andy VK5AKH provided the bulk of the station equipment and was assisted by Grant VK5GR, Dennis VK5FDEN, Gary VK5FGRY and Mark VK5QI in setting up the station in the early afternoon.

By the time we were ready to go, long path Europe was already open, and the first station we called answered on the first try. We were running an IC7600 at about 90W FSK power with the HexBeam and the Fl-Digi software for RTTY. We also experimented with the GRITTY software which has some advanced decoding capabilities.

vk5akh-working rttydx

40m Loop Antenna

40m-loop-vk5sfaSteve VK5SFA also brought along his new 40m magnetic loop antenna for us to experiment with. We were very impressed with it’s noise performance and efficiency for such a small antenna. While we were working 20m RTTY long path EU, Matt VK5ZM, Gary VK5FGRY and Mark VK5QI experimented with the loop. Contacts on it were had across SE Australia, including 10W to 10W to Chris VK5CP who was portable in Parachilna in the Flinders Ranges.

(Stay tuned – a talk is planned at the next AREG meeting on these very unique antennas).

Contest Progressed

As the RTTY contest progressed, the team attempted 15m as well with limited success before returning to 20m to close out the EU LP opening.

We were then treated to the “AREG Catering Service” in the form of Sharon VK5FSAW who brought up baked potatoes and condiments, which were very welcome considering it was getting quite cold as the sun went down.

Finally we dropped down to 40m and put the loop to use on RTTY. We picked up a contact with the USA – after spending a while learning how to tune it! (It is only ~3-4kHz wide).

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Who we worked

While we were not competitive we had a lot of fun working RTTY stations in Europe, and we are sure we helped a few polish stations with a continental multiplier. The stations we worked were:

VK5ARG SPDX RTTY Contest 2016 Log
FREQ CALL MODE BAND SRX STX
14.088579 ZM2B RTTY 20m 8 1
14.088994 RK4FD RTTY 20m 334 2
14.094806 UW1M RTTY 20m 426 3
14.095387 SQ9UM RTTY 20m G 4
14.094271 SP9AQF RTTY 20m G 5
14.08749 EA2VE RTTY 20m 163 6
14.085171 UA6CE RTTY 20m 593 7
14.084399 DL1T RTTY 20m 498 8
14.092477 SV1JG RTTY 20m 130 9
14.094658 UT5EPP RTTY 20m 592 10
14.095691 SP2ZIE RTTY 20m F 11
14.095449 OK2FD RTTY 20m 46 14
14.098943 SP7IIT RTTY 20m S 15
14.08126 YL3CU RTTY 20m 393 17
14.086001 F5GFA RTTY 20m 145 18
14.085327 SP7SEW RTTY 20m S 19
14.087931 PA2IP RTTY 20m 15 20
14.093317 F6CBL RTTY 20m 180 21
14.095971 OH9UFO RTTY 20m 407 22
14.097749 SP5UUD RTTY 20m R 23
21.086017 YD9SBP RTTY 15m 62 24
21.088753 JA8UON RTTY 15m 2 25
21.088585 JA2GHP RTTY 15m 19 26
21.088585 JR3UYY RTTY 15m 13 27
21.088585 JA9LX RTTY 15m 5 28
14.096619 SP6GW RTTY 20m D 29
14.085329 PI4CC RTTY 20m 5 30
7.041585 VK7BO RTTY 40m 49 31
7.041585 K1MK RTTY 40m 796 32

This has certainly whetted our appetite to try another attempt at RTTY later in the year (perhaps the CQ WW or CQ WPX RTTY contests).

A big thank you to everyone who participated and in particular to Andy VK5AKH who brought his portable HF station.

VK5ARG Entering CQ WPX Contest 2016

26411_413791857215_2242077_nA number of AREG members have headed to the 2nd QTH of Chris VK5CP to activate the club callsign VK5ARG in the CQ WPX SSB Contest this weekend!

The WPX Contest is based on an award offered by CQ Magazine for working all prefixes. Held on the last weekend of March (SSB) and May (CW), the contest draws thousands of entries from around the world.k21092304

For details of the contest, the rules, background and other information, go to the CQWPX Website.

 

The MonstIR Yagi

The MonstIR Yagi

VK5ARG Results

Now that the contest has concluded, VK5ARG can report that they have worked 957 contacts for a total of 1,660,662 points. By band the results are:

Contacts by Band
Band QSOs Prefixes
40m 357 186
20m 250 151
15m 244 112
10m 106 37

The following members were involved in the event:

Contacts by Operator
Operator QSOs
VK5AKH 160
VK5CP 167
VK5MTM 280
VK5QI 305
VK5ZM 45

All up a worthy effort from VK5ARG. Best of luck in the rankings guys, but most of all we hope you had a lot of fun!

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Theo VK5MTM: Operating the AREG Club Callsign like a boss in the WPX

Photo Gallery from the weekend

AREG Members Camping Weekend

A number of AREG members have decided to go camping in the Coorong this weekend! Look out for them on HF under their various callsigns.

If you want to pay them a visit, you can head south from Adelaide down Highway 1 and turn into the park at Parnka Point, MaGrath Flat.

 

VK5ARG at the Summer VHF/UHF Field Day 2016

The WIA Summer VHF/UHF field day is about encouraging amateur radio operators to get out in the field to make contact with as many stations as possible over the greatest distance possible on all amateur frequencies above 50MHz. This makes it a very diverse and interesting contest as you have a variety of stations participating, including:

  • home stations operating any or all VHF / UHF and Microwave bands
  • portable stations running stations on bands between 50-1296MHz
  • portable stations specializing in microwave (usually bands between 1296-10368MHz) usually operating distant mountain tops.
  • roving stations which change location constantly throughout the contest

Distances are calculated using the Maidenhead grid locator system and contest contacts consist of exchanging signal strength, a contact sequence number and which grid square you are operating from.

This year, the AREG decided to mount a portable station using the Club call-sign, VK5ARG, which operated in the 8 hour division.

DSC_6422-web Bob, VK5FO and Ray, VK5RR arrived onsite just after 10am and after meeting Paul from the Salvation Army commenced the set-up of the station.  Andy VK5AKH arrived and assisted with the station set-up.

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Ray VK5RR and Bob VK5FO setting up

The station was very similar to the Team DSC_6427-webVK5FI station that Bob and Ray set up for the Spring Field Day, with the addition of 23cm.

A few small changes were made to the station from the lessons learnt during the Spring FD – and that was ensuring that each band had a dedicated logging laptop and adding some headphones!

The addition of the club marquee was most welcome with temperatures in the mid 30’s – we were able to operate in relative comfort!

The station was set-up and ready to go a few minutes to go before the start time of the contest.

During the course of the day we had a few visitors drop in to take a look at the station, and Ben VK5BB, popped in for an hour or so and operated the 6m station for part of his time.

Everyone present had a great time, and the highlight of the day was Bob VK5FO making a few DX contacts on 6m – working 3x ZL stations an a VK4 station.

At the end of the 8 hours, the station was pulled down and packed up in about 45 minutes.

We would like to extend a special thank you to the Salvation Army Wynn Vale for allowing AREG access to their land behind the Hall.  The site proved to be quite good for this type of station with excellent take-off in all directions for VHF and UHF.

Photo Gallery from the Day!

AREG Members Roving during the Contest too!

While the club members were having fun manning the station in Adelaide, Matt VK5ZM and Grant VK5GR took a different slant on the contest and entered the Roving section operating as VK5GR.

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VK5GR operating from Port Giles next to the silos

They started out the day by driving to Port Giles  on Yorke Peninsula. This was significant as it allowed them to activate major grid square PF84. 6m was the surprise here working VK7DD on 52.525 FM. Good contacts were also had with many Adelaide stations on 144 and 432MHz.

After about an hour they packed up and hit the road, contesting along the way. At each new 6 letter grid they came to they stopped for 5-10 minutes and made a set of contacts on both 2m and 70cm using just the mobile antennas on the car. The tropospheric ducting was strong across the gulf as all of the signals were S9++ – not bad for an average 70-100km path!

After Port Vincent it was decided that things needed to be sped up a little or the objective of at least 4 major grid squares in 8 hours wasnt going to be met. So they started contesting while mobile on the highway (at 100kph). This proved challenging as they now were working a new grid square about every 3-4 minutes! Usually there was time for 2-3 contacts per square on one or two bands before they had to stop, update their locator in the logging software and go again. They kept this routine up for about 8 squares before reaching the slag heap lookout at Ardrossan.

At Ardrossan they came across Tim M8Qe6el-smallVK5ZT who was participating in the microwave section of the contest. It was great to see the microwave guys in full swing! Matt and Grant then also broke out the 6m antenna and  gave some calls on both 50.2 SSB and 52.525 FM so that they could claim 6m for grid square PF85.

As time was then running short, they then decided to drop an attempt to work from PF86 (which was going to be a very difficult path to Adelaide) and instead focus on distance contacts from the northern edge of PF95 and southern edge of PF96. To do this they headed for Kulpara, where they also found Iain VK5ZD operating also in the microwave section. Some more 2m and 70cm contacts were had just from the mobile whips on the car (but with the advantage of ~200m elevation on top of the Hummocks range) before then packing up and heading for their last site of the day on Middle Range Hill near Nantawarra. This allowed them to activate grid square PF96ca.

Here they broke out the big guns and put up the 2m beam. A couple of contacts were made on SSB including to Port Pirie and the Riverland, plus multiple contacts back down into Adelaide. 6m and 70cm were also activated, with every contact on average exceeding 120-140km. Finally they dropped back into PF95cx for a 20 minute closing flurry before the 8 hours was up.

Conclusion

Everyone in the club who participated had a great day, be it on the road, operating from home or portable in Wynn Vale. It has certainly stirred up some enthusiasm so look out for VK5ARG operating in the Winter Field day in 2016! To hear more about the activities over the weekend come along to the club on Friday the 15th of January!

2015 Spring VHF/UHF Field Day Contest – Photo Gallery

AREG member stations operating in the 2015 WIA Spring VHF/UHF Field Day!

20th November Meeting: VHF/UHF Contesting

VHF/UHF Spring Field Day - VK5ZM 2015

VHF/UHF Spring Field Day – VK5ZM 2015

Have you thought about trying any of the VHF/UHF field days?  Do you still have fond memories of being a “Z-call” when the lowest frequency you could operate on was 29MHz FM?

Well a few of our members thought it would be fun to head out and participate in the Spring VHF/UHF Field Day on the 14th and 15th of November.  For some of our members it had been more than 17 years since they had done one of these events.  This was also a welcome break from the usual HF contesting our members have been doing lately.

So this month we’ve asked these enthusiastic members to put together a short series of 10 minute presentations about what they did, how it went and was it still fun to be a “Z-Call” again.

So if you’d like to hear more about what it takes to participate in a VHF/UHF field day then come along and I’m sure there will be something there for everyone.  It should be a good night out and if the enthusiasm of our members who participated this year is any indication, this could be infectious.

The meeting club rooms will be open at 7:45pm with the presentations starting at 8pm.   This will also be the last formal presentation/meeting for the AREG in 2015.

As well as the formal presentation there will be ample time to meet with AREG members and talk about any and all things Amateur Radio. Visitors are most welcome, so please come along all and say hello! If you need help finding the hall, call on the VK5RSB 439.900 repeater (91.5Hz CTCSS).

Coffee, tea, cake and 2m LFA designs will be supplied as a light supper.

73, Matthew VK5ZM

VK5ARG Oceania DX Contest 2015 Results

Well, the AREG has wound up it’s activities sidebannerat Para Wirra
Recreation Park for this year’s contest. A great deal of fun was had by everyone to participated, even by those who operated under physical duress (two members could hardly walk).

A big thanks to everyone who took part and operated or provided support for the event. In particular (and if we’ve missed you out please let us know and we’ll add you to this list) those who took part in operating the station included: VK5AKH, VK5ZM, VK5QI, VK5KX, VK5FSKS (who flew in from VK3), VK5GR, VK5JO, VK5MTM, VK5UP, and we believe that VK5FGRY was spotted sitting at a few consoles however we’re not sure if he transmitted or not this year (*grin*).

With the Para Wirra CP being so close to Adelaide we were also fortunate to have a large number of visitors which included; Kim VK5FJ, Arno VK5ZAR, Paul VK5JG and Dennis VK5FDEN, Cary VK5CD, Peter VK5APR, Louis VK5FLY and Jess, Wendy, Dean VK5FAIR and Sally VK5FSAM,  Brenton VK5BZ, Ben VK5BB, Darin VK5IX and Glenys plus boys, Sharon FSAW and the Moo, Allan VK5MAK, Bob VK5FO and Ray VK5RR.

We also must thank Arno VK5ZAR and Gary VK5FGRY who helped keep the troops fed manning the BBQ and keeping the ants at bay as well as Sharon VK5FSAW who provided dinner on Sunday night.   We must also thank all of the visitors that rang ahead and checked if we needed anything, with the weather so warm the bags of ice, drinks and loaves of additional bread were gratefully received.

A big thankyou again to the rangers of Para Wirra Recreation Park (Steve and Mel!) who graciously allowed us to conduct the event inside the park for the 3 days. To find a site so close to Adelaide with such a low HF noise floor is a wondrous thing.

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The Results?

Overall our tentative scores were:

Total QSOs Total Multipliers Provisional Score
1058 544 1739168
Band Contacts Multipliers
160m 23 QSOs 7 multipliers
80m 34 QSOs 12 multipliers
40m 244 QSOs 65 multipliers
20m 373 QSOs 233 multipliers
15m 346 QSOs 202 multipliers
10m 38 QSOs 25 multipliers

Band by Band

80/160m: With changes to the radios this year, it was fantastic to see the contacts and multipliers achieved out of the low band station. Peter VK5KX and the low band crew achieved contacts into ZL on 160m and into the USA on 80m. Well done!

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40m: was hard going this year. We lacked enough punch to be heard often in Europe and that cost us many contacts in the early hours of the morning. We did get a few contacts into that part of the world but often it was through multiple repeats and perseverance. The auto keyers got a work over and between Josh VK5JO, Andy VK5AKH, Grant VK5GR, Matt VK5ZM and Mark VK5QI plus other relief operators, we ground out a solid score. The tube amp and dipole did well to the USA – but the fixed orientation wasn’t helping our cause for Europe. More work and ideas planned for this station next year :-)`

20m: at times flew and at others was a grind. Again, punch to get over the European QRM made prefix chasing hard work although a solid result was still achieved with the Elecraft K-line and the Hex Beam. With 40m and 20m being co-located teams were taking turns at each station making further contributions to both stations.

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15/10m: The surprise this year was 15m. We again had a Elecraft K-line and a 3-band Spider beam which we ran for the John Moyle Field Day. With that setup and the ionosphere playing the game the crew manning 15m had a huge amount of success. Long runs of Japanese stations as well as a beautiful opening into Europe Saturday night brought a sparkle to Matt VK5ZM, Theo VK5MTM and high band crew’s eyes.

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Conclusion

All in all, a great result, a lot of fun and look out for AREG again next year!    Meanwhile, ideas for improvements to the station are already circulating, and we wait with bated breath to see how we placed.

A big thank you to the OCDX contest organizing committee for staging the event too. It certainly gave our club the excuse to get out and play portable “Amateur Radio” for the long weekend.

73’s de VK5ARG