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!

Summer VHF/UHF Field Day 2016

Bob, VK5FO and Ray, VK5RR will lead a Portable field day station running as VK5ARG for the Summer VHF/UHF field day on Saturday 9th January/

The Plan is to set up and run a portable 3 band station from Wynn Vale for the First 8 hours of the Contest, and will be onsite and setting up from around 10am

We will be setting up the station on the grassed area behind the Wynn Vale Salvation Army Hall (with permission) near the Corner of Endeavour Drive and Wynn Vale Drive, with Plenty of parking available.

This site is a reasonable VHF/UHF site with an elevation of around 200m and excellent take-off with minimal obstructions providing  great coverage of the whole Adelaide Metro area (and beyond) whilst allowing easy access for visitors.

AREG members and other interested Amateurs who would like to take a look at a field day station are invited to come along and take a look, jump in and operate one of the stations that will be set up for some of the contest.

The Spring field day was a lot of fun and we are setting up this station to do it all again and hopefully encourage a few more people to get out and participate. If you are not planning on setting up your own Station for the Field day, or think it is too hard, then come along, see how we set up, and do a see how easy it is to participate  and join in the fun.

The station for the filed day will be substantially the same as what Bob and Ray set up for the spring field day, using a trailer to support the poles for the Antennas.

  • The 6M station will be either an IC 706 or a KX3 and HR-50 Amplifier.and a 2 Element Beam
  • The 2M station will be an IC-7100 for SSB with a 6 Element Yagi and an FT-2800M into a Slim Jim on FM.
  • The 70cm Station will be a TS-2000 into a 17 Element Yagi.

Each station will run a Laptop for logging and the whole lot will be powered via a generator and a 160aH Battery.

Come along, say hello and join in!

VK5ARG ILLW Activity 2015

On Saturday 15th Members of AREG participated in the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend event. AREG reserved the Marion Rocks Lighthouse – AU-0118 to operate as VK5ARG, while Peter VK5KX went over to Edithburgh on Yorke Peninsula and activated Troubridge Hill lighthouse.

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Bob, VK5FO and Ray, VK5RR arrived onsite at around 1pm in the cold and light rain. They took a walk from the carpark up to the Lighthouse in the Marino Conservation Park looking for a suitable place to set up the station.

DSC_6293A 5 minute walk up the hill to the Lighthouse – which is in a fenced enclosure in the middle of the conservation park, a bit of a walk around to admire the view to the West across the Gulf and to the North along the coast towards Adelaide, they could see that the rain was clearing. There was a suitable spot to set up a portable station about 50M from the lighthouse overlooking the Gulf.

Back at the Carpark, Gary, VK5FGRY had arrived and everyone made their way back up and set up the station. The station for this operation was a KX3 and an inverted V on 40M and also a 1/4Wave vertical on 20M

As we were setting up the weather cleared and we were lucky enough to have even better views towards the city and across the Gulf.

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Peter VK5KX at Troubridge Hill (Yorke Peninsula)

Once set up, we started looking over the bands and came across another Club Member – Peter, VK5KX who was at Troubridge Hill Lighthouse – AU-0105 and made the first contact for the day at 0455UTC

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Peter VK5KX operating from Troubridge Hill near Edithburgh

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Peter VK5KX Station

Even though the bands were busy with the RD contest it was fairly steady going – conditions were only average.  The staion mainly worked 40M and tried 20m for a little while at around the time we would expect and EU activity – but only worked a single station on 20M.

Across the afternoon we had a relaxed time and worked a total of 18 stations with the mix of 2 RD contest stations, 7 other ILLW stations and 9 chasers.The team worked the following Lighthouses: AU-0105, AU-0029, AU-0017, AU-0107, AU-0110, AU-0079 and AU-0007 before packing up around 5pm local time.

All up a fun day was had by everyone involved. It was a great opportunity to undertake some portable operation from some unique landmarks! Congratulations to all involved who braved the wintry weather!

Photo Gallery

Gallery Photos courtesy Gary Hamilton VK5FGRY

VI5MCP Update

AREG Members have activated the VI5MCP callsign 3 times so far.  The members have braved the elements and been out to get the station on the air.

Saturday 11th, Bob, VK5FO and Ray VK5RR set up and operated on 20M and 40M logging 5 countries and 19 contacts with 5 DXCC entities.

Sunday 12th, Bob VK5FO, Ray, VK5RR and Andy, VK5AKH Operated on 40, 15, 30 and 20M  A further 21 contacts were logged and 1 more DXCC entity.

Wednesday 15th the 100 year anniversary day, Ben VK5BB operated 40M and 2M adding a further 15 contacts to the log.

Take a look at the VI5MCP QRZ page to see the last 50 Entries in the logs.

More activities are planned and all are pending wx

VI5MCP Special Event Station

 

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VI5MCP QSL Card

Between the 11th and the 26th of July Members of AREG will be activating a special event station VI5MCP.

The Special event is in celebration of the 100 years of Proclamation of the Morialta Falls Pleasure Resort, which we now know as Morialta Conservation Park.  The 100th anniversary of the park is on Wednesday the 15th of July 2015.

Morialta CP is located in the Hills to the East of Adelaide and is a popular location for Portable operations.  Activations of this park qualify for the SANPCPA – South Australia National Parks and Conservations Parks Award and also for WWFF and VKFF as VKFF-783

The Aim of this special event station is to celebrate the 100th anniversary and to  further promote awareness of portable operations and awards.

We are planning on Activations  from the park over the 2 week period and at the moment we have some confirmed and some tentative activations scheduled, please keep an eye on this post as we will update the schedule in the coming days.

VI5MCP Calendar July 2015

Planned activation dates and frequencies/bands

DATE LOCAL TIME / UTC BAND/FREQ NOTES
Saturday 11th
Sunday 12th 10:00 / 00:30UTC 7.140 SSB /147.500 FM then 14.240 or 14.310 Around 2 hours
Monday 13th
Tuesday 14th
Wednesday 15th 10:00 / 00:30UTC 7.140 / 10.130 /14.240 or 14.310 Around 2 hours or longer if a lot of chasers
Thursday 16th
Friday 17th
Saturday 18th 13:00 -17:30 / 03:30 – 08:00 UTC 14.240 or 14.310 and
7.140
Looking for EU DX on 20M * running a 2Element on 20M
Sunday 19th 10:00 / 00:30UTC 7.140 SSB /147.500 FM then 14.240 or 14.310 Around 2 hours
Monday 20th
Tuesday 21st
Wednesday 22nd 10:00 / 00:30UTC 7.140 / 10.130 /14.240 or 14.310 Around 2 hours or longer if a lot of chasers
Thursday 23rd
Friday 24th
Saturday 25th
Sunday 26th 10:00 / 00:30UTC 7.140 SSB /147.500 FM then 14.240 or 14.310 Around 2 hours

*Note Mode will be SSB unless specifically noted as otherwise.