With our great run of weather forecast to come to an end, Helen and I decided to go to Wellington National Park this afternoon to activate it for the World Wide Flora and Fauna (WWFF) program.

We did a walk there about a month after moving to Bunbury earlier this year when we had overseas visitors and we started from the Wellington Dam and walked to the Honeymoon Pool about 6 kilometres along the Collie River. It’s a very nice park but very basic with few facilities.

I intended operating from the Honeymoon Pool but it was full of tents and campers and I had forgotten how low in elevation it is. We drove down hill until we reached there and continued along the road towards the Wellington Dam. After ascending a fair amount we found a clearing and I parked the car there and set up the Buddipole antenna.

I had a few technical glitches this session when my antenna analyser would not switch on but 20150717_154516fortunately I had brought my antenna tuner as a back up. I also experienced some power problems with the rig cutting out from time to time. I suspect that this is due to a slightly loose connection to the fuse connectors in the power leads. A broken counterpoise/radial wire as I was packing up at the end of the session was the final hurdle, although that one is for next time :-) .

20150717_135849We were QRV at around 06:30 UTC on 20 metres and the conditions were certainly not great. I was able to successfully activate the park but only for the Australian program with about 15 contacts. Other than my second caller who was Frank F5PAU, there was no DX whatsoever and my callers were mainly in VK3 and VK4, with several from VK2 and VK5. The band was very quiet by the time I went QRT and I was getting no further replies to my calls.

The weather was kind to us with a rain downpour that lasted about 1 minute during the activation. It was beginning to rain as we packed up the gear and it was torrential as we were driving back to Bunbury so we were very fortunate.

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