VK5 Parks Anniversary 2018 – A Riverland Story

March 10 and 11 marked the 5th anniversary of the VK5 Parks Awards.

Riverland Radio Club HAMS VK5HS Ivan, VK5PE Peter, VK5LA Andy, and VK5DW Danny, me, all braved the mighty Murray River and headed out to activate 3 never before activated island parks.

With the use of Ivan’s boat Peter and Andy were dropped off at Kapunda Island, VKFF-1040 (5CP-098), in QF05GN where they set up a portable station and proceeded to work their magic. Ivan and I proceeded upstream about 4kms to Media Island, VKFF-1058 (5CP-132), in QF05HN where the major challenge was just getting on the thing, it was so thickly overgrown with reeds it wasn’t looking good for a while till Ivan and I headed down the back of the island and found a couple different openings. After a couple attempts, running aground mostly, we managed to get kinda close to the bank where I made the leap of faith and ultimately got my feet wet! And my boots were meant to be waterproof!?!

Within what seemed to be not a lot of time, about an hour or so, we had our contact quota for the activation and Ivan headed back to Kapunda Island to pick up Andy and Peter, returning them to Media Island a short while later. In the mean time I had gone on and made a few extra contacts while waiting for the three Amegos.

Now with we four misfits on the same turf, Peter and Andy proceeded to activate Media Island, and who should come up making a fair noise… VK5PAS Paul and VK5FMAZ Maria, they were activating Little Dip park and needless to say with our collective immaturity a bit of fun was shared. The six of us all had a little on air party for a bit before Paul and Maria headed off to another frequency for their park activation. Thanks to Paul and Maria for the contacts and mostly the fun.

I gotta say I’m not sure Ivan’s XYL Cheryl wanted Ivan to return home, the snacks and nibbles (roast chicken, metwurst, cheeses, crackers, lamingtons…) she prepared for us was crazy, I was waiting for the wine to come out… we were well catered for there is no doubt. I felt bad all I took along was a couple boxes of ‘Shapes’. Thanks Cheryl.

With Media Island activated it was time to continue our escapades to Rilli Island, about 7kms further upstream. No big challenges here, just getting Ivan’s tiny up on plain with 4 blokes on board that lets just say have been in good paddocks, some for longer than others. A bit of patience and load distribution/manipulation (no we didn’t throw anyone or anything overboard) we got up on plain and off we went… Rilli Island here we come!

OK we made it. Rilli Island, VKFF-1087 (5CP-198), in QF05GO is located about 11kms upstream of Loxton main boat ramp between Loxton and Berri in the Loxton irrigation area. A fairly easy island to get onto we found a nice little spot and set up out station. Andy was the first to grab his contacts followed by Peter then myself. Ivan didn’t activate this one just being so happy with the great time we were all having he wasn’t fussed at all.

After a stint on Rilli it was time to head for Loxton boat ramp. We had grand ideas of activating Katarapko Island as well, which is part of the Murray River National Park but we thought better of it. We had a great time thus far after all and perhaps we can do that one another day.

Back at the ramp now all unloaded and before we break up I a little shop I knew that did a great espresso thick shake. We sat, chewed the fat about our day declaring we must do it again, and soon!

Anyway, that was our outing. Check the blog pages for the pic’s.

Cheers and 73’s,

VK5DW Danny

16/3/18: VK5PE came across this little YouTube video. Keep an ear out for our callsigns!


Kapunda Island C/P Activated 2018

VK5PE Peter and VK5LA Andy activates Kapunda Island C/P for the first time during the VK5 Parks Award Anniversary Weekend.

They even got a number of Park to Park contacts including with VK5DW Danny and VK5HS Ivan while they where activating Media Island C/P for its first time.


Kapunda, Media and Rilli Islands Activated for the First Time

What a great day had buy VK5DW Danny, VK5HS Ivan, VK5LA Andy, and VK5PE Peter. 

We activated 3 never before activated island parks just out of Loxton. Andy and Pete both activated Kapunda Island C/P while Danny and Ivan activated Media Island C/P. Ivan headed back to Kapunda Island to pick up Andy and Pete leaving Danny on Media Island to make a couple more contacts. Pete and Andy then also activated Media Island C/P before we loaded up Ivan’s boat and heading further up stream to Rill Island.

After a short put up steam we set up a station on Rilli Island C/P where Andy grabbed the mic and made his quota in no time. Pete made his contacts then followed by Danny. At an early rough quick count we made over 100 contacts. 

All in all a very enjoyable day out playing radio in some beautiful surroundings topped off by a couple terrific espresso thick shakes. All agreed we need to do this again soon. 

VK5DW – Cross Yagi Project

Here is my, VK5DW Danny, attempt at a 2m/70cm Crossed Yagi for satellite kit. I wanted something that would be easy to transport so it needed to break down and package down into a bag. And given I was going to build it so it would break down I thought I might as well see if I could build it in such a way that it could be used in a number of formats.

So what I cam up with is this little outfit. It can be used in the following yagi configurations:

  • 4 element 2m/8 element 70cm Crossed
  • 4 element 2m
  • 5 element 70cm (I had fox hunting in mind)
  • 8 element 70cm
  • Each can be mounted on stand OR hand held

The extended boom hosts a counter balance, portable radio mounts, and breakout box for the LogiTech headset and remote PTT to plug into.

The way I made it collapsible was to make each of the elements as two piece connected through the boom by a M4 bolt. This bolt has an additional M4 nut placed ~10mm from the bolt head, inserted into the 10mm aluminum tube element with the nut flush to the end of the element. This is crimped with a ‘F’ Type RG59 crimping tool. The other matching element half has 2 M4 nuts inserted into the end, using a spare bolt to hold the nuts, and crimped in the same manner as the other side.

The bolts insert through the boom and the 2 halves of the element screw together. Where the boom is split it has a short section of ‘U’ channel that fits nicely into the boom. It is riveted into one section of the split boom and when slipped together is held by the bolts of a couple elements.

The total kit includes:

  • The antenna assembly
  • 2 x portable radios (this allows for full duplex operation)
  • Stand (ex flood light kit)
  • Remote PTT
  • LogiTech PC Headset with boom mic
  • Boom extension with counter balance, portable mounts, and breakout box
  • Coax patch leads fixed to boom extension for stand operation
  • Spare coax fly lead for hand held operation
  • Padded extension handle for portable operation

Thanks for having a read,

VK5DW Danny

Cooltong Activation 9-12-2017

The Cooltong Conservation Park VKFF-0823 in QF05HT. VK5PE Peter, VK5HS Ivan, VK5FPLR Peter, and I (VK5DW Danny) went out and activated the park for my first activation even.

VK5HS bought along his recently built satellite antenna and rig and played on AO-91.

VK5FPLR also had a play on the satellite as well from his hand held and Ivan’s kit.

I managed to get my quota of contacts and had an absolute blast… gunna do this again!

Check the pic below, looks like VK5PE Pete thinks he can see the satellite and trying to guide Ivan to point his rig in the direction.

Thanks for reading,

VK5DW Danny

VK5HS – Cross Yagi Project

We’re all doing it… crossed dual band yagis that is.

Here we have VK5HS Ivan version of the 2m/70cm cross yagi for AO-91. Ivan’s design has through boom mounted elements that with a twist of a screw can be removed with reasonable ease. The fixing screws are mounted in by way of ‘Nutserts’ aka ‘Rivnuts’.

He uses 2 x portables for full duplex so when he keys up the 70cm transmitter you can hear yourself coming back in on the 2m receiver, full duplex. This is a little wierd at first but great when you get the hang of it. The best bit is that you can tell when you are getting into the bird.

It is with this outfit that I, VK5DW Danny, got bitten with the satellite bug (you can see me in the pics… I’m the one with the big belly!!!). From here I went home and rigged up a couple old yagis I had laying about. You can also see VK5PE Pete operating the yagi hand held (nice vest Pete). Ivan even bought it out for a bit of fun during our Cooltong Conservation Park activation.

2017 Remembrance Day Contest


Contest Introduction

This contest commemorates the Amateurs who died during World War II and is designed to encourage friendly participation and help improve the operating skills of participants. It is held on the weekend closest to the 15th August, the date on which hostilities ceased in the southwest Pacific area.

A perpetual trophy is awarded annually to the Australian state or territory with the best performance. The name of the winning State or Territory is inscribed on the trophy, and that State or Territory then holds the trophy for 12 months. The winning State or Territory is also given a certificate, as are leading entrants.

Aim Of The Contest

Amateurs will endeavour to contact amateurs in VK call areas, ZL and P29 on all bands except WARC bands. Modes allowed are voice, CW and RTTY as per the era remembered.

Here we have VK5TRM Rob, VK5MRE Ron, VK5LA Andy and VK5AW Adrian off camera.

Tech Night, 31-7-2017 – Digi Interface

20157834_10212085111955893_8962399402722571989_oOne of our first revitalised Tech Night VK5LA Andy put together a Digital Interface project for us to build.

You can see in the top pic the packaged up bits that Andy organised and got ready for us all.

In the bottom pic here we are all around the tables head down tail 20449077_10212192619483514_4143998138219556123_oup building our projects. We had different levels of know;edge and skills around the table but it was great to see everyone having a good old fashioned crack at it and the support we had for each other.

A really good fun night.