Contests usually scare me. Lots of people trying to make lots of contacts, wanting quick QSOs. Actually, come to think of it, this sounds perfect for my social anxiety and introversion: contacts with hardly any conversation. So, looking to get 44 in the log for the Brisbane Ranges NP, I decided I’d head up there and see how many I could make. I only had an hour or two for actual operating, so I was never going to be super competitive, but as contests go, the JMMFD is a relatively painless one to start with. I entered the single op, 6 hour, portable section.
I drove to my usual spot in Brisbane Ranges, the corner of Switch Road and Aquaduct track. From here, there is a locked gate heading north, and about 10-15 minutes walk along that track takes you to Nelson’s Lookout, the high point of the park. I set up just back from the lookout ostensibly to keep out of the way, although I had no visitors for the whole time I was there, and only saw one other while I walked.
As I set up, it began to rain, and this was a common feature of the 90 minutes I was there, intermittent strong rain followed by sunshine. Unfortunately, conditions on 40m were horrible, and I had few real close in contacts, everything being longer skip. I started with VK4, plenty of VK2 stations and a few VK7s. In all, I made 21 contacts on 40m and 1 on 20m. Not quite the 44 I’d hoped for, but I’ll get there eventually.
Otherwise, I survived my first contest!