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VK3YFD Australia flag Australia

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I have held an amateur radio license for many years, but have only become active since my (semi) retirement, some 3 or 4 years ago. My working life has been spent in the university system here in Australia in the disciplines of applied physics and sport science. I have worked predominantly in engineering support roles to both academic and research programmes. My background is in electronics/instrumentation, but have spent the past 15 years or more in data acquistion/software/systems development. I have worked extensively in roles involving monitoring/measuring the performances of elite athletes both here in Australia and in the United States. Much of my work has been focussed around Olympic athlete performance assessment/improvement/selection. I also spent around 2 years working at NIOSH West Virginia and have been involved in several US start-up companies in the area of elite sports player assessment and medical device development.

My equipment list is very modest, but slowly growing. Currently I am running a Kenwood TS-2000 feeding a Tet-Emtron TE-46 six band beam (below). The beam has 3x elements on 14, 21 & 28Mhz and a dipole covering 10, 18 and 25MHz. The beam is mounted on a newly restored windmill tower some 9m above the ground and is fitted with an Emotator 502MSX rotator. The TS-2000 is also my VHF rig running into a 2m J-Pole and a Diamod D-130 Discone on 70cm. I am very keen on Dx work, particularly with people who are prepared to chat rather than giving a simple signal report and move on. I have found my meager 100watts pretty limiting for Dx and have just restored an old Yaesu FL-2100B linear amplifier. The 2100 is up and running now and has given me a little more Dx punch. I also have a Kenwood TS-440S into a fan inverted vee dipole on 20 and 40 metres (90 degrees apart) and around 10m above the ground. The 20m branch runs approximately E/W and the 40m branch runs approxiumately N/S. My first radio was an old, but faithful Kenwood TS-830M feeding a temporary 80metre (sloped) off-centre-dipole running roughly N/S. I mainly use the 830 for the local Thursday night club nets. I have also recently acquired a Yaesu FTDX1200, but am awaiting delivery of some connectors/cables to enable it to be interfaced to both my linear and my PC before really getting it on the air.

I recently joined the local radio club, BARG (Ballarat Amateur Radio Group) http://www.barg.org.au. The club has been very welcoming and I have made a number new friends and enjoyed the many regular social and radio events the members orgainse. The club has provided me with much needed advice and members have readily volunteered to come and help me out with various projects around my QTH, including the erection of my recently restored 60 year old farm windmill tower (above).

My wife and I have a small 25 acre hobby farm at a place called Lal lal, a tiny rural community just S.E. of the inland (1850's gold rush) city of Ballarat. Lal lal is a local Aboriginal word meaning "water water", here we are raising a small herd of Angus Lowline cattle. We have a raft (or perhaps more aptly a Noahs arc) of other animals including sheep, alpacas, goats, chickens and my wifes two house cats, "Cleo" and "Sasha". We also have 3x pet emus which surprisingly make very affectionate pets!! The emu names are "Cuddles", Pecky" (below) and "Mrs Simpson". We also have a resident (wild) kangaroo called "Roger" (above) who grazes every morning and evening on the front lawn. There are some 20 odd wild kangaroos regularly around the farm, but only Roger seems to be happy and contented grazing around the house. We also have the occaisional visit from "Jeff" the koala (above) who enjoys munching on our gum trees and making rather frightening noises during the wee hours of the night. This area has a great abundance of native bird life , including rosellas (below), rainbow lorikeets, various wading/water birds and large wedge tailed eagles. My QTH is located in a bush area of Lal lal called "The Bird Cage" due to all the local roads in the vacinity being named after local the birds types. The property itself consits of both open fields and a small amount of native bush.

 The following pictures are of my farm, some of my farm animals, pets and some of the local wild life:

100 years ago the Lal lal area was extensively mined for gold, iron and also for fine pottery clays. Today the area is mainly used for cattle, sheep & horse grazing on small to medium sized farms and farmlets.  Its a very tiny village with only a small primary school, pub, public hall and garage. There are no shops so locals need to travel some distance to the nearest town, Buninyong, for shopping or the much larger city of Ballarat some 25 minuts away by car. Lal lal is approximately 500m above sea level and is known in the area for being pretty cold (by Australian standards). Lal lal Falls (below) can be a spectacular local attaction during the winter and spring months when rain falls in the nearby hills, but it runs completely dry during the summer.

Winter day time temperatures are often around 5oC with a couple of days a year with snow. Winter night time temperatures are very often below zero and there are regular very heavy frosts. Summer temperatures are often high and a typical summers day would be 35 to 37oC, with occaisional days going to 40+. Victoria is a very high bush and grass fire risk area, with so much bush and farm land in the area summer bush fires on very hot windy days are sometimes a threat, despite that its a lovely tranquil place to live.


I look forward to chatting with you, so please give me a call anytime!

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8379526 Last modified: 2017-10-09 23:02:52, 8673 bytes

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