On Monday, March 22, 2021, I performed three QRP field activations in one day. I started off the day with a visit to Three Top Mountain Game Land, and then headed to Mount Jefferson State Natural Area for a POTA and SOTA activation before heading to my final destination: New River State Park.
I had never visited the New River State Park before but I knew since it was an NC State Park, it would be a beautiful site…and it certainly was.
It being a mid afternoon on a Monday in mid-March, I had the entire park to myself. Well…at least I had the entire park from my access point (this particular park has a number of entry points).
Sadly, I didn’t have a lot of time to explore the park nor any of its trails, because I was on a fairly tight schedule.
New River State Park (K-2748)
I decided to deploy my EFT-MTR 40/30/20 end fed antenna and pair it with the Icom IC-705. Since New River had a spacious picnic area with numerous tall trees, setup really couldn’t have been easier.
- Icom IC-705
- Mat-Tuner mAT-705Plus
- Vibroplex EFT-MTR 40/30/20 end fed antenna
- CW Morse “Pocket Paddle”
- Red Oxx C-Ruck
- Arborist throw line
- Tom Bihn Large Travel Tray
In the video below, I actually demo how I used my arborist throw line to deploy the EFT-MTR antenna.
On The Air
While the weather and the POTA site were ideal, propagation was not. I knew that going into the site and that’s exactly why I deployed a near resonant wire antenna instead of a vertical. I say “near-resonant” but the EFT-MTR is actually a resonant antenna on 40, 30 and 20 meters–I repaired mine recently, however, and it affected the resonance. I need to take an antenna analyzer to it and sort that out. In the meantime, though, I simply used the mAT-705 Plus ATU to take the edge off of the SWR.
I ended up only using the 40 meter band to make my 11 contacts in the span of about 33 minutes. Considering the propagation and the fact it was a Monday mid-afternoon, I was pleased with the results.
If I had the time, I would have moved up to the 30 and 20 meter bands, but again, I had a schedule to maintain so I went QRT after working my buddy K8RAT.
Here’s a real-time, real-life video of the entire activation:
I’m definitely coming back to the New River State Park later this year. In fact, I think this would be an ideal spot for a family canoeing and camping trip.
As I’ve said so many times before, this is what I love about POTA and WWFF: they provide an excuse to check out public lands that wouldn’t normally be on my radar. New River is a perfect example since it’s a little too far from the QTH to be a day trip, yet a little too local to be a destination we’d typically plan in our cross-country travels.
Thank you for reading this report.
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4 thoughts on “Activating the New River State Park with the Icom IC-705 and EFT-MTR end-fed antenna”
Another beautiful location! I am still trudging along with CW, at this point the one thing holding me back is the lack of confidence and “fear of screwing it up”. I do know that everyone says just do it, other hams are willing to be patient and courteous.
I have the LNR EFT-10/20/40 Trail Friendly. Love that antenna!
Thanks for the blog and the videos!
Trust me, Ron…we all feel that “fear of screwing it up” when it comes to our initial steps in CW. I still feel it when I’m just not on my A game.
I can tell you this, though: acknowledge that fear and then pick it up and set it off to the side. Move it out of the way and move on. That’s what I do.
Reality is, the person at the other end of the airwaves *wants* you to succeed in CW! Seriously.
Just take your time and don’t be afraid to send “QRS?” to ask for them to slow down. Also, don’t be afraid to send “?” or “AGN?” for the other op to repeat. I do it all the time. Try to send at the same speed you’d like to receive.
Thank you for the kind comment, Ron, and know that you can do it!
Thank you for another very fine video detailing your activation. Hope you had good luck back out at Lake Norman today. I’m planning on putting Paradise Point SP on the air tomorrow!
Thank you, Mark!
You know, Lake Norman was a bit of a challenge. For one thing, I found a nice quiet spot and as I started the video, a park ranger and work crew set up *right* behind me and built a wood structure to fix a broken table. 🙂 It was pretty darn loud.
But, hey! I got 12 or 13 logged, I believe.
My schedule cleared up tomorrow so I might be able to do multiple activations–possibly including a summit. Fingers are crossed, at least.
I hope your activation went well!