Pairing the CHA Tactical Delta Loop, LDG Z-100 Plus, and IC-705 at Tuttle Educational State Forest

I carved out a little time on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, to play POTA and take a hike at Tuttle Educational State Forest (K-4861).

Being August in the Piedmont of North Carolina, it was a very humid and warm day. That wasn’t really a problem, though, because Tuttle has so many well-shaded picnic tables.

Once I arrived on-site, I decided to deploy the Chameleon CHA Tactical Delta Loop (TDL) antenna for a few reasons: I thought it might make for some good daytime NVIS action, perhaps even a little fun on the 20M band, and it’s so darn quick to deploy.

With the state of propagation the way it is these days, though, I never know what to expect on the air despite the antenna or my wishes!

I found a picnic table and set up the CHA TDL about 50′ away in an open field.

Gear:

Installing the CHA TDL is incredibly easy. For an antenna with a respectable footprint (albeit in one vertical plane), it’s super fast to deploy.

I made a video of the activation and actually show how I deploy the CHA TDL.

I also used my LDG Z-100 Plus ATU. I knew it would be more than capable of handling the CHA TDL because Chameleon antennas will work with even modest ATUs–the Z-100 Plus actually has a very wide matching range. The Z-100 Plus is a superb ATU for those ops looking for a more affordable, yet still very capable, ATU on a budget.

I initially used the IC-705 to Z-100 Plus ATU command cable but realized I probably wasn’t using the tune function correctly on the IC-705 (I’ve tinkered with the ATU settings) so just unplugged it. In truth? I don’t find that the command cables on ATUs offer me much in the field. I’d rather rely on matching via RF-sensing because I feel it gives me a bit more control.

I needed to keep this activation short, so I decided in advance I’d end it when I had worked my 10 stations needed for a valid activation (that is, unless, there were still others calling me).

I started out on 30 meters because I believe that’s where the radio was tuned when I turned it on.

On 30 meters, I worked three stations in about three minutes. Then I moved to the 40 meter band where I racked up 7 contacts in about 17 minutes. Finally, I capped off ten contacts for a valid activation by snagging one contact on 20 meters.

I would like to have stayed for a much longer activation and I’m sure I could have added 10-20 more in an hour, but I also wanted to keep the video short for uploading later. That and, to be honest, I was looking forward to a nice hike before leaving the park.

QSO Map

Here’s a QSO Map of my quickie activation:

Video

Here’s my real-time, real-life, no-edit activation video. If you’ve been seeking a cure for insomnia, you’ve found it!

I love Tuttle!

Tuttle has certainly become my go-to local park because it’s ideal in so many ways: it’s a short detour from my weekly travels, it’s spacious, has loads of options for deploying antennas, RF quiet, has a 2 mile loop trail with great operating points, is very rarely busy, and has incredibly friendly and accommodating park staff.

Seriously: it doesn’t get much better than that!

Thank you!

Thank you for reading this field report and a special thanks to those of you who are supporting the site and channel through Patreon and the Coffee Fund. While certainly not a requirement–my content is always free–I really appreciate the support.

Find some time to chase or activate a park or summit near you! Or, if you have an opportunity, just take your radio outdoors, hop on the air, and have some fun. It’s good for your soul!

Cheers & 73,

Thomas (K4SWL)

2 thoughts on “Pairing the CHA Tactical Delta Loop, LDG Z-100 Plus, and IC-705 at Tuttle Educational State Forest”

  1. I have been using my IC705 with Z100plus tuner for a few months now. The Z100plus is excellent tuner and if ordered as accessory for IC705 one get the cables needed (BNC to PL259 RF cable and control cable). I pretty much plug an play.

    However, I do prefer to use the control cable and command from IC705 to tune. this not only works for transmit, but also receive. Making the tuner tune manually will set the tuner so the receive is improved.

    Even with the control cable tuning the Z100plus will still auto tune if sees higher SWR. Best of both, manual and automatic, just for manual I am in control.

    But I am into more than seeing good SWR, I want performance and a short antenna will not perform well on the lower bands.

  2. Thomas, you were using my favorite combination; the 705 and LDG Z100Plus. I always use the communication cable. All I need to do when using it is touch the dit paddle after changing bands or frequencies and the LDG starts clicking to tune up. No going thru the Function 2 menu and tapping the tuner button. It is very fast to change bands using a random wire antenna. I think you were trying to make the tuner act like the T1. Why not let the tuner do its thing?

    I’ve been to Tuttle several times but don’t remember seeing that field. It did look like a nice place to set up a vertical or the TDL. I noticed that you put the RF choke at the antenna instead of near the LDG. Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of the coax serving as a counterpoise?

    I appreciated seeing the clips on the wire in the video especially since I’m waiting on delivery of a TDL myself.

    73

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