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.
- Icom IC-705
- LDG Electronics Z-100 Plus
- Chameleon CHA TDL (Tactical Delta Loop)
- CW Morse “Pocket Paddle”
- GoRuck Bullet Ruck
- GoRuck GR1 USA
- Tom Bihn Large Travel Tray
- Rite In The Rain Weatherproof Cover/Pouch (affiliate link)
- Jovitec 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil (affiliate link)
- Muji A6 Notepad (affiliate link)
- HEROCLIP Carabiner Clip (attached to my backpack–affiliate link)
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.
Here’s a QSO Map of my quickie activation:
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 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,