I could use some help at VE-0054 this morning…

Baie-Comeau, Québec

Note: See update below!

This morning, I’m going to attempt a POTA activation of Manicouagan-Uapishka Biosphere Reserve (VE-0054) around 11:30-12:30 UTC. This is an ATNO (All Time New One) park.

I’ll be using my Canadian call VY2SW.

We’re in the Baie-Comeau area at present, and I’ll only have a short window to fit in this activation before we hit the road again and do a little off-grid camping for a few days!

I’ll be QRP and hopefully on 20 and 40 meters CW. If I have the time (and mobile coverage to self-spot) I’ll attempt to do a little SSB as well. If I can find an adequate tree (they’re not so tall along this trail) I’ll deploy an EFHW, else it’ll be a random wire.

Conditions have been so rough lately, I’m not quite sure what to expect; especially this early in the morning at this location.

If you have a moment, look for me on the RBN. I appreciate any/all spots!

This will likely be my only activation for a few days because there are sadly no POTA/WWFF parks nor SOTA summits within easy reach of our campsite along the St-Lawrence.


Thanks to everyone who listened for and logged me this morning. The activation was a big success. I logged a total of 30 stations on three modes all in very short order.

Thanks so much! Now it’s time to pack the camping gear and go whale watching!


Thomas (VY2SW / K4SWL)

15 thoughts on “I could use some help at VE-0054 this morning…”

  1. I will be on the road but might be able to stop and put a whip on the truck or a quick wire in the air Thomas. I may even be able to stop in a park. Good luck with it.

  2. Quite the pileup at the park! Congrats on activating VE-0054 as an ATNO! Glad to get you in the log again.

    Best 73 de Brian – K3ES

  3. Sounds like you had a nice group at the ready. Nice to catch you and get you in the log this morning.

    Douglas K1GC

  4. Heard you just above the noise on my FT-818 and loop antenna from S Ont…Unfortunately, I’m not licensed for CW so I can’t reply. Will definitely be studying for that next winter!


  5. Just updated this post with a little more info. Thanks SO much for having my back this morning!


    1. I was more than happy to jump on that Thomas. I saw your request right as I started a work zoom meeting, and I was able to make the contact with you while I was muted and others were presenting. It was fun seeing how stealthy I could be with my paddle just out of the camera view. 🙂

      1. WOO HOO! A little Zoom stealth! I love it! Thanks for making the time, OM.


  6. Good afternoon Thomas, I was listening for you on 20m and heard the pile-up of stations waiting to work you. I was not able to hear you in New Brunswick. When I looked at the reverse beacon map seems that I was in your dead spot direction-wise for your antenna. You seemed to be doing well into Ontario and the Southwest U.S.
    Oh well, maybe next time.

    1. Yes! There will be many more opportunities and I hope to work you!

      K4SWL / VY2SW

  7. Hi Thomas, could you explain the rationale behind an EFHW working with “an adequate tree” but a random wire being deployed if the trees aren’t right? (Is it just about length — the random wire being shorter than a 40m EFHW?) Cheers!

    1. Great question!

      So the spot where I activated was on top of a hill and the trees were all relatively short–the tallest maybe 25-27′ in height.

      My EFHW is about 63′ long. When deployed, it would have to be in an inverted vee position and would basically function as an NVIS (Near Vertical Incidence Skywave) antenna with the apex of the vee so close to the ground. This would likely have resulted in more closer regional contacts, most likely. Thing is, there aren’t lot of POTA hunters in a NVIS footprint around Baie-Comeau. It’s a very sparsely populated area.

      The random wire is 31′ feet long. If I could raise the end to 27′, the tip would have bent over the top of the tree by a few feet, but the antenna (with an extra counterpoise on the ground), would have acted more like a vertical with a low take-off angle. That’s what I wanted to reach into the rest of North America. It did, in the end, seem to function that way.

      This was my antenna logic, admittedly based less on antenna theory and more just on my experience using them. 🙂


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