I mentioned in a previous post that I’m quite behind publishing activation videos. Much of this has to do with the fact that I’ve been a pretty busy activator (by my standards) the past couple of months.
While I don’t make field reports and videos for each of my activations, I usually do one or two per week. Two is typically the max I can post because my field reports take 3-4 hours each to write-up and publish; it can be difficult carving that kind of time out of my busy schedule!
In order to catch-up, I’ve decided to post shorter format field reports from time-to-time; especially for reports like this one where I give quite a lot of info and detail in my activation video.
Desoto Falls National Recreation Area (K-7473)
In the previous field report (from October 14, 2022), I recounted two amazing SOTA activations in north Georgia (Big Cedar and Black Mountain) with my buddy Joshua (KO4AWH) during the annual W4 SOTA Fall Campout.
Immediately after wrapping up our SOTA activations on Black Mountain, we decided to hit a park on the way back to the campground. Desoto Falls National Recreation Area made for a short detour and a nice way to relax after a few miles of hiking that day.
We pulled into the parking area of Desoto Falls and set up our stations in the picnic area placing some distance from one another to help with any interference.
I pulled out my trusty Penntek TR-45L and two 28’/8.5m lengths of 24 gauge wire. I extended the radiator vertically and unrolled the counterpoise on the ground. The wires were connected to the binding posts on the back of the TR-45L (red=radiator, black=counterpoise). I used the built-in manual Z-Match tuner to match the impedance in short order.
Quick note about TR-45L availability
At time of publishing this report (November 26, 2022), John (WA3RNC) is in the process of building and shipping some of the first TR-45Ls ordered. I’ve gotten lots of questions from readers inquiring about lead times. I’m actually not the best guy to ask because I have no inside info.
I can tell you, however, that parts availability is what’s making the production time extended. John has been shipping units in the order received. I know some customers who’ve already received their TR-45L and others who are projected to receive theirs end of January 2023.
All I can say is it’ll be worth the wait! Indeed, it seems all of my favorite field radios have an extended lead time at present from multiple manufacturers.
- Penntek TR-45L with optional Z-Match tuner and internal battery
- Antenna: two 28 foot/8.5 meter lengths of wire
- CW Morse Outdoor Double Paddle With Steel Base
- Spec-Ops Brand T.H.E. Pack EDC
- Mini Arborist throw line kit: Tom Bihn Small Travel Tray, Marlow KF1050 Excel 2mm Throwline, and Weaver 8 or 10oz weight
- Rite In The Rain Weatherproof Cover/Pouch (affiliate link)
- Moleskine Cahier Journal (affiliate link)
- GraphGear 0.9mm 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil (affiliate link)
- Camera: OSMO Action Camera with Joby tripod (affiliate links)
On The Air
That never happened because 30 meters was simply on fire!
I worked my first ten contacts in 9 minutes.
It was a proper pileup.
All-in, I logged a total of 57 stations in 53 minutes. That’s about as fast as I’m comfortable doing a POTA activation because I try not to treat activations like a contest!
It was incredibly fun.
Here’s what this activation looked like when plotted out on a QSO Map (click to enlarge).
Here’s my real-time, real-life video of the entire activation. As with all of my videos, I don’t edit out any parts of the on-air activation time. In addition, I have monetization turned off on YouTube, although that doesn’t stop them from inserting ads before and after my videos.
I hope you enjoyed this “short” field report (that actually wasn’t all that short) and my activation video as much as I enjoyed creating it.
I had an absolute blast during this activation. The steady flow of contacts kept me on my toes, but it was also so nice simply enjoying the great outdoors, checking out a new-to-me park, then capping off the day with a campsite meal and very peaceful sleep in my tent with downright cold overnight temps.
I live for this stuff!
Of course, I’d also like to send a special thanks to those of you who have been supporting the site and channel through Patreon and the Coffee Fund. While certainly not a requirement as my content will always be free, I really appreciate the support.
As I mentioned before, the Patreon platform connected to Vimeo make it possible for me to share videos that are not only 100% ad-free, but also downloadable for offline viewing. The Vimeo account also serves as a third backup for my video files.
Thank you so very much!
Cheers & 72,