After a fun “discovery” activation with the TEN-TEN R4020 on the morning of November 12, 2022–click here to check out that report and video–I realized I had just enough time to squeeze in another activation on my way back to the QTH.
I picked Lake James State Park (K-2739) because it was the most conveniently located; only a 20 minute detour.
When I arrived, the park was very quiet even though it was a Saturday no doubt because the ground was still saturated after the two days of rains we received from the remnants of Hurricane Nicole.
I grabbed my radio gear: the Elecraft KX2 and the new MC-750 vertical antenna sent to me (at no charge) by Jesse at Chelegance. This was only the second time I’d used the antenna–the first time was with the X5105.
I knew the MC-750 would be quick to set up and that was a good thing because I only had a max of about 45 minutes for the entire activation including set-up and take-down.
I walked down to a picnic table by the lake and deployed the station.
The MC-750 took me all of three (casual) minutes to set up.
Next, I set up the Elecraft KX2 and my CW Morse Outdoor Paddle with Steel Base for one-handed picnic table operating.
- Elecraft KX2
- Chelegance MC-750 (DX Engineering US, WIMO EU, Moonraker UK)
- CW Morse Outdoor Double Paddle With Steel Base
- Spec-Ops Brand T.H.E. Pack EDC
- 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 (affiliate link)
On The Air
As with nearly all of my POTA activations, I scheduled this one via the POTA.app website en route to Lake James (of course, I pulled off the road to do this). By scheduling the activation, there’s rarely a need to self-spot because the POTA.app’s connection to the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) will do that for you. It’s pure genius.
This was also possibly the first time I’d used the Elecraft KX2 since
early August actually, KO4AWH reminds me that I used the KX2 during my SOTA activations with him in October! The reason for this is I used the KX2 almost exclusively during our summer in Québec; once I returned home, I was eager to give my other field radios a little outdoor time (I had missed my other children!).
At Lake James, and while talking to the camera, I started my activation by simply using my first CW message memory in “beacon” mode (meaning, it would repeat my CQ POTA at 4 second intervals) to grab the attention of the RBN.
As I chatted away, I realized it was taking the RBN a little longer to pick up my call and spot me. I finally noticed that the CW message memory still had my Canadian callsign (VY2SW) loaded and was calling CQ POTA with it! What? This was a bit embarrassing to say the least, but hey, no one was harmed in making of this video. 🙂
I think the real reason I didn’t catch this is my Canadian call sounds “normal” to me now. I used it so much in Canada, my brain just accepts it, so it never caught my attention until I actually started listening to see if something was wrong.
I quickly, re-recorded my “CQ POTA DE K4SWL” into message memory number one, then played that back in repeat. Within a short period of time, I was spotted and logging calls!
Whew! I hope no one noticed my blunder! 🙂
This was a very brief activation since my time was so limited.
I managed to work sixteen stations in 15 minutes. Thank you so much, hunters!
That was brief, but seriously fun!
Here’s what this 5 watt activation looked like when plotted out on a QSO Map. I think the Chelegance MC-750 performed quite well, in fact:
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 the field report and activation video as much as I enjoyed creating them.
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.
I hope you get a chance to play radio this week. If you’re learning CW, keep up the good work and remember that it takes some time and patience, but once your brain starts to recognize characters, and you listen to a lot of CW, the process speeds up without much effort at all. I would also encourage you to hunt CW POTA and SOTA stations–this really puts your CW Brain in high gear!
Thank you so very much and have a wonderful week!
Cheers & 72,