On Wednesday, January 11, 2023, I was on my way back to the QTH after a brief trip to Raleigh, NC.
Later in the afternoon, I needed to take my daughters to a class, thus I had a strict deadline to meet. Still, it was a beautiful day so I decided to pop by Tuttle Educational State Forest for a nice walk and possibly an activation if I time allowed. I’d spent so much time in my car the previous couple of days, I really wanted to stretch my legs.
Tuttle Educational State Forest (K-4861)
As I drove to Tuttle, I made a decision to film a Hike & Talk session–I had a topic on my mind and thought the timing was right to make a recording. You can check out that (previously published) Hike & Talk session here.
After that casual walk, I found that I had a good 45 minute window–no more–to fit in a full activation including set-up/take-down. Very doable!
The radio I had packed away for this road trip was my Elecraft KX2 field kit which included a Tufteln no-transformer random wire antenna (compact equivalent of my 28.5′ speaker wire antenna) and my AX1 portable antenna. I had this particular kit because I’d hoped to do an urban park activation in Raleigh, but simply didn’t have the time to fit it in.
Setting up the KX2 is a swift process.
I chose a picnic table, deployed the Tufteln antenna and was on the air in no time!
Note: All Amazon, CW Morse, and eBay links are affiliate links that support the QRPer.com at no cost to you.
- Elecraft KX2
- Tufteln Portable EFRW No Transformer QRP Antenna
- CW Morse SP4 N0SA SOTA Paddles
- Spec-Ops Brand T.H.E. Pack EDC
- Elecraft KXBT2 Li-Ion Battery Pack
- 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
- Moleskine Cahier Journal
- GraphGear 0.9mm 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil
- Camera: OSMO Action Camera with Joby tripod (affiliate links)
On The Air
I hopped on the air and starting calling CQ POTA (in CW) on 20 meters. Within eleven minutes, I had logged the ten stations necessary to validate this activation. I was very pleased with these results considering it was a Wednesday morning (not exactly prime-time for POTA)!
This was just the right amount of “radio therapy” I needed that fine morning!
Here’s what this five watt activation looked like when plotted out on a QSO Map.
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.
There’s almost always time for a little POTA!
I learned early on in my POTA career, though, that it’s important to keep a fully-stocked and self-sufficient field kit in my vehicle at all times.
I find it difficult to wake up in the morning, look at my schedule, and confidently predict that I’ll have a POTA opening because it requires 1.) having enough time (a very minimum of 20 minutes for a portable deployment) and 2.) being in the vicinity of a POTA park. SOTA, of course, is even more difficult because summits aren’t usually as accessible as parks.
If I’m not making a video, I can fit in an activation in 20 minutes.
Indeed, the upcoming field reports are all portable and all fairly rapid. And lots of fun, if I’m being honest!
Thank you for joining me on this quick activation! It was a nice dose of outdoor radio therapy after a fairly somber beginning of the week. One of my best friends lost his wife to pancreatic cancer and the funeral was the previous day in Raleigh. He’s also a ham and, like me, finds his radio time healing.
As always, 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.
Thanks for spending part of your day with me! Here’s wishing you a wonderful week!
Cheers & 72,