In 2022, I accumulated so many activation videos that I have a small backlog and some that got lost in the shuffle. The following activation report is one that I meant to post in November, but it got lost in the shuffle.
So let’s time-travel…
On October 20, 2022, I pulled into Tuttle Educational State Forest to enjoy quick a POTA activation with my Penntek TR-45L.
I remember now that I wanted to hold off publishing this video until John (WA3RNC) at Penntek had time to ship the bulk of the radios from his first production run of fifty units. Demand has been very high for this sweet rig and for good reason: it performs brilliantly, is fun to use, sports amazing audio, and (with its Apolloesque design) strikes the right nostalgia chord for many of us.
Tuttle Educational State Forest (K-4861)
I had a very short window to do this activation–a maximum of 45 minutes or so. You see, I still had a good 1.5 hour drive back to the QTH and needed to pop by the post office to pick up parcels before they closed at 17:00 local.
I had planned to pair the TR-45L with my PackTenna random wire antenna and use the 45L’s Z-Match tuner, but I discovered I’d packed the PackTenna 20M EFHW instead.
Note: All Amazon, CW Morse, and eBay links are affiliate links that support the QRPer.com at no cost to you.
- Penntek TR-45L with optional Z-Match tuner and internal battery
- Tufteln Common Mode Choke
- Tufteln N0RNM Folding Knee Board
- Packtenna Mini EFHW antenna & PackTenna 20′ RG-316 BNC/BNC
- Key cable: Cable Matters 2-Pack Gold-Plated Retractable Aux Cable – 2.5 Feet
- CW Morse “Pocket Paddle” (I actually use a single lever version in this video)
- 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
- Moleskine Cahier Journal
- GraphGear 0.9mm 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil
- Camera: OSMO Action Camera with Joby tripod
On The Air
Every time I turn on one of my Penntek radios, I’m simply blown away by the low noise floor and gorgeous audio. This activation was no exception: when I first turned on the radio, I tuned across the 20 meter band and the signals just popped out.
In fact, I serendipitously tuned to Mel (W3PYF) who was activating a park, so I called him and worked him on the first try. It was nice being able to start the activation off with a Park-to-Park.
When I found a clear frequency and started calling CQ, the propagation gods were so kind to me.
Within 10 minutes, I added 9 stations to my P2P to validate the activation. In that first ten minutes I worked some proper DX: my ninth contact was with Michael (N7CCD) in Washington state and tenth with Micke (F4HZR) in France. Wow!
I continued working stations for an additional nine minutes accumulating 10 more contacts for a total of 20 stations logged.
What a blast!
Here’s what this 5 watt activation into a PackTenna EFHW looks 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.
I look back at some of these shorter activations and I’ll admit that sometimes they really do surprise me. During this activation I worked all the way from the west coast of the US to France–all with a little 5 watt radio at a beautiful park using a mode that dates back to the birth of long-distance communications.
This surely beats the heck out of texting on my iPhone!
I hope you enjoyed the field report and my activation videos 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.
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.
Thanks for spending part of your day with me! Have a wonderful, radio-active week!
Cheers & 72,