KX2/AX1: Second quick activation of the day at Lake James State Park!

As I mentioned in my previous field report, on Saturday, January 21, 2023, I had just enough time to activate two parks in short order on the way back to my QTH

I thought it might be fun to perform both of these activations with the Elecraft KX2 and AX1 combo because they’re so speedy to deploy.

Once again, I wanted to show the whole KX2/AX1 set-up and pack-up process in my activation video.

Lake James State Park (K-2739)

As I pulled into the Lake James Catawba River access, I discovered that there were few other guests there that day. I was expecting more people on a Saturday especially since the weather was so pleasant and South Mountains had been so busy earlier that morning.

Then again, the Catawba River access always has less visitors than the Paddy’s Creek area (which is really the main public access point for Lake James).

I pulled into a parking space, found one of the closest picnic tables, and set up the station in short order.

At South Mountains State Park, an hour earlier, I performed the entire activation on 20 meters. To shake things up a bit, I decided to perform the one at Lake James on 17 meters (note here that the AX1 only works on 20 and 17 meters unless you have the coil which adds 40 meters).

I had a hunch 17 meters wouldn’t be as productive as 20 meters, but I was good with that. I only needed ten contacts to complete the activation and I was pretty much on borrowed time. I didn’t want another pileup situation where I’d have to call QRT with loads of people still calling me.


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On The Air

I connected the AX1 antenna to the KX2, flipped the 20/17 meter switch on the base of the antenna, pressed the ATU button on the KX2, then started calling CQ POTA.

Within thirteen minutes, I logged the ten contact necessary for a valid park activation! 17 meters was in better shape than I anticipated.

Again, my time was so limited, I only called CQ POTA a few more minutes, logged two more stations, then called QRT.

A total of twelve stations logged, two of which were Park-To-Parks thanks to K0TTW and N4CD!


Here’s what this activation looked like when plotted out on a QSO Map.

Activation Video

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.

Note that Patreon supporters can watch and even download this video 100% ad-free through Vimeo on my Patreon page:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Mini Rove!

Two parks in one day isn’t much of a rove, but I’ll admit that it’s fun nonetheless. It’s always a challenge to see how quickly I can set up my gear, activate a park, then pack up and move on.

The AX1 antenna makes this process so simple, easy, and speedy.

I’ll admit I feel pretty lucky that I can so easily put together multi-park roves where I live. There are a number of POTA entities concentrated in the western part of North Carolina so stitching them together is a breeze. Some POTA activators aren’t so lucky because their regional parks might be spaced more than an hour apart from each other, which means a lot more travel time to rove.

Thank you

Thank you for joining me on this activation!

I hope you enjoyed the field report and my 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.

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 weekend!

Cheers & 72,

Thomas (K4SWL)

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