Welcome to another Postcard Field Report!
I’m still in Dayton after Hamvention weekend, but didn’t want to skip my field report and activation video, so a hope you enjoy the slightly shorter report below:
Zebulon Vance Historic Birthplace (K-6856)
On Tuesday, April 25, 2023, I once again stopped by my weekly POTA spot, the Vance Birthplace. By mid-May, I will no longer be passing by this excellent little POTA site on a weekly basis, so my activations here will be much less frequent. A shame because I do love this site and its staff!
For this particular activation, I’d planned to test my almost perfectly trimmed QRPguys Tunable EFHW antenna, but I left it at home. Not a problem, actually, because after this activation, I discovered it’s not as resonant as I’d like on the 20, 15, and 10 meter bands, so I may tinker with the toroid windings a bit–perhaps removing one.
Instead, I deployed my MM0OPX EFHW which I thought was actually a great choice considering propagation had been incredibly unstable the previous few days.
Since I also had my Elecraft KX2, I knew I could use its built-in ATU to move to non-resonant bands like 17 and 30 meters.
This activation video is a long one because I had quite a lot of time to play radio and, frankly, it was nice taking things at a casual pace.
After deploying the antenna (twice!) I set up the radio, connected my Begali Traveler, and hopped on the air!
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- Elecraft KX2
- Elecraft ES60 Pack (Note that mine is a discontinued LowePro CS60 pack, the ES60 is identical and Elecraft branded)
- MM0OPX QRP EFHW (Contact Colin for Availability)
- Key cable: Cable Matters 2-Pack Gold-Plated Retractable Aux Cable – 2.5 Feet
- Begali Traveler
- Mystery Ranch Scree 32 backpack
- Elecraft KXBT2 Li-Ion Battery Pack
- Arborist throw line
- GraphGear 0.9mm 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil
- Rite In The Rain Top Spiral Notebook
- My fingerless gloves
- Camera: original OSMO Action Camera (the OSMO 3 is the current version) with Sensyne Phone Tripod
On The Air
I started calling CQ POTA on the 20 meter band and worked my first 10 stations in 10 minutes, thus validating the activation.
I continued working stations on 20 meters, logging a total of 16 more before moving to 17 meters.
Seventeen meters was quiet–I only worked one station, then moved to 30 meters.
On 30 meters, I worked an additional eleven stations before calling QRT with a total of 38 stations logged.
Here’s what this 5 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.
Note that Patreon supporters can watch and even download this video 100% ad-free through Vimeo on my Patreon page:
Click here to watch on YouTube.
Thank you for joining me on this activation!
I hope you enjoyed the postcard 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!
Cheers & 72,
2 thoughts on “Postcard Field Report: Pairing the Elecraft KX2 and MM0OPX EFHW to face dubious propagation”
The current propagation conditions are highly unpredictable. On the previous Friday, I managed to make 60 QSOs in a span of 2-3 hours. However, the next day, I had to ask for help from our local ham radio club in order to achieve the necessary 10 QSOs for a successful activation.
Have a safe trip back, Thomas!
Colin was kind to build one of these EFHW for me. Can you specify what length of wire and coax are you using with it and if you have also a counterpoise?
It would be also interesting to know what kind of antenna is mainly used by your readers for SOTA, POTA and WWFF. Are people using only one antenna or there is a second one carried as backup or for different bands? If you have already asked that please point me to the answers 🙂
73 de DM1TX