Well, I’m off to Hamvention in two days and trying to prepare for the trip. There’s so much to do!
If you are attending Hamvention this year, I’d love to meet you. Stop by the Ham Radio Workbench/Halibut Electronics table (#3011) and introduce yourself.
Since my travels this week are imposing on my field report time, I’m going to share another, shorter, Postcard Field Report. I hope you enjoy it:
Holmes Educational State Forest (K-4856)
Her robotics class lasts nearly two hours, but it’s 30 minutes away from all parks and summits, so traveling to/from a site takes about one hour.
I didn’t care because I had a particular park in mind: Holmes Educational State Forest (K-4856).
It had been one year almost to the day since I last activated Holmes.
I arrived on site around 13:30 local, and there were only a few other people floating about.
I walked up the main loop path in search of a good picnic table that was out of the way and with ample trees about.
The sign above reminds me that Educational State Forests in North Carolina have hours that vary by season and truly cater to school groups, thus are primarily open during the school day. Always check those hours before embarking on a journey to this type of park.
One great thing about our Educational State Forests is that they almost always have a nice covered picnic shelter for school groups. If they’re not occupied, they’re perfect for POTA activators who’d like to escape heavy rains. You can see the one at Holmes off in the distance in this photo:
I ended up choosing the same picnic table I used last time–it had more room around it to set up an antenna without crossing the path.
Note that my activation video below actually starts shortly after I parked my car at Holmes, so it includes the walk to the site and full set up.
- Elecraft KX2
- Elecraft ES60 Pack (Note that mine is a discontinued LowePro CS60 pack, the ES60 is identical and Elecraft branded)
- Packtenna 9:1 UNUN Random Wire Antenna
- 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
- Bare-Bones Arborist throw line kit: 25M Marlow KF1050 Excel 2mm Throwline, and Weaver 8 or 10oz weight
- GraphGear 0.9mm 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil
- Rite In The Rain Top Spiral Notebook
- Camera: OSMO Action Camera with Joby tripod
- Microsoft Surface Go tablet with N3FJP ACLog
On The Air
I then QSY’d to one of the more reliable POTA bands these days: 20 meters.
I started calling CQ POTA and was fortunately rewarded with a steady string of hunters!
In ten minutes, I logged eleven stations! Score!
Normally, I’d continue working stations a bit longer, but I needed to return to the school to pick up my daughter, so I called QRT with only 11 logged.
It was a short, but very rewarding activation!
Here’s what this five watt activation looked like when plotted out on a QSO Map. Note that Eric (KL5BO) was traveling in Wisconsin when I logged him; this is why one of the lines goes off the page towards Alaska:
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 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!
Have an amazing weekend! If you’re heading to Hamvention this week, travel safely. If you’re not going to Hamvention, I hope to work you during one of the POTA activations I plan to do over that five day span of time!
Cheers & 72,