POTA Field Report: A Morning 40 Meter QRP Activation at Lake James State Park!

On Monday morning (July 31, 2023) I left the QTH with POTA on my mind.

As I mentioned in a previous post, July was a busy month and I was in desperate need of some POTA Therapy! Fortunately, I had the full morning to play radio, so I plotted a two (or possibly three) park rove, starting with Lake James State Park.

Lake James State Park (K-2739)

I arrived at Lake James a little after 9:00 AM and pretty much had the park to myself.

In order to keep my setup time a little on the short side, I chose a picnic table next to my car.

I grabbed my throw line cube and (1st gen) Red Oxx Micro Manager pack in which I’d packed my Discovery TX-500 and accessories.

Since it was in the morning, I planned to spend time on the 40 meter band and, hopefully, work a number of hunters in the surrounding states.

For this activation, I paired my Discovery TX-500 with MW0SAW’s 40 meter end-fed half-wave antenna.

I powered the TX-500 with a homemade 5Ah LiPo battery my friend Joshua (N5FY) sent me a couple months ago.

Of course, since I was using a 40 meter end-fed half-wave antenna, I didn’t need an ATU for 40 meters (or 20, 15, or 10 meters for that matter).


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On The Air

I started by hunting other activators. I had hoped to find my friend Jim (N4JAW) on the air because I know he’s a morning activator and I’m rarely on the air at the same time he’s in the field.

Unfortunately, Jim wasn’t on the air yet, but I did find and work  KB8OOM at Mosquito Lake State Park (K-1978).

Next, I started calling CQ POTA and it wasn’t long before stations started calling back.

In ten minutes, I worked ten stations! Propagation has been so wonky lately, this was starting to feel like the good old days!

I continued working stations until I reached a total of 29; all in exactly 30 minutes on the air.


Here’s what this five 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.

Moving on

As I packed up, I plotted out my next destination: Table Rock Fish Hatchery (K-8012).

It was so nice to have an entire morning–and a bit of the afternoon–to fit in some “Radio-Active Therapy” again!

This activation also reminded me how much I love morning activations. If I could fit in more of them in my schedule, I certainly would!

Thank you!

Thank you for joining me on this fun little 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 an amazing week ahead!

Cheers & 72,

Thomas (K4SWL)

3 thoughts on “POTA Field Report: A Morning 40 Meter QRP Activation at Lake James State Park!”

  1. Great activation, Tom!

    My last activation was from a challenging site. A small State forest, and StreetView showed a wood road to a clearing. It was evidently a very old picture. Instead- brambles and blow-downs. No clearing. I stuck with the rooftop Hustler whip/resonator on 20M. I’d never have found the launcher projectile for the EFHW in that mess.

    Oh- and right alongside an Interstate highway. I had to keep the windows closed to hear the radio! It had been drizzling, so the windows rapidly fogged up. Your basic sauna.

    Next time will be better. I’ll get pictures.

  2. I was in the great metropolis of Nebo on that day as well. I was packing up to head back north. I brought my 705 down but I did not get a chance to make an activation. It was a busy and short trip helping my Father. I did find another potential POTA location on the north side of the Lake. I will drop you an email.


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