POTA Field Report: Pairing the Yaesu FT-817 and a 40M EFHW at Table Rock!

After a fun little activation of Lake James State Park (K-2723) on the morning of Monday, July 31, 2023, I decided to fit in at least one more POTA adventure on a mini rove.

The logical choice was Table Rock Fish Hatchery since it’s such a short drive from Lake James and I always enjoy activating that particular site.

The weather that morning was beautiful and so was the drive.

Table Rock Fish Hatchery (K-8012)

I pulled into the driveway of the picnic area and–no surprise here–I had the place to myself.

In fact, according to the POTA website, I’ve activated this site 12 times and I’ve never seen another soul in the picnic area save my canine friends, park staff, and one guy who was hunting muskrats in the creek. That’s about it. Never anyone actually hanging around the picnic area.

On the drive over, I hadn’t considered what antenna or radio to use–I had a few in the back of my car.

I thought about using my Elecraft KX1, but then realized I didn’t have an extra shielded audio cable to connect to my Anker Soundcore Mini speaker nor did I have my in-line digital audio recorder. Without those things, I wouldn’t be able to make a video of the activation.

My next choice was the Yaesu FT-817ND and, in fact, it would be ideal. I was looking forward to putting the ‘817 on the air again–it’d been a couple of months!

First, though, an antenna. I pulled out the 40 M End-Fed Half-Wave Steve (MW0SAW) made for me some time ago.

This antenna has been in heavy rotation lately because it’s been in my main radio backpack as I’ve been traveling around the region.

I deployed the EFHW in short order, then hooked it up to the ‘817.


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On The Air

I hopped on 40 meters and starting calling CQ POTA.

My first five contacts were logged in four minutes! It sounded like a great start.

Then silence for eight minutes.

Finally, four more stations rolled in all within three minutes.

I only needed one more contact to have a valid POTA activation with ten contacts. Fortunately, I had plenty of time to spend on the air!

For kicks, I QSY’d to the 10 meter band, but my CQs were only met with silence.

Next, I moved to the 20 meter band where I logged two more hunters in short order for a total of 11 contacts logged.

I was quite pleased with that so I called QRT.

Looking at my watch, I knew I should have *just* enough time to fit in a third activation that day–at least if propagation (which seemed to be on a downward trajectory) would cooperate!


Here’s what this five watt, mostly 40 meter, 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.

Thank you

Thank you for joining me on this short activation!

I hope you enjoyed the field report and my activation video as much as I enjoyed creating them. It’s a true labor of love on my part.

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!

Cheers & 72,

Thomas (K4SWL)

2 thoughts on “POTA Field Report: Pairing the Yaesu FT-817 and a 40M EFHW at Table Rock!”

  1. It seems we’ve all been experiencing that “gusty” propagation this summer where you get a burst of calls then 10 to 15 minutes of radio silence followed by more rapid fire contacts. I’ve noticed that it’s tightened up my POTA exchange because I want to get as many in before the band fades out again.

  2. Great write-up and video. At the end of the day, the KX2 is for me. I think the KH1 is a great rig for the CW hiker/operator, but my activity doesn’t typically involve much hiking, and I love the versatility of my KX2. It suits my POTA operating perfectly.

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