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.
Yaesu FT-817ND (with 500 Hz Collins Narrow Filter)
CP Gear Tactical Aircrew/Pubs Bag
Armoloq TPA-817 Pack Frame
Homemade 5 Ah LiPo Battery pack by N5FY
MW0SAW 40M end-fed half-wave
Key cable: Cable Matters 2-Pack Gold-Plated Retractable Aux Cable – 2.5 Feet
Weaver arborist throw line/weight and Folding Arborist Throw Line Cube
Zebra Mechanical Pencil, Del Guard, 0.7mm
Rite In The Rain Top Spiral Notebook (small 3×5 size)
Camera: original OSMO Action Camera (the OSMO 3 is the current version) with Sensyne Phone Tripod
On The Air
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:
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 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,