By the time I got around to doing a POTA activation that afternoon (which was always on the docket) it was within 30 minutes of when I needed to pick up my daughters.
Fortunately, the Blue Ridge Parkway Folk Art Center was en route to town.
I had planned that day to pair up my Elecraft KH1 with a random wire antenna, but looking at the time, I realized that was being a little ambitious–the few minutes to deploy and pack up the antenna would cut into the activation.
Instead (since I had just received my KH1 logging tray/cover) I decided to put it to the test with a real pedestrian mobile activation using the KH1, its whip antenna, the logging sheets I printed/cut, and the teeny space pen included with the logging tray. In theory, this all looked doable, but in practice I didn’t know if I would actually be able to log on a tray attached to the side of my radio!
I had planned to use my Zoom H1n recorder for the KH1 audio since I would be making an activation video (see below), but frankly, I simply didn’t have time to set it up. I had to make do with the KH1 wee speaker.
Speaking of the speaker…
After playing with the speaker for a few weeks now, I’ve found that it sounds much better when I run the KH1 with a wide CW filter.
I’d always assumed being a low-fidelity 1″ speaker that narrow audio would be best, but I was wrong about that. In the field, I tinker with the filter and attenuation settings for the best audio balance.
Still, it’s not perfect (the speaker is really a “bonus” feature) but it’s much improved over my initial POTA activation.
Of course, I would have been using earphones had I not been recording the activation on camera. Via earphones, the KH1 audio is excellent!
- Elecraft KH1 Edgewood Package which includes:
- KH1 Hand-Held, 5-Band Transceiver
- KHATU1 Antenna Tuner and Built-In Whip
- KHPD1 Keyer Paddle
- KHLOG1 Logbook Tray w/mini-ballpoint pen
- KXBT2 rechargeable Li-Ion battery
- KHIBC1 Internal Battery Charger
- ES20 Custom zippered carrying case.
- E980262 Power Cable
- KXUSB USB Cable
- Counterpoise wire & 2 storage clips
- E740377 KH1 Owner’s Manual
- Camera: original OSMO Action Camera (the OSMO 3 is the current version) with Sensyne Phone Tripod
On The Air
Within nine minutes, I logged my first ten contacts, thus validating the activation.
I continued operating until I logged a total of 15 contacts in 14 minutes.
I called QRT as soon as I could because a quick glance of my watch confirmed I was outta’ time!
Here’s what this five 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.
The ability to toss a counterpoise on the ground, extend an antenna, and press the ATU button makes for an incredibly quick deployment.
I also found that using the built-in logging tray and sheets is quite doable. Of course, I can’t simultaneously log on my HAMRS app (perhaps some people could, but not me!). That’s okay, though. I don’t think many of my purely pedestrian mobile activations will also be super long activations with 50+ contacts, so transcribing my logs in the POTA or SOTA system after the fact will be easy enough!
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 a wonderful week and (if you’re here in the States) a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Cheers & 72,