SC Coast: A Postcard Field Report
When life gets busy (it is now) I don’t always have the time to produce a full field report. This is especially the case when I have, not one, but two field reports and two activation videos!
This “Postcard” field report covers two activations on the evening of October 2, 2023. At the time, I was staying on the coast of South Carolina for a night. (You might recall I activated Lee State Park with friends earlier that afternoon.)
Instead of producing two full-format field reports, this will be one report with two activations.
Note that I used the same gear for both of these activations.
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- Elecraft KX2 with Windcamp X2 Side Rails and Cover
- Elecraft KXBT2 Li-Ion Battery Pack
- Elecraft AX1
- Elecraft KXPD2 paddles
- GraphGear 0.9mm 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil
- Rite In The Rain Top Spiral Notebook
- Camera: original OSMO Action Camera (the OSMO 3 is the current version) with Sensyne Phone Tripod
- Mozzie Deterrent: Thermacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller with one gas canister
Myrtle Beach State Park (K-2907)
I arrived at my hotel in South Myrtle Beach around 17:30 local. I checked in (thank you, Hampton Inn for the room upgrade!), dropped off my bag in the room, then immediately made my way to what turned out to be my first of two parks.
As I purchased my park ticket at the entrance gate, the park employee told me that my ticket would also allow me into Huntington State Park (just 20 minutes down the road) until end of day.
At that point, I had no intention of hitting a second park…but of course I just couldn’t resist the temptation of that free entry!
I know that some South Carolina parks are picky about antenna deployments, etc. so I stuck with my low-impact, low-profile combo of the Elecraft KX2 and AX1. It doesn’t disturb the trees, the ground, nor any park visitors.
I parked at the pier and set up at a picnic area under the trees nearby. Early October is very much off-season on the coast, so the park was relatively quiet.
There was no one else in the picnic area, so I had the place to myself.
On The Air
I didn’t expect the level of activity I would have had, say, at noon, but I hoped for enough contacts to validate this park in fairly short order.
In the end, I logged a total of 12 stations in 22 minutes. This included one Park-To-Park with KC8RVD, and a little QRP DX with G4ELZ in the UK.
Here’s what this five watt activation into a 4′ whip 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.
Huntington Beach State Park (K-2900)
After leaving Myrtle Beach State Park, I drove down the highway 20 minutes to Huntington Beach State Park. I showed my ticket and they waived me through the entrance gate.
As I was driving over the causeway, the sun was already setting. I knew I’d have to work quickly to not only fit in the activation before it was dark, but also fit it in before the end of the UTC day!
I set up my KX2 and AX1 in short order.
On The Air
Fortunately, there were no shortage of POTA hunters out there!
I logged 13 contact in 15 minutes. I then had to call QRT because #1 it was getting dark and I didn’t want to pull out the headlamp and, #2 (more importantly) I was famished, so ready to hunt of a good spot for dinner.
Here’s what this five watt activation looked like when plotted out on a QSO Map:
That was fun!
Hitting both of these parks in short order was a lot of fun. That said, the only sad part is when you’re in a hurry like this, and fighting the loss of daylight, you don’t get to truly experience a park.
That’s okay, though. I’m pretty sure I’ll be heading back to the SC coast before the end of the year and will likely hit both of these parks again, but this time with family!
By the way, I did find a great spot for dinner in Murrells Inlet called the River City Cafe.
Let’s just say that their hamburgers are massive.
I also enjoyed a little local brew (sadly, they didn’t have any porters or stouts, but this was a very respectable Blonde).
I had a long day ahead of me the following day with my uncle’s funeral and the six hour drive back home, so I didn’t stay out late. In fact, I hit the sack almost as soon as I made it back to the hotel that evening.
It was so nice to make the most of my trip to the coast, meet with some friends, and to fit in some proper radio therapy!
I hope you enjoy my field reports and my activation videos as much as I enjoyed creating them! I appreciate your company!
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 brilliant weekend!
Cheers & 72,