Sunday, October 15, 2023, was the final day of the W4 SOTA campout. That morning, Joshua (N5FY) and I packed up our tents/gear then played a little radio at our campsite (at Lake Rabun). We weren’t in a hurry because the morning was so enjoyable. In fact, I think we checked out not a minute before the dealine of 12:00 noon!
We both decided we wanted to squeeze in one more radio excursion before driving back to our QTHs.
Tallulah Gorge State Park (K-2202)
It wasn’t realistic to fit in another SOTA hike due to our schedules, but Tallulah Gorge SP was an easy detour for both of us.
We pulled into the park and queued up to to enter. The park was absolutely teeming with visitors that day. I would have expected nothing less on such a gorgeous Fall afternoon!
Joshua and I found a quiet picnic area–with a few picnic tables spaced apart from each other–near the lake shore. It turned out to be a perfect spot to play radio. We spaced our sites far enough apart so as not to easily interfere with each other while on different bands.
I paired my KX2 with my “no transformer” random wire antenna. Of course, I used a Tufteln antenna because, I mean, N5FY was standing right there! ?
This antenna consists of two 28.5′ 26AWG wires connected directly to a male BNC. Simplicity itself on the antenna side. It’s the KX2 internal ATU that does all of the matching (since there’s no transformer). I find that the KX2 can match this antenna from 40-10 meters with ease.
I think the magic of these simple random wire antennas is that they’re directly connected to the radio. There’s a bit of efficiency in having no line losses, etc. even if the ATU does soak up a bit of energy.
Time to hop on the air!
- Elecraft KX2 with Windcamp X2 Side Rails and Cover
- Elecraft KXBT2 Li-Ion Battery Pack
- Elecraft ES60 Pack (Note that mine is a discontinued LowePro CS60 pack, the ES60 is identical and Elecraft branded)
- Tufteln Portable EFRW No Transformer QRP Antenna
- ABR Industries RG-316 cable assembly (Use Coupon Code ABR10QRPER for 10% Discount!)
- CW Morse SP4 N0SA SOTA Paddles
- Mystery Ranch Scree 32 backpack
- Bare-Bones Arborist throw line kit: 25M Marlow KF1050 Excel 2mm Throwline, and Weaver 8 or 10oz weight
- GraphGear 0.9mm 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil
- Rite In The Rain Top Spiral Notebook
- Camera: original OSMO Action Camera (the OSMO 4 is the current version) with Sensyne Phone Tripod
On The Air
I started calling CQ POTA on 17 meters and was pleasantly surprised to find it was full of life. I worked my first ten contacts in twelve minutes. I was chuffed to work my good friend Vince (VE6LK) in Alberta with such a modest setup in the gorge.
I made a couple more contact on 17 meters then moved to 30 meters. Why those two bands? Because I wanted to be on bands that were non-harmonically related to the bands (40 and 20M) Joshua was using some 20 meters from my operating location.
Thirty meters was hopping too. I quickly racked up an additional eleven contacts in short order!
After logging a total of 23 contacts (thanks for the P2P, KJ5W!) I packed up my gear. Joshua and I wanted to quickly check out some of the views at Tallulah Gorge, then head back to our families.
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.
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! I hope you have a wonderful week ahead full of radio goodness!
Cheers & 72,