IX1CKN: Packing the PRC-320 on an activation of Tsatelet Natural Reserve

Many thanks to Christian (IX1CKN) who shares the following field report:

Activation of I-0120

by Christian (IX1CKN)

After “infecting” Andrea (IW0HK) with the use of military surplus for POTA activations, on December 26, 2023, I decided to repeat the experience. I brought the Plessey PRC-320 to the 791 meters of the Tsatelet Natural Reserve / I-0120.

With its 11 kg weight, two images came to mind. The first was from an article on QST dedicated to “green radios,” where it was said: “if you’re not fit, carrying one on your back will make you.” So true, even truer.

The other reminded me of all the Army officer cadets (who attended courses at in Aosta for years) that, specializing in transmissions, carried stations (also) on short waves on their shoulders around my Valley to ensure connections (I’ve seen some beautiful photos just in the past few days, here: http://www.rosti1.it/fixed/ja_AUC_BN/).

After 10 minutes of walking, I didn’t have much more left. Wonder how they made it…

After dispelling the mysticism, once at the destination, I set up the PRC in manpack configuration: with its whip vertical antenna and the counterpoise consisting of four coils to be laid on the ground.

Finding a frequency in 20 meters, I started calling. Propagation in phases, but a satisfying activation emerged, with 40 contacts scattered throughout Europe in 70 minutes on the air, including 5 “park to park.” Among them, even IW0HK, who was at Montemario Park.

A small curiosity: with the Christmas Eve activity, I had exhausted the dedicated logbook since 2013 for portable operations. To continue, I used the “Radio Adventure Journal” that I had seen mentioned on a Facebook group (being available on Amazon [QRPer affiliate link]).

It’s nice to see a program like POTA spreading like wildfire, not only in practice but also for some “accessories.” Thanks to everyone for the contacts.

8 thoughts on “IX1CKN: Packing the PRC-320 on an activation of Tsatelet Natural Reserve”

  1. Christian, total respect for your effort! What fantastic views you were rewarded with. That radio is one which I would really like to operate or, if lucky enough, own. It is truly a classic rig. Thanks for sharing your experience.
    K7ULM Dick

    1. You wouldn’t say the world is so small, ain’t you? Philip, thanks for making me sign. Your forecast proved true in the years I bought my 320, then a while after I stopped carrying it and (obviously) turned less fit. However, since I started doing Pota, the deed to activate on a green radio was quite immediate. So, found a battery (my ones were dead), and the rest… you’ve read it! Thanks, as well, for your stories on QST: they helped a lot in orienting me to the 320!

  2. In my brief foray into “Green Radio” I found that none of the radios I tried worked well for CW at moderate speeds (maybe OK for 10/15 wpm straight key). Anyone know of a green radio really suitable for CW ? Thanks, Kevin.

    1. Sadly, can’t comment on CW, as I’m not into that mode. I remember having been on the “Milpack” Yahoo Group, and I know they’re still active. Maybe, you could address your question there!

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