The POTA Babe Gets a Partner!

Those of you that read the final article for my spring-break Florida POTA trip know that I recently reconciled with someone dear to me. This man, Glenn W4YES, has moved to Savannah, Georgia and we are in a relationship. He is a CW op and the person behind CW Innovations’ Comprehensive ICR course. He knows how much I love POTA and joined me Friday, May 3rd for an activation.

I could have resumed my quest for 60 new-to-me parks. However, I figured we had enough “new” stuff going on with a new activator and a different set up for Glenn. POTA tends to throw the unexpected at you already and the more variables you add, the more opportunities there are for mistakes (er, learning opportunities) and/or hilarity to ensue. So I chose to return to Evans County Fishing Lake (US-7464), a site already known to me, for our dual activation.

photo: Glenn W4YES

What a gorgeous day! Sunny skies and 71 degrees! The drive is a short (about 50 minutes) and easy one to this park.

Given Glenn would use QRO equipment and didn’t have a chair or knee board like myself, I chose one of the few spots with a picnic table. The site looks out on Bidd Sands lake. We could have shared my QRP set-up but decided to activate at the same time which necessitated two sets of equipment.

road in the park. photo: Glenn W4YES
boaters on the lake

I chose familiarity over reinventing the wheel when it came to picking equipment for Glenn – I grabbed my Yaesu FC-50 tuner and Yaesu FT-891 rig from my ham shack and the Pacific Antenna 2040 trap dipole antenna and SOTABeams travel mast from my equipment stash. This was the set-up I used for POTA before I went QRP with the KX2 and Tufteln EFRW last May. It wasn’t long before a station was set up on the picnic table for Glenn. However, the antenna was another matter.

Glenn’s set up

When I grabbed coax for the antenna, I forgot the connector is a BNC connector which is why I have a coil of RG-174 in my stash. Instead of grabbing that RG-174, I grabbed my 50’ coil of RG-8x. (Doh!) That coax is extremely heavy for the SOTABeams travel mast and, after adding an adapter for the BNC to SO-239 connector, the antenna was hanging over precipitously. It just goes to show how well-made and durable the SOTABeams travel mast is. I was mortified as I like the best possible arrangement for my antennas but Glenn wasn’t. He knew what we had was good enough for contacts (see his QSO map down below) and his thinking turned out to be correct.

20-40 Pacific Antenna

While Glenn finished getting everything in order for his activation, I began setting up for mine. I know this park allows antennas in the trees so it wasn’t long before the trusty Tufteln EFRW was installed. Daisy and I chose a shady location near the antenna, got comfortable, and began my activation.

attaching throw weight to arbor line. photo: Glenn W4YES
granny swing to snag the branch I want. photo: Glenn W4YES
getting down to business! photo: Glenn W4YES

As Glenn was running QRO (the power I usually run on my Yaesu FT-891 is 75 watts) on 20 meters, I began working other bands. I initially wondered if I would have any difficulty running a QRP station so close to a QRO set-up, but I didn’t.

Thirty meters gave me 11 CW contacts in 30 minutes and 17 meters gave me two. I tried 40, 15, and 12 meters but those bands were a bust for me – too noisy or no responses to my CQ.  Given how flaky propagation was as of late, I was happy to log what I did. I still needed to work 20 meters but that would have to wait until Glenn was finished.

View from my QTH
Band conditions at

While I did my activation, Glenn was getting mobbed! He would throw out his call sign and get a massive pile-up every time. One thing he ran into that I haven’t encountered much (probably because I run QRP) is that stations were not listening to him when he would ask for parts of a call sign followed by a question mark. Rather than allowing that one op to respond, everyone would jump in with their call sign again. This happened multiple times and frankly was frustrating. I have difficulty believing there are that many rude operators. Maybe it is because they are new and don’t understand the protocol of only responding in a pile-up situation if any part of your call sign is requested.

Glenn’s Spot on POTA website

QSO Map for W4YES at Evans County Fishing Lake, 5/3/24

Finally Glenn had enough and called QRT. It was now my turn for 20 meters! I immediately began calling CQ. The band yielded for me 16 CW contacts in about 40 minutes including four park-to-park QSOs which I hunted – David K2JVB at US-8083, Randy N5ILQ at US-8641, Ted VA3TAR at CA-5670, and Jon K7CO at US-10069. By this time it was 12:30 PM and time to call QRT.

QSO Map for KO4WFP at Evans County Fishing Lake, 5/3/24

All in all, the day proved to be a fun adventure and learning opportunity. Though the outing had its stressful moments (my frustration with the Pacific Antenna set-up and Glenn’s non-stop pile-ups), we enjoyed doing what we love – CW – in a gorgeous setting. And best of all, we were able to do it together! How wonderful  it is to share such a fun and exciting hobby with the person you love.

cool caterpillar. photo: Glenn W4YES
Humorous sign we saw on the drive home

So, the POTA Babe is back in action after a month’s hiatus. And, at times, I’ll have a companion with me to share my POTA experiences. How will we fine-tune Glenn’s set-up when he next activates and where will I or the two of us show up next? Stay tuned…

Equipment Used for KO4WFP

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Equipment Used for W4YES

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13 thoughts on “The POTA Babe Gets a Partner!”

  1. Congrats! Where is the picnic table? I went there about 3 weeks ago and set up in the gravel lot near the enclosed social hall.

    Best Regards!


    1. Philip:

      If you drive just a little way past the social hall, you’ll see an area on the right with a picnic table. It is a nice spot though you have to move the table to remain out of the sun as the day progresses.

      The POTA Babe

  2. Teri and Glenn…. Was very happy that the bands cooperated and I got you both, on this activation, especially on Glenn’s maiden voyage as a POTA activator. Our good friend Caryn KD2GUT was also activating on Long Island and within a half hour, y’all were in my log. It is so much FUN hunting your friends on CW, who activate POTA!

    GL es 73 de KC1FUU

    1. Jon:

      Thank you for achieving the trifecta for our friend group! Hopefully there will more adventures along these lines in the future!

      The POTA Babe

  3. Teri,
    Great write-up as usual. When I use my Pacific 40/20 antenna, I set it up as an L shape configuration. That way the feed point is at the bottom. I use a Spiderbeam mast also.
    Good luck on your adventures.

    1. Dennis:

      Thanks for the suggestion and the GL on our adventures!

      The POTA Babe

  4. Nice report, Teri. Very happy for you & Glenn!

    Tell your buddy that power isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

    I’ll looking for your future tandem activations.

    Best & 73, Vic KB7GL

  5. Interesting report, thanks! I think most of us don’t have much experience or practice with pileups. Congrats to Glenn for taking it all in stride. Well, another advantage of QRP: in addition to less weight and smaller coax to carry around, less stress on the operator! 🙂

    One way to handle rude operators if things get really bad is to tell them “NIL” (not in log). 🙁

    1. William:

      I think there are many advantages of running QRP. I had an activation today about which I’ll write and the bands were challenging. However, I still managed 27 contacts, two of which were P2P QSOs. Granted, some of the RSTs I received today were not great, but I am grateful for what my KX2 and EFRW achieved, including 2 QSOs with Italy on 15 meters! In many ways, QRP rocks!

      I will remember your “NIL” tip. Thankfully, I don’t run into many rude ops. As for Glenn, we’ve got some ideas as to how to reduce the pile-ups and make the next activation more pleasant for him.

      The POTA Babe

  6. My first reaction was “What, he is QRO??? No, don’t do it. The perfect QRP guy will come along eventually…..”.

    But life is too short. Take the universe’s opportunities as they are presented to you. All the best to you both. Keep those activations coming along, we love reading about them.

    Phil ZL3CC

    1. Phil:

      Hi hi! I figure I’ve hit the jackpot since Glenn is a ham AND works CW. He may go QRP for the next dual activation we attempt just so the pile-ups are more manageable.

      I plan to continue writing as I work to achieve my 60 new-to-me park activations goal this year so hopefully there are more articles to come. Thanks for the well wishes!

      The POTA Babe

  7. Looking at the activation maps for both and considering the pile-up frustrations, it seems like QRP takes the cake. Many advantages and any disadvantages? And having two ops activating is more than twice as good as just one, in so many ways. Congrats on the dual activation.

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