Many thanks to Conrad (N2YCH) who shares the first of a three-part field report series outlining his 2023 Hamvention rove with Peter (K1PCN). Look for Part 2 next week!
By Conrad Trautmann, N2YCH
Peter, K1PCN and I are both avid Parks On The Air activators here in Connecticut and neither of us has ever been to the Dayton Hamvention in Xenia, Ohio. At the urging of others who have attended in the past, we made the decision to attend this year and while we were making the trek out, we wanted to activate parks along the way to add to our activated US states award. We originally planned to activate six states and ended up with one bonus state for a total of seven. This is how things looked before and after the trip.
I would like to begin by saying that attending the Hamvention was a great experience. If you have not been to it, I would like to encourage you to attend if you can.
You may have heard about the flea market, the vendor booths, the forum sessions or the food trucks, which are all good, but the best part for me was being in the presence of other hams with similar interests. I struck up conversations and shared stories with many other hams. Everyone was very nice and willing to share their experiences, which is a great way to pick up some good tips.
I am extremely glad I went. If you are on the fence about going, I would recommend you plan to go next year. Oh, and I got to meet this guy in person….
Now on to the rove…
I planned the trip to get as many states as possible. Both Peter and I had already activated CT, NY and NJ, so we did not need to stop in those states as we passed through. I had scoped out some parks near the Delaware and Maryland border, so I looked at those first.
My main criteria on park selection was to pick parks that would be easy-off/easy-on to the main highways we would be traveling to save time on driving. Here is the route map we followed.
We strategized on how we would activate the parks when we got to each one. Peter is an SSB activator, and I am a digital activator. We would not be colliding on the mode of operation. We did need to be on different frequencies though.
In the mornings, Peter took 40 meters and I used 20 meters. Later in the day when the bands opened up, Peter moved up to 20 meters and I bumped up to 17 or 15 meters. Using this strategy, we had no problems getting our minimum ten QSO’s to activate while operating at the same time. Peter also reminded me to bring a handheld and we did park to park QSO’s on 2 meters and 70cm.
As for equipment, I used my Elecraft KX3 transceiver, but I did bring an IC-705 as a backup.
On the first stop in Delaware, I used an Elecraft AX1 antenna but for the rest of the trip I used a Buddipole tripod equipped with a Versa-T with a 17’ MFJ whip tuned to the frequency I was operating on with 50’ cable and an above the ground counterpoise. Continue reading Part 1: N2YCH and K1PCN’s Dayton Hamvention Trip QRP POTA Rove