I traveled to Hamvention with my buddies Eric (WD8RIF) and his son Miles (KD8KNC). We decided in advance that instead of attending Hamvention that Sunday (after having spent all day Friday and Saturday there) we’d opt for a relaxing day playing POTA near Dayton/Xenia.
We weren’t, in fact, the only ones who skipped Hamvention that Sunday–our friends Vince (VE6LK or AI7LK State-side) and Charlie (NJ7V) did as well, so we decided to play POTA together!
Both Charlie and Vince were leaving the Dayton area that afternoon, so they needed to finish up their activations by noon at the latest. We decided we could fit in two activations that morning before Charlie and Vince headed back, then Eric, Miles, and I would hit a third park in the afternoon. Actually, Miles never planned to hop on the air, but he was both our ride and valuable POTA support!
Charlie and Vince met us at our hotel around 9:00 AM and we drove to the first of two parks we’d activate together.
Cowan Lake State Park (K-1943)
The weather was beautiful that day, but the space weather, much less so. We knew in advance that it would be a struggle based on the propagation forecast and numerous reports from other activators.
Vince set up his Elecraft KX3-based station in the trunk/boot of his rental car.
He deployed his “low-slung” wire antenna (read more about that here) and hit the air.
Eric described the POTA station he deployed in his field report on WD8RIF.com:
Eric found a shady, level spot near the parking lot, strapped his 31′ Jackite telescoping fiberglass pole to his folding camp-chair, deployed his 28½’ wire vertical on the pole, set up his Elecraft KX3 on the camp-chair’s flip-up table, and was on the air at 1412 UTC. Eric began his operation with a lovely touch-paddle which he had unexpectedly been given as a gift from the builder, Brian Manley, K3ES.
Note that Eric carefully documents each and every one of his field activations and field contests on his website. His field reports date back to Field Day in 1995!
I found a spot to set up next to the lake under the shade of a large tree. I deployed my Tufteln no-transformer 28.5 foot end-fed random wire. This antenna is simply two lengths of 28.5′ wire: one wire for the radiator and one for the counterpoise. The KX2’s internal ATU does all of the heavy lifting. Continue reading QRP POTA with Friends: Two Park Activations with VE6LK, NJ7V, WD8RIF, and KD8KNC!