Tag Archives: Blue Ridge National Parkway (K-3378)

Testing the HF Waters: A High Band Bust During this Parkway POTA?

Gorgeous weather and a bit of free time? Perfect chance for a POTA activation!

On Thursday, April 18, 2024, I was enjoying a break before picking up my daughter from French class – why not grab my rig and head for the Parkway?

No picnic tables today–I wanted a simple setup under the trees with my camping chair, kneeboard, and the KX2.

I drove to one of my favorite spots along the Blue Ridge Parkway (US-3378).

This site’s always a winner: unoccupied, plenty of trees for hanging wire antennas, and right on the Mountains to Sea Trail (one of my favorite local hikes!). Unlike some of the pull-offs along the BRP, this site allows a bit more distance from the passing cars.

Sadly, I found trash scattered around my operating spot–even a shoe! I picked the trash up to dispose of after the activation.

I quickly deployed one of my Tufteln “no-transformer” random wire antennas in a tall tree. This antenna’s just a 28.5-foot wire attached to my BNC’s center pin, and a 17-foot wire on the shield. Simple, but effective, and my Elecraft KX2’s built-in ATU tunes it right up. This type of antenna–one that lacks a transformer–relies heavily on an internal ATU’s ability to match the impedance.

While some folks think this antenna type isn’t efficient, I haven’t found that to be true. Any losses are probably offset by the direct connection to the radio–no coax run in the way for the ATU to match.

Time to set up my radio.

I unfolded my Helinox chair, got out my N0RNM/Tufteln kneeboard, set up the KX2, connected the antenna and my KXPD2 paddles, then prepared my logs.


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On The Air

Propagation has been pretty rough the past few weeks. There have been moments with excellent DX openings, but also times when the higher bands were wiped out or quite unstable.

I thought I’d test the waters during this activation by starting on 10 meters, then working my way down the bands. Continue reading Testing the HF Waters: A High Band Bust During this Parkway POTA?