Tag Archives: Halifax Citadel National Historic Site (VE-4841)

KO4WFP: A Difficult But Productive Learning Experience at the Halifax Citadel (VE-4841)

Many thanks to Teri (KO4WFP) for the following guest post:

A Difficult But Productive Learning Experience at the Halifax Citadel (VE-4841)

by Teri (KO4WFP)

Life is full of interesting experiences and my attempted activation at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site (VE-4841) proved to be one of them.

Source: Halifax Military Heritage

For those of you unfamiliar, my family and I planned a trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia this summer. I decided while there, I would activate six or seven parks. I had never attempted such a feat in a foreign country under the limitations of what I could carry on a flight and using a rental car with which I would be unfamiliar. The previous month and a half, I acquired equipment and skills to (at least in theory) adequately prepare for this undertaking.

The morning of Wednesday, June 28th, we headed to the Citadel.

We arrived in Canada the previous day much later than the anticipated arrival time so there was no time to check out the site beforehand. Before my trip, I queried a Canadian op who had activated the site and his response was helpful though it did give me pause since I would not have as hefty a vertical as he uses for his activations.

The weather forecast was not promising. The previous night, fog pervaded the drive from the airport to our airbnb. It felt like we had indeed landed in a foreign land. Gone were the live oaks and Spanish moss replaced with firs and what looked like aspens or birch trees. The day’s forecast called for more of the same – fog with a chance of showers later in the day.

My husband and son decided to check out the fortifications while I did my activation. I dropped them off at the main gate and headed to a spot on the side closer to the bay which I hoped would be a better spot for my signals to reach into the United States.

I decided to start with the AX1 on 20 meters, figuring I’d reach more ops on that band and knock out the activation in short order. Also, the counterpoise for 20 meters is shorter than the one for 40 meters and I didn’t have much room to play with at the site.

Boy, was I wrong about a quick activation! First of all, I had to figure out how to support the antenna without it blowing over in the wind. My Subaru Crosstrek back home has rails on the top to which I can bungee my gorillapod. No such luck with the Ford SUV we were assigned. Continue reading KO4WFP: A Difficult But Productive Learning Experience at the Halifax Citadel (VE-4841)