The next park in my run (#5) was Tuttle Educational State Forest and it was the final park in this modest RaDAR run!
I packed up the gear at Johns River Game Land in a matter of three minutes, popped it all in the car, then drove 8 minutes to nearby Tuttle Educational State Forest which, at this point, almost feels like a home away from home.
Tuttle Educational State Forest (K-4861)
As I pulled into the Tuttle parking lot, I found my buddy Max (W4GZ) activating the park from his truck. It was no surprise finding Max here since I had just worked him Park-To-Park (P2P) from Johns River next door.
Max delivered some precious cargo: some more of his mom’s homemade QRP pickles!
One of the closest parks to my parents’ home in Hickory, North Carolina (where I travel most weeks) is South Mountains State Park.
Despite its convenient location, I haven’t activated South Mountains many times and, in fact, the times I have activated it, I’ve always found it a struggle to log the ten contacts needed for a valid park activation. I suspect it’s had less to do with the physical location of my operating spot (which has admittedly been in a bit of a “bowl” surrounded by hills) and much more to do with the fact that propagation has been crappy on the days I tried to activate.
Ironically, I’ve activated the adjoining South Mountains Game Land numerous times with wonderful success. It’s funny how that works.
South Mountains State Park (K-2753)
I had a good reason to hit South Mountains on September 9, 2021. My buddy Max (WG4Z) had just purchased an Elecraft KX3 at the Shelby Hamfest (at an incredible deal, I might add). He plans to pair it with a Chameleon CHA TDL (Tactical Delta Loop) he has on order.
Speaking of low-cost simple feet for the IC-705, I recently ran into Max (WG4Z) at a summit/park activation. He had an incredibly simple solution for his ‘705. Max noted that his approach:
“only uses two 4 mm bolts just the correct length to make the radio tilt up so the back of the radio is flat against the bottom surface as well. I leave the bolts attached all the time. However, I do put a thin piece of cardboard under the bolts to keep them from scratching the LDG tuner thats always is under the 705.”
I love it! Of course, it would also be easy enough to unscrew the bolts when not in use. Thanks for the tip, Max!
Thomas, my MFJ 1984MP arrived today so looking forward to using a resonant antenna with my 705 but also have the LDG Z-100Plus tuner as a back up.
I’ve seen many antennas that have a winder built in allowing the user to wind in a figure eight fashion. It might help keep the kinks down.
I have fashioned a cord winder for the MFJ 1984 EFHW Antenna. It is a winder made for electrical drop cords and comes in a 3 pack at Lowe’s. Very inexpensive solution for adding it to the MFJ antenna with a couple of zip ties. I’m set to go works some POTA with an efficient antenna. Thanks for your videos deploying the MFJ antenna in the field.
Thank you for sharing this tip, Max! I like how you can so easily secure the antenna to the extension cord winder with cable ties.