Many thanks to Teri (KO4WFP) for the following guest post:
The Dipole Does It for Wheeler NWR (K-0161)
by Teri (KO4WFP)
After my last activation, I was hankering to try the AX1 and Pacific Antenna 2040 trap dipole during the same activation for a comparison. Now, I know some of you are saying, “Well Teri, there would be no contest!” Yes, however, in the interest of learning first-hand, I headed to K-0161, Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge while visiting a friend, Glenn W4YES, and his wife in Decatur, Alabama.
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1938 as a wintering area for ducks, geese, and other migratory birds. It is a 35,000 acre refuge located along the Tennessee River near Decatur, Alabama. Today, the refuge attracts thousands of wintering waterfowl and cranes each year and is a winter home to the endangered whooping crane who first arrived in 2004.
I opted to set up in a parking lot on the north side of US Highway 67 which runs through a small portion of the refuge. As there were no picnic tables present, I chose a spot where the trees would shade me from the early morning sun while sitting in my Subaru Crosstrek. Since the last activation, I had given some thought as to how to set up better in the car. My code buddy Caryn KD2GUT sits in the backseat for POTA with one seat flipped down providing a ready-made table for equipment. Even better, I discovered the back of the rear seat in the Crosstrek has a rubber surface and I could secure the key to it with fun-tak!
Since the last activation, the more I worked with the Mini Palm Paddle, the more I realized I did not like it. It just felt too “squishy” for my taste and I had difficulty feeling the characters. Glenn has a solid state CW paddle by 9A5N he was not using. I worked with it a bit and really liked the stiffer feel. He removed the heavy base in which it was mounted and built a lighter base out of the back of a old diskette so I could take the key with me to Nova Scotia. (True ham radio – making use of whatever we have on hand to solve a problem!) I find the more I use this key, the more I like the feel of it.
This was Glenn’s first POTA activation and I was happy to have him along. We arrived around 8:05 AM and began setting up, first putting the AX1 on the roof of the car and then the trap dipole on a mast on a hitch mount given to me by Jack NW4TF of my local club. Continue reading KO4WFP: The Dipole Does It for Wheeler NWR