Friday, October 2, 2020

October Activation

Friends, I am no fan of cold weather.  Tonight I headed out to K-4183, Atterbury Fish and Wildlife and got set up by 21:00Z.  I was there with Paul W9PDC (over 100 SSB contacts tonight), Wayne AC9HP, and Tim NW9F. We were testing out some filters that Paul had created and Tom was checking out an assortment of different Yaesu radios he had.  I was there just trying to activate the park with my QRP set of the K2, LDG tuner, and Eagle One vertical mounted on the hitch of my SUV.  I am glad I got there early, because by 7:35PM it was dark, and the park closes at dark.  When I got here according to my truck temperature sensor, it was 55 F degrees...three short weeks ago it was in the upper 70's and lower 80's.  We will be down in the 30's tonight.  UGH. 

I managed to make 20 contacts this outing. 18 were QRP CW and 2 were QRP SSB.  The best part was I picked up two more states tonight, W7HJL out in Washington, and N7MSI out in Montana.  N7MSI was a double bonus,  he was also at park K-2589 in Montana. 

The bands were odd tonight, as usual. I started out on 17m and had no luck, then I moved to 30m and started making a few, I eventually ended up on 40m and finished up there.  Check out my QSO Map. 

Here is what my signal looked like on the Reverse Beacon Network for the last 10-15 minutes of my activity.  


I was at it for just under 2 hours, and had a whole lot of fun.   If you are not involved in POTA, you are really missing out on some fun action. 

Best 73 de KB9BVN

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Quickie Activation!

KB9BVN at K-4183
I had about two hours to kill this late afternoon so I grabbed my Activation gear and headed out to K-4183, Atterbury Fish and Wildlife.  I am lucky that I can get there in about 25 minutes.   Once I arrived I saw some other people were in my spot, eating dinner at my picnic table...not a biggie.  I went down the road a bit and found a nice new spot to try out. 

It takes me about 15 minutes to get setup, including raising the vertical on my trailer hitch and attaching the feed line and a couple of radials.  I had a weird pattern tonight on 40 meters, it seems like all my signals were heading due east.  I thought that was interesting but I was hoping for some 7 landers tonight to help my WAS efforts.  None to be had.  

I was running the K2 at 10w this evening and as soon as I spotted my location on the POTA spotting page, I started working contacts within seconds. POTA requires 10 contacts to be considered as a qualified Activation.  I ended up with 18, including one SSB contact to a Park in North Carolina, thanks to Paul K2PMD down at the Fort Raleigh Historic Site (K-0820),

The band was doing pretty well. I was on the air from about 21:20Z to about 22:15Z. Here's a shot of my RBN report.  I started out on 7065 Khz and moved to 7068 Khz for the last 20 mins or so. 


Like I mentioned above, my signals were all heading east tonight, not sure if it was just the way I had my radials laid out or what, but this is a neat QSO map of the evening.  The one in red is the Park to Park with Paul K2PMD.  Working VE9VIC up in New Brunswick was a new province for me, and N1HN in Maine was sounding great! 


Anyway that's it for tonight, it was fun to make a quick run down to the park and activate it again.  This is my 6th activation of Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area.  Four more and I think I get a certificate! Wall paper baby!

Best 73
de KB9BVN

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Another POTA Milestone Achieved!

About a week and a half ago I found out that I had earned the Arizona Agave Hunter Award from Parks on the Air.  This is for working (hunting) 100 different reference areas (parks). I started hunting on June 22nd of this year and it took me about 2 months to get 100 different parks in the logs.  I have the activators to thank as my contacts were all QRP.  94 were QRP CW and 6 were QRP SSB.  Some of these activators have bionic ears, and for that I am thankful. 


If I get time I am going to write up an article for the QRP Quarterly about working POTA successfully with QRP.  It's been a blast so far!

Best DX to all! 

DE KB9BVN


Monday, August 17, 2020

A Hunting I Will Go

I have been hunting POTA activators in my spare time for the last few days.   There seems to be a lot of interest in QRP operations on the POTA pages, so I thought I'd drop some stats here.  I run a K2 to a attic dipole for these contacts, SSB are red, and CW are green.  SSB is 10 watts, and CW is 5 watts.  Admittedly this is not a really great setup for getting on the air but I make do.  

In the last couple days I have made 24 contacts, mainly just watching the POTA spotting page at https://pota.us - this page is updated every 60 seconds, so when a new activator gets on the air, RBN can spot them, or other hunters can spot them.   No super DX but I think this shows that QRP is a usable tool for hunting park activators.  Tomorrow I will be connecting my K1 back up and putting the K2 back in my POTA activator Apache case. I'll miss out on the SSB contacts with the K1. 

Since June 22 I am now over 100 unique hunted parks, all QRP and almost all CW. 

73 es Best DX to you! 

de KB9BVN

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Hitting the Milestone

Last night Wayne AC9HP came by and we went to Atterbury Fish and Wildlife again for several reasons.  One, I needed 6 more QRP CW contacts from there to break 100. Two, we were meeting another POTA activator down there (Tim NW9F). Three, the weather was beautiful so why not? 

I got set up with Wayne's K2 (SN 313) and started calling CQ POTA at about 4:50PM EDT on 7065.  About 15 minutes later I had a dozen contacts, enough for an activation, and more than enough to break my goal of having 100 contacts from this park on QRP CW.  Wayne just got his K2 a week or so ago and boy it is a nice one.  

The band was in pretty good shape: 

And my 12 CW QSO's covered some territory: 

After I was done, Tim NW9F fired up his setup and started working 40m SSB.  I think he had about 25 contacts in less than a half hour.  He was knocking them down right and left.  One of the highlights was he contacted Kerri KB3WAV and worked her Park to Park....then Wayne worked her Park to Park...then I worked her Park to Park...so she got a three-fer from K-4183! 

Wayne then fired up the K2 and started his activation on 7065 Khz and almost immediately after being spotted on the POTA spotting page, he began making contacts.  He had logged about 25 or 30 contacts when we decided to pack up and head for pizza. 

POTA is so much fun, and when you are doing it with a friend or two it's even better.  By the way, this evening we were using a Paul W9PDC homebrewed end fed antenna strung through the trees about 15-18 feet off the ground.  It worked GREAT. 

So as of today I have 101 logged Hunter QSO's, and 106 logged Activator QSO's from K-4183.  I think I will start going out further to other activation points.  The next closest for me is Morgan Monroe State Forest, then maybe Brown County State Park.  They are both about an hour away. 

Best 73 de KB9BVN


Monday, July 27, 2020

The Pig Out Sprint

The day I had been waiting for finally arrived, Sunday July 26th was the day for the Pig Out Sprint.  This event was quickly put together by the Flying Pigs QRP Club International, and most of the heavy lifting was done by Diz W8DIZ, Paul K4FB (aka WF4FB), and Dan N8IE (aka W8PIG).  So the start time had arrived and I was going to operate outdoors so I could soak up the extra multi's...it was 92F in the shade, and not a breeze in sight.  I was using my K2, LDG Z11 tuner, and my Eagle One vertical mounted on the trailer hitch of my SUV.  Basically my POTA actication station.  By 3:30PM I was getting over heated and decided to shut down, pack up and move back to the house.  I made 5 contacts, the band conditions were dismal, with the A index hovering at 15.  It was a lot of fun though!

Also, today I got my Sapphire Hunter award from POTA, that means I have worked 75 different parks as a Hunter, all CW, and all QRP via my K1 and attic dipole at home.  The Activators must have bionic ears.  I have gotten RSTs from 229 to 599 while working on this one.  I really have to hand it to the guys in the parks for even hearing me.  I stated hunting on 06/23 so it took me right at 32 days to earn this award.  Not bad for QRP CW, if I say so myself. 

75 Parks, all QRP CW - Thanks! 


73 de KB9BVN