Monday, March 4, 2024

Almost Spring!!


First good day above 70 degrees in the Hoosier Heartland!! GO POTA! 

So here is it Monday,the 4th of March and we're getting a beautiful top notch Spring like day, even though Spring is still fifteen days away.  As soon as the workday was over I got in the POTA mobile and headed to Pisgah Lake, located in the Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area, AKA K-4183. 

Pisgah Lake - 63 Acres in Atterbury Wildlife Area 

Pisgah Lake is 63 Acres in size, has a concrete boat ramp and you can access it from the north side or the south side of the lake.  At one time a very long time ago there was a bridge that linked the north side to the southside, but it has been gone for at least 50-55 years.

This lake is stocked by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and you will find Crappie, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, and two or three varieties of Bullheads.  

The best time to fish here is in the early spring, by June the weeds are pretty thick and the bugs will carry you off into the woods and chew on you for days.  This evening I setup my station in the parking lot next to the boat ramp. 

Trail through the woods, over to the dam

The view from my operating position 

Earth Dam at Pisgah Lake

Tonight I setup the KX-2 radio and the AX-1 antenna, with a single 14 foot radial draped over the POTA Mobile.  Something was not working well as I could not get the antenna to properly tune for the 20m band.  So I packed up that antenna and broke out the 33 foot tall portable vertical antenna, the Eagle One. I deployed that with two 35 foot radials made out of 18g speaker wire (zipcord).  It was able to tune the radio and antenna just perfectly. I was running 8 watts tonight. 

I started out working other parks on 20m, these are called Park to Park contacts, and that means I am in a park and they are in a park.  The first of five parks were VA3KOT at a park in Ontario Canada, AB9CA at a park in New Mexico, N9MM at a park in Texas, KL7AC at a park in Arizona, and then KE5AKL at a park in New Mexico.  The band was working great to the west.

About that time a DNR ranger SUV pulled up and two of the park rangers and I chatted about radio and fishing, and how nice the day was for about a half hour.  They were surprised when I showed them my gear and explained that I had contacted hams in Europe, the Caribbean, and South America with my little antennas and 8 watts of power.  They told me to come by the dispatch office and show them how to do it because they can't hardly talk from one end of the property to the other at times.  I explained I was using shortwave frequencies, and they were using VHF or UHF...which is line of site, and doesn't penetrate trees very well.  Not sure it sunk in but we had a good chat and then they moved on.  I ended up with 10 more contacts, furthest was Washington State. 

This is my first POTA outing of the month.  March is always a crapshoot for weather around here.  It's March 4th today, Indiana has already had two EF1 tornadoes, one near Gary Indiana this weekend, and one near Jeffersonville Indiana about a week ago.  Forecast for tomorrow is everything from light  showers, to heavy thunderstorms, with high gusts, and potential for severe weather all afternoon.  I hope to have four more parks activated this month, and with daylight savings time returning next weekend, that'll give me more daylight at the end of the day so maybe I can get out and work from some other parks.  Atterbury is just super convenient to me, being less than 30 minutes away from home. 

73 de KB9BVN

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