SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Stone Mountain State Park Portable Ops Opportunities in July 2024

Linda and I will take our camping trailer to Stone Mountain State Park, East of Atlanta, in the last week of July. Stone Mountain is the most popular park in Georgia, with the mountain itself, a lake, and several attractions. Our campsite overlooks Stone Mountain Lake.

Satellite view of Stone Mountain State Park, Georgia

Being a state park, my first thought is Parks On The Air (POTA). The park is reference US-9799. I will set up from the campsite and do several POTA activations.  The site could be more spacious, but I can extend antennas in the wooded area toward the lake. I have been successful for POTA with the FX4-CR and the Alexloop. That rig will even do FT-8 via Bluetooth with my smartphone. My alternative antenna would be my SOTABeams link dipole. You just need ten contacts during the UTC day to activate. Multiple activations are in order. 

My picnic table is set up for POTA with the FX4-CR and the Alexloop mag loop.

An even more exotic opportunity is Summits On The Air (SOTA). The summit is W4G/CE-003. As a college student, I have hiked up the mountain, but I am leaning toward using the Sky Tram. I only need four contacts for SOTA. I might get those on two meters, but HF with the Elecraft KH-1 will be fun. That's just what Wayne Burdick had in mind for the rig. It is a hand-held HF transceiver with a short whip capable of CW on 20, 17, and 15 meters. You trail a twelve-foot counterpoise wire when operating a pedestrian mobile.

Suzy and I do pedestrian mobile with the Elecraft KH-1.

But there is more! Stone Mountain Lake has Indian Island, accessible by foot via a covered bridge. Yes, the island is GA025L on the US Islands Award Program list. It has lots of foot trails. I could advertise an expedition to the island. 

A likely stop on Indian Island in Stone Mountain Lake.

A must-do opportunity on Sunday, July 28th, is Flight of the Bumblees, a four-hour QRP CW event starting at 1 p.m. Eastern. I could choose the campsite, the island, or the mountain to operate from. I look forward to contacting the other bees. I have done FOBB for many years.

Remember the Alabama QSO Party on Saturday, July 27th. I may have to pass on that because we will likely meet relatives that day.

It pays to do a little research when camping or on vacation. This time, POTA, SOTA, US Islands, and FOBB are in play. Of course, it is not all ham radio; Linda and I will see the laser/drone light show, among other attractions. I'll give my friends a heads-up when we are on the air.


Greg N4KGL

Thursday, June 27, 2024

N4KGL's 2024 ARRL Field Day

For the 2024 ARRL Field Day, Rick NZ2I of Panama City and I operated from Eastbank Campground in Southwest Georgia on the East side of Lake Seminole. We were a two-operator, two-transmitter Class B Battery entry. We got 350 contacts for 3500 points plus 450 bonus points. The heat was brutal, but we still had fun. Here are some photos:


Greg N4KGL

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

N4KGL 2024 ARRL Field Day Plans

This ARRL Field Day, Rick NZ2I of Panama City and I will operate from site C33 at Eastbank Campground in Georgia on the East side of Lake Seminole. We will use my callsign N4KGL. We will be a two-operator, two-transmitter Class B Battery entry. Last year, we had success running five-watt QRP. I operate CW, and Rick operates FT-8. Each contact is two points, with a 5X multiplier, yielding ten points per contact. We will use virtually the same setup as in past years. The campsite accommodates my Buddihex 20 through 6-meter hex beam. In addition, there is green space for a 130-foot 80-10 end-fed. We will share the Buddihex with a Low Band Systems Quadplexor that allows two transmitters on different bands for the same antenna. The Quadplexor requires bandpass filters on the inputs. On FT-8, we will use the Icom 7100, which is reduced to five watts, and on CW, the Icom 705. Both rigs are hooked to Panasonic Toughbooks running N1MM logging software networked with an Ethernet hub. For power, we have a Bioenno 40 amp-hour battery for each rig. There is a solar panel charging each battery. We will try a satellite contact with the Arrow Yagi and the Icom 9700 for bonus points. The S.A.T. box controls the rig for Doppler. The operating point will be a clamshell-type shelter. Linda and I will sleep in our trailer; Rick will rough it outside. I have posted our location on the ARRL Field Day Locator site. If you are in the area, please drop by. ARRL Field Day starts at 2 PM EDT on Saturday and goes for 24 hours. All we need is good weather and propagation. Can you get involved in this year's ARRL Field Day? Wiregrass ARC will operate in Dothan, Alabama, and the Panama City ARC/ Bay County ARES group in Panama City, Florida.

Good Luck,

Greg N4KGL


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Team RaDAR Rally at Falling Waters State Park, April 2024

Tom WD0HBR was my teammate during the April 2024 RaDAR Rally. Our venue was Falling Waters State Park in Florida. Tom, Suzy, and I walked the trails to four locations within four hours making five contacts at each on 20 meters. We used the FX-4CR rig on SSB with both the SOTABeams 40-30-20 link dipole and the Alexloop mag loop. The last stop was my favorite, using the Elecraft KH-1 running five-watt CW. It is a handheld rig with a four-foot whip antenna. I got the last five there for a total of twenty contacts. The weather could not have been better. Tom and I enjoyed our team's RaDAR outing.

 73, Greg N4KGL

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Countdown to the April 6th, 2024 RaDAR Rally

RaDAR is Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio. The next RaDAR Rally is April 6th, 2024. See the details at All ham radio operators are welcome to participate.

Friday, March 22, 2024

N4KGL April 6th RaDAR Rally Venue Update

Linda and I should return to Dothan, AL, before the April 6th RaDAR Rally. So, I have decided on Falling Waters State Park, one hour South of Dothan near Chipley, FL. It is POTA US-1864. I used this venue for the Spring 2023 RaDAR Rally.  Here are the blog and YouTube links.

For the 2023 Fall RaDAR Rally, I was at St. Andrews State Park. I had the advantage of the saltwater shore. I used the Chinese FX-4C and the Alexloop. The rig puts out 20 watts, which is an advantage for SSB.  That would be another good choice this time. However, I must consider my recent experience with the new Elecraft KH-1. While walking Suzy in the neighborhood, I had good luck hunting POTA stations with the KH1. The KH1 is a hand-held CW rig with an attached whip and built-in tuner. The whip is good for 20, 17, and 15 meters. Once the rig is in my hand, I will be ready for all stops. It does not matter where the stop is since I can operate and log on foot. That is it. Of course, on CW, my chances of getting RaDAR to RaDAR contacts are reduced unless more of my RaDAR friends use CW. I can still ponder my choice of rigs for the next two weeks.

If your RaDAR Rally plans are coming together, send me a registration via email with
  • Name
  • Call
  • Day (Sat or Sun),
  • Venue,
  • Start UTC
  • Conveyances
  • Bands
  • Modes
  • QRP (Y or N)
  • Spotting method (optional)
Please visit for the rules and the Spring roster.


Greg N4KGL

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Suzy Walks For QSOs

We are underdogs on the band. This morning, we had a 20-meter POTA contact in Illinois and SKCC in TX while on Rosemont Drive. Then a 17-meter ragchew with K3PR in Texas while on Gardenia Drive. The rig is Elecraft's new KX1. It comes with a 46 inch whip and a 13 foot drag wire counterpoise. The KH1 is a five-watt CW rig 40-15 meters. I should get lots of use out of it since Suzy insists on a walk every morning. It comes with a paddle but I am using a straight key.