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

Sunday, September 27, 2015

N4KGL Portable at Port Saint Joe Florida

I drove my wife from Panama City to work a shift at the CVS in Port St. Joe, Florida. That gave me the day to operate portable. I decided to stay close to town and operate from the George Core Park. The park is now the home of the Cape San Blas Lighthouse. The park has shore on the bay, Originally, I wanted to to put a vertical right on the water. However, the grassy area of the park was more hospitable. The stand of pine trees was inviting for a wire antenna. I chose a limb about 35 feet up. This was about as far as I can do with a weight thrown by hand. I was successful and hoisted the Chameleon Tactical Dipole Lite. There was plenty of space to stretch out the two 60 foot wires.

The Cape San Blas Lighthouse relocated to Port St Joe.

I usually advertise my outings to our Panama City club and try to make contacts with the members. 40 meters is the band of choice. This time two ham couples were going to make the drive over from Panama City.  Bob WB4BLX was the driver. He used his HF mobile in his new truck. I worked him on 40 SSB from Panama City and along the way. He switched to 40 CW and we made another one. Then when he got close I worked him on 20 SSB. Lots of fun. I also worked Mike KM4ELJ on 40 SSB from Panama City. He switched to 40 CW and we had a QRP to QRP contact. On top of this, I worked Henry N4HHM and Steve N4VSP both in Bay County. I think it is good for us to exercise our HF radios for local contacts in the case of an emergency. Likewise, contacts like these are helpful for RaDAR outing where you make five contacts and move.

Left to Right, Linda and Sally in the front and Bob, Mac and Vic in the back.
I should mention that the this was one of those beautiful Fall days here in NorthWest Florida. A welcome break from the summer heat. Suzy was my companion for this outing. We took some walks to stretch her legs. She was pretty good but can compete with the radio at times wanting to get in my lap. I enjoyed the visit from Bob WB4BLX and his wife Linda and Vic K4GXV and his wife Sally. Also two  Port St Joe hams came by Mac W4NFG and Norm K4NEB.

Suzy spent the day with me
I chose the KX3 for the rig this time. So all contacts were 10 watts or less. I had four Texas QSO Party contacts on 20 SSB. I worked the Pope St. Francis Special Event station in Philadelphia and the Battleship Wisconsin station in Norfolk. There seemed to be a number of DX station on 17 meters from Europe. I did not score any of those. My DX of the day was T48D in Cuba on 17 meters SSB. I was astounded to hear South Africa coming in on 15 meters and North Japan on 17 meters late in the afternoon. It seemed the bands were bad and good at the same time. There was too much competition for my 10 watt signal for the DX. I did make a number of CW contacts including one on 30 meters and one on 15 meters.

A convenient pine held up the Tactical Dipole Lite
The total for the day was 22 contacts. I think the Tactical Dipole Lite did a good job giving me multiband coverage. I also put up a vertical whip and the Chameleon Hybrid Micro but deferred mostly to the dipole. I now know a good portable operating spot near the lighthouse. Perhaps this will fit in with a lighthouse event in the future.

The Elecraft KX3 and a 10 amp hour LiFePO4 Battery