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

Friday, August 24, 2018

Bye bye Miss AMSAT Pie: Roved the satellites on the levee, But the levee was dry

On my recent trip to the Lawrence, Kansas, I took advantage of the EM28/EM29 gridline running across Riverfront Park on the Kansas River. I did AO-92, and AO-91 FM satellite passes. My ops will apply to the AMSAT Rover award. At the entrance to the park, I crossed a railroad track and a levee. After looking at the options along the gridline, the levee had an excellent view of the pass. My gear was the Yaesu FT-60 and an Elk antenna. The AO-92 pass yielded five confirmed contacts and three more on the AO-91 pass. The AO-91 pass had two trains passing making QRM. I also did HF ops on 20 meters between the passes. I worked Tom WD0HBR in Dothan, Don KK4DWC in Panama City, Florida and Fred VE3FAL in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I will be looking for more roving opportunities in the future to achieve more rover award points. The reference to the song American Pie got a flurry of comments on Twitter. Apologies to Don Mclean

The levee

Suzy Rock Climbing
The Kansas River

Friday, August 17, 2018

Parks On The Air Activation for Clinton State Park, Kansas.

I had the opportunity to do a Parks On The Air (POTA) activation at Clinton State Park, K-2332, while on vacation visiting relatives in Lawrence, Kansas. It has been a while since I did POTA. POTA is now administered on the website. Jason W3AAX and his team have done an outstanding job of providing the notifications, spots and logging for the program.

POTA at Clinton State Park, Kansas

My rig for this activation was the Elecraft KX2. I added the Elecraft KXPA100 amplifier for the first time in the field to give me up to 100 watts. The antenna was the N6BT Bravo 7K vertical. I feel the vertical was a better choice than a low dipole for 20-meters. The vertical did perform well in all directions.

The Elecraft KX2 paired with the Elecraft KXPA100 amplifier

My contact rate was about 20 per hour. I was pleased that so many stations support POTA even for a weekday activation. I had six Canadian contacts. I worked N4EX/P at K-0027 for a park to park contact. I got support from friends including Jim K4LIX and Dennis WA6QKN. I got a surprise call from AK4JA in Georgia. I am pretty sure he was running a homebrew tube QRP rig.

The N6BT Bravo 7K vertical

The venue at Clinton was on a large field with a few trees. That is a good formula for a vertical. The weather was warm with some clouds holding the temps down. Suzy was my partner. I had only a few visitors. After about two and a half hours Suzy was actually ready to get back in the van. I finished up with an AO-85 satellite pass. No joy, my HT did not break through the pileup for Robert KE4AL doing a grid-line.

Suzy chilling in the shade of the van.

I hope to pick up my activations as we move toward the fall. POTA is lots of fun. Try it!

The scene at Clinton.