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

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

I used Five Watts, Battery, Hand Key, and Paper Log for 2022 ARRL Field Day

Our 2022 ARRL Field Day was at a campsite at Falling Waters State Park, Florida. When packing up the Icom 7300 and a laptop, it struck me. Why not go for the 1B category five watts battery. So I saved a few pounds by taking the Icom 705 and paper log sheets instead. This year like last year Rick NZ2I was my second operator. Bob KK4DIV, Daniel K4MDA, and Scott KF7MYF also did Field Day at the same park so there was a coordination of who was on which band.

2022 ARRL Field Day

Our campsite had plenty of room for antennas. I used a vertical with a remote tuner for 20, 15, and ten meters. I also used a SOTABeams 80/40/30/20 link dipole. It did 15 meters as well. Half of the dipole was within the campsite and the other half extended into an adjacent field.

The Quickset Shelter worked well for us.

We operated outside in a screen shelter. It looked bad at the beginning as there was a first-class thunderstorm. We got on just thirty minutes late, but the rain help cool things off. I went strictly CW and avoided SSB. Having no laptop eliminated digital modes. I did hunt and pounce. There were plenty of running stations so it was a matter of staying in the chair. I managed 103 CW contacts. 20 meters was the best band with 58 followed by 20 on 40, 14 on 15, 7 on 80, and 4 on 10 meters. 

The rig was an Icom 705 which barely drained our 40 amp-hour Bioenno battery in the battery box.

CW is two points per contact and the five watts battery has a multiplier of five. So without bonuses, the score was 1030. On last year's Field Day Rick and I had 166 contacts for 562 points. So the QRP gamble paid off, fewer contacts for more points works for me.

The SOTABeams Tactical 7000 telescoping pole supported the SOTABeams 80/40/30/20 link dipole. We ran one end to the volleyball net on the field.

I enjoyed socializing with Rick, Bob, Daniel, and Scott. We stayed for a few extra days and I did two POTA activations. For Winter Field Day in January, there is motivation to work all bands and modes for the multiplier. However, for ARRL Field Day I like sticking to CW.

Suzy basks in the sun near the sign Daniel K4MDA made for us.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Lassen Volcanic National Park POTA Activation

Linda and I took a plane ride from Panama City, Florida to Sacramento, California to visit our daughter Emily in Chico, California the first week of June. I worked in three Parks On The Air (POTA) activations in the valley including Woodson Bridge K-3597, Adobe K-3596, and Bidwell Sacramento River K-1128.  Emily went with me to the first activation so she knows what it is about now. We saw pelicans in the Sacramento River. How about that?

My gear was my Icom 705 and my SOTABeams link dipole. QRP seemed tougher in Northern California than in Florida. It may have been band conditions. The best contacts were to the North/South and not to the East. I got the required ten contacts at each park. I learned to be mindful that the UTC day rolled over at five pm. I had to get ten contacts before the UTC day rollover or after.

The POTA highlight was a trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park K-0049. There was some drama when I got lost in some rustic territory on the trip to the park. The Garmin GPS wanted me to take unpaved roads. I knew I was in trouble, but after about 45 minutes I came upon two men who sent me in the right direction. I entered the park from the Loomis Ranger station at the North end of the park. It was a short distance to Manzanita Lake where I set up a picnic table to operate. There was no cellular service anywhere in the area so I could not spot myself. It also was a Monday and stations on 20 meters were sparse. However, I got four on SSB and three on CW. With 20 meters waning my hope for the last three was 40 meters. I begged some SSB stations to give me contacts and that completed the ten needed. 

The lake was particularly scenic at 5800-foot elevation. I had daylight to drive the thirty-mile park road to the exit on the South. I saw the snow-capped mountains and the road reached the 8500-foot level so there was plenty of snow there. I saw and smelled the boiling Sulphur Springs on the South end of the park. The park and the trip back to Chico were miles of winding roads. I saw some great sights we don't have in Florida.


Greg N4KGL