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