Brief: Winter Field Day 2023 and POTA WAS

Last weekend was Winter Field Day 2023 and I caught the tail end of it to combine with some Parks on the Air at my favorite Governor Nelson State Park ( K-1452 , wiki ). Seven inches of fresh powder awaited between me and the shelter I activated from (and, of course, on the car before I left). Operating position looking across Lake Mendota to downtown Madison including the capitol

Durham State Forest: ATNO Research and Activation POTA K-4772 (Plus K-2396)

One of my objectives for the good weather in Maine during my holiday travel was to get out to the convenient and interesting parks in the area. As highlighted by W1DED 's map documenting POTA MAINE , there are a couple of Midcoast Maine parks that had no activations ever by 2022: both the Durham State Forest and Ducktrap River Wildlife Management Area. The reason? They're poorly documented locations with no convenient drive-up-and-know-you're-there place. The WMA even overlaps the local Ducktrap Preserve, but you'd have to figure out what that meant and where to hike. And the forest, well, the forest barely even seems to exist on the internet by that name! No official state information and just lots of OpenStreetMap references. I looked to take on the forest to understand where it was, what the access looked like, and then get out there and put the park on the air.

POTA Summer Support Your Parks 2022

The weather turned out decently enough for the summer/plaque edition of Support Your Parks by POTA . And I've left this blog draft languishing since last September! Not that I've even gotten the Spring 2022 blog out... Anyway, I spent some time out and activated K-1452 and K-4250 to get on the list. Here are some pictures.

Summary of Holiday Travel Radio-Related Activities

My holiday travel for the 2022-23 season was nice and complicated this year, but also gave me the opportunities for additional radio adventures! My feet-on-ground (outside of airports) sequence for this was: WI-IL-IN-OH-KY-ME-MA-NH-WI. Through that, I managed to escape major storm-related travel delays and generally have abnormally nice weather throughout. I ended up with hundreds of portable QSOs across 13 park entities and 3 summits, plus nearly a hundred QSOs at my parents' QTH. So, on to the summary!

Learning a Couple Things from Constructing Dual-Lever Paddles from Relays

I wanted a set of paddles to bring with me while traveling for the holidays at the end of this year and the vintage Vibroplex Standard I've got in the apartment didn't seem like a good travel option. Thinking about what would be a decent starting point that would be more sophisticated (and, hopefully, consistent) than trying to use binder clips or improvised levers, I figured some SPDT relay contacts might not be too bad. Hence, the first attempt: Fully assembled and cabled resulting key

ARRL 10m 2022 - Two Days In A Park, QRP, Unassisted, SSB (And POTA)

After my technically-a-success in ARRL Sweepstakes 2022 , I decided a bit more ambition was necessary for the ARRL 10 Meter 2022 . Of course I could have just tried replicating my performance with an indoor antenna, but my log only had one QSO on 10m at Sweepstakes… and there would be interesting DX opportunities to be had with a better situated antenna. I had already confirmed that there was a convenient shelter at Lake Kegonsa State Park ( K-1459 , wiki is down) with mains power (those details in another potential post). Station setup at the shelter on day one. Just about to get started, log is empty! Of course, I wasn't just going to jump straight into this. There were pieces of prep and planning to get this done other than just scouting the location.

ARRL Sweepstakes SSB 2022 - Indoor Antennas, QRP

Don't let anyone tell you your station isn't up to snuff!I got it into my head on Friday night that ARRL Sweepstakes SSB 2022 would be a good plan. After adding it to my calendar, it was simple enough to move my indoor EFHW radiators from my bedroom to the living room to see how they would work. (The 15 and 10 m radiators have served me previously in CQP and AZQP this year.) Saturday morning/early afternoon was my time to re-string the wires, re-tune the wires, and get another one up for 20 m as well (a key decision). Three radiators (20m, 10m, 15m respectively) attached to the wall with a combination of Scotch tape and nails/binder clips. Note the step-up transformer and coax draped across the lampshade, connected with WAGO 221 lever splice (great things). Local time in CST.

POTA Fall Support Your Parks 2022 - I Updated Wikis Edition

While I have more content to maybe actually write a full blog post about for my 7-park, 9-activation (thanks 0000Z roll-overs) roves across two days for the 2022 Fall Support Your Parks event from POTA, I have updated the POTA community wiki for parks I learned more about:

WIPOTA 2022: Two Parks and Short 40m

Last weekend on Saturday, September 17th 2022 was the fifth annual Wisconsin Parks on the Air . Since I kicked off 2022 getting into QRP HF and identified portable park hunting as a nice niche of amateur radio to specialize in considering the lack of apartment operating, this contest is an obvious fit. For the primary effort, where else to go except my usual stomping ground: Governor Nelson State Park (contest abbreviation GNSP, K-1452 , wiki ). Arrival at Governor Nelson after the errands of the morning.

Another Run at Governor Nelson, Now With a Dipole

Catching up on the blog by going straight from activation to post! Despite the solar storms today, the Kp dropped a bit to 4-5 for my targeted 21-24Z on 2022-09-04. Allegedly the band conditions would be bad, but I found them quite usable. If anything, I had more success than some other trips. Most notably, I had a QRP hunter call back and give a 59 with a 59 deserved in response; 5W each way! Don't necessarily believe the predictions; your presence with a rig contributes to the bands being less dead! Anyway, the point of this trip to Governor Nelson State Park ( K-1452 , wiki ) was to make use of my 20m QRP dipole that I constructed earlier in the summer. Supporting it today was my 26' jackite telescoping fiberglass pole, also a more recent addition to my activating equipment. Operating point under cloudy skies, setup at a park picnic table with the dipole mostly N-S aligned. Inverted-V goes off to the table to the north and to a tree to the south.