Posts

ARRL Sweepstakes SSB 2022 - Indoor Antennas, QRP

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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

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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

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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.

Too Much in One Day: POTA, SOTA, Wisconsin QSO Party (K-1441 and K9/WI-010, then K-4238)

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With all the prep done over in the other post and acceptable weather, of course I had to actually take on the adventure. My drive out to K-1441 Blue Mound State Park ( wiki ) was a little on the late side. Stopping in Verona on the way over to acquire some fast food to maintain energy through the event also put me a bit further behind schedule. Soon enough, I arrived at the middle altitude parking lot of the park to hike the rest of the way to summit W9/WI-010 all in Iowa county. Only a bit into the 1800Z March 13th start, but there's still setup and making contacts to happen. View up the trail from just above the parking lot to reach the East Tower on the summit

POTA: Too Little Attention to Blog, So Here's Some Wikis

Since writing and handling pictures is falling behind on my activations, here's the park wiki content I've actually created recently from visiting new parks: Cross Plains State Park ( K-1448 , KFF-1448 ) Governor Nelson State Park ( K-1452 , KFF-1452 ) New Glarus Woods State Park ( K-1467 , KFF-1467 ) Ice Age Trail ( K-4238 , KFF-4238 ) Blue Mound State Park ( K-1441 , KFF-1441 ) Log submission to each program may still be pending… Maybe not the ideal priority, but getting something done.

Parks on the Air: Two Visits to K-1452 for One Complete Activation

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With a vacation day on Friday, 4 March 2022, (ahead of the Destiny 2 raid launch) I decided to try some late shift antenna experimentation and try to get an activation in at K-1452 , Governor Nelson State Park ( wiki ). Playing with wire and transformers on inappropriate mix toroids in the dark didn't pan out (as expected of the effort) so the late shift didn't pan out with only 4 contacts on 20m. So I resolved to go back in daylight with more antenna capabilities.

Quick Look Inside the XGGCOMM Digital Mode Box for Yaesu

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Here's a quick, low-effort post for the day. I got this XGGCOMM digital mode adapter for Yaesu with my FT-818nd when I purchased the package from another ham. It's rather inconvenient because it does audio out/in as analog while CAT is a USB to serial chip. If I had a home station and a desktop setup for my digital modes, it'd be fine. For field use, I sure don't want to haul this, and a USB sound card, around.

Contest Prep: WI QSO Party from K-1441 on W9/WI-010 Blue Mound State Park

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It's already the start of the UTC day for the Wisconsin QSO Party (March 13, 2022 - 1800Z to 0100Z March 14) and my plans are kinda in place. With proven antenna capabilities on 40m and 20m (blog post of that POTA activation still in the backlog) that should probably also give me 15m with more tuner help, plus 6/2/70 FM capability, that should give me enough to work with. Since there's a perfectly reasonable time constraint on the contest, planning to operate portable for the whole thing is probably within my capabilities. So, what's the plan? Destination: K-1441 Blue Mound State Park ( wiki ) containing summit W9/WI-010 . Summit summary from sotl.as, map content from Open Street Map contributors

Parks on the Air: Oops, RaDAR, K-1459 Lake Kegonsa State Park and K-4250 Capital Spring State Recreation Area

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It was a nice day in Wisconsin and, having taken Friday the 25th off for video gaming, it was a nice change of pace to throw in some POTA in a new location on Sunday the 28th. The actual intention was getting to K-1459 Lake Kegonsa State Park ( wiki ), which I definitely managed to do. I'll get to the RaDAR in a bit. On the way out of town, I stopped by Bagels Forever, a local bagel factory with walk-in service counter serving a full selection of options. I chose my standard sausage-egg-and-cheese, gouda, on sesame with two additional cold plain bagels since they were out of chocolate chip and bagel sticks. These are key to getting set up! Getting setup on a picnic table at the snowy Williams Knoll as the bench dries out