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CW Radio

1st POTA Activation

So I decided that today was the day that I would get out of the shack chair and into the wild! By the wild I mean a nice park table at Carlyle Lake which is two different POTA parks. I activated K-0991, but I think you could easily count this as a 2fer with K-4114 as the actual lake. I submitted just K-0991 this time though.

Setup

I checked out a couple of different spots but ended up here at the Wetland Education Area. Several of the other spots were taken and I didn’t want to blast CW to a crowd. This spot is out of the way from the public but also very close to the water, shady, and has a few usable trees close by.

I used the slingshot to shoot my rock from the MOQP over a tree. It ended up going way over the tree though and got stuck. I cut the line and the rock fell to the ground so I was able to recover it and the line to avoid leaving any trash. I tied the rock back to the line and tried again with a much better shot, but when I was pulling my line up the rock fell out and is now lost in the grass somewhere. Oh well. Rest in grass rock. Anyways, shot another rock over and managed to get the line where I needed it and pulled up the antenna. I used the wire winder to attach the cord to the antenna and it worked really well. I wish I had taken a picture.

41′ random wire with a 17′ counterpoise on the AH-705 tuner.

Calling

I’m still pretty new to CW so calling CQ really gets me on the edge of my seat. I was calling at 15-18wpm and I got back to back replies almost immediately. 20M was super quiet and I was really able to dig out some weak stations.

One of those not so weak stations was EC1R in Spain! I couldn’t believe it when he sent the call. I thought I missed something but he repeated to verify and I was blown away! Not bad for 10W and a wire! I wish I had it turned down to QRP for that one, but it was still very close.

I switched to 30M and made a few more including VE3LDT. I then tried 40M but there was a ton of QRM that was fluctuating from S5-S9. I was pretty close to the loading dock, so I wouldn’t be surprised if most of it was from the boats.

Back on to 20 to try and finish up. The sun was going down and I was getting really hungry. My sending was really going south as well. There was only about 10 minutes left in the UTC day, and I only had 9 in the log. I had gone almost 20 minutes since my last contact and I was worried that I was going to leave skunked on my first try. Then out of nowhere I got a call back from KG7ZML and I turned into all left feet (QLF) trying to make that one happen. I copied him fine, but I couldn’t send that call to save my life. I finally got it through and we made the exchange. I haven’t been that excited in a while, but then I also got a quick call from WA3TMR! Above and beyond!

Time To Pack Up

As rough as that call was, I decided it was time to pack up and get something to eat.

Here’s the log from the day. I tried to send realistic RST, but I left the 5nn in there just in case I lost my mind, which happened a couple of times. I could probably come up with a better format for the chicken scratch as well, but it’s what happened in the heat of the moment.

All packed up and ready to go! I headed out with a huge smile. On my way out I gave a pair a ride back to their car. Their boat had broken down and they were hoofing it several miles back to their truck. Helping someone out felt like a nice way to finish the day!

-73 KK9U

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