Terry (N5LOW) and Dave (W5OC) had an exceptionally successful POTA activation on Saturday.
With a morning startup around 8:30AM at the San Jacinto Battleground Park, designated as K-3511 by POTA, Terry setup his Icom IC-7300 and a MFJ-1982HP 10-80M End Fed antenna. Dave brought two Bioenno 20Ah batteries, one to power the radio and the other for the logging with a Dell laptop.
The End Fed antenna was tied up about 40′ using a fishing pole, and sloped down to the operating area patio at about 6′. It was at a rather poor elevation…. but it worked great!
The mosquitos were worse than last month’s POTA activation with KG5URA, but this time they were BIGGER. A couple of them literally popped into my car when I rolled my window down upon arrival (yea, they were waiting for us). Luckily, 2 bottles of Deep Woods OFF were liberally used and kept the murderous pests away while we operated.
We placed a quick POTA activation post online via an iphone and started a quick “CQ POTA DE W5RRR”. And BOOM!… we had a pileup with very courteous hams sending slow code in order to match our proficiency level. With Terry at the key and Dave at the logging position, we ran a steady stream of 10, 20, 30, 40..108 QSOs! We worked about 20+ states, 2 VE’s (Canada), and maintained mostly a steady stream of strong signals both ways until the end, when we finally decided to call it quits. Our signal bounced in all directions including Calif, Oregon, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Florida. We did try two CQ’s on 10m at the end, but no takers so we packed it up for another day.
This POTA experience was a great way to improve CW skills and have fun. Terry conquered his mixups with “F”, “6”, and his biggest bugaboo– the “V”! Dave improved his typing skills and copying signals through QRM pileups.
It should be noted that upon arrival, the AC electrical box was locked, which we’ve never seen happen before. Luckily Dave brought his LiPOFe4 batteries which provided out power. Later, Terry spoke with a couple of the park rangers and had the locked removed. They were very friendly and accommodating.
Overall this was an unexpectedly successful outing. Previous CW outing has netted only a few to 10-ish QSO totals. Today’s outing of 110 QSOs shows that good CW skills, a good antenna, and good propagation can all line up for a great time.