JSCARC POTA #15 @ San Jacinto

JSCARC POTA #15 @ San Jacinto Battleground Historic Park

Report by George AD5CQ

The day started out warm and sunny.  I arrived at the park about 9:03am.  

Immediately an alert was sounded by the mosquito community that brunch was being served.  The mosquitos began dive bombing me as I exited the car. 

Setup was easier because I had thought through the process and devised a more efficient process for erecting the Buddy Pole antenna.  The previous two failures had been resolved however my SWR was higher than I expected.  The transceiver was able to resolve the SWR so I just pressed ahead.  Setup was completed about 10:10am. 

I had planned to do both FT8 and FT4 but ended up just doing only FT8 on 10 meters.  The 10 meter band has been really good recently and there were a lot of stations on the air which made it a bit hard to find a good open spot on the waterfall.  I contacted 34 stations which is a low number for what I was expecting to achieve.  Many of my contacts needed repeats which might have been due to my SWR issue or the crowded band conditions or both. 

Arthritis in the fingers makes it a bit harder to type however I believe some of the typing mistakes were due to the very large mosquitoes that missed me and landed on the keypad.  The mosquitoes were very large compared to their city cousins living at my house.  A breeze came up which seemed to keep the mosquitoes away. 

I operated at 75 watts and contacted mostly USA stations with only a very few DX stations.  The laptop battery died after 2.5 hours.  I had another power source for the laptop but decided to just pack up (12:35pm) since I already had my quota of POTA stations for an activation. 

Visited with Ken Goodwin and we talked a lot about amateur radio and his visits to Nepal.  There were no visitors that came to see what we were doing which was a little disappointing.  Later I shared my experience with the folks from the Pasadena Emergency Communications Group and now they are interested in doing some POTA activity.

Report by Ken K5RG

George and I started setting up at 9 AM although I found access to our area was accessible at 8:30 AM, sure looked like the park was open earlier than 9 AM.

After correcting the interface changes to the radio (Windows updates ??) made 21 FT8 contacts using W5RRR callsign.  15 meters (for me) and 10 meters (for George) was choc-a-block but lots of POTA stations.  Next time need to consider FT4 which was far less crowded.  Some mosquitoes in the AM but the wind picked up around 10 AM and keep them at bay.  Broke off operations around 1 PM.

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