I headed out this weekend twice. The first was out to Wingfoot Lake State Park [K-3516]. I got there Saturday afternoon and prepared for a Jeep activation in the parking lot because, well, there was a ton of people out at the park that day and there weren’t really any good spots to setup where I wouldn’t be a distraction to other park users. Also, no tables at all. The place was packed!
I got set up and noticed that my ATU was left in the ON position. The battery was dead. No worries! I’ll just grab the spare that I keep in my bag and…
Earlier that morning, in an attempt at organizing myself, I pulled things out of my backpack that I use for my activations. Guess what I left on the kitchen table… Yeah. The spare battery box.
I didn’t even have a resonant antenna with me. But the biggest concern was that I had about a 90 minute window before the rain was supposed to start. Rather than burn 30 to 45 minutes of that running to a store and trying to find a 9v battery and then replace it (remember, my biggest complaint about the mAT-705 is that replacing the battery is, quite frankly, the electronics equivalent of surgery) I should just pack it in. So I did.
Look, sometimes we fail. I think it’s important to share that along with the successes. What did I do when I got home? Put the battery box back in my pack and tossed another 9v into the Jeep. I probably won’t make THAT mistake again.
Sunday was another day!
I decided that since the rain was gone and it was supposed to be sunny all day, that I’d head out to Quail Hollow State Park [K-1987] and give that a go. I’ve never been to that park before. As it turned out, there was one picnic table in the shade. Which was probably why no one was at any of the other tables. It also didn’t hurt that the table I chose was probably 10 feet from a huge bee hive. They didn’t care about me, and I didn’t antagonize them. Worked out just fine.
I got set up at the table and got to work.
20m was really strange. It kept opening and closing on FT8. 40m was dead from where I was sitting, so I bounced around and gave my tuner a workout. I picked up a contact on 6m and then 30m. They were the only stations I heard on those bands. 10m and 12m produced similar results: nothing heard. I bounced back to 20m and called CQ. I was in a pileup almost instantly. That stuck around for a bit until the band slammed shut just as I collected my 14th contact.
I didn’t have a whole lot of time as I had to make dinner for some tired family who spent the weekend camping with the Scouts. So I made the call to shut down. Not too bad.
Here’s what it looked like on PSKReporter.info
And here’s the log:
KS4OT EM83 20m
NF1T EL87 20m
W8UA EN91 6m
WY0V EN12 30m
KG5EIU EM13 20m
KA4RSZ EM73 20m
AE4OF EM81 20m
W5BCA EL29 20m
KB9ELS EM46 20m
KI5RCS EM10 20m
N0DPR EM29 20m
W5P EM13 20m
KN4ZUJ EL89 20m
W6ZD EL96 20m