Time to title these posts differently, I think…
My family was otherwise occupied this past Saturday, so I did the only thing that made sense: I loaded up my bike and cycled off to Cuyahoga Valley National Park – K-0020.
We’re getting to the time of year I enjoy most in the parks. It’s usually quite empty. There is an edge of cold to the breeze and when the skies are clear, it sits in the 40F range. This keeps a lot of folks home for some reason. Out in the sun, it’s quite comfortable. Even the wind isn’t too bad. On this particular Saturday, the area where I usually choose to sit was totally empty but for a passing Cub Scout Den hike and a group of four folks in my parents’ age group having a rather personal discussion loudly enough that people could probably hear it out on the ledges. Yikes.
But for most of the time I was there, about an hour or so, I was totally alone. The sounds of the dry leaves and birds was more than enough for me. Being as I was alone, I didn’t feel at all rushed or like I was boring someone. I could take my time, set up my mast, hang the antenna, and get to work.
Speaking of antennas, I have a SOTABEAMS Bandspringer Midi. Now look, this is just measured wire with ends on it. It’s not really expensive and I am pretty sure I bought it because I needed a certain amount for shipping? Maybe? I don’t exactly recall, but I do know that I picked it up as an impulse of some sort. I decided to try it out because my End-Fedz antenna has a coil on the top end and that bends my mast in an uncomfortable way.
The Bandspringer Midi is an excellent performer. It goes up quickly, plugs directly into the tuner, and was great for getting my contacts. It’s also really lightweight. I’m not really doing much in the way of deep analysis here because I’m firmly in the camp with those who know that the antenna you’re plugged into is never as good as the one at home or the one your buddy used last time but is always better than no antenna at all. It’s all compromises. That said, I was really happy with it! I’ll keep it in the kit for sure since it’s light and can work in a tree or on the mast.
In about an hour of FT8 I had 40-some contacts. It was a good haul. One more toward the Repeat Offender Activator award and some more chipping away at the Kilo for CVNP. I don’t think I’ll get 9 more activations this year. I’ll go down fighting, but the odds don’t appear to be with me. And the Kilo is my goal for 2023. I’m about 25% of the way there, I think.
Here’s what the map looked like.