There is probably a strong case to make Cuyahoga Valley National Park – K-0020 a topic of its own on this blog since all of the posts about POTA operations of late have been about it. Or so it seems.
There were two activations by yours truly at that location over this past weekend. Both days were pretty chilly. Saturday was low 40sF and Sunday was low 30sF. Both days were spent in the open at my favorite picnic table. I didn’t feel like sitting in the Jeep was worth it if there isn’t snow on the ground.
Both days were the same loadout. I used the Chameleon vertical whip with extension for both activations. Both activations used the 2.6rc6 version of WSJT-X. And I skipped doing any phone work because by the time I had my activations over data, I was tired of sitting in the wind. Goals will be set for mixing up modes in 2023.
The new version of WSJT-X seems a lot better at digging out weaker signals. I don’t know about the value of that when one is on the low-power side of that equasion. Seems like more people that I can hear that can’t hear me. And that’s already something that excellent receiver in the IC-705 makes into an issue for me. That said, I’m hoping it makes it easier for other folks to hear me!
On Saturday, I forgot the tarp. I can’t believe it, but it’s true. The table was wet and I had to improvise. Luckily, experience is a teacher and the tarp was in the backpack for Sunday.
The tarp is 4’x6′ when totally unfolded. It’s also really thick. It’s great as a cover for gear when that’s needed quickly as well as for a ground cover. Though nothing is as good as my MVP gear of the decade: the foam sitting pad.
Again, wet tables. Wet seats. Rocks. All of it is handled by this novel idea that never occurred to me.
There was a gear failure on Saturday. My GPS unit didn’t spin up when activated. I was wondering if there was a bad battery or if the unit simply died on me. After some poking and prodding, it seems very likely that I left it on when I packed it up the last time I used it and it ran the battery down to absolute zero. After a good charging on Saturday, it was functional again and back in the field on Sunday. It’s possible to sync the Surface to my phone’s hotspot or to plug it into the IC-705 for GPS time. As I’ve said many times, having this little unit simply allows me to do the time sync dance and computer stuff while I’m setting up other things. It’s worth the extra 2 ounces.
Propagations seemed to be better Saturday than Sunday. The bands were open across the board Saturday and I walked them from 40m to 10m. Sunday, I was able to get 40m, 30m, and 20m. The maps for both days looked like this:
The exciting thing here is that an Oasis activator award by the end of 2022 is a real possibility. I have 15 activations which only leaves 5 to go and there are plenty of days left in 2022 to make that happen.