A quick recap of yesterday’s Carl Sandburg Home NPOTA activation

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Yesterday, I fit in yet another activation of the Carl Sandburg Home (NS01) for the ARRL National Parks on the Air. You might recall, I activated the same site last Sunday.

The lake at the trail head.

The lake at the trail head.

Second time’s a charm!

Since I had already scoped out the site and the trail where I operated last time, I took a minimum of supplies: My Elecraft KX2, EFT Trail-Friendly antenna and the accessories in my go kit:

LowePro CS 60 Closed

I didn’t even need a folding chair as I hiked further into the trail system and found a bench in an ideal shady location where I could hang the EFT antenna without any part of the wire being close to the trail itself.

The only negative was that I had to fight off a few mosquitoes–par for the course!

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After firing up the KX2, I found that both frequencies I announced (14,286 and 7,286 kHz) were occupied. I tuned around and found clear frequencies then posted the changes on Twitter and the ARRL NPOTA Facebook page. Fortunately, I was spotted on the DX clusters after my first contacts (thanks, Mike and others!).

In short: this was about the busiest I’ve ever been on the radio.

In 43 minutes, I logged 41 stations: many stations here in the southeast US, and stations from New Mexico to Italy! Propagation and timing were certainly in my favor.

The rubber band held my KX2 to the clipboard, but I hope to sort out an even better way of securing it.

This red rubber band held my KX2 to the clipboard, but I hope to sort out an even better way of securing it in the future.

The pileups were heavy enough that I didn’t even have time to properly pull log sheets once I had completed them–instead, I folded them over the KX2 and continued writing.

I was very pleased that I logged at least one SWLing Post reader: Randy (KS4L). Thanks for the contact, Randy!

Not all portable operations go so well…but when they do, it’s energizing!

I might be able to squeeze in a 30 minute activation on the Blue Ridge Parkway (PK01) this afternoon.  Listen for me (K4SWL) around 14,286 kHz SSB sometime between 20:30-21:30 UTC. That is, if propagation and my schedule cooperate again!

4 thoughts on “A quick recap of yesterday’s Carl Sandburg Home NPOTA activation

    1. Thomas Post author

      Hi, Gene,

      When I’m operating alone in the field, I stick with SSB. My CW skills are not quite so good to manage little pileups, etc.

      Cheers,
      Thomas
      K4SWL

      Reply
  1. Carl

    Just had a look at the National Parks Service website and that looks like a stunning location to work from, what sort of travel time does it take you to get to this spot?

    An added bonus that the band conditions were well in your favor 🙂

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      It takes about an hour to travel there from where I live, but sometimes I have meetings, etc. nearby. When that happens, I will be doing activations there! It is a beautiful spot.
      Cheers,
      Thomas

      Reply

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