I want to say that I don’t know how people can get activation reports out the same day they activate, but I know the answer: priorities. Mine are skewed away from writing things up. There are tons of POTA and SOTA activation blogs out there, and even though I should be writing this up for myself rather than others, at least nobody is waiting for this one to get their fix!
I ended up with some free evening time last Monday (UTC Tuesday 2023-04-18) and rode my bike down to the local park to get an activation in while the weather was nice. The Red River Recreation Area (K7146) is part of the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks Greenway, which was established after the flood in Spring 1997 destroyed much of the two cities. It’s an undeveloped area between the flood control systems (dikes and floodwalls) of each city.
Light was fading fast as I got set up, so not many photos. Next time!
I set up quick and figured I would hop on 40 meters CW with 5 watts. I don’t use 40m a lot at home because of noise issues, and figured that there would be some evening activity. Ran the Xiegu X6100 again, although one of these days I’ll have a bit more time and can play with another rig. Same EFHW antennaas my last activation.
Spotted myself on the POTA website and started calling CQ. Lots of calls! I don’t remember the play-by-play, except that I still find it really exciting to activate using CW, and you’re all the best at dealing with my bad copy and poor sending. By the end, my fingers were pretty frozen.
It got dark! I realized later that I was sitting in the dark, with my red headlamp on for night vision, so focused on the code that someone could have snuck up behind me without me noticing. It’s not something I normally worry about in this area, but if I were in a less-familiar park, I might have made different choices. Some folks wandered by on the path (walking dogs?) 50 m away, so they were probably pretty confused about the red light and the Morse code…
I think this photo was before I started, so it doesn’t capture how dark it was at the end. Glad my bike has lights!
In the end, I worked 21 people on both US coasts in a little under 40 minutes, while sending at 15 wpm. I can copy faster than that if it’s a callsign, but not if it’s a string of words or a long exchange. Still progressing there.
Thanks for reading!