As an avid POTA activator I was quite excited to come across a new-to-me wire antenna that is rapidly field deployable, fairly stealthy, directional and which has some gain. I would like to thank Germany-based SOTA operator Ed Durrant DD5LP, G8GLM, VK2JI for introducing me to the VP2E. As is my custom, I read Ed's … Continue reading The VP2E – A Strange (But Proven) Antenna
A Versatile Backpack Rig for POTA Activations
I recently posted about POTA becoming a competitive activity. Admittedly, I have caught the bug but I also still enjoy just getting out into the Big Blue Sky Shack and being all alone with just my radio for company. Competing for POTA awards involves rushing from park to park balancing QSO count with getting as … Continue reading A Versatile Backpack Rig for POTA Activations
A Magic Ground Mobile Antenna
Let me start by confessing; I don't operate HF mobile. So my "mobile" HF antenna is only suitable for stationary "shack-in-a-truck" operations. Driving requires my full attention ... and so does CW operation! I mount one of my two portable vertical antennas on a short aluminum pole which in turn is mounted on the hitch … Continue reading A Magic Ground Mobile Antenna
Modifying my DIY Loading Coil
I have been very pleased with my DIY clone of a Wolf River coil. It has served me well on multiple POTA activations for the last few months. But, there is always room for improvement! And, besides, hams love to tinker with their equipment to make it just that little bit better. The coil is … Continue reading Modifying my DIY Loading Coil
Watts on Wheels
My portable operating station - which I use principally for POTA activations - is constructed in the form of a manpack inside a very rugged cotton canvas NATO-style rucksack. Nearly everything is hooked up, ready to go. I don't need to find a picnic table, the manpack has an internal frame just high enough to … Continue reading Watts on Wheels
Why I Quit QRP (and maybe shouldn’t have)
For many years I was a dedicated QRP operator. I even took my "Portable QRP Operation" show-and-tell out on the road for presentation at ham clubs in my area. Then along came the dark, gloomy depths of the solar cycle minimum. My forays out into the Big Blue Sky Shack became a series of disappointments. … Continue reading Why I Quit QRP (and maybe shouldn’t have)
Hello, What’s Going On Here Then?
Do you ever feel slightly guilty about operating your ham station out in the big blue sky shack in full view of the public? I do. A ham station can look very suspicious to somebody who doesn't understand the hobby. Where I like to operate there are often signs with rules about "permitted activities". The … Continue reading Hello, What’s Going On Here Then?
To V or not to V? Obey the rules!
Rules? It has been said that rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools. Sounds a bit harsh but it may have some truth to it. In our hobby it might be better expressed as "rules are for the guidance of experts and the obedience of novices". What is an … Continue reading To V or not to V? Obey the rules!
POTA – I got it all wrong!
In my previous park activations I was content to be a "ten and done" activator. That is, I made the required minimum ten contacts to achieve a successful activation then quit. To be completely honest, I usually hung in to make at least one or two additional "insurance" contacts - just in case a dupe … Continue reading POTA – I got it all wrong!
QSO with North Pole Alaska
I was out on another Parks On The Air activation on Monday 1st August. It was a holiday in most of Canada so the XYL and I set out early to avoid the anticipated crowds in the park. Our destination was the popular Sauble Falls Provincial Park (VE-0378) near Wiarton, Ontario. Sauble Falls is a … Continue reading QSO with North Pole Alaska