POTA! On the Road

During my trip to MD for the feds in mid-April, I was able to work some Parks on the Air locations. I brought my Yaesu FT-991A, mag mounted hamsticks, a Heil Headset, and an 85AHr deep cell battery to work with. I was pleasantly surprised at the great response I got.

My first stop on Sunday was Monocacy Battlefield, adjacent to the City of Frederick, MD. Working out of the back of my car hatch in some cold weather, I made 13 Qs in about 30 minutes. Conditions were not good with deep QSB; I was on 20M around 1:00 PM EST. It was also 39 degrees! I was cold and hungry. 30 minutes was enough!

My next stop Sunday afternoon (about 3 1/2 hours later) was Catoctin Mountain Park in Thurmont, MD. It was 36 degrees here, but conditions were still poor and I made 15 Qs in about 45 minutes. I again worked out of the back hatch, but when I quit for the day I “played around” with some other ways of working the parks.

Monday afternoon I traveled to the Eisenhower Farm in Gettysburg, PA about 10 miles to my North; I got to the park around 5:00 PM EST, and wow did I do well! I made 61 Qs in just under an hour, signals were excellent and I even worked some DX! It was a bit warmer too, at 48 degrees.

By this time, I figured out how to work out of the back seat of the car with the laptop – and the radio fit snugly between the front seats. Warmer and much more comfortable! It was a great park Op!

Tuesday, before the NAQCC Sprint, I went to the Gettysburg National Park around 6:00 PM EST; I was again greeted by excellent conditions, and worked another 55 Qs including several DX in just under an hour. The Hamstick mounted on my car roof simply amazes me! I got a remarkable amount of compliments on my signal both Monday and Tuesday. It was also much warmer (48 degrees!).

In total, I worked 144 Qs on 20M in a little under 3 hours over 4 days. I was VERY happy with this count. I am looking forward to more POTA in my travels in the coming months. This stuff is FUN!!!

Holy Kow! 8 Months Since My Last Post!

I can’t believe how long it’s been…and this year has certainly flown by! But, as the busiest retired guy you’ll ever meet (as my darlin’ XYL sez), I have been “moving right along!

With no further ado, here’s the catch up!! (It’s a long post, scroll down to the end!)

Last November 2021 – I missed my favorite contest, the ARRL November Sweepstakes Phone (I had to go to Jax Airport to pick up my incoming daughter for the Thanksgiving Day holiday); but I did “dabble” a bit in the Nov SS CW contest – and wow! Finished 1st place in my Division category and set a new Division record!!

In January, our local group (DB CERT ART) participated in the 2022 Winter Field Day at Reed Canal Park in South Daytona. And Winter Field Day it was! We froze our patoozkies off! The days high temp was 46; it was 37 degrees when we finished. They never got a photo of me, I was too busy hiding in my car to stay warm. The wind blew a steady 15-20 MPH all day, and I assure you, it was VERY UNCOMFORTABLE for us old Florida fellas. But we still had a blast – and the hot dogs and chili were only eclipsed by the hot coffee and hot chocolate!

Here’s the fellas working phone (left) and CW (middle) – the fella on the right is a Popsicle – he never moved from that position!!! (Ha ha ah, only kidding).

In February, I worked the ARRL Booth at Orlando Hamcation checking cards on Friday and Saturday; I also attended the Florida Contest Dinner and the Hamcation Chairman’s Dinner – here’s my selfie at the FCG dinner (where I won a $300 Heil Proset 7 Headset!) and my “caricature” at the Chairman’s Dinner. Had a blast at Hamcation and both dinners! Always fun! The FCG and Hamcation folks are great!

In March, I did my annual Novice Rig Roundup Contest – I finished 11th place (our of 75) with 66 Novice style Qs. Not bad for 50 year old equipment! Here’s the certificate and a shot of my Novice Drake Line using crystals.

In mid-April, I traveled to work for the Feds at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, MD; I had the opportunity to do some POTA (I provided this in a separate post) and worked the NAQCC Sprint from Gettysburg Battlefield.

At the end of April, the Florida QSO Party had us driving through 8 counties in two days – but we had great weather, great conditions, and a great time!

In May……well, not a good month for me – I had two heart attacks on May 21 – one in the ER, and one in the Cardiac ICU – but two stents later I am as good as new!

June is Field Day month, and our group (DB CERT ART) scored the highest we have ever scored! Conditions were very good and we had a great turnout of folks.

July is 13 Colonies Month! And for the 14th straight year, I got a clean sweep! My wife and I also got COVID. But all better now!

Well, that’s it for now…….all caught up!