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2024 NC QSO Party and POTA

Last month we finally got a chance to take the radio for a spin to work the NC QSO party from a few parks. A ‘few’ parks turned into two parks, but I did learn a few things. The weather in my area turned out to be perfect for a nice ride to a couple of portable operating areas. Comfortably cool temps and crystal clear skies.

I decided to approach the trip as an Out-and-Back. Drove out to the first park with intent on making stops to set up the portable antennas at each location. Had just barely enough time at the first stop to get set up before the 10am local start. Then things quickly went sideways.

The Station

Used a hitch mounted mast receptacle to hold the antenna mast, a 32 foot telescoping fiberglass pole. The mast supported a 40m/20m trap dipole, which I probably damaged by breaking a partially corroded wire on one of the traps. Ends were tied up on some of the nearby coniferous biological antenna supports. The station itself is an Elecraft K3 powered by a 100ah LifePo4 battery, on trickle charge from a 100w solar panel on the vehicle roof rack. All set up on back seat of the vehicle. Parked in the shade because comfort is more important than charging the battery. Location numero uno was at McKinney Lake State Fish Hatchery Pota k-8010, Richmond county NC. Unfortunately no photos of either the station or other sites due to ‘plan divergence […]

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