I woke this morning to a very light covering of snow that wasn’t much of a surprise. It’s been raining here daily since before Christmas and last night the temperature was dropping. Had temperatures been normal these last few weeks we would have been buried in the white stuff, but this season has been warmer than usual, like the last several, which really makes me wonder just how normal the weather is these days.
With the rain keeping me indoors more than I would like I decided it might be interesting to setup the portable station on the kitchen table and give the AX2 portable whip antenna another indoor workout. The new antenna is configured for 20 meters and I use it with a small tripod mount that sits easily on the table or any flat-surface. Whenever I do this I route a single radial wire across the kitchen floor.
I can set all this up along with the battery powered KX3 in about three minutes which includes getting all the toys out of the shack and carrying them to the kitchen.
I like to hunt POTA activators because they are a hungry crowd who are usually well-spotted and easy to find. A quick visit to the POTA spots Web page where I flick on two filters - 20M and CW. It’s not unlike using a fish locator and in seconds I can see the action. There were four such stations that had been spotted in the last few minutes listed and I tuned to the first and sure enough, I could hear the prey working someone.
These contacts go fast since the exchange is brief and in a matter of seconds I had dropped my call and copied the satisfying reply I was looking for. This one in Florida and two minutes later another who was also in the same State but at a different park.
One minute later I worked another who was in Georgia and with that I closed the kitchen station for the day. It took all of a couple more minutes to log and upload those contacts to LoTW and return the gear to the shack. Less than 15 minutes in all which is why I like using these portable antennas – fast and easy to deploy and breakdown.
Compromised by their diminutive size they are not terribly efficient, still I’ve become confident that I can make contacts using them whenever I want, even from inside the house.
It’s even more amazing when you consider the POTA stations hunted and worked are operating under less than ideal working conditions with battery-power, portable antennas and (usually) low-power.
The QRP powered New Year is officially underway!