Saturday, March 17, 2018

Lincoln Trail Homestead Park KFF-4098

My last adventure to Central IL for awhile as my wife is done with her piano duties for one of the local high school show choirs. I had a short window of time for this activation so I went with my 32ft vertical this time which works great on 40 meters and was hoping it help with a quick batch of contacts. Hard to see the mast but it is the green thing rising up from the back of the truck. This park is closed and looks like it has been closed for at least the winter season if not longer. It may be one of the parks that the state decided to close since it is out of money.

I started out on 20 meters and again it was hard to get anything going and since I was on a tight schedule I switched to 40 meters. I was able to make a total of 50 contacts in about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Not NPOTA type run rates but easily managed. I had park to park contacts with K7CAR and W8MSC. A P2P was almost completed with KB3WAV but the band took a fade and Kerri was gone. 

It was a nice not getting rained or snowed on this time out!

Here are some supporting photos including a selfie for those of you that like them!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Iroquois County State Wildlife Area KFF-4132

March 10, 2018 Activation by ND9E

Once again I had the chance to activate a location far from home as I was playing chauffeur for my wife as she played piano for a high school group in the area. The Iroquois County State Wildlife Area is about a 3.5 hour drive from my home QTH putting this place 70 miles south of Chicago.  I had planned to show the driving route via APRS but it turns out there is a large area without digi-peaters so the map doesn't look very good but I did mark my operating spot by using a APRS app on my Android phone. 

The activation had the normal little issues that one has to work through such as I tried a different antenna whip arrangement which seemed to work ok on 20 meters but not 40. I did notice for the first time that my charging of the logging computer added about 3 S-units of noise on 20 meters. I will have to work on that later. I had trouble getting much action on 20 meters but I also seemed to forget that 14.195 is not available to the General class folks so I did move up the band after a while. I only made 5 contacts on 20 meters. 

Next I went to 40 meters and tried the same antenna setup as 20 meters and could not get the SWR below 1.8 to 1. I went back to a known setup consisting of the 4 ft Hustler mast, Wolf River Coil and 8 ft whip. I also found that my computer charger doesn't produce any noise in the 40 meter band so that problem seems solvable. I made 50 contacts on 40 meters with at least one P2P contact with K7CAR. I believe I made a P2P with someone in Michigan but they gave me the NPOTA designation of HP20. I will figure this out later. Thank you to the chasers for being out there and I hope to get back soon to some activations using a better antenna system. 73 and 44