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

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