Father’s Day Weekend Camping

As is my usual practice, I spent Father’s Day weekend camping with my XYL. One of my Father’s Day “gifts” is a relaxing weekend with some occasional ham radio.

Our camp sign. A local artisan made this for us many years ago.

Our camp sign. A local artisan made this for us many years ago.

We took our travel trailer up to nearby French Creek State Park. On our maiden voyage with the trailer, I encountered some noise issues. Not this time. Since the trailer was only on battery power this time, I didn’t have the noisy 12V converter to contend with. Plus, I used my Jackite ground mount to mount my antenna further away from the trailer.

My 31-foot Jackite pole. This time I located the antenna about 10 feet away from the trailer.

My 31-foot Jackite pole. This time I located the antenna about 10 feet away from the trailer.

For this trip, I used the 31-foot Jackite pole to support a 30-foot wire and fed it with a 9:1 unun. Inside the trailer, I used my KX3 with a small LiFePO4 battery. Using the KX3’s internal antenna tuner, I was able to load up on all bands from 80-6 meters. The KX3’s tuner never ceases to amaze me.

Operating on and off over the weekend, I made a dozen or so casual contacts. Some of them were pretty interesting:

  • On Saturday, I worked WB2LQF in New York. Stan was running 1W to his attic dipole and was delivering an amazing signal into southeastern Pennsylvania. On Sunday, I worked Stan again. This time he was operating WW2DEM aboard the USS Slater in Albany. Like me, Stan is a former Navy Radioman.
  • I worked N2CX who was doing a Parks on the Air (POTA) activation from Big Pocono State Park (KFF-1333) in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. I was monitoring his usual 40-meter frequency and caught him when he first came on the air.  After working Joe, I decided to start submitting my POTA logs.
  • I worked K1ZK as he was testing his new MTR rig on 20 meters. Zack and I had a nice two-way QRP chat. I was pleased to be his first contact with the new rig.
  • I wrapped up the weekend by working the NAQCC guys operating NY3EC aboard the USS Requin.

I also had a chance to do a quick test of the vertical antenna I have been working on. It’s getting better but the 30-meter band is still resonating a bit low. I’ll be doing another loading coil tweak this week.

My experimental vertical antenna set up on our campsite for some quick SWR measurements.

My experimental vertical antenna set up on our campsite for some quick SWR measurements.

Next weekend I’ll be out with the Boschveldt QRP gang for Field Day. If you hear W3BQC on the air, give us a shout.

72, Craig WB3GCK

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