First State NHP Activation

ARRL National Parks on the Air logoAfter my last activation, I sure needed a day like today.  During my last outing just about everything that could go wrong did.  Thankfully, my activation today went off without a hitch.

I made the 45-minute trip down to First State National Historical Park in Delaware and set up in the parking lot of the Smith Bridge Picnic Area along Brandywine Creek.  (Thanks to Joe, N2CX, for recommending this location.)  I operated from inside my truck using a KX3 at 5 watts.  My antenna was a 30-ft vertical fed through a 9:1 unun with 18 feet of coax.  The Jackite pole was mounted on my bike rack mount.

Obligatory selfie at First State National Historical Park

Obligatory selfie at First State National Historical Park

I operated for about two hours and the bands seemed to be in decent shape.  Splitting my time between 40 and 20 meters, I wound up with 45 contacts in my log.  I hit the west coast 3 times and worked quite a few ham radio friends.

My antenna drew a lot of attention today.  Several people came up to me to ask about the 31-foot pole.  A few times, it happened while I was sorting through pileups.  One fellow couldn’t believe ham radio still existed.  Another said, “No wonder you use ham radio; the cell phone coverage around here is lousy.”

My antenna drew the attention of several passersby.

My antenna drew the attention of several passersby.

I’m going to attempt one more activation this week.  I hope it goes as well as today.

72, Craig WB3GCK

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