Ridley Creek Redux

I try to get out for some QRP-portable operation at least once each week. To get my fix this week, I made a trip down to Ridley Creek State Park (K-1414/KFF-1414).

It’s been about seven months since my last visit. Back then, I was recovering from knee surgery, and I got to hang out with someone’s pet pig. 

This time out, I used my little TR-35 and my trusty 19-foot vertical. The bands seemed a little weak today. Nevertheless, I logged 45 contacts over the course of my 90-minute activation. I had one park-to-park contact, but no DX today. 

WB3GCK at Ridley Creek State Park (PA) (K-1414/KFF-1414)
WB3GCK at Ridley Creek State Park (PA) (K-1414/KFF-1414)

Before I got started, I broke out my antenna analyzer to take a few measurements on the vertical. When I built the antenna over five years ago, I did the initial tweaking with it mounted close to ground with four ground radials. I knew that the resonant frequencies shifted significantly, when using the body of the truck for ground. Because of this, I have always used a tuner to keep my rig happy. I’m thinking about possibly building another one and optimizing it for use on the truck. Of course, after making tons of QSOs over the past five years with the current antenna, I guess there’s no real hurry. 

I hope you all have a very happy and healthy holiday season. 

73, Craig WB3GCK

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