POTA with the MFJ-1820T

I made a quick run down to Ridley Creek State Park (K-1414) for an early morning POTA activation. For a few minutes, though, I thought I might fall short of the 10 contacts needed to complete the activation.

I dusted off my old MFJ-1820T 20M whip antenna and thought I’d try it out on my window mount. Inside the truck, my Elecraft T1 tuner loaded it right up. After calling CQ a few times, I checked the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN). The first spot I received was from Costa Rica. So, the antenna seemed to get out OK. I was running about five watts from my TR-35.

The MFJ-1820T 20M whip on my old window mount
The MFJ-1820T 20M whip on my old window mount

Things got off to a good start on 20M. I had a steady stream of callers for the first several minutes, and I was getting strong RBN spots to the west of me. Then, things slowed down. It was five minutes before the next QSO. Then another six minutes after that. I was beginning to consider the prospect of a busted activation when activity picked up again. I suspect it was just a bit too early on a Sunday morning. 

After I had 11 contacts in the log, I switched to the Elecraft AX1 to give 17M a try. I didn’t hear much activity there, and the RBN wasn’t seeing me at all. I stayed with the AX1 and went back to 20M. 

The activity on 20M started picking up this time around. When I wrapped things up, I had 20 contacts in the log, with two park-to-park QSOs. I didn’t have any DX contacts today, but I did work two Idaho stations.

I continue to be amazed at what you can do with five watts and one of these little whip antennas.

72, Craig WB3GCK

2 thoughts on “POTA with the MFJ-1820T”

  1. Saw you on the spots page Craig and heard people calling you but couldn’t hear you. Maybe PA and ON were too close for 20m today. Other stations in the northeast weren’t loud here today.


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