I have been mostly off the air for the past few weeks, dealing with more knee issues. The bum knee felt a little better this morning, so I headed out for some long-overdue QRP-portable operation.
I drove over to nearby Valley Forge National Historical Park (POTA K-0761) for a short activation this morning. There was a picnic table close to where I parked, so I didn’t have to haul my gear very far. (My knee thanked me.)
This morning, I used my KX3 (5 watts) and my AX1 antenna. I started out with the AX1 on a little tripod on the picnic table, but the KX3’s tuner seemed to struggle to find a match on 20M. I swapped out the 3-foot coax I was using for a 6-foot length I had on hand. That didn’t help. Next, I connected the AX1 directly to the KX3 and used the AXB1 bipod to stabilize it. After rearranging the radials a few times (I used three today), the KX3 eventually found a 1:1 match on 20M.
Once on the air, a station in Nevada kicked things off. After a few more, things slowed down. It seemed like I was stuck at eight QSOs for the longest time. Fortunately, things eventually picked up again, and I made enough contacts to qualify the activation.
The picnic table I was using was out in the open with no shade. The sun felt great; but when the wind kicked up, that was a different story. I decided to pack up and head home for lunch. My log for today had 14 contacts, with two park-to-park. My best “DX” today was a park-to-park contact with California on 15M.
It was nothing earth-shattering today, but it sure felt good to be back out there again.
72, Craig WB3GCK