POTA Activation K-3756 JL Lester WMA

I had a doctors appointment in the morning so that kind of scrambled my day. I decided to attempt a quick activation using my new IC-705 with the AH-705. Today was the best day to do it because we are supposed to get some real winter weather starting tomorrow. I’m not opposed to winter weather, I do not like driving around with a bunch of folks who are. And yes, true to southern tradition, people are at the stores buying milk, bread, and eggs. Can never to too sure.

The J. L. Lester Wildlife Management Area is located in Polk County, GA near Cedartown. It is 477 acres with hunting and fishing opportunities. Even though I wasn’t hunting or fishing, I am required to have either a hunting or fishing license, or a land pass. The land pass is $30 and the hunting or fishing license is $15 per year. I became a fisherman. I parked in a parking area near the eastern boundary. I was nice and quiet.

The setup was simple, the IC-705 running off of its own battery, N0SA paddles, AH-705 tuner and a Spark Plug EFHW with 65 feet of Buddipole antenna wire. The coax is RG-316. This is the first time I used the Spark Plug antenna. I hoisted the antenna wire about 20 feet up into a tree, and tied the Spark Plug off near my truck.

Here is the complete antenna set-up.

The setup in the truck was pretty simple. I used my center console desk and logged with paper. During the activation the AH-705 was on the passenger seat. Using the desk with the radio on it made it a little tipsy so for the photo, the AH-705 was a counter-balance. I will remedy this next time with a bungee cord. I had the earphones out; however, the IC-705 had enough volume for these not so good ears so the earphones were not needed.

I also discovered that I didn’t need the clock as the time on the IC-705 was easy to see.

How did everything play? Quite well actually, the AH-705 tuned the EFHW for the first time in less than 2 seconds. I was impressed. The AH-705 is more like a miniature AH-4. I have an AH-4 and it is a very capable tuner. I am looking forward to see how well the AH-705 compares to the AH-4.

One of the reasons I brought the IC-705 was for the keyer memories. I use keyer memories quite a bit. Using memories eases the QSO workflow. I started on 40 meters hoping to get 10 activations and if not maybe move to another band. However, I had a nice pileup going on for about 35-45 minutes and ended up with 21 QSO’s. As suddenly as it started, it stopped. I called CQ twice with no answer and then pulled the plug. the antenna and 5 watts were more than ample. Here is a map of the contacts.

Packing up was a breeze, all my Icom stuff fits into one case. The only things that are not included is the antenna and coax.

All in all it was a great activation. It lasted just long enough and no one was left behind. I can see where the the IC-705 is moving up the ranks as my POTA radio of choice. Because I am very familiar with the Icom architecture, using it is almost second nature.

As I was packing up Marty K4JMG stopped by to say hello before he started his activation at the same place. We chatted a while and swapped a few tales. Marty and I belong to the same ham radio club. It is always good to see him.

Thanks to all those who hunted me, I enjoyed the QSO’s. See you down the log.

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