Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome

The Marines got this right. When planning for a POTA/SOTA trip. It pays to plan for contingencies. I am not talking about going overboard with this. You should still try to carry only what you need. This past weekend I did a POTA camp-out at Ft. Mountain State Park in northwestern Georgia. I usually reserve campsites several months in advance, so everything may not be perfect by trip time. Part of my planning was considering band conditions. The week prior, propagation was unstable. In addition, I was not sure about the geography of the campsite. My planning was to bring two radios; my IC-7300 (QRO) and my IC-705 (QRP). I brought my Frankentenna with an extra EmComm II transformer to handle more power.

The planning paid off. My campsite was down in a hole and the bands were not good. The site was great for camping and only so-so for radio.

One of the POTA awards I am working on is the N1CC award which is operating on ten different bands at 10 different parks. I needed 2 more bands at this park to check this park off. I chose to use the IC-7300 for more power. Since I had shore power available, I wasn’t worried about running out of juice. Station setup looked like this.

Band conditions were less than optimal, so for this trip I decided to use FT8. There were times when the waterfall on the 7300 went completely black, even on the FT8 frequency. Normally I run about 25 watts, but this time I had to go as high as 50 watts. QRP would have been a tough row to hoe. The antenna was my Frankentenna and I ran the Chameleon EmComm II transformer instead of the Hybrid Micro so I could run a little more power.

I operated from Friday afternoon until somewhere around 0100 hrs Lcl, with a couple hour break due to a thunderstorm. The next day was beautiful, much cooler than the day before when we were under a heat advisory. I operated most of Saturday until early evening when I pulled the plug with another round of thunderstorms inbound.

I made 161 Q’s including DX from Alaska and South America.

I was trying for 200 Q’s, However, the propagation Gods were not with me, but I was satisfied with the results. I have a couple of YouTube videos.

I am former US Army, so a tip of my hat to all those who serve(d). God Bless, God Speed, and 73 de Scott KK4Z

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