Chattahoochee Bend State Park is only 17 miles from me as the crow flies but to drive there it’s 37 miles and takes about an hour. I needed 2 more bands for the 10 band per park requirement for the POTA N1CC award. Since the band that were left were nighttime bands I decided to spend the night there. This park is only a few years old. It is tucked away off the beaten path. It is a nice park, that never seems to be overly filled, which is my preference. Cell service is spotty and you are quite a ways from any grocery store.
Set up was pretty simple. I used my homemade random wire antenna with an MFJ-1910 pushup pole attached to my truck’s trailer hitch. I really like this antenna. Simple to set up and it just works.
The antenna is fed with RG316 coax using BNC connectors. The exciter was my IC-7300 with an LDG Z-11 Pro to balance things out. New this trip is a Lenovo ThinkPad T14s that I bought refurbished. I also added a mini docking station. I’m kinda nerdy when it comes to computers and can be a little picky. Since it was a one-nighter and rainy, I chose not to set up outside and instead operated from inside the camper.
I decided to cut the memory foam as it is not that comfortable to sit on. This is much better. When I am solo, I will leave the extra foam at home.
My intent was to use FT8 to get my needed 10 QSO per activation day and get the 2 bands I needed and then switch to CW. However, band conditions were not that good, often with a lot of QSB so I decided to stick with FT8, and even then sometimes had issues completing a QSO. I worked from about 1830 hrs UTC to 0530 hrs UTC or about 11 hours. All I can say is that the bands were –weird. I was working parts of the country I didn’t normally work. DX-wise, propagation was more easterly than usual. Still, I had a good night. I ended up with 200 contacts. I worked 41 States and 21 countries.
Final Thoughts? First a big kudo to all the hunters out there. We have some fantastic hunters who go out of their way to make contacts. Along with the kudo, a big thank you for being there. Probably 99% of my contacts were from me being spotted and calling CQ POTA. Here’s a YouTube video about the activation: