POTA Activation K-1037 Cheaha State Park

Yesterday (04/29/23), I was able to get away and do a day POTA activation. It’s a little harder for me as the nearest POTA parks are 45-60 minutes distant and none are in my normal paths of travel. Cheaha State Park in Alabama is one of the closest and I consider it my home park. Being the highest point in Alabama, it does have some spectacular views. I often set up just below the summit to get away from all the communications towers there.

Normally for a day activation, I bring one of my smaller low-power radios such as my IC-705. However, I recently added the FT-710 to the stable and I wanted to get it outdoors. Along with the radio, I built a new antenna configuration using my Frankentenna and a desk for the truck. Info about the antenna can be found here https://kk4z.com/2023/04/07/frankentenna-stealth-mode/ and the desk info can be found here https://kk4z.com/2023/04/07/necessity-is-the-mother-of-invention/ The setup looks like this:

As you can see the battery fits nicely under the seat. For this activation, I ran FT-8. I wanted to give the FT-710 a good workout similar to the workouts I give the IC-7300. Next weekend will be the FT-710’s first camping trip and that will also be FT-8. Working from inside the truck, all screens were easy to read. I had plenty of room for the radios, computer, etc.

Running the GPS for time sync and running FT-8 on the computer gave me about 2 hours of operating time. I do have batteries to extend the computer operating time but my time at the park was limited. During that time I made 64 contacts from 23 states and Canada. I usually get a couple from Europe, but band conditions were so-so and Europe didn’t happen. Here is a QSO map of teh activation.

Since this was a new antenna configuration, I included a PSKReporter map. As you can see the antenna did fairly well.

How about the FT-710? It is a likable radio. I feel it is on par with eh IC-7300. They both exhibit many of the same qualities. I would have no qualms about taking either to the field. In the next couple of months, the FT-710 will be used more to firm up what I like and dislike about it. Right now, I feel it is a keeper but, if I had to choose between the FT-710 and the IC-7300; in other words, if I could only have one, it would be the IC-7300. That would be more for personal preference rather than performance. Some of my preferences I have outlined in prior videos. As I said, if you are a Yaesu man or woman, get the FT-710. If you are an Icom man or woman, get the IC-7300. I don’t think you can go wrong with either one.

Here is a short video of the activation. 73 — Scott

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