If you can’t have snow… then have the beach! Join me on the air this weekend as I activate the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge from South Padre Island, Texas on December 23, 2017. Look for me on the bands from about 1800-2100UTC*. Focus this go around will be the mode FT8, but I also plan on some SSB. I’m not sure why, but I have yet to try digital on a portable outing! Maybe due to the amount of equipment & wires needed to get everything up and running. I previously experienced massive QRM when I activated this park last time due to the number of thunderstorms rolling through the U.S. However, I ended up with 29 in the log, which is nothing to complain about.
Since there are virtually no supports for antennas at the beach, and my goal is to specifically contact someone in England this weekend, I’m opting for the Vertzilla antenna. I want maximum gain in the direction that I point my radial. My goal this weekend is to contact M0MCX of the DX Commander channel on YouTube. We’re hoping to work a collaboration this weekend, and figured I’d throw a park activation in after we (hopefully) complete our QSO.
Digital will be a slower pace for sure, but FT8 should allow for some interesting and hopefully distant contacts on my activation! It will be interesting to see how the 20aH battery holds up doing mostly digital modes for a few hours.
It wouldn’t be complete without attempting a satellite QSO from the beach either! Talk about maximum view on the horizon! Maybe I can get my first POTA contact on Satellite! If not, maybe some 2 meter FM into Mexico?!
If you’re on the bands this weekend, and happen to come across me endlessly calling CQ & desperate for a contact – give me a shout! Should be a great way to kick off the Christmas holiday season.
73 & Happy Holidays from K5ACL/SignalSearch
(*Operating time is contingent upon weather)