Updates from the ham shack – park activation planned

Hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day holiday, I know I did! I had my radio go kits ready and even brought one with me to the family house...

Hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day holiday, I know I did! I had my radio go kits ready and even brought one with me to the family house yesterday, but the bands were pretty crummy from what I was seeing online, and the BBQ & beer was just too good to pass up! I know the phone portion was slammed these past few days with the 13 Colonies event! My plan was to do some portable digital with the KX3, but that fell through. I did finish packing up my go-kits finally after I snatched another Pelican 1200 case for the KX3 (Draco approves!):

I also finished adding the 40m leg to the link dipole yesterday, and found the sweet spot after plenty of trims @ 7.150 for an SWR of 1.4. No balun is being used on this antenna, just a note, I have to keep quite a bit of tension on the fiberglass pole to keep it from collapsing, I suspect the box is putting weight directly downwards on the fiberglass section its resting on, I cringe every time the fiberglass pole collapses, but thus far it hasn’t broken, I may have to tape up the joints for future deployments. Another note, powerpoles really aren’t suited for this small of wire, and it’s difficult to crimp the ends on and slide the connector in the housing, for future link dipoles I would simply use alligator clips or just terminals and a wingnut of some sort. I’ve since ordered the SOTABeams BandHopper antenna for 20/30/40 (with current balun & coax). The link dipole below is for 17/20/30/40, but has no balun, and is considerably heavier than the SOTABeams version, they really have portable antennas down to a science, so figured I’d give theirs a go!

Here are a few other pictures of the go kits with radios packed inside. Pelican cases are invaluable IMHO. They’ve protected tons of my gear, and are great for flying with (hint hint – mini DXpedition?!). They were pretty much standard issue items in the military and saw lots of abuse from us careless soldiers, lol.

Spotted a Texas Spiny Lizard that has taken up residence on our back porch..


Speaking of wildlife.. I’m planning another WWFF KFF activation, attempting McKinney Falls State Park (KFF-3038) yet again. I’m bound determined to activate that park! Seems like there’s a curse on HF whenever I go! I’d like to test out the link dipole finally and do another phone activation. Those of you CW guys, rest assured, I’m signed up for CW Academy, but I’m on the waiting list for awhile. I found that I’m not retaining the CW unless I practice daily, which I haven’t been able to do apparently! Pressuring myself to learn it more as it would make my portable operating a bit easier & more efficient. I’m hoping to activate the park this weekend, bright and early Saturday morning, estimate some time for setup, so i’ll probably be on the air around 1330 UTC or (0830am local). I’d like to get my operating done first before it heats up, and then do a bit of picture taking after. My activation has been registered on the WWFF KFF agenda pending approval, i’ll also post my freqs within the KFF POTA Facebook Group.

73 de k5acl


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3 Comments on this post.
  • Capt Bruce N4BRM
    7 July 2017 at 9:11 PM

    Did I hear MINI EXPEDITION ????? Where? When? How long? Got room for a noobie? 🙂 My next antenna project thats sitting here is a MY ANTENNAS.COM Model EFLW 1.5K 43 feet. I was out measuring between the PALMS and MANGO trees today, and my magic spot will be between two huge trimmed mango trees. REMIND me to tell you about the FIVE GAL BUCKETS, half filled with quick set concrete, with a 28 inch tall (bottom capped ) 2-3 in diameter PVC PIPE that is stuck into the bucket, and allowed to sit there while the cement cures for 1-2 days. Cap prevents cement from entering bottom of the PVC pipe. You can then stick BUDDISTICKS or whatever your choice is into the PVC Pipes, and the weight of that bucket/cement makes for a very solid upright support for anything that you wish to stick into the PVC PIPE. You can even partially bury the buckets in the ground. The handles make it convenient to move the buckets around. I intend to use one of these anchoring devices to “plant” at least one of my J POLES. No need for guide wires, unless you want to be extra cautious. Excellent YT video shows the whole process. 73 !! b
    ps—– EFLF is 160-6 meters WITH a tuner and 44 foot wire.

  • Capt Bruce
    6 July 2017 at 6:25 PM

    Draco is a cutie !! What breed and how tall is he? That camera angle is deceiving.

    • K5ACL
      8 July 2017 at 9:24 PM

      He’s Heinz 57 breed! Mainly Chihuahua, Dachsund, and Border Collie.