K9KMV: Parks On The Air Attempt – K-1012

On November 27th 2020, the day after Thanksgiving, I headed out to Moraine Hills State Park (K-1012) for a POTA activation.  I had been there before, so I knew roughly where I wanted to setup my radio gear.

My plan was to setup with my QRP radio, the IC-703 Plus, and give the Wolf River Coils Silver Bullet vertical a good try out.  I had used it before, but without much success, so this time I had put together a few 32 foot radials which I hoped would improve things.

Setting it up wasn’t hard.  The coil screws into a mini tripod, and then I add an MFJ 1979 telescopic whip which I extend out to 102”.  I chose this length because it is one of the options that WRC suggest, even though the whip I have can go longer.  With the help of my antenna analyzer, I was able to tune the SWR to a decent level on 40m.

I’m not sure if it was band conditions, or something that I was doing wrong, but I struggled to make any contacts.  I did finally make one, but that was it, just one!  I did realize afterwards that I did not have the audio compression enabled on the radio, and this could have helped make my signal heard a little better.  I will try that out next time.

Thankfully I had brought trusty Elsa with me, my K9 companion, so we went for a good hike before calling it a day and heading back home.  It’s not always about how many contacts you make!  It was still a nice day out in the fresh air, and Elsa had a fun time in a new location.

Here is a video, where you can see more about my setup and my POTA activation attempt.  10 contacts are required to make it an official activation… oh well, better luck next time!


73, Mike K9KMV