March 25, 2022 - Lake Country, BC

Mike VE7KPZ worked yet another Parks On The Air activation this Friday afternoon. This outing was actually proposed by Jane VE7WWJ, Mike's YL, who thought the weather would be perfect for a new park. The team chose Beasley Recreation Park VE-5321. This would be the first POTA activation for this location.

With a bit of sun and temperatures around 11 C (52 F), the team set up in what looked to be a great spot - a picnic table surrounded by leafless (winter) trees over by the lakeside. However, RF conditions were anything but perfect. 20m was S9 QRM and 40m wasn't much better with an S5 noise level. Fortunately the NB feature of the IC-705 worked a treat and within 5 minutes of the start of calling, the park was activated.

Apologies to the early hunters. Mike's tablet decided that it wanted to do a Windows update and effectively rendered the logging software useless. Mike quickly switched to logging via notepad.exe - a first time for everything - and was able to take on the pile-up at full speed after a brief pause.

Big kudos to Mike AL7KC who once again made Mike's POTA activation log. It was also nice to hear both Tom VA1SEA and Steve VE1SK from Nova Scotia (the other side of Canada) with super clear signals.

Mike's gear used:

The antenna was Mike's HyEndFed Portable Mini 10/20/40m EFHW between a tree branch (far end) at around 6m/20' and a SOTABEAMS Tactical Mini pole (match end) at around 5m/17' for a slight sloper. The far end pointed due North. A 2.1m (7') length of counterpoise coax, 1:1 un:un common mode choke and then another 4.2m (14') of coax tied in to the radio.

DC power was supplied by Mike's DIY 10 Ah LiFePO4 battery pack, charged via solar - a Powerfilm R14 and a Genasun GV-5 MPPT solar controller.

Mike's Icom IC-705 was utilized and the DIY599 PA500 HF amplifier from Oliver DL4KA was also added to the RF chain. 1.5 watts RF drive power with ~13 V DC powering produced an estimated 30 or so watts of RF output for the antenna. The amp was run in full auto mode using RF VOX where it auto selected the correct band and auto keyed.

Here is Mike's contact map from HAMRS:

In summary, Mike made 18 QSOs in about 10 minutes of operating time.

Before station disassembly Mike tested out Winlink with VARA HF which worked amazingly well on 40m even with the S5 noise-level.

Big thanks to Jane VE7WWJ for setup and takedown assistance, catering (samosas, kombucha and timbits) and of course, brilliant photography.

Fun and 73s,
Mike VE7KPZ with Jane VE7WWJ