Pawnee Grassland POTA Activation


I’ve done a successful POTA activation! Earlier this morning I visited Pawnee National Grassland and set up some QRP to do some SSB and FT8.

It was a warm day but got out early enough that it stayed cool. Pepper and I parked along the side of the road near a shooting area and tossed my 24 AWG transformer wire EFHW up a pole in an inverted V with a paint pole. The air conditioner kept us pretty cool and parking with our back to the sun helped.

I opted to run the Xiegu X6100 with an external LiFePo battery and started off with SSB on the 20 meter band. It was hopping! It actually took me a while to find a quiet spot on the band to get started - the super low noise floor certainly helped.

About four contacts in however, the band dropped off and I wasn’t hearing anyone coming back. After ten or so minutes of hearing nothing I hopped over to FT8 and made some good contacts. At this point my battery was showing 12.4V and I was seeing some strange noise coming in and reception dropping off. Not knowing if it was a power issue or the band, I decided to pack things up. I’d been on the air for an hour and after the 45 minutes it took me to get situated, Pepper was getting quite bored.

I learned a couple things with this set up:

My full kit:

Dusty X6100
Operating FT8

TennTenna and 24AWG transformer wire antenna

Overview of the setup
Pepper sleeping on the way back

Thanks for reading! Facts and circumstances may have changed since the publication of this post so it's worth checking for new posts to see if anything's changed before jumping to conclusions.

Have a question or idea? Shoot me an email at _@chip.bz or ping me on mastodon at talking.dev/@chip.