POTA Activation #51: A 3 Band 2-fer on the Commute to Work in Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT and Star-Spangled Banner NHT (DC) (2/10/2023)

After joining some friends for in a park to test some antennas earlier in the week on my lunch break, I felt the need to scratch the POTA "itch". The weather in the DC area has been unseasonably pleasant, so I definitely didn't need any prodding to get into the parks. I set my alarm for the pre-dawn hours and decided to see if I could get a jump on the day and get in another before work activation in DC. If the stars aligned, maybe I could get a few Early Shift QSOs in the log.

So I drove into the District of Columbia, watching the sun rise over the shimmering Potomac river and got myself QRV and spotted on the POTA spotting page and also with some friends on the LICW group chat.

I started on 40m and it didn't take long for me to get a call from Illinois, 559 both ways. Next up with my friend Ed, N2GSL, working QRP on a Heathkit HW-9 and sounding great with another 559 both ways report. Always enjoy hearing that 72. Next up I got a call from Virginia, Michigan, New York, Ohio, a call from prolific hunter and activator Joe N3XLS in Pennsylvania, another from North Carolina, Kansas, Maryland, South Carolina, New York, Michigan, Tennessee, North Carolina, and a final one from New York. Knowing that the Solar Flux Index has been high I took a lull in the action as a good time to QSY up to 30m.

After getting the antenna tuned for 10.111 MHz, I called CQ, notified the LICW group, and the RBN re-spotted me. My first two calls were from friends in the LICW group. First up with Rin, W4RIN in Georgia who was coming in well for me at 559 but did the work digging me out of the noise with a 539. Was great to get him in the log. Then I heard Jimmy in Texas, WB5MET, another LICW friend who was soft but readable at 539, the ionosphere was working and this was a lot of fun. Next up I got call from Arkansas, followed by the second contact of the day from Ed, N2GSL making his HW-9 sing with a 559. He was able to pull me out with a 339 and it was great to get him again, 72! Next up I got Joe N3XLS on a second band in PA, and contacts in New York, Maine, Ohio, Massachusetts, Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia, New York, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, South Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Maine, Missouri, and finally Texas. What a great run on 30m! After a few unanswered CQs, it was time to move one last time to 20m.

I announced the QSY on the LICW group and let the RBN do its thing, and Rin W4RIN had a nice strong signal on 20m, getting in the log for another band. Great to get another one. I also got another contact from Georgia that was also the second band from N0FUA, followed by Louisiana, Arkansas, a pair from Georgia, Arkansas again, Indiana, Florida, Ontario (Canada), Kentucky, Texas, South Carolina, Connecticut, Florida, Missouri, Illinois, Texas, and New York. Things quieted down after that run and I was about to call QRT when I heard a fragment of a call. First I heard a YZ, so I called back YZ? Then I heard an ON, so I asked for another send. Finally I heard ON7YZ, all the way from Belgium coming in 529! He heard me 559 and I was very happy to get some DX in the log. What fun.

I looked at the clock and realized I had to call QRT and make my way to the office. In 1:17 on the air I worked 61 stations in 3 countries, in 2 parks. 16 of those were during the early shift (so with 2 parks, 32 contacts for POTA). A very successful and very fun outing with a lot of friends and familiar calls in the log.

I also received a new award from Parks on the Air - the Oasis Repeat Offender Activator award for activating K-4567 (Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT) for the 20th time. How about that? Looks like I am also nearing a Kilo for the park, with the current contact count for K-4567 at 787. I'm getting close to both awards for K-4581 (Star-Spangled Banner NHT) as well.

Happy Friday, indeed.

International Activation QSO Map: Green Pins = CW / Green Lines = 40m, Orange Lines = 30m, Blue Lines = 20m

Domestic Activation QSO Map: Green Pins = CW / Green Lines = 40m, Orange Lines = 30m, Blue Lines = 20m

Gear used in this activation
  • Yaesu FT-891
  • Yaesu ATAS 120A Antenna
  • CW Morse SP4 POTA/SOTA Mini Morse Code Magnetic Paddle (N0SA Designed)
  • 2006 Honda Accord EX V6
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
  • HAMRS Logging App