POTA Activation #56: A Commute to Work CW 2-fer on 30m (DC) (5/3/2023)

Things have been busy at work recently with a multi-year project coming to its completion in the last month. As a result, I have not been able to get out into the parks for over a month as a lot of my "off" hours had been turned "on". While things are still busy on that front, I had some time this morning before work to get into a park on the way into work for a very quick activation. The month gap had been one of the longest periods of time between activations since I had started activating. It felt good to be back.

With time limited, I decided to hit up Hains Point in DC and one of my easiest to activate 2-fers at Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT and Star-Spangled Banner NHT. It was a cool and cloudy morning that was threatening rain. While there were some drops on my way in, they stayed away while I was in the park. I had been listening to the bands on the commute and 40m had seemed to be alive. I even was able to make a quick POTA contact with a station in Southwest Virginia while I was stopped at a gas station refueling. When I got to my activation site I decided to go up a bit into the 30m band where there was less of a chance of an endless pile-up so that I could do a relatively short activation without leaving anyone out with a reasonably quick QRT.

I set-up shop on 10.111 MHz, checked my tune on the ATAS 120A, notified some LICW friends, and put out a spot on the POTA spots page, and I was off. It didn't take long for me to get my first contact with a station in Illinois with a 599 both ways. Next up with Missouri with another strong report, followed by fellow LICW instructor Gary, W5GDW, in North Carolina. It was good to get him in the log. Next up was Arkansas and Massachusetts, followed by a frequent hunter in MD just a few miles away, N3VO. I was excited to hear Marc so clearly -- usually getting him on 30m is much more difficult being so close-in since we're shooting over each other with our RF. Next I got another Massachusetts station, then Iowa, Tennessee, Massachusetts again, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, and finally Michigan. There was a lull in the action, and looking at the clock I saw it was time to make it into the office, so I sent QRT and called it a day.

If I had more time I would have dropped down to 40m as some of my LICW friends had tried to hear me on 30 with no luck, but it just wasn't possible today. In all I got 15 contacts in 21 minutes on the air getting a nice spread across the Eastern United States. It felt good to be back out in a park and hearing the rhythmic music that is Morse code contacting friends old and new. I'm looking forward to my next outings. I have some new gear to test and with the weather getting nicer everyday, it will be great to be outside playing radio.

Activation QSO Map: Green Pins = CW / Green Lines = 30m

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