Saturday, August 15, 2015

#RaDARactive at Hartford Reservoir

85 degrees and mostly sunny today - a great time for hiking and RaDAR (Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio).  One of several water reservoirs in Hartford County is a modest hike from home.  My Yaesu 817nd, Windcamp 3000mAh internal battery, Par EndFedZ 20 meter antenna, and Micro Key fit nicely into a day pack.

There's a 1.8 km hike from my front door to the water's edge of Hartford Reservoir Number 6.  This is an easy trek including neighborhood streets, and little woodland trail, and then packed stone that surrounds this beautiful lake.  Here on a warm New England day near the end of summer break, the area was surprisingly quiet with few other folks around.

GRID Locator:  FN31ot60

The area's trees are well maintained by the water district, and not conducive to a end fed wire strung high.  I was able to string my antenna between a picnic bench and a pine tree - sloping from the ground to about 15 feet high at best.  I wish I had brought the fiberglass fishing pole to make an inverted L.   More on that another day.

14 MHz was open with activity, but not loud.  I called CQ using 2.5 watts on 14.060 for several minutes.   John W4SK in Tennessee was kind to reply and we had a nice casual CW chat.   He was using a tribander at 50 watts and had a solid 599 signal here in Southern New England.  I was pleased to receive his report of 569.

Afterwards I listened down the band replying to calls plus calling CQ myself around 14.050 and 14.030 without further luck.  After about 20 minutes I decided to pack up and head home.

Today proved that quality of time on the air and out of doors was more important than quantity!

August RaDAR Activity Totals
Contacts 1
Hiking 3.54 km

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