WX5LOK 2024


1 January 2024: POTA K-5929 Utah State Flight Park

I was able to make it up there this year for a New Years activation. I had done a half marathon earlier in the morning at the Olympic Oval in Kearns. I did this on the way back. I had 47 QSOs, all on 20 meter phone. This got me up to 433 total QSOs at this park.

20 January 2024: POTA K-3012 Franklin Mountains State Park in El Paso

I was down here for the Franklin Mountain Trail Run. I got to do this on a support your parks day. The first part of this was in the evening after 0:00 UTC. I worked 20 meters phone for 25 contacts. It was blowing dirt up there, and I didn’t want to stay up there too long. During the trail run, I took my 2m HT radio with me to the top of North Mount Franklin and had 2 QSOs, both with stations in Cd. Juarez. Thanks XE2FBB and XE2VLG. Gracias a Filipe y Víctor por los contactos.

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Up on Transmountain for the activation after sunset.

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On top of North Mount Franklin to get the 2 meter contacts. The HT is in the pocket of my hydration vest.

29 January 2024: POTA K-4398 again

It was a beautiful springlike day, and the ground had dried out enough that it wasn’t too soft to drive on. I did this on a lunch break of sorts. In a matter of 23 minutes, I had 31 QSOs on 20 meter phone, two with El Paso, and 3 park to parks. This brought my total for K-4398 to 962, 38 shy of Kilo.

19 February 2024: POTA K-5929

It was off to the flight park again for a President’s Day activation. The road going in was a little muddy, but not too bad. I worked purely 20 meter SSB this time. The band conditions were good. I got 77 QSOs in about 40 minutes.

20 February 2024: 100 EM Grid Squares

In the Maidenhead system, there are 100 squares in a field. The field ‘EM’ lies entirely in the United States, containing the Texas, the lower Great Plains, lower Midwest, and most of the Southeast. In 2022, I started to notice I had most of the squares in ‘EM’. On 13 Nov 2022, I had a QSO with KG4BLR in EM61 (Alabama) to give me 98. I waited a while not getting the last two. Then I started to use Ham Alert. I put in all of the POTA sites within the grid squares I needed as an alert. On 31 Dec 2023 I had a QSO with KB0RFC at K-0294 in EM07 (Kansas). Then on 20 Feb 2024, I had a QSO with AI5P at K-7346 in EM43 in Arkansas to give me 100.

yearnew grid squares in EM
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201819
201929
202017
202126
20225
20231
20241
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A map of the field 'EM'.

1 March 2024: POTA K-4398 - Kilo

I went back to the national forest enclave where I have many times. This was a Friday afternoon activation, all on 20 meter SSB. In 35 minutes, I had 73 QSOs to give me a total of 1035 for K-4398 Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. My #1000 was K6NJG in Los Angeles (DM14).

A few stats on my activation

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2 March 2024: K-4578 Pony Express in Eagle Mountain

I was out in Eagle Mountain, Utah for an exam session. Before the session, I tried my first activation of the Pony Express National Historical Trail in Eagle Mountain (DN30xh). It was a very windy day with a storm coming in. I had to cut my activation short due to the arcing and sparking in my car. The storm appeared to have a lot of charged particles. Later that day, the cold front came through and gave us some snow.

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Operating in the wind at Eagle Mountain.

9 March 2024: POTA in Lehi and Saratoga Springs

This day I did two activations. For the first activation, I went to the Utah Flight Park K-5929. I saw K7JSG there. He was activating and working the Idaho and Oklahoma QSO parties. I set up about 200 meters to the east of him. I had 44 QSOs on 20 meters, both phone and digital. This got me up to 554 QSOs for the park.

I then went over to Saratoga Springs and activated the Pony Express Trail (K-4578) from Harvest Hills Park. I set up on a park bench and used my crappy pole vertical. I had a total of 23 QSOs on 20 meter phone and 15 meter FT8 including 1 in Japan and 1 in Indonesia. This brought me to a total of 604 QSOs for this park.

23 and 24 March 2024: Kanab POTA

During a weekend visit to Kanab, I did three activations. The first one was east of Kanab on US 89 just inside Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (US-4399). I had 35 QSOs on 20 meter phone. The next morning, I activated the Old Spanish National Historic Trail (US-4575) just north of Fredonia, Arizona (DM36rx). I had 19 QSOs on 20 meters with 6 digital and 13 voice. Then I drove north to US-5984 Squaw Trail BLM Recreation Management Area where I had 16 phone contacts which was surprising due to the shape of the geography around there.

These were my first activations using the ‘US-‘ prefix instead of the ‘K-‘ prefix.

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Grand Staircase of the Escalante site just inside the boundaries (DM37va)

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Bowl shaped enclosure at Squaw Trail (DM37rb)

30 March 2024: Antelope Island Run and POTA

I was up here for a 50K trail run, the Antelope Island Buffalo Run (on 29 March UTC). At the end of the run, I activated US-3062, Antelope Island State Park (DN31vb). I had 29 QSOs, 11 on 17 meter phone, 18 FT8 on both 17 and 20 meters. I then packed up for recovery at home.

4 April 2024: POTA by 5 in Wyoming

On the way back from the Wind River Reservation coming over South Pass, I stopped at the False Parting of the Ways. This is a place where four national historical trails come over South Pass and follow Wyoming Highway 28 into the west. The trails are the California, Mormon Pioneer, Oregon, and Pony Express Trails. This makes five parks (US-6194, US-4566, US-4573, US-4576, and US-4578). Due to the amount of wind and the challenge in reading off five parks, I went strictly on FT8 20 meter. It was a quick stop. I had 22 QSOs.

5 April 2024: POTA US-5929

This was a Friday evening activation and all of the QSOs were on 6 Apr UTC. This was completely SSB with a total of 50 QSOs. I kept going on 20 meters until I couldn’t get any more, then I went to 40 meters and got 3 more.

6 and 7 April 2024: Missouri QSO Party

After making a combined POTA MOQP contact, I decided to make a few more. I tuned in a log with 2 40 meter and 3 20 meter phone QSOs.

13 April 2024: POTA after a trail race in Tooele County

This day I did the Serengeti Half Marathon in the hills above Erda. When I got done, I activated US-11161 North Oquirrh Management Area BLM Recreation Management Area (DN30up) between Erda and Lakepoint. I had 15 QSOs on SSB 20 meter, 3 were DX, 1 France, 1 Alaska, and 1 Northwest Territories. I went into Tooele for lunch, then activated US-5970 Fivemile Pass BLM Recreation Management Area (DN30wf) just west of Fairfield on the Utah County side. There I worked 24 stations all 20 meter SSB.

21 April 2024: Peek-A-Boo POTA

I was back in Kanab, but I left my ham sticks at home. For US-10988 (DM37rd) I strung up a long wire that was no more than 3 meters (10 feet) off the ground. I worked 20 meters getting 14 SSB and 38 FT8.