POTA: LA-0873 Ilene Nature Reserve

Been under the weather all week and finally starting to feel better. And it seems like half the radio amateurs I know are heading up one (or more; yes Tord, I’m looking at you) SOTA summit! I really don’t have time to be ill next week too, so had the good sense to stay at sea level! But; I’m pretty feed up with having to stay indoors, so I decided to try POTA – Parks On The Air. I have a few parks within walking distance, and decided on Ilene Nature Reserve (LA-0873). Set up in a bird-watching tower, which was not really compatible with my 20m inverted-V antenna. Ended up suspending the mast horizontally from the second floor; hanging one side of the dipole along the horizontal mast and dropping the the other half straight down. A sort of centre-feed inverted-L dipole. The tower is surrounded by 180° of either salt water or salt water marsh land, so I was excited to see how the somewhat unusual antenna configuration would work out. Turns out, I had no reason to worry; I logged 2 contacts on 2m FM simplex, 8 on 20m SSB, and 44 on 20m FT4 – and I’ve never before received such consistently strong reports on FT4. At times almost everyone came in with a S/N above 0dB. Ended up staying about one and a half hours, and the FT-891 spent about 6.5Ah. I’d have stayed longer, but it was getting dark and cold, and I was getting hungry. Will definitely return for more of this POTA business.

Not listing all the contacts this time; notable DX was NT2A – U.S.A, EA8CBP – Canary Islands, EA9BI – Ceuta & Melilla and 4Z4DX in Israel.