Category: Camping



Well, its another new year. As I get older, the years come faster and faster. The best part of my year is Christmas. That is when I have my whole family together and reminds me how much I miss having my daughters home, or at least near by.

Something new for me in 2018 is I am now the National Coordinator for the US program of World Wide Flora and Fauna. WWFF-KFF for short. Basically I am to promote WWFF in the US, coordinate the addition of new parks to the system, make sure logs get updated, and give out awards. The US is quite large and has a lot of members of WWFF-KFF so this is not a one man job and I have help with all of this. Actually, we have a team put together. If you want to find out more about it you can check out the WWFF-KFF web page.

My personal goals around ham radio include to activate at least 2 parks a month. That means I’ll need to make 44 contacts from each park. I’ll be combining my new hobby of camping with this. That way I have over 24 hours at the park to get my contacts. Also, if I pick a strategic campsite, I can drive to another close park and get another activation.

My other goal is to increase my CW speed to 20 WPM. Right now I’m at 10-12 wpm¬†conversationally and 15 wpm if I’m just doing contest exchanges. I’d like to be able to hold a conversation in CW without having to write everything down. I am scheduled to go back to the next level of CW Academy in March/April, so we will see how it goes.

I have personal goals outside of ham radio for 2018 as well, but I’ll keep those to myself for now.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year and I hope to get you in my log in 2018.


Hillsborough River State Park – Take 2

Hillsborough River State Park – Take 2

I went camping again at Hillsborough River State Park. I am really enjoying the combination of ham radio and camping.  This time, I was able to relax more and take in the sites of the park. I walked one of the trails that went by some rapids and then over a boardwalk. It was very nice. Sam enjoyed it too!

The River


12m SpiderBeam Mast

I was able to test out my new SpiderBeam 12m pole too. This is the first time I was able to use my End Fed Half Wave (EFHW) dipole since you are not allowed to tie anything to trees at the State Parks. IT did great. SWR of 1.2 or less across 40m and 20m and it had a SWR of 4:1 on 30m, well within the tunable range of the KX3. I made 17 contacts on 20m and 10 contacts on 40m bringing my park contact total to 40… I need 44 to make it count for WWFF so I’ll have to go back one more time.

I was planning on activating 2 other parks as part of this trip but I caught my daughters cold and cut the trip short. With the threat of rain, I didn’t want to chance getting sicker.

I go again in a few weeks, this time to Alafia River State Park. Should be a cool adventure. I hope to hit Manatee River State Park as well as part of that activation.

Thanks to all chasers who contacted me.

Also, since it is Thanksgiving, I thought I would share my favorite Thanksgiving video clip…

73 and 44

Happy Thanksgiving,


Camping and Ham Radio

Camping and Ham Radio

I’ve decided to start camping again. I had everything I needed except the tent so I got one. This is a great way to get out in nature AND enjoy ham radio. The Florida State Parks that are campsites are all one the WWFF – Parks on the Air (POTA) list. My goal is to camp at all the ones in Florida over the next 2 years. I have 4 or 5 within an hour of me so I should have a good start.

I’ve already camped at Hillsborough River State Park and going back again next week. I had a good time and when I went a few weeks ago it was kinda my trial run – just to make sure I had everything I needed and Sam, my German Shepherd, liked camping as well (she did as long as we went on a walk every few hours).

POTA has an award for activating parks from 00:00 – 08:00 GMT. By camping at these sites, I should be able to earn the award. Also, I can chose a campsite close to other parks and activate multiple parks in a few days and instead of staying at an expensive hotel, I just pitch the tent!

My time at Hillsborough River State Park was great, I even had a visitor, a deer, show up at my site! I made the required amount of contacts, took notes of what I needed for a multi night stay, and called it a success!

I’ll be going next week for a few nights and hope to activate 3 or 4 parks. It looks like the weather will be great.

I plan on starting to update the blog more often again. Life kinda got in the way since Irma. BTW, no damage here from the storm except for some branches down (no made into firewood for camping).

I hope to see you on the air!