Category Archives: Alerts and News

Big Changes Coming – No POTA or any Ham Radio for me

I have put this post off for a week as I wasn’t sure what to say or how much detail to include. I also wasn’t 100% sure how my future ham radio activities will play out.

Some Background

For 60 years or so I have wanted to live in the North Carolina mountains. As a kid growing up my Dad would take us on vacation each summer to the area around Asheville NC. I grew up loving the area. Fast forward to modern times and after I got married my wife and I took our kids to the mountains every year or so and they have grown up with the mountains in their DNA.

Not that we are both retired my wife and I have been looking for a place in the mountains to call home. I won’t bore you with the details but I will say that in mid July my dream will finally come true. We have leased a condo in Laurel Park NC for the next year. Laurel Park is a small town just 2 miles out of downtown Hendersonville and about 30 miles south of Asheville. Laurel Park has a lot of green space and there’s even a lake and a park across the street from our condo that has walking trails along with a fitness/exercise trail.

There is a very active ham radio community in Hendersonville as well as just across the state line which is about 8-10 miles from our new home. I will have the Blue Ridge Amateur Radio Club in Hendersonville and the Blue Ridge Amateur Radio Society in South Carolina. I have already made friends in both clubs and have joined their Nets when I have visited the area.

The Problems

There are really only two problems we will be downsizing from 2400+ sq. ft. to about 1,000 sq.ft. and the condo is up stairs. This means my ham shack will have to be downsized too and I’m not sure what my antenna options are. I will probably have to set up my station on a small table in the closed in balcony area and throw a wire out the window for an HF antenna. Luckily the Hendersonville repeater can be easily activated by an HT but I will be using my Yaesu FT1900 as a base station so VHF/UHF shouldn’t be a problem.

I have thought about selling most of my radios and getting a IC-705 to pair with y IC-7300 in order to make my footprint as small as possible. But my current plan is to take all of my rados and see what I can do once I get there then make the decision whether to sell or not. Either way I will be off the air for a few weeks as I tear down, make the move and setup the new station.

The Benefits

I am really looking forward to the cooler weather and getting out into the outdoors. The area has a plethora of hiking trails and waterfalls. Along with The Pisgah National Forest and the Nantahala National Forest, there are lots of state parks for POTA. The Dupont State Recreational Forest is about 11 miles from our location and the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is about 4 miles away.

As, you can probably imagine there are no SOTA opportunities near my current Florida QTH but at the new home there will be plenty of SOTA opportunities.

The maps below show the active hams around our new home along with the POTA and SOTA opportunities. The Magenta circles shows a 5 mile radius around the new QTH and the Red circle is a 25 mile radius.

POTA Parks
SOTA Summits
Hams in the Laurel Park Area

Summary

For the next several weeks I will be tearing down my shack and boxing things up so I will be pretty much off the air. But in the long run I will be much better off with considerable opportunities to live a more active lifestyle and pursue my hobby.

The QRPer Board

My friend Thomas (K4SWL) announced today that he has created a QRPer discussion board that anyone can join, free of charge, at QRPer.net. He hopes that it will be a spot for community members to get quick answers to questions and connect with other like-minded operators. Everyone is welcome.

I have already joined and committed to be an active member and do anything I can to promote the board and make it a good info source for those of us who love QRP.

Good Luck Thomas

More Solar Activity to Affect Hams

Excerpt from SpaceWeather:

Active sunspot AR2975 erupted again on March 30th, producing its strongest flare yet–an X1.3-class explosion. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash…This CME will probably reach Earth during the early hours of April 2nd. (NOAA and NASA modeling, now underway, will soon refine the arrival time.) Its impact could trigger G1-class geomagnetic storms, extending a period of geomagnetic unrest expected that began on March 31st with the arrival of a Cannibal CME launched by the same sunspot a few days ago.

News Alert: March 31st doesn’t look good for QRP

When working QRP it can be fun when everything falls into place but, sometimes it can be hard to make contacts such as when Mother Nature conspires against you. Tomorrow (March 31, 2022) looks like one of those days.

A strong G3-class geomagnetic storms are possible during the early UT hours of March 31st when a Cannibal CME is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. For those of us in the Eastern Daylight Saving time zone the “early UT hours” will start at 8:00 PM local time tonight so this evening may not be all that great either.

For more information check out Space Weather.