Field Day on Mt. Kearsarge

Dave Benson K1SWL and I did Field Day at Winslow State Park part way up Mt. Kearsarge. We only operated for 3 hours, but we had a fantastic time and worked stations in Washington, Oregon, California and New Mexico among many others.

Our view was the best!


We met at 11:00 am at the gas station in Wilmot Flats. Then we headed up the Kearsarge Valley Road toward the mountain. We weren’t sure what to expect… but we really lucked out. We had a spot all to ourselves at the end of a small field. We had suitable antenna trees on all sides, and hardly any bugs. A slight breeze kept us cool most of the time.


I put up an inverted L with 65 feet of wire. It went up about 30 feet and then over. I used the 9:1 unun. The KX3 tuned perfectly on 15 meters.

Dave used a K2 with a resonant 20 meter dipole up about 35 feet. He fed it with coax and didn’t need a tuner.

We operated with solar charged batteries using Dave’s call (K1SWL) as 2B battery. Remarkably, we didn’t interfere with each other at all. A few keying remnants was all I could hear. Dave got a very slight bit of hash now and then.

Here’s Dave testing his setup before the 2:00 pm gun.


We feasted on freshly picked strawberries and cookies in between contacts. (thanks Judy!) It seemed to us that activity was down this year, but maybe it was just band conditions.

I started out using 9 AA cells with the KX3 at three watts. I didn’t have any trouble making QSOs with this setup. I just wanted to see how it would work in a competitive environment. After 30 Qs, I switched up to five watts and a LiPo battery.

The park closes at 6:00 pm and we started packing up shortly after 5:00. (We’d had enough… How do these kids go all day and half the night?) Thanks for all the Qs… see you next year.

Jim Cluett, W1PID, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Hampshire, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “Field Day on Mt. Kearsarge”

  • John N8ZYA:

    Congratulations Jim and Dave…..This is REAL radio! It’s a pleasure to see this kind of operating on “field day”. This is inspiring!

  • Thanks John. I forwarded you kind comment to Dave. vy best, Jim W1PID

  • Jules Madey K2KGJ:

    Nice write up and real FD fun.
    I used a Heath HW8 a couple of years ago with a mil surplus 20 foot portable mast and during a 6 hour stint worked several 6 and 7 area stations on 20. FD is a great time for some QRP fun.

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