The Arkansas River Headwaters is a unique recreation area that follows the upper Arkansas River in Colorado, extending roughly from Leadville to Pueblo. POTA has it listed as the Arkansas River Headwaters State Park, but the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website shows it as the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area. This area is a bit unique, a cooperative effort involving Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Forest Service. See map here.
Joyce/K0JJW and I decided to activate this park earlier this week, enjoying a nice sunny day. We operated from the Collegiate Peaks Overlook, which has a picnic area and an excellent view of Mount Princeton and adjacent peaks.
For POTA, our standard station configuration is the Yaesu FT-991 transceiver driving an end-fed halfwave antenna, usually on 20m or 15m. We have a collection of end-fed halfwave antennas that cover 40m and up. We have bigger and smaller transceivers available to us, but the FT-991 is small enough to be portable but includes an antenna tuner and has 100 watts of output available. (Typically, we run about 50 watts of RF output on battery power.) Our power source is a Bioenno 12V 20aH LFP battery. This battery is lightweight and compact, capable of running the FT-991 for hours.
Bob working VE4RBH and AG7KO on 20 meters.
We set up our station on a convenient picnic table. We had hoped to lash the mast to a conveniently-located post or tree, but none were present. Our backup plan was the drive-on mount, held by the front tire of the truck. The 20m band was alive so we just set up on that band and never looked back. We also worked some of the locals on 2m FM. It is always fun to see who shows up on that band.
Here’s Joyce working AA5UY in Louisiana.
I don’t think we have really optimized our POTA setup but we have found an approach that works well. Never underestimate a properly-fed halfwave antenna up in the air.
73 Bob K0NR
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