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POTA at Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac


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  • Elmer

I had a remarkably successful POTA operation at the LBJ Memorial Grove (on Lady Bird Johnson Park, an island in the Potomac river near National Airport). It was my first operation designed to tolerate cold and rain. 

The good:
The Grove is a great site. Clear propagation path in almost all directions. 
Constant pile-up. Worked 401 QSOs (about 1.5/min over 3.5 hours)
The SotaBeams inverted V worked great in the rain. 
20 m was a bit up and down, but I got mostly S9 or better reports.
I worked Alaska off the edge of the dipole.
There is a bathroom not far from the Grove.
I was the first successful QSO for a new ham in Indiana. Always a thrill.

The bad:
You can only access the Grove driving south on GW Memorial Parkway. The first sign to the Grove takes you to the footbridge across Boundary Channel near the Pentagon. That is no good if your equipment is in the car. Continue on the Parkway to the Marina and turn right there. Getting from the wrong parking lot to the Marina is a heroic task.
It was heroic getting out of the Grove because I did it on the 2nd busiest flying day of the year. Reagan National had cars lined up on the Parkway in both directions. I had to pass both directions to get back to Maryland. Ugh!

I operated from inside the car. The FTdx10 was on the driver's seat. I sat in the passenger's seat with the laptop on my lap. The 30 Ah LiFePO4 battery had no problem with 100W for 3.5 hours. The laptop battery was just about done after that time. 


POTA at LBJ Grove.jpg

Edited by WA3LTJ
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