POTA Activation – Muskegon State Park

Date: July 26 2021
Park : K-1525 Muskegon State Park

After my first POTA activation, I decided to give another park a try! I had to decide between activating the same park again, or going to a new park. I saw that there was another park nearby, called Muskegon State Park and it was only 10 minutes further away.

Since I wasn’t aware of how this park was arranged, I had to do a little exploring, and discovered it was really a hidden gem. There is tons of parking, beach space, and felt pretty quiet everywhere I explored. I did notice that there was an old lookout fort that was up on a hill. I decided to use a small parking lot near there, as there was shade, picnic benches, and no one else in the parking area.

Buddistick Pro antenna with the lookout fort in the far background.
Buddistick Pro antenna with the lookout fort in the far background.

My Gear for this adventure :
Radio : Xiegu G90
Audio Interface: DigiRig Mobile
Antenna : Buddistick Pro

Station setup on the picnic table.
Station setup on the picnic table.

I had planned to activate the park with FT8 again, but it was apparently not meant to be! As I was setting up the station, I discovered that the CAT side of the DigiRig audio-interface had somehow broken since I last used it! (DigiRig was awesome and replaced it with great ease) I wasn’t emotionally prepared for that. I tried to setup VOX on the G90, to handle the PTT side of things, but just couldn’t get it going in the field. I wasted a fair bit of time on that, but eventually gave up.

I came to the realization I needed to give-up or switch to SSB. Having not done much SSB on HF, this was more daunting than it would be today. I was able to launch HAMRS, spot myself on the POTA site, and start making contacts. In the end, I made 13 QSOs before packing up to head home. There was a lot of noise on the bands that day, and I ended up having to move around a lot. Thankfully, the hunters followed me and I was able to make it successful!

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