Monday, November 14, 2016

Death Valley National Parks on the Air Activation

On Monday, October 31, 2016 Dave Flack, W6DLF, and Dave Crocker, W6VYC, travelled to the ghost town of Furnace in the Greenwater Valley. There's really not much there except some covered copper mine shafts and tailings piles. This is where we set up our campsite and radio operations at an elevation of 4,900 feet overlooking the valley floor. Death Valler is behind us to the west. We had a clear view from northeast to southeast. Locating on a hillside also helped us get signals out over most of the U.S. It's the best location we've ever found.

Our goal was to see how many hams we could contact from Death Valley National Park for a NPOTA (National Parks On The Air) award. We contacted over 400 stations in the US and around the world. Check out the award at the bottom.

Looking northeast across the Greenwater Valley to the east of Death Valley in Death Valley National Park

The steel cage over the mine shaft was used 
to secure the 33 foot military crank-up mast.
The mast supports a 2-element, 3-band Mosley antenna.A halyard line supports a 40 meter inverted V antenna.

Dave, W6DLF operating SSB, CW, Psk31, and Olivia modes.

Night ops were chilly but we had plenty of power.

Dave Crocker, chief logistics officer, meal planner, and chef.

 Dawn at the campsite. We had daytime weather in the 60s to 70s and down to the 40s at night. Windy at times, but not bad for Death Valley.

Our signature QRPedition breakfast picture.


Overall view of our campsite and operations.

Dave Flack later moved his operating position to a half tent.

Dave Crocker's operating position near an abandoned copper mine.

Dave Crocker handles an SSB pileup on 20 meters.


We worked over 400 US stations and DX stations in South Africa, 
Jakarta, Asia and Europe. Modes were SSB, Digital, and CW.