Oooooohhhhh boy! What a POTA for learning some operating lessons!

Short aside, today was the W0TX hamfest here and gotta get out my wife took the general test and passed! Will be doing some POTA with her soon and super excited!!!!

The first learning I had this time was right at the start of me calling CQ. I did some p2p (park-to-park) and then found my frequency to start calling on after checking if it was free. Now I went to spot myself and hit OK. As I did that I also called CQ. Welp, I had mistyped the park number as K-K-0225 so my spot didn’t go through which it shouldn’t but as I was looking at that someone came back to me. You know those moments where your brain is trying hard to understand two things going the opposite direction? That’s what it felt like. So after a second or two I switched over to HAMRS and finished the contact and immediately on to the next. One of the contacts was super nice and spotted me!!! So I think I need to check if the frequency is free, make sure my spot goes in and I’m over to HAMRS to start taking contacts and then calling CQ. Good to know.

Secondarily I need to get it in my head what park I’m in. I called out to KM4CFT which was in park K-0226. Awesome! Close park and one number off of mine! I of course was excited to make the contact and said I was in his park. DOH! So just need to take it a little slower I think.

I also had a true and real pileup! It got to the point where pulling call signs out got almost impossible for me. It was wild! I was quickly trying a couple techniques like picking out the last couple letters I could here or the first couple. I think if this happens again I need to break down who can call out to me a little bit. Something like p2p first, then call signs of certain number or range of numbers. I was almost to that point but someone came up just off frequency pretty strong so not only was the pileup giving me problems but now I could only hear the Peanuts’ teacher wah wah wah and nothing of call signs. So I got a couple more contacts and went QRT. A very good experience on how to deal with a pileup so I can work it better next time.

I also got a couple gentlemen come up and ask if I was doing POTA! They were both studying for their tech/general licenses so I passed off my contact info and chatted for a bit. Was super nice!

Overall another great POTA experience as well as super picturesque!

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