Lowell Point State Recreation Site is a picnic area and small campground located just south of Seward, in Alaska. The area is perched on a small strip of flat land that barely rises above Resurrection Bay. In the summer it’s a great spot to hike, camp, or head off further into the backcountry. It also makes a great radio spot.
Shortly after my failure at Tok River SRA I was able to set up a proper HF antenna at home, which allowed me to finally start getting more familiar with band conditions in Alaska. I realized that I needed more capability when out activating.
There isn’t anything odd about the bands up here, but you are simply so far away from everywhere and everyone that you have to have a weak signal capability on hand in case voice doesn’t get through. I took the time to configure a small Surface laptop for digital modes, and had been testing it extensively from a friend’s house on the weekends. I was ready!
My antenna setup was the same as last time: an MFJ telescoping vertical antenna, with loading coil.
This antenna works without the coil on 20 meters and higher bands, but needs the coil or a tuner for the 30 meter band and lower.
With a lot more Alaska HF experience under my belt I knew that there wasn’t much point wasting time on 40 meters. The band provides regional coverage, which is great for in-state nets. However, we don’t have many in-state chasers here, so after just a few targeted FT8 contacts I switched over to 20 meters.
At this location I had feared I would be limited by a relatively high take-off angle, set my the mountains which encircle the bay. Much to my surprise, conditions were great, and I was working contacts all over the lower 48 with ease.
Another tool which I had added to my activations was internet tethering of the laptop through my cell phone. That allowed me to keep an eye on PSKreporter.com, allowing me to verify where I was being picked up. Conditions were so good that I decided to go up to 15 meters. On that band the contacts continued rolling in, and I even managed one contact in South America.
28 QSOs later I called it a success, and packed up for the drive back to Anchorage.