Lake Louisa State Park (K-1893) Activation
This week my family and I took a vacation down to Orlando Florida to visit Disney World. It’s been a fun week and there’s been plenty of Mickey Mouse and Magic Kingdom for everyone. I even got to go on the new Star Wars ride which was fantastic, and wandered around the Star Wars portion of the parks which is always a lot of fun. However the hustle and bustle of Disney World and all the crowds associated with the parks can be extremelly draining. I had arranged a deal with my wife during our drive down to Florida where I would take the kids by myself for awhile so she could go do some stuff she wanted to do personally, and she would do the same for a couple of hours, giving me the opportunity to go play radio. With that in mind I started looking at all of the various parks that surround Disney World, and decided that I wanted to activate K-1893, Lake Louisa State Park.
Lake Louisa State Park is both massive and beautiful. Just look at some of the pictures below to get a feeling for how the beach looks, and how great the facilities are at this park. There is a per vehicle charge for driving your vehicle onto the park (I paid $4 for my sedan), and if you’re camping there’s also a per person charge. The park actually encompasses a series of little lakes, but Lake Louisa is the biggest one. I drove around for about 15 minutes to get a feel for the park and decide where to set up, and I ultimately decided to set up at Lake Louisa itself. There’s a parking lot by the entrance to the lake, and then a five minute or so walk through some shrubbery, over a bridge, and finally to the beach.
At the beach site there were a number of very good trees for antennas and quite a few park benches. I set about setting up my PAR End Fedz end fed half wave, and setting the radio and gear up on a park bench. I had a couple that was strolling by ask what I was up to when I was first getting on the air and they were very excited to hear about ham radio, POTA, and how I had gotten the antenna into the tree! Always take the time to politely and enthusiastically explain radio to someone if they ask.
I wasn’t on the air long before the QSOs started rolling in, and I got some serious DX with this activation. I worked 20 meters, CW for almost the whole activation, and after four QSOs or so the band really opened up! I had great CW QSOs with the Azores, Spain, Belgium, and the Dominican Republic! I could hardly believe my ears! All of the far east DX was coming in at 579, and I was getting RSTs of 559 to 579 back. Radio really is magic sometimes, I could not imagine clearing most of the state of Florida and then the entire Atlantic Ocean to have a QSO with Spain, using just 20 watts and a literal wire strung into a tree.
After about 40 minutes on the air I netted 13 CW QSOs and 1 sideband (park to park) QSO. I had a little time at the end, and the park has great cell phone reception, so I took some time going through the active spots to get a park to park QSO. I didn’t ask him, but he mentioned that he was also running 20 watts so I’m a little curious if we were both running Xiegu G90s.
Anyway, without rambling too much, a very nice activation with some fantastic DX, fantastic scenery, and really a fantastic way to relax between times at the Disney parks. And now I have a Florida activation under my belt!
My gear list for the activation was: