Parks on the Air – Logbook Self Upload

After posting about my POTA activation just a bit ago, I went off to in order to validate a couple of callsigns based on spots and get things ready to email off for upload.

Clicking through I found something I hadn’t seen before:

I can just upload my ADIF files directly now?

So I did what it said on the screen – dragged and dropped the file into my browser and saw the following:

I’ll let you know if anything goes wrong, but this is a welcome development and great to see.

By the way, I did a quick search and it turns out that this was just released on July 1, 2022. K4SWL did a write-up the same day it launched that I missed. You can see his article on his site at

Great stuff!

First Time CW DX While POTA At K-2484

Its been a couple of weeks since my last POTA attempt, and about 8 months since I last went down to Frontenac State park in southeast Minnesota, so my 2 youngest sons and I joined our friend and his kids for a quick overnight campout at this beautiful park.

About an hour south of my home, this park sits atop a rise that overlooks both Minnesota and Wisconsin.

On our drive in I had to stop the car to get what I think is an Eastern Fox Snake off the road. If you know for sure then please let me know in the comments. It was doing its best to be intimidating by hissing and vibrating its tail, and striking at my shoe.

My son was torn between seeing the snake with his own eyes or looking at the screen to keep the snake in the camera.

Note I only had my shoe there to give it something to focus on or target while I used the stick to gently pick it up.

It was a bit grumpy at having his time warming up in the sun interrupted by us, but we were able to safely relocate him off into the woods.

After setting up camp, and while waiting on our friends to arrive, I quickly put up my Chameleon MPAS Lite which has been a consistently good performer.

Setup is really quick and after running out about 25 feet of counterpoise, I ran some coax over to a tree that I sat against. I hooked up my Elecraft KX2 and my BaMaKey TP-111 paddle and got down to work.

I forgot to bring my knee board (lesson learned)

After spotting myself on, I called CQ on 20 meters for a couple of minutes before I had my first contact.

Now I have no doubt that he was doing all the work – signal report was only a 149, and it took a couple of times for me to be able to get the callsign accurately copied (thanks Alfonso for your patience!) – but I was able to log EC1R in Palencia, Spain!

My first CW DX contact ever – and at only 5 watts. My sons couldn’t figure out why I was so excited.

In only about 20 minutes, with kids circling me asking about dinners, I logged 10 contacts and then signed off to get them taken care of.

Map created at

Everything was logged into the HAMRS app on my phone which, if you haven’t used before, is an absolutely phenomenal app for POTA. (pick it up for multiple platforms at

Our friends arrived shortly thereafter and we focused on sharing food, friendship, and beautiful scenery.

We had to head back early this morning, so a fairly short trip on a July 4th weekend, but a great time for sure!

Breakfast of champions – cinnamon rolls in a dutch oven over coals

Lab599 TX-500 1.13.13 Firmware

The team at Lab599 is really working hard on adding CW decoding and assorted fixes to this fine radio.

A new firmware v1.13.13 is available for download at

From the change log:

v1.13.13 (2022.06.30)
- [BETA] CW Decoder: extended CW detector capture bandwidth
- Fixed iambic keyer "A" mode (TNX DL9MA)
- Fixed display of CW decoder in SWR monitor mode
- Disabled NR in DIG mode

POTA Failure and Nature Success

I took some time away from work and family to decompress in nature.

I’ve previously written about Afton State Park (K-2466) near my QTH here in Minnesota. It is a beautiful park located on the shore of the St. Croix river which separates Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The hike into the campsites is not tremendously long at just about 1 mile, but there is both a steep downhill and uphill section that can get the heartrate up a bit, so I chose to go lightweight this trip.

Equipment included:

  • Elecraft KX2 (new to me – more on that in a follow up post)
  • Elecraft AX1 antenna
  • BaMaTech BaMaKey TP-111 (see previous post for a review)

I knew going into this that the AX1 is a severely compromised antenna, however I didn’t want to haul in a throw line to run an EFHW or dipole, nor did I want the weight and mass of one of my larger verticals.

This was going to be, and was a challenge.

In the end, I logged 5 contacts. Signal reports weren’t great – as expected – but I greatly appreciate the effort those old men put forth to pull my signal out of the ether. Given I was on 20 meters, no surprise to see the distances for each contact.

Created at

You can see a quick video I did upon returning this morning showing the area, the setup, and some of the flora and fauna I encountered.

Even though I failed the activation, it was a great time and beautiful scenery. Just what the doctor ordered!

Lab599 TX-500 Firmware v1.13.08

The folks at Lab599 have dropped a new firmware file for everyone.

From the changelog (link):

v1.13.08 (2022.06.15)
- [BETA] Added CW decoder function
- Extended 10-meter band for TX with taking into account the CB range: from 26065 to 29700KHz
- Added quick mode selection by long pressing the MODE button
- Improved VFO/MEM function: fast switching by TUNE/MULTY between stored VFO values
- Added ability to assign alternative functions to RIT/XIT encoder
- Improved LOCK function in Memory mode

You can find it at

UPDATE June 23, 2022

Looks like they issued a quick fix and rev’d the firmware to 1.13.09.

From the changelog, there was a buffer overflow bug that was addressed for CW decoding. All links above are still valid to obtain the latest firmware.