Point Cabrillo Light Station POTA Activation KFF-3536

This afternoon I successfully activated Point Cabrillo Light Station while participating in the Parks on the Air (POTA) program. The official designator for this state park is KFF-3536. It was a great way to end the day after failing to activate Humboldt Redwoods State Park earlier in the morning.

I was quite happy after getting more than the required QSOs in my notepad! Victory! Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

Point Cabrillo is an historic wood-framed Victorian-style lighthouse just north of Mendocino, CA. The air was filled with light fog which was the perfect way to view a lighthouse in my opinion. This type of weather is when sailors depend on the intense rotating beam of light.

That’s a real light with the special lenses, not some electronic beacon. Sadly the Coast Guard will not allow the general public up the steep ladder to see the rotating light. Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

I set up at a picnic table near the park headquarters which is about a mile east of the lighthouse. I was in such a rush to get on the air that it took four attempts to launch my water bottle up and over a specific branch in some very tall trees next to the table.

The branch I wanted to capture was out of the frame. It required a precise throw to snag it. Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

It didn’t take long to get set up and when I spun the dial on my Elecraft KX3 I knew the activation was going to be challenging. The band was as quiet as patrons reading books at the local library.

I’m ready to pluck invisible waves out of the air. Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

Since it was late in the day, 3:47 pm PT, when I turned on the radio, I decided to immediately go to 20 meters. This is usually a dependable band, but today it was anemic.

The activation only happened by gathering what I could on 20 meters and then I switched to 30 meters. I only did CW and not single side band (SSB). With propagation as bad as it is, it’s nearly impossible to do SSB with a low-powered setup.

Here’s my log:

W0PHX 20M 2257Z
KG5CIK 20M 2259Z
K5RK 20M 2300Z
VE7CV 20M 2302Z
K5RK 30M 2305Z
W6LEN 30M 2306Z
K7ZO 30M 2307Z
K6PAM 30M 2309Z
VE6UX 30M 2314Z
WB7QR 30M 2315Z
VE4VJR 20M 2323Z

Once again the POTA Facebook group came to my rescue. You need ten contacts to successfully activate a park. I got eleven.

I decided to pack up once I knew I had the needed contacts as I wanted to go see the lighthouse. I decided to walk the mile down to the coastline as the past week I’ve gotten very little exercise. It was well worth the walk.

Isn’t this a gorgeous building? Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

These rocks are just below the lighthouse. The were created millions of years ago as molten rock welled up on the ocean floor. Continental drift has brought them 3000 miles to the west coast of the North American plate. Yeah, I majored in geology in college. Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

The roof shingles are wood but they’ve been painted the bright fire-engine red. My guess is this is how it’s been for over 100 years! Copyright 2017 Tim Carter



9 thoughts on “Point Cabrillo Light Station POTA Activation KFF-3536

  1. Dear Tim,
    Sometime @ 1978 I was invited by an American young lady ( whom I met in West Germany ) invited me to visit her at Redwoods, California…. but I did not travel there…

    Don’t know if I will ever travel there in the near future 🙂

    TQVM for sharing the photos.


  2. Yeah, I agree, beautiful pictures..love lighthouses too…..
    So, did you go alone on your trip ? Hope you had fun….

  3. Hi Tim, thanks for sharing the beautiful scenic views and radio experience.

    Our country is a rich blessed land.


    Mathews 6:33

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.