by William Eric McFadden



Two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in activating Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Pennsylvania as part of the ARRL's year-long National Parks on the Air (link). Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, activated Fort Necessity, BF05, while traveling to Washington, D.C.

After stamping their National Parks Service Passport 2016, conversing with the rangers, and making a quick tour of the museum in the Visitor Center, Eric and Miles set up the station on the edge of the Visitor Center parking lot. The station consisted of Eric's Enhanced KX3 Travel Kit and his MFJ-1910 33' fiberglass telescoping mast and tripod. Eric and Miles very quickly erected the mast and used it to support the 28' end-fed wire antenna, which they used against three counterpoise-wires.

Miles didn't operate but did help during set-up and tear-down and did most of the photography during the activation.

Eric's first QSO was with NE4S at 1602 UTC and he made QSOs steadily until he finished his twenty-first QSO at 1636 UTC. Eric operated only on 40m CW. The local noise-floor on 40m was very low but signals were also lower than Eric had experienced during other field operations. (Perhaps the hills surrounding the battlefield were hurting reception?)

The weather wasn't as nice for this activation as would have been hoped for. While it was sunny, it was also unseasonably cold at about 41°, hence the decision to operate in the warm car instead of at a picnic-table or in folding chairs outside.

Eric wishes to thank Ted Jacobson, W8KVK, for posting the activation to the spotting-network.