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 returning from Washington, D.C.

Mount Washington Tavern -- click to enlarge For this second activation of Fort Necessity, Eric asked the ranger if he could set up his low-profile station at the Mount Washington Tavern, which is higher in elevation than the Visitor Center. Since the Tavern is still closed for the season, the ranger gave permission for Eric and Miles to set up in the Tavern parking lot. As was the case for the first activation of Fort Necessity, the station was Eric's Enhanced KX3 Travel Kit.

Once at the Mount Washington Tavern, Eric parked the car under a friendly tree, threw a line over a branch, pulled up the 28' end-fed wire. and deployed three counterpoise-wires. Because of the cold temperature (43°) and gusty winds, Eric and Miles again decided to operate in the car, this time with the KX3 sitting on the dashboard and with the car door closed.

Miles did not 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 W9RF at 1643 UTC and he made QSOs steadily until his eleventh QSO at 1659, when the pile-up was done. Eric operated only 40m CW. As with the previous activations, the noise-floor on 40m was very low and signals were strong.

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