by William Eric McFadden



Tom operating -- click to enlarge Three members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in activating Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and North Country National Scenic Trail as part of the ARRL's year-long National Parks on the Air (link). Eric McFadden, WD8RIF; Miles McFadden, KD8KNC; and Tom Witherspoon, K4SWL, activated Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, HP11 (link) and the North Country National Scenic Trail, TR04 (link) at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center on their way home from the Dayton Hamvention.

The trio arrived at the Interpretive Center at 1430 UTC. Eric stamped his Passport 2016 and spoke with the ranger who gave permission to set up the stations at the Interpretive Center entrance, at the junction with the North Country National Scenic Trail.

As at previous activations, Eric's station consisted of his Enhanced KX3 Travel Kit, his MFJ-1910 33' fiberglass telescoping mast, and a custom clipboard.

Tom's station consisted of an LNR (link) LD-11 transceiver Tom is reviewing for his blog and an LNR "EFT Trail-Friendly" 10/20/40m end-fed antenna he had purchased at the Hamvention. Tom powered his station with a Hardened Power Systems (link) QRP Ranger power-pack.

Tom chose to set up under a large and attractive tree which he used to support his EFT antenna. The instructions for the EFT said to cut the wire to find resonance. At Eric's suggestion, Tom instead wound the excess wire tightly around the end-insulator and resonance was easily found.

Eric set up his station under a smaller tree and was on the air about 1509 UTC.

Because Tom had had trouble making QSOs on 20m during his activations on the 19th, Eric gave Tom 40m and began his operations on 20m. His first QSO was with N5PHT at 1512 UTC. Thereafter, it was a continuous pile-up until Eric's 17th and last QSO with KS5Z at 1532 UTC. All QSOs were made at the 5-watt level.

It might have been 40m or it might have been the EFT end-fed antenna but Tom found QSOs to be much easier to make at this activation than had been the case at the activations on the 19th. Tom operated only 40m SSB. His first QSO was with W8LMG at 1512 UTC and his 19th and final QSO was with W3ATT at 1535 UTC.

Miles did not operate but helped with set-up and tear-down and did much of the activation photography.