by William Eric McFadden


Day 2 of An Adventure Against Nature and Adversity

The Wright Memorial -- click to enlarge One member 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, 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 a day with temperatures just above freezing and winds of 15mph gusting 22mph.

Upon arriving at the Interpretive Center, Eric stamped his Passport 2016 and spoke with the ranger who readily gave Eric permission to perform the operation at the park gate at the intersection of the park and 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.

At the gate, Eric quickly deployed his antenna and radio as close to the stone wall as he could get it in an attempt to gain a bit of a wind-break. (Eric would have preferred to operate in the van but activations of National Scenic Trails are not allowed to be made in a motor vehicle.) Eric phoned Wright-Patterson AFB security forces to alert them of his activities. The security officer seemed happy to have the "heads-up" and no security members visited the site during the operation. Eric was on the air by 1859 UTC.

Eric started operations on 20m and made his first QSO at 1900 UTC with K6HPX. QSOs came steadily until Eric's 11th QSO on 20m at 1919 UTC with KQ6QB. Eric switched to 40m and he made his first QSO there at 1923 UTC with his friend K8RAT. QSOs on 40m came steadily and quickly and Eric made his 25th and final QSO at 1936 UTC with AA1RB. All QSOs were made at the 5-watt level.

A highlight of the operation was seeing a Boeing E-4B Airborne and Strategic Command and Control Post aircraft climb out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.