by William Eric McFadden


Continued Insanity in the Face of a Polar Vortex!

Two 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, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, 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 very cold (26°), windy, snowy, December afternoon.

Upon arriving at the Interpretive Center, Eric and Miles found the gate to the Interpretive Center closed due to icy roads. Eric phoned the Wright-Patterson AFB security forces and received permission to set up and operate just outside the gate. Eric's usual spot just outside the gate was water-logged so he and Miles set up the station on the other end of the gate. To protect his gear and logsheets, Eric operated under an impromptu tent, a military poncho. Eric was on the air by 1824 UTC.

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.

Eric began operations on 20m and his first QSO there came at 1828 UTC with K1JD. QSOs came steadily on 20m with his 12th QSO on 20m coming at 1841 UTC with N7EDK. Eric switched to 40m and his first QSO there came at 1847 UTC with N8XX. QSOs on 40m came quickly and Eric's 31st and final QSO came at 1902 UTC with WB2KSP. All Eric's QSOs were made at the 5-watt level.

Eric recorded a temperature of 26°F—. Eric's long-johns, scarf, hat, insulated boots, and two layers of gloves with chemical hand-warmers kept him relatively comfortable for the period of the operation.

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