by William Eric McFadden



Eric's station -- click to enlarge 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 in Dayton, Ohio, on the last day of the National Park Service, on the last day of the ARRL National Parks on the Air, on a cool, very windy, and rainy late-December afternoon.

Upon arriving at the Interpretive Center, Eric spoke with the rangers and stamped his Passport 2016. Upon returning to the Memorial Gate, Eric phoned the Wright-Patt security forces to notify them of his activities and then he and Miles set up Eric's station. Eric was on the air by 1911 UTC.

As at previous activations, Eric's station consisted of his Enhanced KX3 Travel Kit and a custom clipboard. Because of the high winds, Eric chose to throw a line over a tree to support his 28½' wire instead supporting it with his 33' mast.

Eric started operations on 20m and his first QSO came at 1914 UTC with VE6UX. QSOs came steadily on 20m with his 6th QSO coming at 1919 UTC with K5RK. Eric changed to 40m and his first QSO there came at 1926 UTC with W9RF/QRP. QSOs on 40m came continuously with Eric's 22nd and final QSO coming at 1946 UTC with N4BCB. All Eric's QSOs were made at the 5-watt level.

Midway through the operation, it started spitting snow and rain and Eric had to call to Miles to deploy a military poncho as an improvised shelter to protect the logsheets and KX3.

A highlight of the operation was the park-to-park 20m QSO with K0GUZ who was activating Colorado National Monument (MN20).

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