by William Eric McFadden



The stations -- click to enlarge Two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in activating Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park as part of the ARRL's year-long National Parks on the Air (link). Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Robert Riordan, KA4VNK, activated Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, HP11 (link) at the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Eric combined his activation with the NPOTA-friendly New Jersey QRP Club "Skeeter Hunt".

Robert and Eric had intended to activate the HP11+TR04 two-fer at Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center but circumstances forced a change of plans and the pair found themselves instead at the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center about 1830 UTC. Eric and Robert found the park staff to be extremely friendly and cooperative. Robert bought a Passport 2016 and he and Eric stamped their books. The staff allowed Eric and Robert to set up in the parking lot or on the grassy picnic area behind the Interpretive Center.

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. He chose to set up in the grassy picnic area behind the Interpretive Center and was on the air by 1840 UTC.

Robert chose to set up his Argonaut V station on the tailgate of his Isuzu Rodeo, and again used a 20m Hamstick antenna on the roof of the truck. Robert deployed the ARRL NPOTA banner borrowed from the staff at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park and was on the air at about the same time as Eric.

Because Eric hadn't yet made a "Chaser" QSO with the HP11 unit, Eric's first QSO was with KA4VNK on 20m SSB at 1840 UTC. Thereafter, all his QSOs were made on 40m CW. His first CW QSO at 1846 UTC with WB3GCK. QSOs came quite steadily until Eric's 13th and final QSO with W2LJ at 1910 UTC. Five of Eric's thirteen QSOs were with operators participating in the Skeeter Hunt contest; because the Skeeter Hunt is NPOTA-friendly for 2016, all of Eric's QSOs counted toward his Skeeter Hunt entry. (Eric didn't count the single SSB QSO on 20m as a Skeeter Hunt QSO; his Skeeter Hunt entry reflected CW-only, single-op.) All QSOs were made at the 5-watt level.

Robert operated only 20m SSB and had absolutely no trouble making more than the ten QSOs required to validate his activation. As at the previous activation of the day, the single bandpass filter in Robert's station was sufficient to protect each operator from interference from the other.