by William Eric McFadden



Two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in activating Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virgina as part of the ARRL's year-long National Parks on the Air (link). Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, activated Harpers Ferry, HP14, while visiting the Washington, D.C. area.

Eric and Miles had planned to make this a two-fer activation and operate on "The Point" where the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (TR01) crosses over Harpers Ferry. However, following the successful three-fer activation of TR01 + TR03 + HP08 across the Potomac River from The Point, the skies were looking threatening and Eric and Miles decided to return to the Harpers Ferry Visitor Center and set up the station in the car in case the rain returned. (Operating from within the car precluded any attempt to activate the Appalachian Trail, per NPOTA rules.)

The station consisted of the Enhanced KX3 Travel Kit. Because the 33' fiberglass mast had been damaged during the three-fer activation, it wasn't used for this activation. Instead, a convenient tree was found in the parking lot and a line was thrown over the canopy to support the 28' end-fed wire and two counterpoise-wires were deployed. The KX3 was placed on a folding camp-stool in the open car door.

Miles did not operate but did help during set-up and tear-down and did most of the photography during the activation.

Eric's first QSO was with his good friend K8RAT at 1853 UTC and he made QSOs steadily until he finished with thirteen QSOs at 1909 UTC. Eric operated only on 40m CW.

As during the previous three-fer, highlights of this activation included QSOs with K8RAT and Athens-based WT8E.

Fortunately, the rain did stay away long enough for the activation to be concluded. The temperature rose to about 60°.

Eric wishes to thank Ted Jacobson, W8KVK, for posting the activation to the spotting-network.