by William Eric McFadden


Insanity in the Face of a Polar Vortex!

Eric's station, with the Visitor Center in the background -- click to enlarge One member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in activating Hopewell Culture National Historical Park as part of the ARRL's year-long National Parks on the Air (link). Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed a solo activation of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, HP15 (link) at the Mound City Group in Chillicothe, Ohio on a bitterly cold (15°) December morning.

Upon arrival at the Visitor Center, Eric stamped his Passport 2016 and spoke with the ranger who readily gave him permission to operate.

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. Because of the cold temperature, Eric chose to operate inside the van and he chose to power the transceiver using the van's power socket instead of his 5aH gel-cell. Eric was on the air at 1453 UTC.

Eric began operations on 20m and his first QSO there came at 1455 UTC with ON4CCN in Belgium. QSOs came steadily with his 10th QSO on 20m coming at 1516 UTC with WI5H. Eric switched to 40m and his first QSO there came at 1522 UTC with N8II. QSOs on 20m came steadily and his 19th and final QSO come at 1529 UTC with N4EX. All Eric's QSOs were made at the 5-watt level.

Eric recorded a temperature of 15°F during the operation. Set-up and tear-down were uncomfortably cold but the interior of the van remained comfortable.