by William Eric McFadden



Three members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in activating Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument as part of the ARRL's year-long National Parks on the Air (link). Eric McFadden, WD8RIF; Miles McFadden, KD8KNC; and Tom Witherspoon, K4SWL, activated Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, MN18 (link) on their way home from the Dayton Hamvention.

The trio arrived at the park at about 1910 UTC. The park being closed, there were no rangers to speak to. Eric had stamped his Passport 2016 at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Pack activation earlier in the day.

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.

Tom's station consisted of an LNR (link) LD-11 transceiver Tom is reviewing for his blog and an LNR "EFT Trail-Friendly" 10/20/40m end-fed antenna he had purchased at the Hamvention. Tom powered his station with a Hardened Power Systems (link) QRP Ranger power-pack.

Tom operating -- click to enlarge Tom chose a small but handy tree to support his EFT antenna and to provide some shade for himself and his station. Also hoping to avoid sunburn, Eric chose to operate in the van. The pair were on the air at about 1926 UTC.

Eric agreed to give Tom 40m and operated only on 20m. His first QSO was with AE5X at 1928 UTC. Thereafter, it was a continuous pile-up until Eric's 17th and final QSO with W5GAI at 1944 UTC. All QSOs were made at the 5-watt level.

Tom operated only 40m SSB. His first QSO was with WT8E in Athens, Ohio at 1930 UTC. His 15th and final QSO was was W8KVK, also in Athens, Ohio, at 1946 UTC.

Miles did not operate but helped both Eric and Tom with set-up and tear-down and did much of the activation photography.