by William Eric McFadden


Insanity in the Face of a Polar Vortex!

Eric's station, with the Charles Young House in the background -- click to enlarge One member 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, performed a solo activation of Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, MN18 (link) in Wilberforce, Ohio on a bitterly cold (19°) December early afternoon.

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 1702 UTC.

Eric began operations on 20m and his first QSO there came at 1703 UTC with N4KS. QSOs came quickly on 20m with his 10th QSO on 20m coming at 1717 UTC with N6JNL. Eric switched to 40m and his first QSO there came at 1720 UTC with N2CX. QSOs came quickly on 20m and his 18th and final QSO come at 1729 UTC with KM6NN. All Eric's QSOs were made at the 5-watt level.

Eric recorded a temperature of 19°F during the operation. Set-up and tear-down were uncomfortably cold but the van interior remained comfortable during the operation.