by William Eric McFadden



Eric's station, with the Taft House in the background -- click to enlarge Two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in activating William Howard Taft National Historical Site as part of the ARRL's year-long National Parks on the Air (link). Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8NKC, activated William Howard Taft National Historic Site, NS78 (link) in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the last day of the National Park Service Centennial, on the last day of the ARRL National Parks on the Air, on a cool, windy, and rainy late-December afternoon.

Eric and Miles arrived at the park just as the last ranger was getting in her car to leave. The ranger gave Eric permission to operate in the overflow parking area behind the historic Taft House and Education Center.

Eric operating -- click to enlarge As at previous activations, Eric's station consisted of his Enhanced KX3 Travel Kit and a custom clipboard. Because of the wind, Eric decided to throw a line over a tree branch to support the 28½' wire instead of deploying the 33' mast. Eric was on the air by 2127 UTC.

Eric began operations on 20m. His first QSO came at 2130 UTC with N9NM. QSOs on 20m came steadily with Eric's 6th QSO on 20m coming at 2135 with W4TVI. Eric switched to 40m and his first QSO there came at 2143 UTC with WK2S. QSOs came continuously on 40m with Eric's 25th and final QSO coming at 2158 UTC with K0VXU. All QSOs were CW made at the 5-watt level.

Miles did not operate but helped with set-up and tear-down and did all of the activation photography.