by William Eric McFadden



The view from the overlook -- click to enlarge Two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in activating North Country National Scenic Trail as part of the ARRL's year-long National Parks on the Air (link). Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, traveled to Eden Park in Ohio to activate the North Country National Scenic Trail, TR04 (link) following their visit to the Georgetown (Ohio) Hamfest and an activation of William Howard Taft National Historic Site (NS78) in Cincinnati.

Eric and Miles arrived at the site about 1830 UTC and performed a survey to find a North Country National Scenic Trail trailhead marker. Such a marker was not found but a large sign identifying the southern terminus of the Buckeye Scenic Trail, with which the NCNST is coincident through all of southern Ohio, was found, and this was chosen as the location for the activation.

Here are three screen-captures to prove that the chose operating location is, indeed, part of the North Country National Scenic Trail:

The former water tower -- click to enlarge Eric's station consisted of his Enhanced KX3 Travel Kit and a custom clipboard. Eric chose not to use his 33' MFJ-1910 fiberglass mast to support the wire antenna but instead threw a line through a handy tree. Eric was on-the-air by 1853 UTC.

Eric began operations on 20m and his first QSO came at 1857 UTC with K0BJ. QSOs came steadily if not quickly with Eric making his 10th 20m QSO at 1920 UTC with N6GP. Eric then switched to 40m and his first QSO there came at 1925 UTC with K3TF. QSOs on 40m came steadily and Eric's 19th and final QSO came at 1934 UTC with AC9FL. All QSOs were CW made at the 5-watt level.

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

During the operation, Eric and Miles were treated to a parachute team demonstation, a fly-by by a flight of two F-16 fighter jets, and a fly-by by a C-17 cargo jet.

Following tear-down, Eric and Miles did a short walking tour of Eden Park, being drawn by the impressive former water tower high atop the hill near activation location. From the base of the water tower, the smokestack of the former pump station could be seen and Eric photographed this, as well, as he and Miles drove out of the park.