by William Eric McFadden

Skeeter Hunt RATpedition!

From the Tu-Endie-Wei State Park website:

At the junction of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers, Tu-Endie-Wei stands as a monument to commemorate the frontiersmen who fought and died at the Battle of Point Pleasant. On October 10, 1774, Colonel Andrew Lewis' 1,100 Virginia militiamen decisively defeated a like number of Native Americans lead by the Shawnee Chieftain Cornstalk in a bloody, day-long battle. At the end, 230 Native Americans were killed or wounded and more than 50 Virginians had lost their lives, including Colonel Charles Lewis, brother of the commanding officer. Considered a landmark in frontier history, some believed the battle to be the first of the American Revolution. This action broke the power of the ancient Americans in the Ohio Valley and quelled a general war on the frontier. Significantly, it also prevented an alliance between the British and Native Americans, one which could very possibly have caused the Revolution to have a different outcome, altering the entire history of the nation. In addition, the ensuing peace with the Native Americans enabled western Virginians to return across the Allegheny Mountains to aid Revolutionary forces. The battle is recognized as the decisive engagement in a proactive series of Indian wars. The monument derives its name "Tu-Endie-Wei" from a Wyandotte word meaning "point between two waters."

From the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail website:

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is approximately 4,900 miles long, extending from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the mouth of the Columbia River, near present day Astoria, Oregon. It follows the historic outbound and inbound routes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as well as the preparatory section from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Wood River, Illinois.


Skeeter Hunt Logo Description

On Sunday, August 27, 2023, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed successful simultaneous activations of Tu-Endie-Wei State Park (K-1994) and Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (K-4572) as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed his activations of Tu-Endie-Wei State Park and Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail while participating in the New Jersey QRP Club's Skeeter Hunt (link) field operating event as Skeeter #121. Eric was accompanied by his wife Vickie and their small dogs Theo and Ginny.

Eric, Vickie, and the dogs arrived at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park at around 1820 UTC. Eric walked Theo, greeted the volunteer working in the Mansion House museum and explained his plans to her, and scouted out a location to set up his station at the very small park. Wanting a bit of shade, Eric chose to set up his station beneath the majestic pine at the very corner of the park, overlooking the confluence of the two mighty rivers, strapping his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass pole to his folding camp-chair, deploying his 28½' speaker-wire vertical on the Jackite pole and laying three 17' counterpoise wires on the ground, and placing his Elecraft KX3 on the camp-chair's fold-up table. Eric was on the air at 1843 UTC, nearly two hours into the Skeeter Hunt's four-hour period.

Tu-Endie-Wei State Park being right within the city of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, Eric had good cell-signal at his operating location and he would be able to spot himself initially to QRPSpots (link), and later to POTA Spots (link).

Finding unexpected S5 power-line noise on 40m, Eric chose to start his operating on 20m. While looking for a clear frequency, at 1844 UTC he found and worked KD0V, Skeeter #112, in Minnesota. After finding a clear frequency to run near the international 20m QRP CW calling frequency, Eric spotted himself to QRPSpots as encouraged by the Skeeter Hunt organizer and his first QSO in this run came at 1847 UTC with NN5DE in Texas. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's ninth QSO in this run coming at 1914 UTC with AA5AD in Arkansas. All nine of these QSOs were with operators participating in Skeeter Hunt, and all the exchanges included either a Skeeter Number or QRP-level power output.

After the QSO with AA5AD, Eric stayed on 20m but spotted himself to POTA Spots and his first QSO in this run came at 1916 UTC with VE3EDX in Ontario. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's sixth QSO in this run coming at 1923 UTC with W4RNO in Florida. This run included QSOs with three operators participating in Skeeter Hunt and three QSOs with POTA hunters.

Switching to 40m, Eric engaged the KX3's Noise Reduction feature to help with the S5 noise on that band, found a clear frequency near the international QRP CW calling frequency, and began calling "CQ QRP",not bothering to update his spot on QRPSpots or POTA Spots. His first QSO in this run came at 1929 UTC with AB9CA in Indiana. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's twenty-second QSO in this run coming at 1958 UTC with K4MI in Virginia. This run included QSOs with seven operators participating in Skeeter Hunt and fifteen QSOs with POTA hunters.

In all, Eric logged thirty-seven QSOs, after removing one dupe, in about seventy-five minutes of on-air time. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made with five watts output. Eric had chosen to use his Elecraft KX3 for this operation specifically to qualify for the Skeeter Hunt multiplier (x4) for "portable station - home brewed or kit built transceiver or separates".

WD8RIF Skeeter Hunt Log:
Band	Mode	Date		Time	Call	RST (s)	RST (r) SPC	Exchange
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1844	KD0V	559	559	MN	#112
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1847	NN5DE	539	559	TX	#188
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1848	KD5FCF	579	579	OK	4w
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1851	N0EVH	599	559	MO	#77
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1854	K6MW	539	599	WA	#51
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1900	WD9GKZ	229	449	FL	4w
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1905	N5GW	599	599	MS	#88
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1908	W0TG	599	579	TX	#3
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1909	W4IFI	559	559	CO	5w
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1914	AA5AD	579	579	AR	#245
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1916	VE3EDX	559	559	ON	#137
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1917	KF4GAA	599	559	FL	
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1918	W8TK	599	579	AZ	
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1919	K2WO	559	599	FL	#80
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1921	KG5IEE	539	559	TX	#60
20m	CW	8/27/2023	1923	W4RNO	599	559	FL	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1929	AB9CA	579	559	IN	#33
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1930	WB8DTT	579	579	MI	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1931	K4KBL	539	569	GA	5w
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1932	N3MK	559	559	VA	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1933	WR2E	539	559	NJ	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1934	KA4RRU	559	599	VA	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1935	W5GDW	559	569	NC	#27
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1936	WD4AWD	579	559	TN	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1938	KC9LC	579	559	VA	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1940	AC9K	339	559	VA	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1941	W3TS	559	559	MO	5w
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1942	WA4JK	559	559	AL	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1944	K3VAT	559	599	VA	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1946	N2TNN	229	559	VA	#194
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1948	KK4UG	559	599	VA	5w
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1949	WD9DWX	229	559	IN	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1951	KB3AAY	599	579	MD	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1952	W3SI	539	559	MD	#19
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1954	WD8AGN	559	599	VA	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1957	KJ4ASE	599	559	VA	
40m	CW	8/27/2023	1958	K4MI	599	599	MD	

Skeeter Hunt Submission:

Eric - WD8RIF - WV
Skeeter #121 - All CW
Single Op
Skeeter QSOs - 14
Non-Skeeter QRP QSOs - 6
Non-Skeeter QRO QSOs - 17
S/P/Cs - 21
Station Class Multiplier - x4 (portable / homebrew)
Bonus: Palindrome Skeeters - 3
Eric calculated his Skeeter Hunt score to be 6,264.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program for an operation at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park, KFF-1823.


Attribution: Skeeter Hunt Logo copyright NJ QRP Club.