by William Eric McFadden

From the park's website:

Located in west-central Ohio's Clark County, Buck Creek State Park is surrounded by rich agricultural lands and is rich in Ohio history. The park's recreational facilities surround a 2,120-acre lake and offer endless water-related opportunities. Visitors will also enjoy discovering the wetlands, broad meadows and wildlife at this diverse 1,896-acre park in western Ohio.


On Sunday, December 1, 2019, two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Buck Creek State Park in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, activated the Buck Creek State Park as darkness fell on a dreary and rainy Fall evening. This activation was the fifth of five activations to be made over two days and 624 miles of driving, the first being the activation of William Howard Taft National Historic Site the day before (link), the second being the activation of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park (link), the third being the activation of Sycamore State Park (link), and the fourth being the activation of Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument (link).

Eric and Miles arrived at Buck Creek State Park just as darkness was falling under gray and rainy skies at about 2130 UTC. Because of the late hour and approaching darkness, Eric chose to set up in the first picnic area they encountered. Because of the wind and rain, Eric chose to operate in the car and he and Miles deployed the now-short-by-ten-inches 28½' wire vertical on the 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast supported on the drive-on mount, the KX3 was hung on the car's glove-box door, and Eric was on the air at 2142 UTC. (Why was the antenna short? See the report on the activation at Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park (link).)

Starting on 80m, Eric's first QSO came at 2146 UTC with Eric's good friend and fellow SEORAT-member K8RAT. Eric's second and final QSO on 80m came at 2148 UTC with VE3LDT.

Switching bands, Eric's first QSO came almost immediately at 1950 UTC and was a second QSO with VE3LDT. QSOs on 40m came very quickly with Eric's twenty-second QSO on 40m coming at 2213 UTC with AB4WL. After subsequent calls of "CQ POTA" went unanswered, Eric switched to 20m at 2214 UTC. Highlights of the run on 40m included a QSO with F6EOC in France and a QSO with noted POTA activator KB3WAV.

Eric's calls of "CQ POTA" resulted in no QSOs and, because of the two hour drive home, Eric didn't call "CQ" for very long.

In all, Eric made twenty-four QSOs in about thirty minutes. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made with a power output of five watts.

Miles did not operate but helped with navigation and helped with station set-up and tear-down.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program although he didn't make enough QSOs to to achieve a valid activation within the program which requires 44 QSOs be made. However, the WWFF program allows these 44 QSOs be made over any number of visits so a valid activation within WWFF is still possible if subsequent visits to the park are made.