by William Eric McFadden

From the Findley State Park website:

Located in northeast Ohio, the 838-acre Findley State Park was once a state forest and is heavily wooded with stately pines and various hardwoods. Popular with hikers and mountain bikers, the park’s trail system includes a connection to the statewide Buckeye Trail. The trails are lovely in all seasons, but particularly inviting during autumn and spring. The park’s forests, meadows, and quiet waters offer a peaceful backdrop for camping, boating, and hiking.



The Findley State Park sign On Friday, July 7, 2023, two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Findley State Park (K-1950) in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, met his son Miles, KD8KNC, at his son's military-provided hotel in Ontario (Ohio) on Friday afternoon in order to attend Saturday's Mansfield Mid*Summer Trunkfest as sellers. After Eric unloaded his car, and after the pair had a nice dinner, they proceeded north to Findley State Park for the early-evening activation.

After having a nice pizza and salads at Ohio Fire in Ashland, the pair arrived at the Findley State Park boat-ramp area about 2230 UTC, with Eric deciding it would do nicely for the operation. Strapping his 31' Jackite fiberglass telescoping mast to a conveniently-located, no-longer-used, sign-post, Eric deployed his tried-and-true 28½' end-fed wire on the mast as a vertical, placing the three 17' counterpoise wires directly on the ground. Placing his Elecraft KX3 on the swing-up table of his folding camp-chair, Eric was on the air at 2240 UTC.

Eric was pleased to find he had good cell-signal at this location and would be able to spot himself on the POTA Spots website and to use POTA Spots to identify possible Park-to-Park (P2P) QSOs.

Eric operating Eric began his operation on 20m by finding himself a frequency to run and calling "CQ POTA", self-spotting himself on POTA Spots. His first QSO came at 2243 UTC with AA5VE in Texas. QSOs came steadily, if not quickly, with his seventh QSO coming at 2300 UTC with EC1R in Spain. In addition to the DX QSO, this run included QSOs with operators located in Texas (2), Oregon (2), California (2), and Georgia.

Switching to 40m, Eric found himself frequency to run, began to call "CQ POTA", and self-spotted himself to POTA Spots. His first QSO in this run came at 2304 UTC with N5FY, Joshua of Tufteln (link), in Georgia. Despite the S5 noise-floor caused by poor solar conditions, QSOs came quickly on 40m, with Eric's sixteenth QSO in the run coming at 2320 UTC with KB2GKS in New York. This run included QSOs with operators located in Georgia (2), Ontario, Wisconsin, North Carolina (3), Alabama, Indiana, New Jersey, Virgina, Pennsylvania (2), Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New York.

Eric finished his activation by checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities and at 2326 UTC he was pleased to be able to make a P2P QSO on 20m with Vince, VE6LK, at Coleman National Historic Site (VE-6081) in Alberta.

In all, Eric made twenty-four QSOs, including one P2P QSO. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at five watts output.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program for an activation of Findley State Park, KFF-1950.

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