by William Eric McFadden

From the park's website:

John Bryan is the most scenic state park in western Ohio. The 752-acre park contains a remarkable limestone gorge cut by the Little Miami River which is designated as a state and national scenic river. A portion of the gorge itself is designated as a national natural landmark.



Three members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in performing valid activations of John Bryan State Park, K-1964, in Ohio as part of the the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF; Miles McFadden, KD8KNC; and Tom Witherspoon, K4SWL, visited John Bryan State Park while in the area for Hamvention in Xenia, Ohio.

Arriving at the park about 2130 UTC, the trio scouted the area a short while before selecting a nearly-empty picnic area as their operating location. Eric quickly deployed his 28½' wire vertical supported by his MFJ-1910 33' telescoping mast and set up his KX3 on folding camp-chair at the base of the pole. Tom chose to set up his KX2 on a picnic table about 50 yards from Eric and deployed his end-fed wire using an available tree. Eric was on the air by 2145 UTC; Tom was on the air a minute or two before Eric.

Tom wanted to start his operation on 20m so Eric began calling "CQ POTA" on 40m. His first QSO on 40m came at 2152 UTC with VE2GT. Contacts on 40m came steadily, if not quickly, for Eric, with is sixth contact coming at 2216 UTC. Eric switched to 30m and his first QSO there came at 2226 UTC with K2KRG.Two additional QSOs were made on 30m, with the last coming at 2233 UTC. Tom having moved to 40m, Eric switched to 20m and his first "CQ POTA" was rewarded with an answer from N4KGL at 2236 UTC. A second 20m QSO quickly followed at 2237 UTC. Because Eric wanted to test his 28½' vertical as a close-in antenna on 80m, Eric switched to 80m and succeeded in making a QSO with his good friend and fellow SEORAT member K8RAT.

All Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.

Tom easily made more than the required ten QSOs using his KX2 and end-fed wire on SSB. He made three park-to-park QSOs with a group who were also activating John Bryan State Park. (This group included noted POTA activators Kerri Wright, KB3WAV, and Ray Wright, KC3RW. Kerri had heard Eric on 30m but he changed bands before she could call him.)

Eric was very pleased to discover that Tom's KX2 was almost inaudible in Eric's KX3 during the activation despite the close proximity of the two stations.

Miles did not operate but he did most of the activation photography and he helped with set-up and tear-down of both stations.

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.