by William Eric McFadden

Support-Your-Parks Summer 2019 RATpedition, Day 1

From the park's website:

Picturesque 333-acre Lake White is nestled between the ridges of southern Ohio's rugged hills. Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy swimming, boating, water skiing and fishing at this scenic 92-acre park.



On Saturday, July 20, 2019, on the first day of the two-day Support Your Parks Summer 2019 event, two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team undertook an aggressive operation to activate five POTA units in southern Ohio. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, drove over 150 miles and were on the road for eleven hours to visit and activate Great Seal State Park (K-1954), Hopewell Culture National Historical Park (K-0737), Scioto Trail State Forest (K-5448), Scioto Trail State Park (K-1990), and Lake White State Park (K-1971) as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

The fifth and final stop was Lake White State Park, K-1990.

The view of the lake -- click to enlarge Eric and Miles arrived at Lake White State Park at about 2045 UTC. A few minutes of exploring led the duo to the picnic shelter located on a bluff overlooking the lake. Eric and Miles deployed the 28½' end-fed vertical supported on an MFJ-1910 33' fiberglass mast and set up the KX3 on Eric's folding camping chair. Eric was on the air by 2103 UTC.

Eric began operations on 80m for a QSO at 1918 UTC with his friend and fellow SEORAT-member, K8RAT. Not expecting much additional activity on 80m at that time of day, Eric switched to 40m to continue operations.

To test the POTA Spots website, Eric began operations on 40m with several long CQ calls formatted precisely as specified by instructions on the POTA FAQ (link), "CQ POTA WD8RIF WD8RIF K1971 K", sent by the KX3's internal memory keyer at 18wpm.

As soon as the first spot appeared, the QSOs began. Eric's first QSO on 40m came at 2108 UTC with N2ESE. QSOs came more slowly than at the previous four parks. Twelve minutes brought six QSOs on 40m, with the final QSO there being a park-to-park QSO coming at 2120 UTC with NJ3K, who was performing an activation of the Flight 93 National Memorial, K-0774.

Eric operating -- click to enlarge Switching to 20m, Eric's first QSO there came at 2127 UTC with KO4SB. Eleven minutes brought four QSOs on 20m with the final QSO there coming at 2138 UTC with WT4U.

Switching to 30m, Eric made a single QSO there at 2143 UTC with W4A, the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Special Event Station in Huntsville, Alabama.

Eric's log for this operation contained many callsigns that Eric was to see throughout the day as he completed activations at five locations: K8RAT, N2ESE, KU8T, WT4U, KO4sB, N4DPM, N4BC, KB9KC, plus others.

All Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level. Miles didn't operate but helped with set-up and tear-down, photography, spotting, and navigation.

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.