by William Eric McFadden

From the park's website:

Lying within the vast Darby Plains of Ohio, Madison Lake State Park provides a peaceful day-use getaway for visitors of all ages. The 106-acre lake attracts anglers and offers excellent sailing, rowing and canoeing opportunities.



A view of Madison Lake On Saturday, August 3, 2019, two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Madison Lake State Park in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, visited the park following a visit to the Voice of Aladdin ARC Columbus Hamfest.

The pair arrived at Madison Lake State Park at about 1500 UTC and found a quiet picnic area overlooking the lake for the activation. Eric and Miles quickly deployed the 28½' end-fed vertical supported on an MFJ-1910 33' fiberglass mast and set up the KX3 on Eric's folding camp chair. Eric was on the air by 1520 UTC.

Eric started operations with a QSO on 80m with his good friend and fellow SEORAT-member K8RAT, Mike, at 1524 UTC.

Switching to 40m, Eric's first QSO there was with K4ARQ at 1530 UTC. QSOs came steadily with Eric's fourteenth QSO coming at 1551 UTC with W9AV.

The 20m band was less productive, with only two QSOs made there. Eric worked K7III at 1554 UTC and KG5AUU at 1558 UTC.

After K8RAT made an initial spot to the POTA Spots website, the site properly skimmed the Reverse Beacon Network to update spots unti, for some unknown reason, the spots on the POTA Spots website started indicating that Eric was operating at a different park, Buck Lake State Park. In an effort to clear this error, both Mike and Miles made several spots each.

During tear-down, it was discovered that Eric had forgotten to stake his mast-support tripod to the ground during set-up. Fortunately, there had been no wind because had there been, the mast almost certainly would have fallen to the ground!

Madison Lake appeared to be a lovely and quiet park. The "quiet" park is probably partially a result of only no internal-combustion engines being allowed on the lake.

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