by William Eric McFadden

From the Strouds Run State Park website:

Strouds Run State Park is located in the scenic forested hills of Athens County, in the midst of the unglaciated Appalachian Plateau. Although untouched by the vast ice sheets that moved across portions of the state over 12,000 years ago, Strouds Run displays the effects of the glaciers -- in the deep ravines and high hills -- where the valleys served as outlets for torrents of glacial meltwaters. The erosive power of these waters carved the valleys and hillsides, creating the familiar topography Ohioans know today. Large deposits of glacial outwash, primarily sand and gravel, were deposited along these streams and strongly affected the type of biological communities present today.



On Saturday, December 10, 2022, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Strouds Run State Park (K-1994) as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

On an a cool, overcast December afternoon, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited Bulldog Shelter within Strouds Run State Park for a 100% 10m POTA activation of the park while simultaneously participating in the ARRL 10-Meter Contest.

After spending several hours participating in the ARRL 10-Meter Contest using his home QRP CW station and verifying that band conditions might allow a 100% 10m POTA activation, Eric decided to attempt such an activation of Strouds Run State Park. Eric arrived at Bulldog Shelter at about 1815 UTC, parked his car at one end of the parking lot, and deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his 31' Jackite fiberglass telescoping mast on his drive-on base. Eric deployed his Elecraft KX3 inside his car, and because of the need to avoid making duplicate QSOs ("dupes"), he chose to log to a PC and set up a small Windows 10 laptop running N1MM Logger+ inside the car. Eric was on the air at 1830 UTC.

Eric operated only in hunt-and-pounce mode and his first QSO came at 1836 UTC with AB5ZA/7 in Montana. As he had found at home, Eric could hear many strong stateside stations participating in the contest but fewer DX stations, with few of the DX stations being able to hear his signal. In addition, Eric could many of the stronger stations to be stations he had already worked while he had earlier been operating his home station. Over the period of about ninety minutes, Eric managed to complete twenty QSOs and worked stations located in the DX countries of Argentina, Columbia, Puerto Rico; the Canadian province of Saskatchewan; the Mexican state of Guanajuato; and the U.S. states of Arizona (4), California (5), Montana (2), Utah (2), and Washington (2).

Eric was disappointed that he wasn't heard by any of the three Hawaiian stations he heard, all of which had strong signals—and deep pile-ups.

In all, Eric made twenty QSOs at Strouds Run State Park. 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 operation at Strouds Run State Park, KFF-1994.