by William Eric McFadden

From the Strouds Run State Park website:

Under the proper winter conditions, park guests can enjoy sledding and cross-country skiing.



Eric's station, including the chair in which he froze his b___ off On Saturday, February 4, 2023, 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 while participating in the annual Arizona ScQRPions Freeze Your B___ Off (FYBO) (link) field operating event.

Having made himself a goal of earning in 2023 the Bear Cave Repeat Offender Activator Award by performing sixty activations of the park, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited Bulldog Shelter at Strouds Run State Park on a sunny but bitterly cold morning to perform his 47th activation of the park.

Eric arrived at the Bulldog Shelter a few minutes prior to the 1400 UTC start of FYBO. With the plan to validate his POTA activation by completing ten QSOs while remaining outside in the bitter cold, Eric deployed his 28½' wire vertical supported on his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast held upright on a drive-on base. Eric set up his KX3 on his folding camp chair adjacent to the mast. Eric was on the air at 1407 UTC.

As expected, Eric found he had good cell-signal at this location and he 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 began his operation on 20m by selecting a frequency to run and beginning to call "CQ FYBO". Eric was pleased to see that he was auto-spotted on POTA Spots. Eric's first QSO came at 1412 UTC with K4AHO in Florida, and Eric reported a temperature-at-the-key of 24°, his lowest recorded temperature during the operation. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's seventeenth QSO coming at 1433 UTC with K3HV in Florida. This run included QSOs with operators located in Florida (6), Quebec, Kansas (2), Missouri, New Hampshire (2), Arkansas, New Mexico, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana. Eric's recorded temperature during these QSOs was 24° to 25°.

Because of painfully-cold fingers, Eric relocated his KX3 into the relative warmth of his car and again began calling "CQ FYBO" on 20m. The first QSO in this run came at 1438 UTC and was a P2P QSO with N4CD who was activating Spring Creek Forest State Preserve (K-4423) in Texas. (This would be Bob's 264th activation of this unit.) The next QSOs were with IK2ODD in Italy, K4HPP in Tennessee, and W1TM in Kansas.

Pausing to check POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities, at 1446 UTC Eric made a P2P QSO on 20m with WI0S who was activating Caballo Lake State Park (K-2689) in New Mexico.

Switching to 40m, at 1454 UTC Eric completed a QSO with N0BM who was participating in the Minnesota QSO Party.

Finding himself a frequency to run on 40m, Eric began calling "CQ FYBO" and was again pleased to be auto-spotted to POTA Spots. His first QSO in this run came at 1458 UTC with KB9BVN in Indiana. QSOs came very quickly, with Eric's seventeenth QSO in this run coming at 1519 UTC with KN4CQB in North Carolina. This run included a P2P QSO with W4EDN who was activating Andrew Jackson State Park (K-2883) in South Carolina and QSOs with operators located in Indiana (5), Illinois, New Jersey, Alabama, Virginia (2), South Carolina (2), New York, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Georgia, and North Carolina.

Eric finished his operation by checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities and succeeded in making six P2P QSOs:

Time Band CallsignState Park
1522 20m NG5E Texas Nature Center Wildlife Management Area, K-6588
1524 40m KU8T Indiana Kil-So-Quah State Recreation Area, K-5683
1534 20m K4EAK Georgia George T. Bagby and Lodge State Park, K-2180
1536 20m KE2SD Florida Grayton Beach State Park, K-1875
1540 15m AI5IR Texas Buescher State Park, K-2993
1542 40m KQ9L Illinois Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area, K-4120

By the time Eric had finished his activation, the temperature inside the car had risen to 57°.

In all, Eric made forty-six QSOs, including nine P2P QSOs. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at five watts output.

For his FYBO submission, Eric logged forty-six QSOs; with SPC multipliers of one on 15m, thirteen on 20m, and twelve on 40m; a low-temp multiplier of five; a "field" multiplier of four; and an alternate-power multiplier of two:

46 * (1 + 13 + 12) * 5 * 4 * 2 = 47,840 points

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.