by William Eric McFadden

From the park's website:

The meadows, woodlots and still waters of 2,384-acre Sycamore State Park offer an oasis of natural features in the midst of expansive farmland. Sycamore provides the perfect setting for picnicking, hiking, fishing and horseback riding.



Eric operating On Sunday, December 1, 2019, two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Sycamore State Park in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, performed the activation of Sycamore State Park at the Overlook Picnic Area. This activation was the third of five activations to be made over two days and 624 miles of driving, the first being the activation of William Howard Taft National Historic Site the day before (link) and the second being the activation of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park (link).

Eric and Miles arrived at Sycamore State Park under gray and blustery skies at about 1715 UTC. Because of blustery wind and the threat of rain, Eric chose to operate in the car and he and Miles deployed the now-short-by-ten-inches 28½' wire vertical on the 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast supported on the drive-on mount, the KX3 was hung on the car's glove-box door, and Eric was on the air at 1728 UTC. (Why was the antenna short? See the report on the activation at Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park (link).)

Starting on 80m, Eric's first QSO came at 1732 UTC with Eric's good friend and fellow SEORAT-member K8RAT. A second QSO on 80m came at 1734 UTC with VE3LDT. When subsequent calls of "CQ POTA" went unanswered, Eric changed to 40m at 1739 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 40m came at 1742 UTC with K5KHK. QSOs on 40m came steadily with the fourteenth QSO on 40m coming at 1753 UTC with K4LJB. After subsequent calls of "CQ POTA" went unanswered, Eric switched to 20m at 1758 UTC. A highlight of the run on 40m was a QSO with CO4SB in Cuba.

On 20m, Eric's first QSO was with KO4SB at 1800 UTC. Eric's seventh QSO on 20m came at 1817 UTC with KQ6QB. Highlights of the operation on 20m included a QSO with ON4VT in Belgium and the Park-to-Park QSO with KQ6QB who was activating Martial Cottle State Recreation Area, K-3473, in California.

In all, Eric made twenty-three QSOs in about fifty minutes. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made with a power output of five watts.

Miles did not operate but helped with navigation, helped with station set-up and tear-down, and performed most of the activation photography.

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.