by William Eric McFadden

Indianapolis RATpedition! Park Three of Six

From the Fort Harrison State Park website:

At Fort Harrison, landscape and history blend together at this unique setting on the northeast side of Indianapolis. The 1,700-acre park features walking and jogging trails, picnic sites, fishing access to Fall Creek, and two national historic districts. The former Citizen's Military Training Camp is preserved around the park office in what was once known as Camp Glenn.



Fort Harrison State Park sign On the evening of Thursday, October 6, 2022, two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Fort Harrison State Park (K-2256) near Indianapolis as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, performed the activation of Fort Harrison State Park on a picnic table in the Delaware Lake Picnic Area.

This was the third of six planned activations in Indiana and extreme southwestern Ohio over a three-day period, the first and second being activations of Summit Lake State Park (link) and White River State Park (link) on October 5, the previous day.

After Eric's participation in an all-day seminar in Salesforce Tower (link) had ended, he and Miles drove the fourteen miles from downtown Indianapolis to Fort Harrison State Park—a drive that took forty-nine minutes because of going-home-from-work traffic—arriving at the Delaware Lake Picnic Area at about 2215 UTC. After investigating the available picnic tables, Eric chose a picnic table well-positioned under a tree and, because the temperature was dropping, had direct sun for some solar-thermal heat. He and Miles deployed the 28½' wire vertical on a Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast which was then leaned into the tree standing over the chosen picnic table. Setting up his KX3 on the picnic table, Eric was on the air at 2232 UTC.

As he had expected, Eric had good cell-signal at this location, so he was able to use POTA Spots (link) to identify possible Park-to-Park (P2P) QSOs and, if necessary, to spot himself.

Eric operating Eric began operations on 20m by finding himself a clear frequency and beginning to call CQ. After only a few calls, Eric was pleased to see that he had been automatically spotted on POTA Spots. Eric's first QSO came at 2235 UTC with VE3OLP in Ontario. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's twenty-sixth QSO coming at 2257 UTC with KF0CCI in South Dakota. This run included an ESP-level QSO with Eric's friend K8RAT in Ohio and QSOs with operators located in Ontario, Ohio, North Carolina (3), Arizona (2), Florida, Texas, Colorado, Wisconsin, Alabama, Maryland (2), North Dakota, New York, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Texas (2), Louisiana, Virginia, Kansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Dakota.

Finding a frequency to run on 40m, Eric began calling CQ and again was quickly auto-spotted on POTA Spots. Eric's first QSO in this run came at 2301 UTC with Eric's friend K8RAT in Ohio. As had been the case on 20m, QSOs came quickly, and Eric's eleventh QSO on 40m coming at 2313 UTC with KD8IE in Ohio. This run included QSOs with stations located in Ohio (4), Georgia, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and New Jersey.

In all, Eric logged thirty-seven QSOs. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made with 5w output.

Miles did not operate but helped with set-up and tear-down, and he did all of the activation photography.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program.