by William Eric McFadden

Ohio QSO Party 2019 Rover RATpedition: 2nd County, 3rd Park

From the park's website:

The rolling hills of Jesse Owens State Park and Wildlife Area are a success story in environmental stewardship, conservation and reclaiming land for outdoor recreation. Located in Morgan County and surrounded by thousands of acres of land open to public use, the 5,735-acre park and wildlife area is teeming with wildlife as well as ponds and waterways full of paddling, boating and fishing opportunities.



Eric operating On Saturday, August 24, 2019, two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Jesse Owens State Park & Wildlife Area in Morgan County, Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program while simultaneously participating as a rover in the Ohio QSO Party. For Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, Jesse Owens State Park was the third activation of four following a visit to Newark-Heath Airport (VTA) to see and tour B-25J Champaign Gal and C-47D Hairless Joe.

After successful activations at Blue Rock State Forest (link) and Blue Rock State Park (link), Eric and Miles arrived at Jesse Owens State Park's Sand Hollow Campground at about 2145 UTC and found an available camping spot suitable for the planned operation. They quickly deployed the 28½' wire vertical supported on the 31' Jackite fiberglass telescoping mast which was held upright by a drive-on base, and set up the KX3 on a folding camp-chair adjacent to the car. Eric was on the air by 2206 UTC.

A view of Lake MB-42 In order to give his good friend and fellow SEORAT-member K8RAT, Mike, a QSO, Eric started operations on 80m but no QSO was made. Staying on 80m and calling "CQ OHQP", made ten QSOs in about twenty minutes. Eric's first QSO came at 2209 UTC with W8PI in Michigan. His tenth and final QSO came at 2225 UTC with K7SV.

Because Eric hoped to complete the fourth and final POTA activation before 2359 UTC, and the park was a half-hour away, Eric chose to cease operations, tear down, and hit the road for Wolf Run State Park.

All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.

Miles didn't operate but helped with set-up and tear-down, did much of the RATpedition photography, 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.