by William Eric McFadden

From the West Virginia Explorer entry:

The 1,096-acre Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area (WMA) protects a mix of forest, wetland, pasture, and open water along the Ohio River.



Eric's station overlooking Right Fork -- click to enlarge On Saturday, August 22, 2020, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. This was the second POTA CW activation of Green Bottom WMA.

On a hot August day that threatened rain and thunderstorms, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the activation under a shade tree while maintaining proper social distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Eric was accompanied by his wife Vickie and their two dogs, Theo and Mindy.

Eric, Vickie, and the dogs arrived at Green Bottom WMA at 1440 UTC and, after checking out the area, doing some photography, and letting the dogs explore, Eric chose to set up at in a shady spot a bit removed from the parking area. Eric deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his MFJ-1910 33' telescoping fiberglass mast and set up his station on his folding camp-chair. Eric was on the air at 1613 UTC.

Eric was pleased to find he had sufficient cell-signal to view the POTA Spots website (link) and to spot himself.

Eric began operations on 80m and his only QSO there was with K8RAT at 1613 UTC.

Switching to 40m at 1621 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came at 1625 UTC with VA3NQ in Ontario. QSOs came quickly until S5-level power-line noise abruptly started at about 1630 UTC. This noise fluctuated a bit in strength but didn't go away completely while Eric remained at the park. Eric persevered, and by 1647 UTC he had completed his nineteenth QSO on 40m, with KD8DEU in Michigan.

Switching to 30m at 1652 UTC, Eric's only QSO there came at 1702 UTC with KB1ODO in Vermont.

Switching to 20m at 1704 UTC, Eric found the noise level on that band to be S9 in strength. Nevertheless, Eric succeeded in making two QSOs on 20m, at 1710 UTC with K5KG and at 1712 UTC with OH1XT in Finland. Unable to cope any longer with the high noise level, Eric ceased operations at 1715 UTC and tore down his station just as local thunder was beginning to be heard.

In addition to the unexpected power line noise—except there were nearby power lines so, perhaps, power line noise shouldn't have been too unexpected—the traffic on WV2, which was almost 100 yards away from Eric's operating location, was very loud. On at least one occasion, Eric could not hear his own sidetone in his headphones because of what must have been a large pack of straight-pipe motorcycles passing on the highway. For subsequent visits, Eric will try to the WMA entrance which is not quite three-quarters of a mile east (north) of the entrance he used this time; this drive appears to lead to a parking area that is clear of power lines and is over a quarter of a mile from WV2.

In all, Eric made twenty-three QSOs. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.