by William Eric McFadden

From the West Virginia Explorer entry:

The 630-acre Conaway Run Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) consist primarily of hardwood forest and brush cover. Game traditionally taken in the management area include deer, grouse, squirrel, rabbit, and migratory game birds.

Conaway Run Lake, at 30 acres, is equipped with a small boat ramp and accommodates fishing for trout, bluegill, largemouth bass, and channel catfish. The lake is stocked with trout from February until May. Ten primitive campsites with vault toilets and well water and a 100-yard shooting range have been developed.



The sign -- click to enlarge On Sunday, August 30, 2020, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Conaway Run Lake Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. This was the first CW POTA activation of Conaway Run Lake WMA.

On a beautiful late-Summer day that was perfect for outdoor radio, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the activation at the boat ramp area on Conaway Run Lake. Eric was accompanied by his wife Vickie and their two dogs, Theo and Mindy.

Eric, Vickie, and the dogs arrived at Conaway Run Lake at about 1820 UTC. After a quick exploration and a walk with the dogs, Eric deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his MFJ-1910 33' telescoping fiberglass mast which strapped to an old hand-operated water pump and set up his KX3 on his folding camp-chair in the shade of nearby trees. Eric was on the air at 1836 UTC, about ten minutes prior to his announced start-time.

Eric's station -- click to enlarge Eric was disappointed to find he had no cell-signal at the spot and couldn't self-spot himself on the POTA Spots website (link) or even text updates to his friend K8RAT for his spotting assistance. Eric had announced his activation on the POTA website and was hopeful that the POTA algorithm would successfully auto-spot him based on received Reverse Beacon spots.

Eric began operations on 80m and his only QSO came at 1845 UTC with KI8EB in Kentucky.

Switching to 40m at 1848 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came at 1851 UTC with W8NEG in Illinois. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's fourteenth QSO on 40m coming at 1905 UTC with N9ITO in Illinois.

Switching to 30m at 1907 UTC, Eric's only QSO there came at 1910 UTC with K0NXV in Minnesota.

Switching to 20m at 1916 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came at 1920 UTC with KQ6QB in California. This was followed by a QSO at 1922 UTC with N9MM and by a QSO at 1923 UTC with NA5AR in Texas. After several minutes of fruitlessly calling "CQ POTA", Eric decided to call it a day at 1926 UTC.

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