by William Eric McFadden

From the West Virginia Explorer entry:

The 217-acre O’Brien Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) ranges across the wooded valley of the Tug Fork of Mill Creek, which has been impounded to form O'Brien Lake. Waterfowl are the principal quarry hunted in the management area. O'Brien Lake is equipped with a boat-launch ramp and accomodates fishing for bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass, and channel catfish. Camping is not prohibitted in the management area.



Eric's station overlooking O'Brien Lake -- click to enlarge On Saturday, August 8, 2020, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of O'Brien Lake Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. This was the first-ever POTA activation of O'Brien Lake WMA.

On a beautiful summer day, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the activation overlooking O'Brien Lake while maintaining proper social distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Eric was accompanied by his daughter Kate and Kate's dog, Bo.

Eric, Kate, and Bo arrived at O'Brien Lake WMA about 1730 UTC and, after determining that the parking area was not technically within the WMA, Eric deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his MFJ-1910 33' telescoping fiberglass mast and tripod just inside the WMA's boundaries and set up his KX3 on his folding camp stool. Eric was on the air at 1748 UTC.

Eric was very surprised 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 first QSO there came at 1752 UTC with his good friend K8RAT in Ohio. A second QSO came at 1753 UTC with N3XLS in Pennsylvania. Eric switched to 60m at 1758 UTC but no QSOs were made there.

The view from Eric's station -- click to enlarge Switching to 40m at 1803 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came at 1811 UTC with NT2A in New York. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's twelfth QSO on 40m while running a frequency coming at 1824 UTC with KO4SB. Following this run of QSOs, Eric successfully hunted on 40m for a Park-to-Park (P2P) QSO at 1828 UTC with KN3A who was activating Samuel S. Lewis State Park (K-1418) in Pennsylvania. Eric switched to 20m at 1829 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 20m came almost immediately at 1830 UTC with AA5UZ in Louisiana, his second QSO on 20m came at 1834 UTC with K7ES in Washington, and his third and final QSO on 20m came at 1836 UTC with AD5TF in Texas. Eric switched to 30m at 1837 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 30m came at 1840 UTC with NE1D in Massachussets. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's tenth QSO coming at 1854 UTC with N0TOP.

In all, Eric made twenty-eight QSOs, which included one P2P QSO. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.