by William Eric McFadden

Time to Activate New Parks RATpedition! Day 1: Park Two of Two

From the wildlife area's website:

Beach City Wildlife Area is a 393-acre state wildlife area located 1 mile southwest of Beach City. The property is in Tuscarawas county.



The Beach City Dam sign -- click to enlarge On Friday, June 4, 2021, two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Beach City Wildlife Area in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. This was to be the second of two parks to be visited on the first day of a two-day outing, and four additional parks were to be visited on the second day. The first park visited in this outing was Shreve Lake Wildlife Area.

While taking a very roundabout route from Athens to Zanesville, Eric McFadden (WD8RIF) and Miles McFadden (KD8KNC) activated Beach City Wildlife Area at the 1936 art-deco Beach City Dam on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. This was the first CW POTA activation of Beach City Wildlife Area.

Eric and Miles arrived at the picnic area at the dam at 1830 UTC. Because of the nice weather, Eric chose to operate outside instead of in the car, so he and Miles deployed the 28½' wire antenna on a 33' MFJ-1910 telescoping fiberglass mast and tripod. Eric set up his KX3 on his folding camp-chair in the shade of a large tree and was on the air at 1846 UTC.

The 1936 Beach City Dam -- click to enlarge The cell-signal at this location allowed Eric to use the POTA Spots website (link) to spot himself and to look for possible park-to-park (P2P) QSOs.

Eric began operations by looking for P2P QSO opportunities but was unable to work any other parks at that time.

Finding his own frequency on 80m, Eric made a QSO with his friend Mike, K8RAT, at 1853 UTC.

Switching to 60m, Eric made three QSOs in about five minutes. This short run included a P2P QSO with KB3WAV who was activating Soldier's Delight National Environmental Area State Natural Area (K-6396) in Maryland.

Water Under the Dam -- click to enlarge Eric paused to check for P2P opportunities and made a P2P QSO on 40m with AB9CA who was activating Paynetown on Monroe Lake State Recreation Area (K-4171) in Indiana.

Finding his own frequency on 40m, Eric made five QSOs in sixteen minutes.

Pausing again to look for P2P QSO opportunities, Eric made a P2P QSO on 20m with NK8O who was activating Mined Land State Wildlife Area (K-7939) in Kansas and a P2P QSO on 40m with WG4Z who was activating President James K. Polk State Historic Site (K-6848) in North Carolina.

In all, Eric made twelve QSOs, including four P2P QSOs, in about fifty minutes. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.

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