POTA Activation #52: A 4 Band, 4 Park, 4 Country 100th POTA Park Activation

We have been having some unseasonably warm weather of late. Life has been busy, but I have been wanting to get out into a park and activate it ever since my activation last Friday. When I found out that I had an early morning meeting that would make a before-work activation challenging tomorrow, I thought that perhaps using my lunch hour for a quick one might be a good idea. So I decided to go to one of my favorite spots to activate that just so happens to be in 4 parks at once.

Frequent readers of the blog probably have noticed that I number my activations on the title of each post. This particular activation was the 52nd time I have gone out to activate POTA. However, this doesn't tell the story from POTA's perspective. When I activate a park that is in fact multiple parks, each park I am in counts as an activation in the parlance of Parks on the Air. So while today I was out one time, from a statistics perspective on the POTA site, I was really out four times. So if we go based upon that metric -- number of parks activated on a given Zulu day -- today was a special milestone. It included the 100th park activation I have done for Parks on the Air (and also the 97th, 98th, and 99th). Hard to believe in just under a year I have 100 park activations under my belt. It has been a lot of fun.

Recently the higher bands have been very productive as we've been ascending sunspot Cycle 25, so I decided to give things a go on 10m first. While I was spotted by the RBN pretty quickly, I didn't get any callers back after a few minutes. I decided to look at the MUF map, and although the rest of the country had a high-enough maximum usable frequency, it appeared that the mid-Atlantic did not. So, I took the hint and moved down to the 15m band, which was well within the frequencies that the forecasters said should be productive. As has become my recent custom, in addition to spotting on the POTA site, I have been dropping a note on the Long Island CW Club talkgroup's group chat, and my first contact was from group member Gregory, TI2GBB, all the way down in Cartago, Costa Rica! I heard him a solid 559 and he got me 599 -- with DX like that my lunchtime activation was off to an auspicious start. Next up I got a call from KJ7DT in Idaho, who has been a frequent hunter of mine on my CW outings. I was very glad to get him in the log again. Next up I got a response from Florida, and then a call from K1NGZ with his mobile bus station in Texas, followed by Michigan, Florida, Alabama, California, Alabama again, another California, and then some serious DX all the way from Germany! Next up was Louisiana and California and then more DX, this time from Spain! What a great run on 15m! I made a few more calls, but heard nothing back, so I decided to work my way down, this time to the 17m band.

After the RBN re-spotted me I was able to work a station in Minnesota, and then got another call from KJ7DT in Idaho. Then things quieted down again for another few minutes and I decided to work my way down again, this time to 20m.

20m is where the calls really started to come in with responses from Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia, Missouri, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, New York, Georgia, Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa, Oregon, Texas, and Kansas. After a nice run, things slowed down there as well -- I guess everybody was out to lunch -- so I decided to do one more move down to the 30m band before calling it an activation. The first response was from Virginia, followed by Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and North Carolina again. Looking at the clock I decided to call QRT, but just as I was about to put down the key I got a call from Georgia, so I got him in the log for the last contact of the day. He was very appreciative that I came back even after a QRT call and I am glad I was able to do it.

As my 100th activation came to a close I had 37 contacts in the log in 4 parks from 4 countries in 1:01. Not bad for a lunch break in the rain. In addition to the regular QRM an QRN, I had the pitter patter of rain to contend with, but I definitely enjoyed getting out to the park. Before heading out, I took a brief stroll by the water and enjoyed the beauty of the Potomac. Then it was back home to work.

International Activation QSO Map: Green Pins = CW / Orange Lines = 30m, Blue Lines = 20m, Purple Lines = 17m, Cyan Lines = 15m

Domestic Activation QSO Map: Green Pins = CW / Orange Lines = 30m, Blue Lines = 20m, Purple Lines = 17m, Cyan Lines = 15m

Gear used in this activation
  • Yaesu FT-891
  • Yaesu ATAS 120A Antenna
  • CW Morse SP4 POTA/SOTA Mini Morse Code Magnetic Paddle (N0SA Designed)
  • 2006 Honda Accord EX V6
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
  • HAMRS Logging App