Thursday, December 3, 2015

National Parks On The Air Is Coming in 2016

The ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) event runs in parallel with the National Park Service's centennial. The program runs from 0000 UTC January 1, 2016 through 2359 UTC December 31, 2016.

Goals of National Parks on the Air

a) Promote the capabilities of Amateur Radio to the general public through operations at eligible NPS Administrative Units.

 b) Promote the NPS Centennial and the heritage of the National Park System through Amateur Radio.

 c) Encourage portable Amateur Radio operation from as many of the 408 officially-listed National Park Service administrative units and the 25 recognized Affiliated Areas as possible. Checkout this NPOTA/SOTA map.

See the rules at Note: You will have to use Logbook Of The World..This will be nice for Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio (RaDAR) operators as activators since there will be a lots of chasers looking for you. 

As far as I can tell, the Okaloosa Day Use Area which is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore is the closest opportunity for me. It is 1.5 hours west of Panama City. There are several other National Seashore sites between here and Mississippi.

The Okaloosa Day Use Area, open from 8:00 am to sunset, is located on the Northside of US Highway 98 near Fort Walton Beach, FL. This quiet water area features white sandy beaches, calm waters, picnic tables, a boat launch, parking, and public restrooms with outdoor showers. Currently, there are no fees collected at this area.

I would like to be there on January 1st to kick off NPOTA. Of course, I can go anytime in 2016 and multiple times as I read it.  I like the fact it has the saltwater bay on the North shore. This will facilitate taking advantage of the saltwater effect for vertical antennas. Some horizontal antennas would also be in order.

Greg N4KGL