SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My Last National Parks On The Air Activation

The ARRL 2016 National Parks On The Air Event has concluded with the years end. It was a very popular amateur radio event to help celebrate the National Park Service Centennial. So I decided to squeeze in one more activation. I chose the closest site for me. It is the Okaloosa Island Day Use Area which is a little more than an hours drive just West of Destin, Florida. It is part of Gulf Island National Seashore which is designated SS08.l upload my logs to Log Book Of The World LOTW and the World Wide Fauna and Flora system. Note the NPOTA SS08 is KFF-0661 under WWFF. This is my eighth SS08 activation and the sixth time at this Okaloosa Island site.

The weather was a bit chilly at 55 degrees (F) and cloud cover. I started with a SO 50 satellite pass which netted two contacts. On HF I used the Elecraft KX2 running ten watts to a N6BT Bravo 7K vertical. I used 100 feet of RG-8 to get the antenna close to the saltwater shore on the North side. I did not go with my NVIS antenna for 40 meters since foF2 was not above 7 MHz. That nixed any HF contacts back to Panama City.  I was able to use the longer skip on 40 meters. I snagged Craig NM4T near Huntsville which was as short as I could get. It was a surprise and pleasure to work Craig my buddy and the Huntsville QRP guy. Also Suzy was my buddy once again.

So my total is 60 contacts. Several were the first SS08 for the chasers. The breakdown was

  • 40 CW (6)
  • 40 SSB (12)
  • 20 CW (20)
  • 20 SSB (20)
  • SO 50 (2)

NPOTA has been a great experience. It ended too soon. My plan right now is to continue my start with the WWFF-KFF for portable activations. It has hunters which are the equivalent to chasers in NPOTA.. You can take credit for 2016 NPOTA activations in that system by submitting your logs. The nice thing about KFF is that it includes National and State Parks. There are lots of State Parks in Northwest Florida for sure.

Elecraft KX2

N6BT Bravo 7K Vertical