POTA! On the Road

During my trip to MD for the feds in mid-April, I was able to work some Parks on the Air locations. I brought my Yaesu FT-991A, mag mounted hamsticks, a Heil Headset, and an 85AHr deep cell battery to work with. I was pleasantly surprised at the great response I got.

My first stop on Sunday was Monocacy Battlefield, adjacent to the City of Frederick, MD. Working out of the back of my car hatch in some cold weather, I made 13 Qs in about 30 minutes. Conditions were not good with deep QSB; I was on 20M around 1:00 PM EST. It was also 39 degrees! I was cold and hungry. 30 minutes was enough!

My next stop Sunday afternoon (about 3 1/2 hours later) was Catoctin Mountain Park in Thurmont, MD. It was 36 degrees here, but conditions were still poor and I made 15 Qs in about 45 minutes. I again worked out of the back hatch, but when I quit for the day I “played around” with some other ways of working the parks.

Monday afternoon I traveled to the Eisenhower Farm in Gettysburg, PA about 10 miles to my North; I got to the park around 5:00 PM EST, and wow did I do well! I made 61 Qs in just under an hour, signals were excellent and I even worked some DX! It was a bit warmer too, at 48 degrees.

By this time, I figured out how to work out of the back seat of the car with the laptop – and the radio fit snugly between the front seats. Warmer and much more comfortable! It was a great park Op!

Tuesday, before the NAQCC Sprint, I went to the Gettysburg National Park around 6:00 PM EST; I was again greeted by excellent conditions, and worked another 55 Qs including several DX in just under an hour. The Hamstick mounted on my car roof simply amazes me! I got a remarkable amount of compliments on my signal both Monday and Tuesday. It was also much warmer (48 degrees!).

In total, I worked 144 Qs on 20M in a little under 3 hours over 4 days. I was VERY happy with this count. I am looking forward to more POTA in my travels in the coming months. This stuff is FUN!!!

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