On Saturday, 15 October 2016, area HAMs set up two radio stations at the Thomas Stone National Historic Site (TS NHS) near La Plata, MD. It was a great day to put antennas in the air and radios in operation. We set-up two stations, operated, and broke down during the park hours of 1000 to 1600 Local Time.
One station activated the TS NHS for National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) with TS NHS designated as site NS70.
NPOTA website – http://www.arrl.org/npota
TS NHS Website: https://www.nps.gov/thst/index.htm
Another station supported Jamboree On The Air for Boy Scouts.
JOTA website – http://www.arrl.org/jamboree-on-the-air-jota
JOTA US Bands/Frequencies page –http://www.scouting.org/jota/operators_guides.aspx
KB3TJR – Joe, NW3M – Bob, KB3SWS – Pam, and KB3SPH – Jeff arrived at 1000 for set-up. W1BJC – Bob and AA3WS – Charles came later to assist with operations and break down. The TS NHS site has regulations prohibiting ground penetration and securing anything to vegetation or park resources. No problem for this group of MacGyver-esque members as we used 14 cinder blocks transported from home QTHs and other free weights to hold the antennas and yard canopies in place. We erected three poles in our antenna field, which supported two HF multi-band antennas, a 2M/70cm multi-element beam, and a 2M/70cm J-Pole. The two HF antennas were about 200 feet apart and we didn’t notice any interference. We also experimented with various Hamsticks on a mag-mount. Since no commercial power was reasonably available at our site, we relied on the Sun and deployed two solar panel/battery systems to provide all our wattage.
We completed five contacts for NPOTA and talked to nine scouts for JOTA despite the busy bands with a NY QSO party and other contests on the air.
Jeff / KB3SPH