What is POTA? POTA = Parks On The Air
What is Parks On The Air (POTA)?
Parks on the Air® (POTA) started in 2017 when the ARRL’s National Parks on the Air special event ended. A group of hams wanted to continue the fun beyond the one-year event… POTA was born!
What do you do for POTA?
There are two routes: Activator & Hunter.
Activator: A Amateur Radio Operator (aka a Ham) goes to an officially documented (on the POTA.app website) park & makes at least 10 contacts on the air. This is called an Activation of the park.
Hunter: A Ham who makes a contact with an Activator.
Check out my Stats page for the most recent numbers!
My First Attempt at Activating a Park. 7-6-2023 Lamoine State Park (K-2393) in Lamoine Beach Park, Maine.
I say attempt because my home station a few days before had a direct lighting strike. I lost all my radios… but one… I thought. Hindsight, I did loose everything except an HT.
My First Activation!!! 9-1-2023 Catoosa Wildlife Management Area (K-3931) in Cumberland County, Tennessee.
I made a total of 29 contacts! 4 SSB & 25 FT8. Sad to say, POTA only recognized 28 contacts. I was thrilled that my FIRST contact was with known POTA Activator Greg Mihran – KJ6ER (Mr Whooo Hooo) who was also activating a park (Park 2 Park). It was a ton of fun!
Equipment: Yaesu FTDX10, Chameleon MPAS2 System (FYI, the system comes with the coax), ABR Industries Coax, laptop (for FT8) & iPad to log SSB contacts using HAMRS… And yes, that is a generator (I didn’t do enough research & purchased a smaller battery then I need to run 100 watts on FT8) in the back of the truck.
The next day I taught a small class on “How To POTA”. We didn’t make any contacts that day, but participants said they learned a lot & they looked forward to POTAing in the future.
9-9-2023 Catoosa Wildlife Management Area (K-3931) in Cumberland County, Tennessee.
25 FT8 contacts. I knew there was a super small chance of rain. I had a canopy, didn’t think anything of it. It started a nice light rain, then all of a sudden, downpour! Couldn’t get the radio & computer in the truck fast enough because the canopy leaks! After it quit raining, I did get everything back up & running.
9-17-2023 Catoosa Wildlife Management Area (K-3931) in Cumberland County, Tennessee.
71 FT8 contacts
9-18-2023 Catoosa Wildlife Management Area (K-3931) in Cumberland County, Tennessee.
46 FT8 contacts
10-21-2023 Keyes-Harrison Wildlife Management Area (K-7599) in Cumberland County, Tennessee.
I was excited to be able to activate a new park for Support Your Parks day! I got 12 FT8/FT4 contacts in 45-50 minutes, right before a new UTC day started!