DVRA Members and Non-Member Guests: Come out and join us on Saturday morning, July 8 in Washington Crossing Historic Park in Washington Crossing, PA as W2ZQ plans to conduct a two-station multi-mode (Phone and FT8) Parks On The Air (POTA) activation. Weather permitting, we’ll set up in an open area in the park within 100’ of the Delaware Canal. Join us for the setup between 8am and 10am, and/or join us for the activation itself, which will run from approximately 10am to 1pm. Reserve operating time (see below) so you can have the experience of being on the receiving end of a “POTA pileup” (we hope!).

If the weather that day is threatening or if it’s raining lightly, we can move the activation further into the park so we’re located under the protection of the General Greene Picnic Pavillion, as long as that pavilion remains unreserved for that date. (As of this writing, the pavilion is unreserved and available for us to occupy if necessary on July 8.) If bad weather along with pavilion unavailability makes the July 8 date infeasible, the rain date for this event is the next day, Sunday July 9, with the same game plan: The outdoor open-air operating position near the Canal is preferred, with the picnic pavilion as a bad weather fallback is Plan B.

“Parks On The Air” (POTA) has become a very popular Amateur Radio program. It’s an on-air activity that helps Amateurs practice many skills while enjoying our great hobby, including:

  • emergency preparedness, allowing us to obtain and hone the ability to operate “off the grid”, and away from our home station
  • temporary antenna and station deployment “in the field”
  • utilization of emergency power equipment (no-noise battery power is preferred in POTA settings)
  • “working pileups” on both ends: getting through them as a Park Hunter, and working and managing them as a Park Activator
  • Finding yet another way to get outside and enjoy our wonderful State and Federal parks, which have been called “America’s Best Idea”
  • Positive public relations for our hobby via exposure to the general population. Members of the public stop by and watch us enjoy Amateur Radio in the great outdoors

Whether you’re a current DVRA Member or not, are currently registered with the Parks On The Air program or not (registration with POTA is simple and free of charge online at Parks on the Air | POTA, provided you’re a currently licensed Amateur), you will be included on our submitted log as the Operator for your completed QSOs and get POTA “activator” credit for those contacts from our park station. Two W2ZQ portable stations will be set up on Saturday, July 8th at Washington Crossing Historic Park in Pennsylvania, weather and/or pavilion availability permitting. If you join us and operate during this event, and if you work at least ten stations as an Operator, you will get POTA credit for a successful Activation under your callsign – and club station W2ZQ gets credit, also!

Here are the details:

WHEN: Saturday, July 8 at Washington Crossing Historic Park (PA). Our first preference is to set up in the open, under shady trees. If the weather forecast for this date looks at all questionable, we will move the location further into the park to be under the protection of the General Greene Pavillion. Contact Bob Bowden KB3BB by email at thebowdens@yahoo.com to get status updates for the event. The schedule is for antenna and station deployment to begin at 8am, testing to occur at 9:30am, and for Parks On The Air operation to occur from 10:00am to 1:00pm. Operators will work in half hour blocks (on the half hour), and be assisted by a person manning the station log. To sign up for one or more half hour on-the-air blocks for operating and/or for logging, please sign up on the following Google Document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13-ixbSaoUi3nIRCszBIrAnFeynpi2S3h-5qfW164fYo/edit?usp=sharing.

WHERE: On July 8, we will set up within 100 feet of the towpath for Pennsylvania’s Delaware Canal State Park (POTA designation K-1347) within Washington Crossing State Historic Park, POTA designation K-6432. If we are able to set up there, this will make it a “threefer”, a triple park activation.

If weather allows us to use this open air location, the nearest and best place to park your car is at Washington Crossing Gateway Heritage Park, which is an environmental “park within the park” (it’s part of Washington Crossing Historic Park). The address is 1201 General Stark Rd., Washington Crossing, PA 18977 and the Google Maps link is https://goo.gl/maps/2wPxhy1CjainoJL9A . Park in the lot and walk toward the Delaware Canal, and you will easily find our operating position.

If the weather is rainy or threatening but not an out and out driving rainstorm, our fallback plan is to utilize the General Greene Picnic Pavillion about a quarter mile further into the park. Here is the location and a link to driving directions, should we have to go to this Plan B and use the pavilion: 40°17’46.6″N 74°52’41.0″W on Google Maps https://goo.gl/maps/H7QCsJ1WzDfPsXvR6.

In the unlikely event of an extremely bad weather day, our fallback is to perform this POTA activation the next day, on Sunday July 9th at the same times and backup plan described above for July 8th.

Again, our Plan A is to perform this activation on July 8 in the open air location pictured below:

WHAT TO BRING: Bring your licensed self, and of course bring family member(s) or a friend if you think they might enjoy seeing Amateur Radio practiced in the great outdoors! Bring folding lawn chairs for yourself and for anyone else in your party. And bring snacks and / or sandwiches and beverages to keep fueled and hydrated. DVRA is bringing operating equipment; the rest is strictly BYO. Note that alcoholic beverages are NOT permitted in PA state parks. Stay for whatever period you wish – if you have other plans, your DVRA friends will understand if you must leave mid-event. Any time you can spend with us supporting our activation by helping with station setup or tear-down, by operating, or even by just observing this POTA activation will be appreciated!

Bob Bowden KB3BB, thebowdens@yahoo.com

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