DVRA Members and Non-Member Guests: Come out and join us on Saturday morning, September 30, 2023 in the field and picnic area adjacent to the West side of the parking lot at Bowman’s Hill Tower in Upper Makefield, PA. Directions: 40°19’32.8″N 74°56’21.3″W – Google Maps This location is part of Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania’s State Historical Park (K-6432) as W2ZQ plans to conduct a hilltop Parks On The Air (POTA) activation. Weather permitting, we’ll begin setting up at 8:30 AM and be fully operational by 10:00 AM, and we plan to operate for three hours until 1:00PM. Join us for the 8:30 setup or just to observe, or to operate at a time of your choosing between 10am and 1pm.

Reserve operating time on our signup sheet (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, we may modify the start or end time of the event, or we may switch it to the next day Sunday, October 1st.

“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. 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 our DVRA club station W2ZQ gets credit, also!

Here are the details:

WHEN: Saturday, September 30 at Bowman’s Hill Tower (PA), part of Washington Crossing Historic Park. Contact Bob Bowden KB3BB by email at thebowdens@yahoo.com to get status updates for the event if the weather forecast is poor or questionable. The schedule is for antenna and station deployment to begin at 8:30am, equipment 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). The operator will be assisted by a person manning the station log. To sign up for one or more half hour 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.

If the morning weather is rainy or threatening with an improved forecast for the afternoon, our fallback plan is to move the start time back to 1PM on Saturday. Or, if the forecast is for poor weather throughout the day, we may decide to switch the event entirely to Sunday, Oct. 1 with setup beginning at 8:30 AM and operation from 10AM – 1PM.

WHERE: For road directions: 40°19’32.8″N 74°56’21.3″W – Google Maps Park and walk to the field adjacent to the West side of the parking lot, and you will easily find our operating position.

A picture of the field where we’ll be operating appears 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 and/or logging, or even by just observing this POTA activation will be appreciated!

Bob Bowden KB3BB, thebowdens@yahoo.com

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