WSSM Team Activates Mt. Blue State Park (K-2397) for POTA

Jason W1SFS operates 20m SSB

On Sunday, August 1st, members of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine (WSSM) activated Mt. Blue State Park, in Weld, Maine, for Parks on the Air (POTA). The team met at a Dunkin Donuts on the corner of Routes 2 and 142, in Dixfield, at about 10:00 AM, to refuel on coffee before venturing to a scenic overlook just a few miles down the road.

View from the overlook

Located in the western foothills, Mt. Blue State Park is Maine’s largest, encompassing almost 8,000 acres. The area is named for the spruce that inhabit the granite slopes of Mt. Blue. The overlook opens to an expansive view of Webb Lake, and Web River, surrounded by hills that are dominated by the 3,187 ft. tall Mt. Blue. It’s a beautiful area to visit, and the weather was nearly perfect, with only small puffy clouds making an appearance now and then throughout the day.

Tim KA1VPU and Brad KC1JMH

The WSSM team, consisting of Jason Andrews W1SFS, Brad Brown Jr. KC1JMH, Tim Watson KB1HNZ, Stefania Watson K1GJY, Rory McEwen KB1PLY, and Tim Welch KA1VPU, made use of picnic tables to setup their stations, which included a Yaesu FT857d connected to a Buddipole configured for 20 meters, and an Icom IC-7000 connected to a 40 meter vertical. Both stations ran on battery power.

Jason W1SFS acquired a special event callsign, W1B, for the activity, and it was popular on the bands! 40 meters was busy throughout the day, and 20 meters came on strong in the afternoon.

“Being the first time using KA1VPU’s Buddipole, we experimented with using the included balun, which requires it to be configured more like a traditional dipole, and then by eliminating the balun, which sees it configured like an off-center fed dipole, with one radiating element longer than the other,” explained Brad Brown KC1JMH. “We found that it worked much better without the balun.”
Stefania K1GJY had quite a run going on 40 meters, and Brad KC1JMH and Jason W1SFS racked up many contacts on 20 meters.

“We had a great time!” says Stefania Watson K1GJY, “and finished the day with over 80 QSOs!”

Stefania works 40m SSB

During the event, operators were mostly calling CQ, but did some searching and pouncing, giving out the POTA designator K-2397, which is assigned to Mt. Blue State Park. They also made a few park-to-park contacts.

Afterwards, the team followed Jason W1SFS, to his parents’ house on Rt. 142, on the Webb River, for an afternoon cookout, before driving back to southern Maine.

This was the second time the WSSM team operated from the state park, the first being a Summits on the Air (SOTA) activation, from the summit of Mt. Blue, in 2014.

POTA Activation from Mt. Blue State Park, Sunday, August 1st

Please join us Sunday, August 1st as we venture to Mt. Blue State Park in Weld, ME, to activate it for Parks on the Air (POTA).

We will be setting up a couple of portable, battery-powered HF stations, using free-standing antennas. Mt. Blue State Park has the POTA designator, K-2397.

POTA SCHEDULE:

10:00 AM – We’ll meet up at the Dunkin Donuts at the corner of Rt. 2 and Rt. 142, in Dixfield, ME (36 Main Street, Dixfield, ME 04224), and then drive to a scenic overlook located within Mt. Blue State Park, where we’ll setup our stations.

10:30 – 11:00 AM – Setup HF stations and antennas.

11:10 AM – 3:00 PM – On-air activities.

3:15 PM – Begin breakdown of stations.

3:30 PM – We’ll follow Jason W1SFS to his parents’ house on Rt. 142, on the Webb River, for an afternoon cookout.

Talk-in on 146.580 FM Simplex.

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

MEETING REMINDER – Tonight at 7:00 PM

Please join us this Thursday, July 8th, from 7:00 PM-9:00 PM, at Wassamki Springs Campground, for our monthly business meeting. If the weather is nice, we’ll be meeting outside near the former camp store. Please bring a lawn chair as there may not be a picnic table available near the site.

For those who haven’t been there before, the camp store is located near the back of the camping area. Turn right after checking in at the office, follow the road past the lake, and take the next left. Follow that road almost to the end, where you’ll see a small white building with a porch. Its important to DRIVE SLOW and follow all campground rules when present on the property. We are guests!

On the agenda, we’ll be reviewing ARRL Field Day, which took place the weekend of June 26-27 this year, and we’ll finalize plans for our Parks on the Air (POTA) outing to Mt. Blue State Park.

If you’d like to join us remotely, here’s the dial-in instructions:
(Last month we found that cell coverage at the campground was spotty, so we’ll do the best we can).

Dial-in number (US): (425) 436-6366
Access code: 2618168#
International dial-in numbers: https://fccdl.in/i/kb1hnz
Online meeting ID: kb1hnz
Join the online meeting: https://join.freeconferencecall.com/kb1hnz

For additional assistance connecting to the meeting, text ‘Call Me’ to the Dial-in number above and you will be called into the conference. Message and data rates may apply.

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ