NPOTA Activation of St. Louis Arch (NM12)

It’s October and I’ve not made a single NPOTA activation or contact. :O

You can mostly blame it on the fact I live in an apartment, and have been doing lots of traveling this year, and also that it takes a lot of effort to do a NPOTA activation, at least in St. Louis. The guys who set up the Arch activation said it took almost a month to set up a permit to operate. I don’t have the time.

But luckily this past weekend, I did.

The Arch is officially called the Jefferson Expansion National Memorial, commemorated for St. Louis’s role in westward expansion in the 19th century (i.e. the Gateway to the West) as well as Dred Scott’s case for his freedom in the Old Courthouse just west of the Arch.

The famous courthouse, and little tiny us.
The famous courthouse, and little tiny us.

Kyle N0KTK, Scott ND9E, and Chris WX5CW invited me to operate their station set up on the southwest corner of the current construction. The NPOTA designator for the park is NM-12. As of this writing, it’s responsible for 12 activations and 736 QSOs. I was responsible for 118 new ones!

20m dipole and 40m Alpha Antenna loaded vertical
20m dipole and 40m Alpha Antenna loaded vertical were our antennas. We also had a backup 40m dipole. Nearby LED lighting was pretty loud!

They had 2 stations, and activated 40m and 20m on CW and SSB.

Let me tell you, out of every contest I’ve worked I have never heard such pileups. Even with our 20′ high dipole and 100 watts in the middle of a city…it was exhilarating!

I brought my camera with me and took video, but didn’t get any half-decent audio of the radio. The surrounding area was super noisy because of road and construction noise, so forcing an operator to take off his headphones wasn’t a good idea. But seriously. Imagine 20 or 30 people all screaming their name at the same time.

Kyle N0KTK orchestrated the whole event.
Kyle N0KTK orchestrated the whole event.

It was super fun. Altogether I made about 118 QSOs in an hour and a half. We had about 20 people ask us how to get to the arch, but a handful of hams and non-hams came up and chatted with us.

I really appreciate the impromptu opportunity to run the station there. It was a lot of fun! What have I been doing all year?!?

Read my archives to answer that question. 😁

Author: N0SSC

24 year old amateur radio operator. I love everything about ham radio. Trying to learn CW and contest more, and doing my best to promote youth involvement and retention in this aging hobby.

1 thought on “NPOTA Activation of St. Louis Arch (NM12)”

  1. I made 11 SSB contacts, but told 20 people how to get to the entrance of the arch from where we were operating, so it was a successful HTGOTNP (How to get to the National Park) activation!

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