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.
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!
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.
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. 😁