On May 7th, members of the Herriman Amateur Radio Club set up two stations for the 7-area QSO Party (7QP) in Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal, Utah. Although the solar flux index (SFI) remained in the low 80's that day, the 4-person team made good contacts with hams and "gave" them Uinta County, Utah, as well as Dinosaur National Monument, designated MN24. The National Part Service celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, and hams compete to "collect" contacts from national monuments, parks, battlefields, seashores, and others. The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) created the National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) challenge to help the National Park Service celebrate the anniversary. Hams from across the country will operate stations within NPS units to promote the National Park Service and to demonstrate amateur radio capabilities to the public. For more information about NPOTA activities, please visit: http://www.arrl.org/NPOTA.
The park Rangers at "Dino" went out of their way to welcome Gregg McArthur (W7GEM), Marlene McArthur (KF7ZMF), Mike McKay (KG7GIR), and Jon Titus (KZ1G) for the day. The HARC team set up two stations that operated as N7HRC, the club's station call letters, from near the park maintenance area but close by a hiking trail. Both stations displayed a HARC banner that identified the activities.
Unlike other field operations that relied on generator power, the rangers supplied electrical power as well as easy access to a restroom. During our visit, several rangers stopped to chat with us and take photos. Several pictures got posted to the Dinosaur National Monument Facebook page.
Both stations used a Kenwood TS-590 transceiver, although antennas differed. We put up a BuddiPole antenna and used it on 20 and 15 meters. The second station used a Tarheel Antennas screwdriver-type vertical antenna mounted on a pickup truck.
During the annual 7QP competition, hams in the US 7th call area--Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming--aim to communicate with others in as many counties as possible. Contacts from other states and countries also count in the final scores. In 2015, HARC's 7QP operation straddled the line between Piute and Garfield counties north of Antimony, Utah. For more information about the annual 7th area QSO Party, please visit: http://ws7n.net/7QP/new/Page.asp?content=about7QP.
A Big Thank You
Thanks go to Chief Ranger Lee Buschkowsky and his staff for their kind assistance and interest in ham-radio activities. --Jon Titus, KZ1G