[amsat-bb] Report of NPOTA activation at Blue Ridge Pkwy on July 16th 1546 UTC SO-50 pass

John Brier johnbrier at gmail.com
Sat Jul 16 21:49:47 UTC 2016

My first National Parks on The Air activation from Blue Ridge Parkway
PK01 EM85 at Craggy Gardens in North Carolina was a big success and
very fun. On the July 16th 1546 UTC SO-50 pass I made fourteen
contacts with the following stations, in order of contact:

01) K8YSE
02) N8HM
03) K4FEG
04) KM4ULB
05) W2JV
06) KI4RO
07) WI9I
08) WA5KBH
09) W4DTA
10) N4UFO
11) AA5PK
12) WU2M
13) K5ND
14) W1PA

Thank you to all the above stations. To those I couldn’t get back to,
like NP4JV, we’ll have to do it next time. I really enjoyed the spot I
found, it had a very wide open view to the west and was mostly clear
in the other directions except for some small brush in the immediate
vicinity. It was also out of the way from most of the park attendees,
so I didn’t have to annoy anyone expecting a tranquil nature hike.

After the pass I wasn’t sure I made the ten contacts I needed to get
credit to be an activator, so I made several more contacts on 146.520
simplex, talking to stations in South Carolina, Charlotte, Hickory,
Hendersonville, and a few more nearby towns.

Even cooler, I connected with one of the Golden Packet [1] stations in
Roan Mountain and communicated with him over the UHF coordination
frequency. He helped me configure my Kenwood TH-D72a to communicate on
their APRS network and we shared several packets. I wasn’t digipeated
along the whole length of the Appalachian Trail, nor did I stick
around for the golden packet attempt, but I did communicate directly
with one of the stations using the official frequency, and that was
very cool. I may have to take part more seriously next year. Thanks to
Bob, WB4APR, for responding to my NPOTA activation announcement email
to let me know about the event.

You can see a picture of the video of the beautiful view where I
recorded the SO-50 pass on my Twitter profile [2]. I plan to make a
video of the pass for my “Space Comms” YouTube channel [3], where I
release new videos every Wednesday. This coming Wednesday, July 20th,
won’t be a video of this NPOTA activation as I’ve already started work
on an ISS SSTV video, but look for the NPOTA video in two weeks.

Thanks again for all the contacts! This was more than I’ve ever made
on a single pass! The pass just flew by.

73, John Brier KG4AKV

1) http://aprs.org/at-golden-packet.html
2) https://twitter.com/johnbrier/status/754349709104480256
3) https://www.youtube.com/c/Spacecomms1

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