Parks on the Air ℠ (POTA)
POTA is a way to enhance skills and foster community in a state or national park setting
Being located next door to Big South Fork National Wild and Scenic River (K-0686) and Obed National Wild and Scenic River (K-0685) it gives us the chance to activate a remote station in a beautiful setting.
The club’s call sign W4BSF has been registered as an activator/hunter for this program. Other locations include state parks, state forests and state natural areas such as Rugby.
Welcome to POTA
The basics of POTA include amateur radio operators that are either activators or hunters. An activator is an operator who sets up a temporary station in either a state or national park that is recognized by POTA administrators. The activator may spot themselves on the POTA app allowing everyone to know their call sign, which park they are at, the mode they are operating with along with the frequency. The app will also inform others as to how active the operator is along with the hunter’s call signs so you can check out their propagation.
Hunters are operators that respond to the CQ call of an activator. The required exchange is only a call sign. Many times, a signal report is provided along with the activators park ID. Park IDs include a prefix such a K for US and VE for Canadian entities. Hunters can also receive certificates for the number of contacts and the number of parks they contact. As a hunter there is no need to submit a log as that is the activator’s responsibility.
Activators are required to register on the POTA web site and hunters are encouraged to sign up as well. Signing up and creating a profile is easy which allows activators to upload their logs and for everyone to track their progress. Awards start off almost immediately as a hunter that works 10 different parks. The program also rewards hunters for their DX park contacts and working either an early or late shift. Activators also obtain certificates by making contacts from their park and contacting other parks while activating (Park to Park). A certificate is available for repeat contacts and for an activator that roams between 5 or more parks in a single UTC day.
The Big South Fork Amateur Radio Club has members that are ready to help you learn to hunt in addition to activating. With all the parks in our area it makes it easy to become an activator and bring attention to our hobby and the natural resources in our area.
POTA Sites in our Area:
K-0686 Big South Fork
K-6239 Colditz Cove
K-2938 Cove Lake State Park
K-2953 Indian Mountain State Park
K-2948 Frozen Head State Park
K-6265 Rugby State Nat Area
K-2966 Pickett State Park
K-5498 Pickett State Forest
K-5500 Scott State Forest
K-2976 Sgt Alvin York State Park
K-6272 Twin Arches State Nat Area
Think of TN-POTA like the TN-QSO party but in a park. The event will take place the last full weekend of July with the intent of activating as many state parks as possible. The operating periods will be each day from 1400utc until 2200utc. Parks within the state open at 1200utc and will close at dusk. This will give each operator plenty of time to setup before the event, and tear down before the park closes.
This event is fore all Radio Amateurs, regardless of Tennessee residency. If you reside in Tennessee, you can activate from a park, or operate from home. If you’re outside the state or a DX station, you can participate as well! We also even have a category for Technician Class operators!