I’ve been busy lately as we’re only 2 weeks away from the second annual Florida State Parks on the Air event!
It’s exciting to be involved with a young program like FLSPOTA. After finally meeting Matt, NJ4Y in person at Hamcation in February, I volunteered to help manage their Facebook page. By all metrics, we’ve succeeded in growing the following, and I hope that translates into more stations activating on the event weekend. FLSPOTA is a fantastic outreach opportunity for the ham community in Florida.
Personally, I’m excited to activate Egmont Key State Park, on a small island in the middle of Tampa Bay. We’ll be operating from one of the old artillery batteries, remnants of the Spanish-American War. When we activate, we’ll hope for chasers of FLSPOTA, the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society, Islands on the Air, Worldwide Flora-Fauna and USA Parks on the Air. In short, we’re hoping for a pileup!
Sunday, we plan to activate Highlands Hammock State Park. This park opened in 1931 and the allure can be expressed in this quote from their website:
“It is one of the highest ranking parks in Florida for endemic biodiversity. The park is known for its beautiful old-growth hammock and thousand year old oaks. Ferns and air plants are abundant. Black bear and the Florida panther tread softly through the hammock and may be glimpsed occasionally. An elevated boardwalk with an historic catwalk traverses cypress swamp, and visitors may observe alligators, birds and other wildlife.”
The (very) tentative plan is as follows. Times of operations are estimates and subject to change:
Egmont Key – Saturday, April 7 from 11:15a-4:30p (15:15-20:30 UTC) with primary operation on 20 and 40 meter SSB. Possibly working data modes if conditions aren’t great. Please note: activation time may be significantly shorter depending on island ferry capacity.
Highlands Hammock – Sunday, April 8 from 10:30a-4:00p (12:30-20:00 UTC) with primary operation on 20/40 meter SSB and likely PSK31 and/or FT8.
I will do my best to post frequencies and operating time estimates on Twitter, but I may have limited or nonexistent data coverage, especially on the island. If you hear me, please spot me!
Thanks for reading, and I hope to get you in the log!
EDIT: The initial post identified Egmont Key as being in IOTA Group NA-039. The post was corrected to NA-034.