Dayton Bus Trip - Not planned for 2023

Due to the significantly increased cost of renting a bus since 2020, the cost of fuel, and the lack of ticket sales last year, ARTS will not be hosting a bus trip to the Dayton Hamvention in 2023.  Several club members and non-members will be car pooling.  Come to a meeting or join one of our nets and make it known if you are looking to car pool or if you are looking for company on your trip to the Hamvention this year.

POTA by the Numbers: ARTS club activation @ K-1254 - 17 Dec 2022

Despite the absence of yours truly, four brave club members participated in a successful activation of one of the four POTA units within Jefferson County. This time, our fearless leader, N9PMI, selected E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park due to the likelihood for inclement weather. While it was quite cold, the wind was minimal and precipitation absent. Not the worst conditions, but I wouldn't call the conditions favorable either.

All that having been said, let's take a look at the numbers. For anyone who hasn't checked it out, club activations show up on the POTA website under both the operator callsign and the club callsign. So for festivities yesterday, the club logged 84 contacts with 5 on CW and 79 on phone. Note this doesn't include Scott's (K3SDM) 31 QSO's, though those are in the later analysis.

My favorite logging options for POTA

Here's a mini-discussion of the two logging options I use for POTA activations. Link to the original Reddit thread here.


HAMRS is absolutely fantastic for POTA hunting.

One of K8MRD's YouTube videos turned me on to it. With an internet connection (not hard to setup a hotspot with a smart phone as long as you have cell service), you can copy details from any POTA spot (callsign, park, frequency, etc.) directly into your QSO record. Then you only have to enter both signal reports and you're done. If it's a 2fer or 3fer, you can either repeat the process with other spots or just add the extra park or parks to the park field, and the app will save individual QSO's for all parks involved.

As a backup, I nearly always export my logbooks to an ADI file as soon as I'm done activating, save them to my hard drive, and email them to myself before I pack up. If you're planning a really long activation, you can always make a habit of exporting a backup every 10 or 20 QSO's to be really safe.

When logging non-park to park contacts for an activation, HAMRS will pull in any data from your designated database (QRZ, HamDB, and HamQTH are all supported, but internet is required). Once you get the hang of it, you can just enter the callsign and signal reports then lookup the grid squares after the fact if you wanna include them.

For the truly lazy ham such as myself, the simplest thing to do is run a digital mode for your activation. It is easier, of course, on some rigs than others to setup digital modes, but once that's done, the software will do nearly all of the logging for you. WSJT-X can be configured to prompt for confirmation with every completed contact. For example, sometimes on FT8, I have to enter a grid square manually-- especially common when the QSO is interrupted and I have to pick it back up later. Honestly, it's like having a little radio butler with you. I've added GridTracker to the mix for my last two activations, and it's like the radio world is a menu at a restaurant where I'm the richest guy in town.

With these tools at my disposal, my default MO for any activation is first to hunt all SSB spots I can get for Park 2 Parks, logging those with HAMRS. Then I switch over to FT8 to get as many contacts as I can that way. Finally, I finish up by trying to hunt some juicy DX contacts with admittedly mixed results. But that's my 10 watts through a ground mounted vertical antenna with only 3 radials talking there-- nothing to do with the logging strategy. Managed to pull off a Park 2 Park QSO with a ham in France on FT8, so it can be quite rewarding.

POTA Event Update - ARTS and Parks - Club POTA

On Nov 5, 2022 ARTS held our first club POTA activation operating under the W4CN club call sign.  Several of us made the trek up to K-4191 Clark State Forest in Henryville, IN.  We braved some adverse conditions which in hind sight, were in the spirit of portable operating and prepardness.  

The event was attended by my self N9PMI, Don (K2KFE), Mike (AG4EP), Greg (WX8V), Keith (KO4SWB) and Scott (K3SDM).  While up at the park, we battled with 40+ mph winds and spitting rain.  We had no major issues other than my tripod holding my EFHW toppled over.  That was solved by adding some counter weigh.  While there we operated on multiple bands and multiple modes including SSB, FT8 and CW.  We made 184 contacts and of that 24 were Park 2 Parks.  A good day in the activating world considering weather conditions.

ARTS is planning on making club activations a regular monthly even happening on the 3rd Saturday of every month.  We will post information to the club mailing list and the website.  

This link will let you download a copy of the slide show from my presentation at the 11-10-22 ARTS General meeting.  In there is good information on Parks on the Air (POTA)  You may also go to

Thanks to all of you who make this a success.

December meeting - Fun gift exchange

At the December 2022 ARTS meeting the traditional Mystery Gift Exchange took place. There were 10 participants this year. The way it works is members bring a wrapped unmarked ham-radio related gift of about $25 worth. Numbers are issued to the participants. When your number ticket is drawn, you get to choose any one gift that remains. If you touch it, it’s yours!  There was some pretty good stuff, such as working handi-talkies! Smiles all around.  Plan to do it again in Dec 2023!