POTA by the Numbers: ARTS club activation @ K-1254 - 17 Dec 2022
- Published: Monday, 06 March 2023 17:47
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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.
Here's where the contacts were, color-coded by mode (SSB red, CW green, and aqua for the one FM contact which is buried among other red pins in the area around the park).
Our longest contact was to the California coast. Greg, Scott, and Paul each scored one N5KO in their respective logs. With 5 watts of power, that's 2.49 milliwatts per mile. Well done! Let it be said that the ARTS Club is down with QRP.
A closer look at the close in
Here's a closer look at the contacts near the park. You can see the lone FM pin clearly. Note that the log contains 11 contacts on VHF/UHF bands, but only one included FM as the mode, so there's only one such pin.
Also, note that when you're zoomed in this far, the pins are not centered exactly on the station in question. They snap to the center of the grid square in the log. Six digit grid square reports are more accurate than 4, but you would need lat/long coordinates to several significant figures to get more precise locations. This mostly shows up when running modes like FT8 that only store 4 digit grid squares, so you can end up with multiple pins on the same grid square that look like only a single contact.
While Parks on the Air is not a contest, it is a pretty good simulation of a contest if the operators work as though it is. Based on my time with the crew on the hill at Clark State Forest, things are fairly laid back. I found it pretty similar to my time at Summer Field Day earlier in the year.
All that having been said, during the period where the most stations were active (3 since Mike had to show up late), which I've identified as from 14:58 to 17:16, the crew made 98 contacts in about 138 minutes. That's an average of 0.71 contacts per minute for the group and 1.41 minutes per QSO. This equates to about 4.23 minutes per QSO per operator during the peak period. That's a QSO rate of 14.18 contacts per hour per operator.
Article by Keith KO4SWB