Rib Mountain State Park, is one of the highest spots in the State of Wisconsin. In addition to a commanding view, you also have an excellent perch to launch some RF energy. That’s why I’m using this impressive backdrop to talk a bit about Wisconsin Parks on the Air.
The purpose of Wisconsin Parks on the Air operating contest is to promote public awareness of amateur radio within Wisconsin’s beautiful State Park system. So for one day on the third Saturday in September from 11 am to 9pm local time, the parks will activate and you’ll hear competing stations operate from as many Wisconsin parks as possible. The objective is to work as many stations located in other Wisconsin parks as hams not located in a park in any state, province or country.
So what are the rules? Well, it’s pretty straightforward. First off, you don’t need to activate a park to participate in the contest- anybody inside and outside the state can participate and collect as many park entities as possible. But activating a park will offer an extra challenge of operating portable, plus you’ll become the focus of everyone else as they will want your park.
So what is considered a state park? WIPOTA is conducted in Wisconsin State Parks, State Forests, Flowages and Recreation Areas. These are all defined as parks. There are 76 total units to choose from for WIPOTA activation including 49 Wisconsin state parks, 10 state forests, and 12 recreation areas and flowages. While not all of the parks may be activated for this event, there still will be a great number of parks to choose from. So if you are a Wisconsin operator, please consider activating your park and registering your activation on the wipota website.
As for bands, you’ll want to work the general phone portions of the HF bands and sideband and FM on the VHF 2 meter band. Limit your power to 150 watts or less inside the parks. If you are setting up in a day use area, check with the park superintendent, especially if you are planning to erect any antennas, drive stakes into the ground, or run a generator.
If you are outside the state, I encourage you to get on the air and participate by collecting as many state park entities as possible. Many of these parks are in rural areas, so you might also collect a rare grid square. Exchange is simple. If you are activating a park, give your callsign and wisconsin park abbreviation, and outside a park, please supply your state, province, or country.
All right, that’s about it. If you are planning to activate a park, go to the Wisconsin Parks on the air website and register which park or parks you are planning to activate. If you are outside a park, get on the air the third Saturday in September and listen for the parks to go live.
Full details on the on the Wisconsin Parks on the Air contest can be found at the Wipota website located at wipota.com. I’ll be participating, so listen for callsign KB9VBR, I hope to hear you on the air.