Monday, November 23, 2015

ARRL - National Parks on-the-Air 2016

In 2016, the National Park Service (NPS) will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and radio amateurs will be able to help mark the occasion with the ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) event. The fun begins at 0000 UTC on January 1, 2016.

“As ARRL just celebrated our own Centennial, and Amateur Radio is often enjoyed in the great outdoors, it seemed fitting to devise a program to help NPS celebrate their own 100th birthday,” said ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X.

As Sean explained, NPOTA will run throughout 2016, with activity promoted and encouraged from each of the more than 430 official NPS administrative units and affiliated areas across the US. This includes all 59 National Parks as well as National Battlefields, Historic Sites, Memorials, Preserves, Reserves, Rivers, Seashores, National Scenic Trails, and other units.

The program will have two participation tracks — Chasers and Activators. Chasers will simply attempt to make contact with operators in as many of the NPS units as possible. Activators will attempt to activate as many of the units as possible. NPOTA participants may serve in both roles. Chaser and Activator totals will be tracked via an online Leader Board based on LoTW data, just as was done during the Centennial QSO Party. (Access the NPOTA Leader Board directly at

An Activator can earn additional recognition as a “Five-Star Activator.” While the Centennial QSO Party was an internal event for radio amateurs, National Parks on the Air is designed to be a public promotion of Amateur Radio’s capabilities. Various public relations bonuses and activities will be available to Activators, similar to the PR bonus points available to ARRL Field Day stations.

The success of the event and of the awards program rests on radio amateurs’ willingness to operate from NPS units.

“Portable operators, this event is for you!” Kutzko said. “Start thinking about how you would incorporate Amateur Radio into your visit to an NPS unit. Whether you’re camping in Yosemite, driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, or set up in a corner of Andersonville Prison, you will definitely draw a pileup. As long as you are on the property of the NPS unit, you will qualify as being in the unit.”

[UPDATE] Some great tips for chasers and activators

Learn more - Read the full ARRL Press release:

NPOTA web page:

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