We're less than 30 hours away from the start. ARRL staff and volunteers have been working hard to get all final preparations in place. We are just about there!
There have been some dramatic changes since we first announced NPOTA on October 15:
- NPS created the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, bringing the number of official NPS units to 409.
- NPS added many National Historic and Scenic Trails to their official list, which qualifies many of them to be on the NPOTA list. There are now 483 NPOTA units as of Decmeber 27.
- TQSL V2.2 and the LOTW Config File V 5.2 have been released. These are the versions that contain NPOTA units, which can be included as part of an Activator's signed log.
We have 62 Activations on our calendar signed up for January 1. That's gonna be a whole lot of operating over the weekend!
We also launched the monthly NPOTA Photo Contest. Be sure to get some photos of you while you're doing an NPOTA activation. Each monthly winner gets their photo in QST and some NPOTA merchandise.
We're pretty excited here at HQ; this weekend is going to be a great weekend for ham radio, even with a projected solar storm. Get on, work some Activations, and upload those logs. I hope you work you from one of three units I'll be activating in Connecticut this weekend.
Welcome to the ARRL National Parks on the Air event!
Ever since the end of the ARRL Centennial QSO Party in 2014, hams have asked for another year-long event to get involved with. We hope NPOTA will provide you with many months of quality activity on the bands.
Year-long activity events open doors to many hams who simply don't have the ability to devote an entire weekend to other on-air events, such as contests. The ham radio landscape is changing: more is required of us from work, family, and other obligations. By creating an activity that stretches over a long period of time, more opportunities exist for more hams to participate.
And participation is the name of this game! Yes, there will be many NPOTA "Chasers" who will be trying to work as many NPS units as possible, but that wouldn't be possible without the NPOTA "Activators;" those who take their gear into the NPS units and put them on the air. If you have never operated "portable" before, we encourage you to try it. Outdoor ham radio provides an experience unlike any other.
NPOTA is about sharing activity and learning about the NPS units. We hope that you will share your stories and adventures with the rest of the Amateur Radio community through our social media channels. This is YOUR event; look over the NPOTA Units List, find a location that appeals to you, put it on the air, and learn something about a historic place in America at the same time. Tell us what youve learned and experienced, and share it with the people you talk to on the air.
We look foward to working you in 2016! Have a great time!