OVARC National Parks on the Air - Saguaro National Park

NPOTA Logo WebOVARC National Parks on the Air

Saguaro West National Park

January 1-3, 2016

The club will be activating Saguaro National Park – NP49 as W7AI on January 1-3, 2016 using HF CW, SSB, and digital modes as part of the ARRL National Parks on the Air Program. More information on the National Parks on the Air program can be seen at https://npota.arrl.org/index.php

The OVARC event planning team (W8TK, K7EAZ, and AF9W) have scouted Saguaro West. There are three picnic areas with tables and ramadas but none with electricity.  Park administration does not allow gasoline generators, so we will operate with battery power. There are no trees taller than 10 ft., so we will be antenna-challenged as well. The ramadas can’t be reserved, so we plan to arrive early to secure a good spot, and park roads close at sunset, so we will not be staying overnight.

We think the best location is the Ez-Kim-in-Zin picnic area which offers two ramadas with tables and plenty of parking.  All of the picnic areas are located on Bajada Loop Drive, which is a dirt road.  The road is not in great condition but a high clearance vehicle is not necessary.  Check out the park website, which has a good map: http://www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm  An entrance fee is required to use the park. This can be a daily pass, multi-day pass, or annual pass.  Entrance passes can be purchased at the National Park Visitor Center.  The entrance fee is for each vehicle.  When you sign up via the SignupGenius please indicate whether or not you have a National Park Pass.  We’ll arrange a carpool to make sure those that don’t have a pass can get into the park. 

Operations will take place from 800am until 400pm on Jan 1, 2, and 3.  Signup will be by 1-hour shift like we do for Field Day.  We intend to operate 1 transmitter at a time so we don’t need to worry about filters and interference.  The operator for each shift will be able to pick the mode and bands they intend to operate.  Logging will be via N1MM in DXpedition mode. Lunch will NOT be provided so please plan to bring your own.  We will have water at the event but you still might want to consider bringing that also.  To sign up for an operating slot please go here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c094eadac2ca2fa7-ovarc

We will need equipment for this event. Our biggest concern is power.  We want to run 100 watts if possible.  When signing up for the event, please list equipment you may have that you would be willing to bring.  We need to keep the antenna’s low key so we are planning on wire antennas only. 

Equipment List

  • 100w Radio capable of CW, SSB, and Digital with computer interface for logging
    • Radio should have narrow band filters for CW and Digital
  • Logging and digital mode computer running N1MM and fldigi with extended battery capability
  • Digital interface like Signalink
  • Winkeyer with interface
  • 12v Deep cycle batteries
  • Coax
  • Antenna mast
  • Wire antenna

The planning committee believes it can source most of this equipment but if an operator would like to bring out their own station to operate that would be fine.  If anyone has a solar system for charging batteries that would be cool. 

If you have any questions, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.