National Wildlife Refuge Week Special Event, Sunday October 11, 2015


NN4SA operated a special event station to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week.  Parts of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and Redstone Arsenal are in the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. Our club station Bldg. 4622 is located just a few hundred feet from the wildlife area boundary.   To keep close in spirit, we set up and operated a portable station at the Easter Posey #2 Recreation Area. The recreation area is at the southwest corner of the Arsenal, by the Tennessee River, and also is near the wildlife area boundary.

The Wheeler Refuge was established in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a haven and breeding sanctuary for migratory birds and other wildlife. It is 35,000 acres of mixed habitat, located along the Tennessee River in north Alabama.

Wheeler NWR map with NN4SA

Map of the Wheeler NWR, with the locations of our field operation site for the Special Event, and the location of our fixed station at Bldg. 4622.

Operation Date: Sunday October 11, 2015
(National Wildlife Refuge Week was October 11 – 17, 2015.)
Time: 1400 – 1900 UTC (0900 – 1400 CDT).
Location: Easter Posey #2 Recreation Area, Shields Road, Redstone Arsenal / NASA MSFC.

Easter Posey Recreation Area #2 pavilion

Easter Posey Recreation Area #2 pavilion

We were on SSB and RTTY with a primary 100 W HF station,  on 15, 20 and 40 meters. We also operated a CW QRP 5W HF station on 20 meters, to participate in the QRP ARCI Fall QSO Party. Each radio used EndFedz wire antennas suspended from the trees.  Although band conditions were poor, we made about 40 contacts, including 4 RTTY and 8 CW QRP.  We also joined in the Arizona and Pennsylvania QSO Parties.  A few contacts resulted in ragchews, on phone and CW.  We made several DX contacts: to Italy, to Croatia, and to the Canary Islands. This was a relatively relaxed special event for us. We had hot apple cider at the start in the cool morning, and we made a lunch break with fresh grilled hot dogs and accompaniments.  Our operators were KB5EZ, NM4T, WA2JQZ, and N4MSN.

Photos by KB5EZ and NM4T.





Radio+Outing+10-11-15CWB+1 Radio+Outing+10-11-15CWB+2

[Updated November 9, 2015, by WA2JQZ]

We received two QSL cards in the mail from when we ran our special event station for National Wildlife Refuge Week.  We operated our special event on October 11, in the field by the Tennessee River, to celebrate the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.  Part of the Refuge extents in to the Arsenal and the NASA Marshall Center.

KA5VZG in Tennessee, in particular, wrote to thank us for activating Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.  He showed us on his card that he is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Refuge Manager.

Our other card came from N1INI in Uxbridge, Massachusetts.  His card shows a photo of the Cape Naddick Lighthouse in Maine.


Here are some more QSL cards we received for the special event, through eQSL.  N1INI sent us a different photo in this set.

N1INI 20151011 NN4SA 20m SSB NWR MA

N1DRS 20151011 NN4SA 20m SSB NWR MA WM0L 20151011 NN4SA 20m SSB NWR NE KF5KJN 20151011 NN4SA 40m SSB NWR LA