I have been thinking about chasing the many Parks on The Air (POTA) stations since everyday on HF it seems there are POTA activations all over the bands. So I began to look in to it some. I found this POTA intro video below and I encourage you to check it out below! I also found these websites with helpful information and spotting.
I then reached out to one our local operators that does a lot of activations for POTA to get his input. Dennis WØHL and he has been working and calling CQ for POTA many years. Here are his thoughts on working POTA.
"POTA, Parks on the Air, has brought so much life back to Amateur radio. I see comments all the time that POTA has got me back on the air.
I started hunting POTA activators back in Fall of 2018. Fun but I wanted to get out and activate portable. My first activation as an Activator was October of 2019. Like I tell people, once you activate you are hooked!! I started with a Yaesu FT-891 which is a great radio. It was fun running 50 watts but I kept seeing these Activators running low power. I have also wanted to run QRP. So I bought a Xiegu G-90. Output was 20 watts. Great radio and no problem working even the DX stations. I did not do much activating in 2020. I did have a friend who was looking for a FT-891 and had an ICOM IC-7300 he wanted to trade. Being the ICOM person that I am, I jumped on the deal. I mainly use the 7300 for digit operation. That would be PSK31, Olivia, Rtty, etc. Yes even SSTV has been used. I don’t do the FT-8 mode. I like to do the work but a lot of people activate using FT-8.
I was very active last year. I had 59 activations for the year. Not a lot for some people but I was happy with it. I should mention that my wife got me an Elecraft KX-3 for Christmas in 2020. One of my goals for the year was to get back on CW. I have been activating using 15 watts on SSB and most of the time only 5 watts on CW. It is amazing what you can do with 5 watts.
My goal for 2023 is activating a summit. It is known as SOTA. Summits on the Air. We do have some areas in Missouri that qualify. I enjoy chasing the SOTA guys who are up on those high mountains only running 5 watts into a piece of wire.
Awards? Yes for both the Activator and Hunter. You just create an account on the POTA website and all awards are there for you to download as an PDF. You may already have an award and not know it.
If you are interesting POTA, please check out www.parksontheair.com."