Posted on 23rd Nov 2022
Ham radio, also known as amateur radio, has been around for over a century, with it’s popularity diminishing over the years. However, a new trend has emerged that is bringing new life to this hobby: Parks on the Air (POTA).
POTA is a relatively new program, having been established in 2016 by a group of amateur radio operators in the United States who wanted to see the ARRL and NPS 2016 National Parks on the Air initiative live on. Since its establishment, POTA has grown rapidly, attracting participants from around the world. Today, it is one of the largest and most active programs in the amateur radio community, with thousands of hams participating in the program each year. The success of POTA has been driven by its simplicity and accessibility.
POTA is a program that encourages amateur radio operators to set up temporary stations in parks, forests, and other protected lands. By doing so, these radio enthusiasts are able to make contacts with other hams from around the world, and share information about the parks and the history behind them. This has brought a new level of excitement and relevance to the hobby of ham radio, and has attracted a new generation of enthusiasts.
One of the key reasons for the resurgence of ham radio is the simplicity and accessibility of POTA. All that is required aside from your license is a portable radio and an antenna, and the operator can start making contacts from references around the globe. This has made it easier for people to get involved, and has brought a new level of excitement to the hobby.
POTA has also helped to promote the conservation of protected lands, as it raises awareness of their importance and the need to protect them. By visiting these lands and making contacts, ham radio operators are able to share the stories and history behind them, and promote the need to preserve them for future generations.
Additionally, POTA has also helped to strengthen the sense of community among ham radio operators. By working together to set up and operate their stations in parks, hams have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with other enthusiasts from around the world. This has created a new level of camaraderie and friendship within the hobby, and has helped to grow strong and engaged community.
Another aspect of POTA is the educational aspect it brings to ham radio. Through the program, operators are encouraged to learn about the parks they visit, the history behind them, and the conservation efforts being made to protect them. This knowledge is then shared with others, helping to raise awareness and educate others about the importance of protected lands.
In recent years, POTA has also helped to attract new and younger participants to the hobby of ham radio. By offering an exciting and accessible way to get involved, POTA has introduced a new generation of enthusiasts to the world of ham radio, and has helped to keep the hobby alive and growing.
POTA has also helped to promote the use of technology in ham radio. By encouraging the use of portable and mobile radios, POTA has encouraged hams to experiment with new and innovative technologies, and to find new and creative ways to communicate with each other.
In conclusion, Parks on the Air (POTA) has brought a new level of excitement and relevance to the world of ham radio. By offering a simple and accessible way for people to get involved, promoting conservation efforts, strengthening the sense of community, providing educational opportunities, attracting new participants, and promoting the use of technology, POTA has helped to keep the hobby of ham radio alive and thriving.
Curtis Turner - KB3CMT