Friday, September 19, 2014

What the hey!

You've undoubtedly heard of Summits on the Air (SOTA), Islands on the Air (IOTA), Lighthouses on the Air and maybe you've even heard of Parks on the Air (POTA). Ed Breneiser WA3WSJ announced a new program on QRP-L this morning - Fire Towers.

You may be having the same initial reaction that I did ...... Huh ?!?

But you know what? If it promotes QRP operating in the Great outdoors, then it's a good thing and deserves support.  So without further ado .... here's Ed's announcement from QRP-L.

"Hello all,

I'm pleased to announce that the Boschveldt QRP Club will sponsor an Amateur Radio Fire Tower Program. The program is global in scope. The fire tower program will have awards for activators and chasers similar to SOTA, but much less restrictive in the rules etc. So get out there and activate a few fire towers this fall and winter as all fire tower contacts in 2014 will count. Please take a look at the website as I have posted an Excel file that lists all PA Fire Towers in the program. More states and countries will be added later. If you make one contact at a fire tower, it will count as an activation - no repeaters. An awards program is in the works for this program such as Fire Tower WAS , Fire Tower WAC, Worked ALL PA Fire Towers etc. Activators will get special awards in the various categories.

The objective of this program is to get more QRP operators out into the wilderness and see all of Mother Nature's beauty! There's no requirement to hike to the tower, just get there anyway you can and operate. For all the chasers, grab a few fire tower QSOs and an award or two.


OK .... so it IS a little bit different, but it does sound like fun!

I immediately got to wondering if there are any fire towers in New Jersey. I figured there must be, as we have a lot of forested areas. I was surprised to find out that there are twenty one !

I did a simple Google search on "New Jersey fire towers" and was led here:

I'll bet dollars to donuts that you could do the same thing to find out where these structures exist around you.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

1 comment:

  1. WA2FON8:59 AM

    Cool idea. I finished hiking the NY fire towers a year and a half ago, before I started amateur radio. This Fall, I climbed up and activated 4 towers as SOTA summits and towers. Pete KC2WI, has a towers on the air site for NY at
    If there is going to be a tower air day, I'll hike up and join in.
    Unfortunately, very few of the NY towers are accessible by auto. Better luck in western NY outside of the forest preserve.
    Good luck! I hope to hear others on the air soon.
    73 Marc WA2FON