MSPOTA’s soft roll-out aka, MSPOTA Lite is April 1, 2017. The “lite” part has to do mostly with our ability to handle data while we proof out the system. The MSPOTA system is one off, custom designed and built from scratch by our very own “Nerd Herd”. Until we can throttle-up, logs will be hand processed. While we do that very complex dance known as the Geek Tweek your job is to hit the parks and build some pile-ups. We will be initiating an awards program once the system is proven. Never fear, any QSOs submitted prior to the awards kick-in will accrue award credits while we build. Activating MSPOTA is really pretty easy. The DNR knows you are coming but you may have to educate the staff as to just how we do what we do as Amateur Radio Operators until they become accustomed to having us around. The core goal of MSPOTA is to promote both Michigan State Parks and Amateur Radio. Keep in mind that MSPOTA is operating as a DNR Recreation 101 Educational Program.
- You may activate any 2017 Scheduled DNR Park site listed on this website, anytime during normal park hours, any day they are open without making prearrangement with the park as long as you are self-contained and require no park facilities (shelter, 110v etc) during your activation. It is our intention have an on-line activation scheduler available down the road. Contacts submitted from parks not on the current years schedule will be deemed invalid and rejected.
- State Parks (MSP), State Recreation Areas (MRA) and Scenic Sites (MSS): Within the boundary of any listed 2017 scheduled park site per this web site.
- Trail Sites: Trails of any 2017 scheduled trails listed with trailhead designators are to be worked as close to the trail head as possible. Fred Meijer White Pine Trail –activation are countywide that is anywhere directly along the trail within the county as listed. In that the trails are not-staffed we have some latitude, we ask that you be reasonable and remember we are in this to egage the public however/whenever we can. When logging trail sites you might want to be mindful of your grid square and county to help the county and grid hunters with their efforts.
- Our agreement with DNR is that anything under ten (10) people for an activation is not considered a group and does not require prior notice. Other than one or two operators, activations over several days are worthy of a call to the park office. Consider when you intend to activate and if you are targeting a holiday weekend we recommend that you give the park a call as a heads up and inquire if they can accommodate you. If you require more than much more than a typical picnic space or are bringing things such as antenna tower trailers please call ahead.
- Larger groups, multiple day activations and campers are required to make prearrangement with the park office, please see our Park Rules and Permits.
- Exchange and CQ: CQ should include “Michigan State Parks OTA” and the alpha numeric park designator (MSP106 etc). Only date, time, both call signs and park designator are required for a valid QSO. RST is not required but may be included.
- Bands and Modes: Any band, any simplex mode you are licensed for is permissible. Sitting in a park making repeater contacts is really counter to the spirit of the event and is discouraged.
- Valid Activation Defined: MSPOTA requires a 10 QSO minimum for a valid activation per each ZULU day. The MSPOTA system rolls over at 0000 Zulu so beware the 8:00 PM ET turn over. Complete logging details can be found at: MSPOTA Upload Logs.
- Spots and Such: Dxcluster self spotting is permitted, please include the park designator and MSPOTA.ORG in your comment. Spotting on the MSPOTA FB Group is also encouraged. The MSPOTA twitter account @mspota_spots is also available.
- Antennas: ∅Self-supporting Antennas ONLY∅. Tree use is strictly prohibited and could result in you receiving a civil infraction ticket from Park Officers. Please see our Protect Our Parks page.
- Multiple Activations Same Park: All we can say is work it out with HAM Radio Brotherhood , parks can be big places and you should be able to spread out physically / frequency / bandwise.
- Be Conspicuous: operate in a conspicuous place whenever possible (as directed by park staff), visible to other park visitors with MSPOTA signage displayed.
- Engage the public and park staff whenever possible. Just as with NPOTA, get’em on the air if they are willing.
- Promote: maybe add a “Visit a Michigan State Park” to your 73 and/or the name of the park when you are able.
- We will be providing QSL card sized “Proof of Activation Cards” on the MSPOTA Graphics page for download. Print these cards and have park staff sign the card upon check out. They are to provide an Activator to Park confirmation in addition to your log upload and might even be fun to collect. We have aslo provided varius MSPOTA graphics for your use on banners, QSL cards etc you may want to DIY.
- Activations may occur anytime the park gates are open.
- More than 10 in your group, needing facilities or electricity, multiple days – call first.
- Check-in with park office staff upon arrival.
- Operate in a conspicuous place.
- Self spotting permitted – MSPOTA FB Group, DxClusters, Twitter.
- Display MSPOTA signage.
- Engage and Educate the public and park staff whenever possible.
- Check out upon leaving the park – (they may have something for you!)
- Have Park Staff sign your “Proof of Activation Card” (staffed sites only) PDF File
- Upload Photo of activation to MSPOTA FB group.
- Instagram users please tag MSPOTA2017 on your activation photos you may upload.
- Upload 10 QSO log (*.adif format ONLY) per instructions on the MSPOTA Upload Logs page.