POTA, Park Over The Air, is an initiative that aims to bring radio to public parks, operating in mobile setups. Although born in the US, it’s now spreading around the world, almost taking over other older programs (e.g. WWFF), especially due to the lower number of contacts needed to activate a park.

After a quick email exchange with Benjamin SA0TAY, country administrator of program in Sweden, we realized that the Royal National Park (Kungliga nationalstadsparken), was eligible to be part of the program, which was quickly added as SM-0121.

What’s more, Ulriksdal Natural Reserve (Ulriksdals naturreservat) is included in it, and it has been inserted as SM-0122.

Which means double points: each contact from Ulriksdal Natural Reserve would count for both parks!

The park situated around 6km North of Stockholm, and it is easily reachable by Bus or Pendeltȧg, with a 10 minutes walk from the Ulriksdal station. Car parking is available nearby, and biking is also possible, although not all paths inside the park are suitable for bikes.

A little detour would bring you to Ulriksdal Palace, a nice 17th century building, formerly used by the royal family as a residence. It is now open to the public, and the nice garden around is a good Sunday walk destination. It is also included in the Djungȧrden park reference, although no double points will be earned there :P.

Kudos to Benjamin for the addition!

The activation

After one of the rainiest July in Sweden, and with the prospect of a similar August, conditions where not the bests.

But finally Sun popped up high in the sky in a Saturday afternoon, and what better day to activate it?

After roaming around for a bit, I found a good spot on the top of the little hill. There is no table or bench, but some exposed rocks have been enough.

I quickly deployed in a super-sketchy setup a random wire antenna, and tuned on 15m, which appeared to be the best for that configuration, after a couple of rounds of CQ-ing with FT-8 and PSKReporter. 20m worked well too, but being one of busiest bands made it difficult to find a good spot and be heard with just 5W.

After a QSO with a random station in France, a self-spot surely helped to get home the 10 contacts needed for the activation, mostly in FT-8, in less than 1 hour. FT-4 was also active, but only one station responded to the call.

Packed everything up, it was surprising how a randomly placed wire (not vertical at all!) and a buggy X6100 with 5W was able to reach most of Europe, with less-than-ideal propagation conditions and immersed in the typical QRM of big cities.

And everything while surrounded by trees, with even foxes checking what was going on.

A PSKreporter map with the stations hearing me, not too bad giving the poor conditions:

A PSKreporter map with all stations hearing me

And a map of the QSOs, courtesy of QSO-Mapper: