Dear members of Orari and all radio hams of Indonesia.
Firstly let me introduce myself....
My name is Chris Hall and my amateur radio callsign is 2E0EEY from Leeds, West Yorkshire England (Grid Locator IO93et) approx 220 miles north of London. I have been ham operator since 2003 and also hold the callsign M3EEY.
Ok so now you know a little about me I was first involved in communication with Indonesian hams via Eqso and Echolink and made very many friends all over Indonesia. It was through talking to my Indonesian friends over a period of years I eventually met Dave YC5YC who is the director of "IBOTA (Beaches on the air)" and also "IPOTA" Parks on the air along with a few other platforms that Dave is involved in. I have worked my friend Hemi YC5NCB a few times on the beach in pelalawan doing iBOTA activations and it got me thinking if I could actually activate something myself as a first in England amongst the program. This got me thinking because I am about 60 miles from the east coast of England and 80 miles from the west coast of England so if I wanted to activate a beach a lot of traveling would be involved which I could not do because I am a full time career at home for my ill wife.
Therefore I decided on plan b to activate a park!. It just so happens that I live right opposite a park named "Swinnow Moor Park" here in Leeds. Having been raised as a kid here I knew everyone and I knew the area well, the only problem was that because nobody had actually activated a park from England before for the iPota program I needed to get a park reference number to activate it. Dave YC5YC kindly saw I wanted to activate this park and very kindly gave me the reference G/004 Swinnow Moor Park. I thought yes it's now an official park for iPOTA, all I need now is to activate it and to get a little help with the logging and eqsl. My friend Hemi YC5NCB is very experienced in doing iBOTA and iPOTA activations and kindly said he would be my qsl manager on this activation. I thought great I have now everything I need. (Thankyou Hemi, Thankyou Dave).
So I decided a date which was Sunday the 16th of January and posted the activation to the iPOTA website and also send out activation banners to promote my activation kindly made by my manager Hemi.
It finally came to the morning of the activation and it was freezing outside as we are in the winter time here in UK. The temperature was 3c so I knew I wouldn't be able to stay out too long in extremely cold temperatures. I made a nice flask of coffee, got my logbook and my DMR radio, and my pen along with my mobile phone for internet and set off over the road to the park. Because the park is literally opposite my house meant that I could access my hotspot inside my house from the park which was within range. The hotspot in the house was a jumbospot (mmdvm hat with raspberry pi zero) and my radio in the park was a Chinese handheld Retevis rt8 Dmr radio to reach Indonesia via the internet. I also have in the house a 1 terabit fibre broadband connection to the hotspot with an exceptional speed with no packet loss. I used a long whip hi gain antenna on my handheld to ensure good reception to the hotspot.
At the park there is a bandstand for shelter, a playground, a basketball area, picnic tables, excercize machines and big areas of field for recreational purposes, therefore due to the very cold weather I decided to operate from inside the bandstand on the park. The time was 08:21 and I made my first call " cq iPota cq iPota 2E0EEY/p in Swinnow moor park" and Hemi my manager was there waiting for me as first chaser followed by Dave and altogether managed to log 15 contacts on brandmeister talkgroup 510 Indonesia. I thought wow!! This is amazing!!!. I was so happy and I felt I had changed history as I had just activated the first time Swinnow Moor park in England. My last qso was logged at 08:42 with Aris YD6ROA another good pal of mine from Medan. I would have liked to do more but its not easy in such cold believe me!.
So I took some photos of the park and also some videos which I posted to the ibota WhatsApp group run by Dave.
Activation complete now time to get back home and let my very good manager Hemi do his magic with my logging and qsl cards.
Sure enough given a few hours and paitence Hemi came back and all was done. What a absolute legend that man is!!.
I hope everyone enjoyed the activation and I'm sorry if I did not get to work you but I hope this will be the first of many activations to come.
Let me take this opportunity to thank Dave YC5YC, Hemi YC5NCB and all the chasers and hunters that supported me. Thankyou all so much and see you next time.