NPOTA South Dakota – Wind Cave And Jewel Cave

So for my NPOTA South Dakota I was able to activate a few new one’s over the Labor Day week. Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument and The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Not only that, but I made a few QSO’s from the Badlands too.

I have activated all of them all in South Dakota now!
NPOTA South Dakota - Wind Cave

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I had a fantastic time operating in each place because, Facebook, Twitter and of course the ARRL NPOTA website are all great places to get the word out about an activation.

NPOTA South Dakota – Visiting a National Park is Always Interesting, Especially in South Dakota


At Wind Cave I operated from pullouts on the roadway (Hwy 87). At the first pullout I attached my 13 ft. whip to the Alpha MOTO antenna and extended a counterpoise. Got my laptop connected to my Icom 7000 and jumped in on 20 meters. I had a pretty good pileup going and then it died.

NPOTA South Dakota - Operating from Wind Cave

After a while I got tired at the one pullout; too much sunshine and it was getting warm, so I moved to another spot and had the same great results there. For the afternoon (3 hrs) I logged 126 QSO’s. What a blast from a mobile setup!

The Black Hills is a Beautiful Place to Visit


The next day I traveled to Jewel Cave National Monument. With the same setup, but this time using my headset and foot-switch; at Jewel Cave I logged 154 QSO’s, but it’s not done yet!

NPOTA South Dakota - Jewel Cave

On my way back to Pierre I had to stop by Badlands National Park and the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site to make a few contacts. I had already activated Badlands, but to complete NPOTA South Dakota I was missing the Missile Site.

NPOTA South Dakota - Badlands

I stayed at the Badlands only long enough to make it an official activation. Truthfully, I was only there because it was too early and the gate to the Minuteman Site was closed 😉 I ended up with 18 QSO’s at Badlands.

If it wasn’t for hams spotting me and the ARRL NPOTA Facebook Group, activating the Minuteman Missile Site wouldn’t have been very much fun. So thank you hams and thank you ARRL NPOTA FB Group! In the end I logged 108 QSO’s in a little over an hour.

NPOTA South Dakota - Minuteman

Have you received a QSO confirmation for any of these places?


ARRL National Parks On The Air

ARRL NPOTA Facebook Group


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I'm an Amateur Radio enthusiast. I love the hobby and experimenting with radios, antennas and software. On my YouTube channel I upload videos on the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 along with Ham radio software programs. I hope to inspire people to try new things in Amateur Radio.

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