Accurate Grids for POTA Hunting


Jim Edmondson
 

I have been hunting POTA activators and have a question about grids.  Do you other hunters out there record the grid for the park(s)?  ACLog fills in the grid for the activators QTH, not the park, from QRZ.  I have been manually finding the grid from the park lat/long and entering it in the comments for now.  Of course this is not reflected in my awards list for grids.  How have others handled this issue?

Thanks for any help and 73,
Jim, N5JGE


Mike Olbrisch
 

Good morning.

 

I’m still trying to decide if I want to get active with POTA.  As I retire tomorrow, and our future holds many possibilities for visiting various PARKS, it might be a good thing……. But I have questions and presently no time for research.  So I cannot answer your question directly for POTA.  However, I have the same situation for SOTA, the easy part being that the SOTA summit is a small point on the map, often much smaller than even a 6-digit GRID.  And the SOTA web site summit database has the summit GRID available on the screen.

 

HOWEVER, I can tell you this.  If you use LoTW, when you build a STATION LOCATION, you will have the opportunity to assign a STATE, a COUNTY, a GRID, and IIRC perhaps maybe even a PARK!  Having never used it, I only recall a drop-down for PARK in LoTW.  I don’t know if it is only National Parks, or if it includes State-County-City parks….. never looked at it.  But again, I have not had time to research parks much….. retirement is taking up my time at the moment.  And once I retire (tomorrow at 9am MDT), I have two major upgrades to complete on the JEEP, a lot of work on the new trailer, and 400-watts of solar panels to wire up.  I need to have it all ready in 2 weeks when we take our first outing.  To a park!

The bottom line is that if someone doing POTA is also uploading to LoTW, the opportunity to insert an accurate grid is there.  I realize some parks could be much larger than a 6-digit grid.  Perhaps even straddling the borders of a 4-digit grid.  I believe LoTW is simple enough, I don’t know why more people don’t use it (ARRL hate?).  It seems to me it would work well with POTA and allow the activator to accurately include their grid, unlike eQSL that makes it difficult to be portable at all.

 

I hope someone can give you a better answer to your specific question.  But AFAIK, I look them up on the SOTA web page.  Perhaps POTA has the park’s grid listed someplace?  Anyone?

 

Vy73  –  Mike  –  KD5KC –  El Paso – Texas  –  DM61. 

 

The canyons are calling, colorful and deep.  But I have promises to keep.

And miles to go still in my Jeep...   And miles to go still in my Jeep...

 

 

ADVENTURE:  The respectful pursuit of trouble.   An EXIT is really an

ENTRANCE to someplace new.

 

 

 

 

From: N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io <N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jim Edmondson via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2021 7:29 AM
To: N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io
Subject: [N3FJPSoftwareUsers] Accurate Grids for POTA Hunting

 

I have been hunting POTA activators and have a question about grids.  Do you other hunters out there record the grid for the park(s)?  ACLog fills in the grid for the activators QTH, not the park, from QRZ.  I have been manually finding the grid from the park lat/long and entering it in the comments for now.  Of course this is not reflected in my awards list for grids.  How have others handled this issue?

Thanks for any help and 73,
Jim, N5JGE


Michael WA7SKG
 

A few issues here. First, POTA has no involvement with grids. There are no POTA awards with any regard to grids, so basically, we don't care. Second, some POTA entities are huge and may cover multiple states and grids. Although we do keep track of states and there are awards with a state component, keeping track of grids is a whole other level of complexity.

I would guess that, due to the fact that grids are not specifically of interest for POTA, many activators likely do not note or care what grid they are in.

My suggestion would be to simply ask the activator what grid he is in when you contact him. POTA is a program, not a contest. For most, time is not really an issue (yeah, I'll probably get heat for that comment), so feel free to ask. The great majority of activators are really nice folks and will generally be happy to chat for a minute.

For me, personally, when I set up for an activation, I make note of my grid square to six digits as well as lat and long in case anyone asks. And they have. I also now have APRS in the truck and beacon my location when activating.

Just some thoughts.

Michael WA7SKG

Jim Edmondson via groups.io wrote on 3/30/21 6:28 AM:

I have been hunting POTA activators and have a question about grids.  Do you other hunters out there record the grid for the park(s)?  ACLog fills in the grid for the activators QTH, not the park, from QRZ.  I have been manually finding the grid from the park lat/long and entering it in the comments for now.  Of course this is not reflected in my awards list for grids.  How have others handled this issue?
Thanks for any help and 73,
Jim, N5JGE


Jim Shorney
 

What Michael WA7SKG wrote in his answer is acccurate. It is up to the activator to update his station location for LoTW, etc. Some will, some won't. You won't get award credit for it unless they do. All Grid chasing is more of a VHF/UHF thing and most HF ops don't care. All you can do is ask.

73

-Jim
NU0C



On Tue, 30 Mar 2021 06:28:32 -0700
"Jim Edmondson via groups.io" <n5jge=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

I have been hunting POTA activators and have a question about grids.  Do you other hunters out there record the grid for the park(s)?  ACLog fills in the grid for the activators QTH, not the park, from QRZ.  I have been manually finding the grid from the park lat/long and entering it in the comments for now.  Of course this is not reflected in my awards list for grids.  How have others handled this issue?

Thanks for any help and 73,
Jim, N5JGE





Jim Shorney
 

The Parks drop-sown in TQSL is an anachronism left over from NPOTA to support NPS units for the ARRL NPOTA event and has no use for POTA.

However, a little tidbit for those who don't read release notes is the ARRL has made it easier:


Apr 16, 2020: New TQSL Version (v2.5.3) Released --

Minor Updates:

When a Station Location has empty values, use the QTH details from the log being signed.

73

-Jim
NU0C


On Tue, 30 Mar 2021 08:18:30 -0600
"Mike Olbrisch" <mike-2020@elp.rr.com> wrote:

HOWEVER, I can tell you this. If you use LoTW, when you build a STATION LOCATION, you will have the opportunity to assign a STATE, a COUNTY, a GRID, and IIRC perhaps maybe even a PARK! Having never used it, I only recall a drop-down for PARK in LoTW. I don’t know if it is only National Parks, or if it includes State-County-City parks…..


WA7WS
 

Hi Jim.. as mentioned, it's not necessary.  But,I do.. just because..  I've recently gotten back into radio after a long hiatus for various reasond.  I used to chase DX like crazy.. I'm not terribly interested in that any more.. but, if I get a new one.. fantastic.  That said only to state that interests change.  That said, who knows where I will be as God gives me tomorrows.  Currently, POTA has totally sparked a new interest and I love radio again.  I'm sure my remaining tomorrows will be occupied by activating new parks, seeking "awards" of different sorts at parks I've already activated, etc etc etc.

I seem to like "that said".. but, that said.. who knows what tomorrow will bring?  Will I chase counties, grid squares or ???  For now, when I activate a park, I go to "QRZ.com/gridmapper" to find my location and enter it into ACLog.  That way, If I ever decide to start chasing grids it's there.  If it wasn't, I can't imagine how crazy it would be to go into the log and add thousands of grid squares to my current log.  Currently I'm entering them as six places.. but, I may just do it as a four place GS.

Have fun, Jim. and hope to log you many more times.
Bill, WA7WS
(N7GHG)


Jim Edmondson
 

Mike, thanks for your comments.  And to the other responders, I am well aware of the difficulties with parks and grids and that grids are not part of POTA, etc.

For those of us that like to accurately record the details of our QSOs, asking the activator for grid or lat / lon is probably the best that I can hope for.

Thanks all,
Jim - N5JGE


KB9BVN -
 

When I am activating I rarely know the 6 character grid I am located in. I'd be unable to give that info out.

de KB9BVN

On 3/31/2021 2:23 PM, Jim Edmondson via groups.io wrote:
Mike, thanks for your comments.  And to the other responders, I am well aware of the difficulties with parks and grids and that grids are not part of POTA, etc.

For those of us that like to accurately record the details of our QSOs, asking the activator for grid or lat / lon is probably the best that I can hope for.

Thanks all,
Jim - N5JGE


KD8VRX@...
 

Hi,

I use an App on my iOS phone called Ham Square, gives you your current grid square(6 digits).
I usually take a screenshot before I start to operate, I also set it in the logging software.

Hope this helps.

Jocelyn,
KD8VRX/VA2VRX


K9PLX Chuck
 

And I use one called Ham Log which does the same. Use it all the time when I'm portable. I bet there are Android apps that do the same.

Chuck K9PLX
----------
I used to jog 5 miles every day, but then I found a shortcut.


On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 8:01 AM <KD8VRX@...> wrote:
Hi,

I use an App on my iOS phone called Ham Square, gives you your current grid square(6 digits).
I usually take a screenshot before I start to operate, I also set it in the logging software.

Hope this helps.

Jocelyn,
KD8VRX/VA2VRX


Jim Edmondson
 

Jocelyn and Chuck, thanks for the tip, indeed there are several similar Android apps available.  Maybe POTA will consider making accurate grid information part of the activator guidelines.  Even if POTA does not want it for their logging system, most operators are going to log via QRZ, LOTW, etc,  so having the correct grid (and county) for the QSL would be nice.

 

73,

Jim – N5JGE

 


Eric Fadely
 

Jim,

 

I add the grid square of the activation just because the contact was in that grid and I personally take credit for it.  The easiest way I found is the cut/past the Long/Lat from POTA website and Paste it to this website…

 

http://www.levinecentral.com/ham/grid_square.php

 

It will give you the Grid Square.  Again, I only track these for personal accomplishment.

 

Eric

KN4UDL

 

From: N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io <N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jim Edmondson via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2021 9:29 AM
To: N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io
Subject: [N3FJPSoftwareUsers] Accurate Grids for POTA Hunting

 

I have been hunting POTA activators and have a question about grids.  Do you other hunters out there record the grid for the park(s)?  ACLog fills in the grid for the activators QTH, not the park, from QRZ.  I have been manually finding the grid from the park lat/long and entering it in the comments for now.  Of course this is not reflected in my awards list for grids.  How have others handled this issue?

Thanks for any help and 73,
Jim, N5JGE


Andy Barnes
 

Jim,

I’m not sure about other activators but I look up the grid at the park b/4 I start operating.  Just ask and I will be glad to share that information with you.

Andy, W5KZJ 

On Sun, Apr 4, 2021 at 8:53 AM Eric Fadely <eric@...> wrote:

Jim,

 

I add the grid square of the activation just because the contact was in that grid and I personally take credit for it.  The easiest way I found is the cut/past the Long/Lat from POTA website and Paste it to this website…

 

http://www.levinecentral.com/ham/grid_square.php

 

It will give you the Grid Square.  Again, I only track these for personal accomplishment.

 

Eric

KN4UDL

 

From: N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io <N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jim Edmondson via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2021 9:29 AM
To: N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io
Subject: [N3FJPSoftwareUsers] Accurate Grids for POTA Hunting

 

I have been hunting POTA activators and have a question about grids.  Do you other hunters out there record the grid for the park(s)?  ACLog fills in the grid for the activators QTH, not the park, from QRZ.  I have been manually finding the grid from the park lat/long and entering it in the comments for now.  Of course this is not reflected in my awards list for grids.  How have others handled this issue?

Thanks for any help and 73,
Jim, N5JGE

--
Andy Barnes, W5KZJ 214-808-6323


Jim Edmondson
 

Andy and Eric, glad to hear that you record grid squares when activating POTA sites.  I think that this should be a POTA best practice.  I am just getting into POTA activations but will definitely set my accurate grid square in ACLog.


Mike Olbrisch
 

If you hike with or carry a GPS unit, check it’s available formats.  The Garmin hiking unit I carry has like 25 different grid formats.  It does Lat/Lon in 3 formats, Maidenhead Grid, and even MGRS.  And my unit isn’t anything special.  I believe most Garmin units have Maidenhead Grid format.

 

 

Vy73  –  Mike  –  KD5KC –  El Paso – Texas  –  DM61. 

 

The canyons are calling, colorful and deep.  But I have promises to keep.

And miles to go still in my Jeep...   And miles to go still in my Jeep...

 

 

ADVENTURE:  The respectful pursuit of trouble.   An EXIT is really an

ENTRANCE to someplace new.

 

 

 

 

From: N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io <N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io> On Behalf Of Eric Fadely
Sent: Sunday, April 4, 2021 7:32 AM
To: N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io
Subject: Re: [N3FJPSoftwareUsers] Accurate Grids for POTA Hunting

 

Jim,

 

I add the grid square of the activation just because the contact was in that grid and I personally take credit for it.  The easiest way I found is the cut/past the Long/Lat from POTA website and Paste it to this website…

 

http://www.levinecentral.com/ham/grid_square.php

 

It will give you the Grid Square.  Again, I only track these for personal accomplishment.

 

Eric

KN4UDL

 

From: N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io <N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jim Edmondson via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2021 9:29 AM
To: N3FJPSoftwareUsers@groups.io
Subject: [N3FJPSoftwareUsers] Accurate Grids for POTA Hunting

 

I have been hunting POTA activators and have a question about grids.  Do you other hunters out there record the grid for the park(s)?  ACLog fills in the grid for the activators QTH, not the park, from QRZ.  I have been manually finding the grid from the park lat/long and entering it in the comments for now.  Of course this is not reflected in my awards list for grids.  How have others handled this issue?

Thanks for any help and 73,
Jim, N5JGE