Options for MDMTNS-7

This July will be the first time I’ll be activating MDMTNS-7 for the Appalachian Trail Golden Packet (ATGP) event. Previous years have seen this station manned from a home with tower. Unfortunately, this is no longer an option.

Topographic chart of the three sites for MDMTNS-7

Today I went looking for options for this year’s event. Looking at topographic charts I found three areas of interest:

  1. Gambrill State Park main parking area

  2. North Frederick Overlook

  3. Tower site off of Gambrill Park Road

Each of these sites have their positives and negatives.

Our targets from Maryland Mountains are:

  • to the south, Hawksbill; and

  • to the north, Governor Dick Hill.

Gambrill State Park main parking

Panoramic image from Gambrill State Park parking area.

Coordinates: 39.46234, -77.49538

Altitude: 470m

This is the main visitor area for the state park. There are many picnic areas including some individually covered tables. Camping is available just south of this location. There should be good takeoff to the south as the parking area seems to sit right on top of a ridge. The area is fairly wooded, however, and would not be good for microwaves.

Other downsides include the number of people that would be in the area. Not sure how high of an antenna one could put up here.

North Frederick Overlook

Panoramic image from North Frederick Overlook parking area.

Coordinates: 39.46991, -77.49453

Altitude: 490m

This is a parking lot right off of Gambrill Park Road just north of the Gambrill State Park main parking. Not a lot of space, here, but it does give pretty good takeoff towards the northeast. Area could be busy depending on the number of visitors to the overlook.

Powerlines run N-S just east of the parking lot. There are many trees that surround the site so might not be good for microwaves except to the northeast.

Tower site off of Gambrill Park Road

Panoramic image from the Gambrill tower site.

Coordinates: 39.49390, -77.49909

Altitude: 525m

This site is home to many towers. As you might expect, it’s the highest altitude site around. It is also an RF-rich environment.

There is a N-S running power line that runs through this area as well as many trees. Might be able to get a pole up in the air without too much trouble and there likely won’t be too many people around. Again, the biggest issue will be the high RF environment.