Self-Spotting a Parks on the Air Activation via Winlink

If you find yourself in an area that has no cell phone service and need to spot yourself for a POTA (Parks on the Air) activation, here’s how you can get yourself spotted via Winlink.  Obviously, you need a Winlink gateway to get to, so Vara HF will probably work the best in this situation.

Before heading out, go to where you will need to create an account and watch the tutorials.  

Compose a message in your Winlink Express client.

SUBJECT: SPOT {your callsign} {park designator} {mode} {frequency} {any comments}

Example: SPOT KM6ZPO K-TEST SSB 14321 20230324 @ 0925

NOTE: you might see I entered the info above incorrectly in my test message below.  It worked, but I do recommend using the correct format.  A full description of 1-way spots and 2-way message capabilities are available in the getting started tutorials on

Don’t add anything to the message body.

If you did this correctly. two things are going to happen.  First, you’ll receive a reply back via Winlink like this:

Second, your spot will appear on the POTA website.  You won’t be able to see this since you have no internet or cell phone service, but others will.  It will look something like this:

To test this, use park designator “K-TEST”.