Guidelines for Amateur Radio Operations

Cape Cod National Seashore is pleased to accommodate licensed amateur radio operators wishing to operate in the park. Marconi’s Wireless Station (1901) site is listed as a National Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places (1975) and is now part of Cape Cod National Seashore. On January 18, 1903 Station “CC” made the very first US-EU contact with another Marconi station in Poldhu, England. Messages were exchanged, and soon afterwards commercial operations began in earnest. Following that, “amateurs,” tinkering in garages and basements, began building their own two-way radio equipment and communicated with others first only a few miles away but then across the United States and around the world.

National Seashore administrators and personnel welcome you to this historic area. It will be necessary, however, for all radio amateurs to strictly follow a number of guidelines, as well as obtain permits in advance of operations in certain cases. These restrictions are designed to maximize the success of your operations, plus protect the general public at all times, allow unimpeded use of parking lots, walkways, and viewing areas, and not disturb environmentally sensitive soil and plants. Failure to comply with guidelines or obtain any necessary permits will result in immediate termination of your operations and possible civil and criminal penalties. It also may jeopardize permission for operations by others.

Vehicle Only Operations

Vehicle only operations are strongly encouraged. In all cases, equipment must be located inside or attached to the vehicle. Antennas with guy wires or radials extending to the ground next to a vehicle are prohibited. Generators are prohibited.

No Permit Required
  1. No permit is required for handheld radios.
  2. No permit is required for vehicle only operations in any National Seashore parking lot when there is a maximum of two operators in one vehicle or a group/club of no more than four operators is in two vehicles. (A permit is required if use of the parking areas is outside of the park’s normal operating hours. The park is closed Midnight to 6 am.)
Permit Required

A permit is required for vehicle only operations when a group/club of three or more operators is in three or more vehicles. One operator should apply for the permit, giving contact information, describing the nature and size of the group/club, and specifying dates, time periods, and specific locations for which a permit is requested. The permit, when issued, will designate a specific parking lot or other location in the National Seashore where operations may take place.

Outside vehicle operations at the Marconi Wireless Station site

A wooden viewing platform is located next to the actual site where Marconi Station “CC” once existed, though almost the entire site itself has fallen onto the beach due to cliff erosion. Radio amateurs may make use of this particular platform for purposes of NPOTA operations. However, the following special guidelines must be strictly adhered to at all times.

No Permit Required

No permit is required for operations at the Marconi Wireless Station site if ALL these conditions are met:

  1. Operations within the park are limited to park hours. The park is closed Midnight to six in the morning.

  2. All paths, accesses and platform space must remain accessible for the visiting public.

  3. Individuals and groups/clubs wanting to operate from the site should be reasonable with the time that they are using the platform space. Please be considerate, allowing other individuals and groups access to the platform for radio operations as well.

  4. The National Seashore does not and cannot guarantee the availability of the platform at the time of your arrival.

  5. Use of the platform is limited to three operators; with no more than one operating table and three folding type chairs.

  6. All equipment must be battery powered. No generators are permitted.

  7. Only one transceiver may be in use at any time.

  8. Simple antennas such as a Buddipole are strongly recommended. Antennas may be supported using masts, but the use of guy wires (and antenna radials) extending off the platform to the ground is prohibited.

  9. Masts may be temporarily attached to platform safety rails with temporary materials such as clamps, rope, etc. that will not impair or damage the existing platform or safety rails. The use of hardware or fixtures that would damage the existing platform or safety rails such as nails and screws are prohibited.

  10. Erection of all antennas must be accomplished using designated footpaths and wooden walkways, without walking on or otherwise disturbing soil and plants surrounding the platform. All paths and access must remain accessible for the general visiting public and emergency personnel.

  11. Coax and all cabling may be placed along the edge of the platform but must not cross the platform floor or create a tripping hazard to operators or the public.

  12. Operations may not interfere with the general public’s use and enjoyment of the viewing platform.

Permit Required

  1. A permit to use the viewing platform is required if individuals or groups/clubs seek to waive or modify any of the guidelines specified above.

  2. Examples include but are not limited to operation requests during park closed hours, use of a generator, and use of kite or balloon antennas.

  3. If in doubt, contact the Concessions Management Specialist (contact information in Section V.)

  4. Applications for permits will be reviewed and either granted or denied on a case-by-case basis.

Operation at Other Park Locations

Vehicle Only Operations
Refer to guidelines in the Vehicle Only Operations section above.

Outside Vehicle Operations

  1. Inquire with the Concessions Management Specialist before your arrival to the park to determine if a permit is necessary for your radio operations. Allow sufficient time for processing your permit requests, normally takes two weeks to process.

  2. Permits do not waive entrance fees.

  3. Parking is a first-come first served basis. Parking spaces may not be reserved in parking lots that collect entrance fees.

  4. Camping is prohibited in the Cape Cod National Seashore.

  5. The erection of any tent or structure is prohibited.

  6. The park does not authorize exclusive access to any park area.

  7. Radio operators must ensure that their operation does not block or impede any pedestrian, bicycle, or vehicular access.

  8. Signs of any kind are prohibited from being displayed from plants or trees. Signs may not be affixed in a permanent manner (including nails, screws, etc) and must be removed at the conclusion of operation. Directional signs or writing on the asphalt or platform is prohibited. Educational and informational signs are allowed at the operators’ table.

Additional Information

  1. Restrooms are seasonal.

  2. Leave no trace. Pack out all trash.

  3. No collecting of any kind is permitted within the National Seashore. Use of metal detectors is prohibited, 36 CFR 2.1(a)(6).

  4. The best “proof of operation” is pictures that you take and provide to the ARRL or other entity if requested.

  5. National Park passport stamps are available at the Salt Pond Visitor Center, Eastham, approximately five miles south of the Marconi site, on Route 6A. This is the preferred location for you to obtain stamps. Depending on the availability of personnel, stamps also may be obtained at Park Headquarters, on Marconi Station Site Road, Wellfleet (open M-F 8:00 am-4:30 pm.)

Contact for Permits, Other Questions

Concessions Management Specialist
Cape Cod National Seashore
99 Marconi Site Road
Wellfleet, MA 02667

Last updated: February 22, 2018

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

99 Marconi Site Road
Wellfleet, MA 02667


To contact NPS Law Enforcement or report an incident, please call the 24-hour dispatch: 617-242-5659. In the event of an emergency, call 911.

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