Anita, AB1QB and I have spent a good deal of time this past year helping the Nashua Area Radio Club here in Nashua, NH USA as a way to give back to the Amateur Radio Service. Our work with the Nashua ARC has produced some of the most enjoyable and memorable times of our Amateur Radio experience.
Teaching Nashua Area Radio Club Hosted License Classes
In particular, our contributions to the work that our club is doing around helping people to earn licenses and introducing young people to the Amateur Radio Service has been most rewarding.
Abby, KC1FFX Operating our GOTA Station during Nashua ARC Youth Day
We recently produced a 2016 Highlights video about our Club’s activities and the club’s contributions to the Amateur Radio hobby. We thought that some of our readers here might enjoy the video. You can view it on our club’s home page here.
Fred, AB1OC, Operating Mobile in Minuteman National Historical Park, HP27
With only 1 month to go in the ARRL NPOTA event and some free time this Thanksgiving weekend, Fred and I decided to hit the road with our Mobile HF Station to activate some new parks. We activated two nearby parks, each less than 1 hour away from our home, Lamprey Wild and Scenic River, WR23, near Epping, NH, and Minuteman National Historical Park, HP27, near Concord, MA. There were close to 900K QSOs made overall in the NPOTA program as of Thanksgiving day and we also wanted to help the cause to get to 1 Million NPOTA QSOs by year’s end.
Map of Lamprey Wild and Scenic River
On Saturday, we drove to Epping, NH, where we activated Lamprey Wild and Scenic River. It was a rainy day, but we still enjoyed the scenic drive along the river. We drove along the river until we found a place by the river to park and operate. The bands were not great, with a K-index of 4 and a high A-index. Despite the conditions, our activation was a success. We operated on both 20m and 40m SSB and made a total of 307 QSOs over 3 hours.
View of Countryside in Minute Man National Historical Park
I work in Burlington, MA and often travel between Burlington and Waltham, MA for meetings. Each time I passed by Lexington on I-95 I saw the sign for Minute Man NHP and thought it would be fun to do a NPOTA activation from there. We activated the park on Saturday. We entered the park from the Concord, MA end and were pleasantly surprised to see some nice countryside in the middle of a suburban area of Massachusetts, not far from Boston.
AB1QB logging for AB1OC/M during the NPOTA activation.
We operated from a parking lot in the park from mid afternoon until dark. The bands were a little better on Saturday and we were able to get 239 contacts into the log, mostly US but also worked stations from Spain, Jamaica, Aruba and Puerto Rico.
We have enjoyed activating 8 National Parks so far in the NPOTA event. We are planning another activation between Christmas and New Years of multiple parks before the end of the event on December 31.
Eastern Branch of the Penobscot River in Katahdin Woods and Waters NM
Ever since we built our Mobile HF Station, we’ve talked about taking it to Acadia National Park in Maine and operating from the top of Cadillac Mountain. The 2016 ARRL NPOTA event gave us the motivation to plan the trip for the week before Labor Day. The week before our trip, we saw an article in the ARRL Letter encouraging operation from the newly declared National Monument, Katadhin Woods and Waters in Maine, which had just be designated as NPOTA MN84. Visiting the NPS website, we learned that the park is only a 2 1/2 hour drive from Bar Harbor, where we are staying. We decided to accept the challenge to be the first to activate the new park.
Our F150 Mobile Station at the entrance to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Tuesday August 30 was our first full day of vacation, we left our hotel room and parked by the Acadia visitor center and called “CQ National Parks”. We ended up with 76 contacts in the log from NP01.
After that we got on the road and headed toward Katadhin Woods and Waters, activating counties along the way including the county line between Penobscot and Aroostook Counties.
NPS Map of the Park
As a newly designated National Monument, Katadhin Woods and Waters does not yet have a visitors center or any signs showing you when you enter and exit the park. We just had the map (above) to determine where the park boundaries were. All of the roads in black on the map are gravel roads that are also used for logging trucks.
Entrance to Kadahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
We entered the park from Swift Brook Road off Rt 11 in the lower right corner of the map. We drove through the lower section by the entrance and then headed north along the Eastern Branch of the Penobscot River and operated near the Loos camping area. The sign above confirmed that we were within the park boundaries.
Scenic View of Katahdin Woods and Waters NM
The scenery along the river was beautiful with views of the mountains in the distance.
Operating at MN84
We started operating on 20m and the pileups were huge! Everyone was excited to get this new NPOTA into the log. Fred, AB1OC/M ended up going split on 20m due to the size of the pileups. After a while, he moved to 40m to give the close in folks a chance at MN84. We went back and further between 20m and 40m until the pileups thinned out. We also made 18 QSOs with the club callsign N1FD to also give the club credit for the activation. We really enjoyed activating the park and the people we talked to were great! We made a total of 350 QSOs from MN84.