The Nation Parks On The Air (NPOTA) program was created by the ARRL to commemorate the National Park Service Anniversary (100th). Aron W1AKI, Merle W1MSI and Fred AB1OC made a trip to Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in NH this past week. Our goals were to seek permission for a Club National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) Activation at the park as well as to see the site and do a brief trial activation. I am happy to report that we achieved all of these goals and also activate the park using our Mobile HF station!
Aron and Fred put together a presentation which we shared with the head ranger, Greg Schwarz at the park. Our goal was to create an understanding of who we were, why we want to Activate Saint-Gaudens NHS, what our activation would involve and how we would relate to the National Park Service Anniversary celebration this year. We had a very good meeting with Greg and we secured permission for multiple activations of the park over the summer months. We will share more about what we are planning to do and the dates for our activations at our next club meeting.
The park grounds are very beautiful and will be!
Saint-Gaudens was one of America’s greatest sculptors and some of his works and their history are nicely set in the building and gardens which make up the park. There is plenty to see and do in the park.
The park has a large, open meadow which is surrounded by trees. The meadow is partly used for overflow parking and should offer a good area for us to use a mobile station plus a portable station when our club activates the park. We will be allowed to use a small generator and put up a small screened shelter to protect us from sun or rain while we operate. We were also invited to set up a table to share information about our club and about Amateur Radio in the area of the park which is frequented by visitors. The park hosts open air concerts most Sundays during the summer months. Greg indicated that about 200-400 visitors attend the summer concerts. He felt that this would be a good time for us to activate the park as there would be many visitors in the park for these concerts.
Greg also allowed us to park in the meadow and activate the park as part of the National Park Service Anniversary celebration. Aron W1AKI, Merle W1MSI and Fred AB1OC did a brief trial activation to get an idea of what propagation would be like in the park. We used Fred’s Mobile HF Station for the activation and we operated as N1FD on the 20m and 40m bands for about 45 minutes. If the trial run is any indication, we are going to have a lot of fun when our club does the real activation in the summer. In 45 minutes of operating, we gave 80+ happy Amateurs NPOTA NS-60 on a combination of the 20m and 40m bands. We were easily able to work stations in all regions of the US and we put 29 states and 4 DXCC’s into the log during our brief activation. We had folks in Alaska, Portugal, Poland and Canada call in and we had a good pileup for the entire time that we operated. We were using a paper log for the trial run and we had a hard time writing fast enough to get the QSOs into the log!
We hope that you’ll join us for one of our Saint-Gaudens activations during the summer!