Portable Operation With A View - NPOTA NS60

Our Second Round Of NPOTA Activations

We held our second series of National Parks On The Air Activations this past week. The weather was beautiful and we have the pleasure of activating two different parks this time.

Mobile HF In NPOTA Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP
Mobile HF In Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP

On Saturday, Aron W1AKI and Merle W1MSI Insinga, Anita AB1QB and Fred AB1OC activated Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park (NPOTA HP26) in Vermont, USA. We used our Mobile HF station for this activation which was an SSB operation on 20m and 40m using 500w.

Operating Mobile HF in NPOTA NH26
Operating Mobile HF in NPOTA HP26

We took turns operating as two person teams with an operator and a logger. The IC-7000 radio which we use in our Mobile HF station is easily accessible for connection and we brought a laptop running N1MM+ which we connected to the radio. This made logging accurate and easy. We made a little over 210 QSOs in about 2 1/2 hours in Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller on Saturday.

Saint-Gaudens NHS NPOTA
Saint-Gaudens NHS

On Sunday, we activated Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site (NPOTA NS60) for the second time.  In addition to the gang from Saturday, Joe KB1RLC and Jill Gordon, Jeff Millar WA1HCO, Ira Brand KC1EMJ and Mike Ryan K1WVO joined us for the Sunday activation.

NPOTA Portable Antenna - 20m Inverted-V
Portable Antenna – 20m Inverted-V

We arrived early on Sunday and began our operation by setting up and tuning a 20m Inverted-V antenna for our portable station. We were able to get the feed point of this antenna up higher (about 35 feet) this time and the antenna performed better as a result.

Portable Operation With A View - NPOTA NS60
Portable Operation With A View – NPOTA NS60

We setup our 20m portable station in a shady spot at the bottom of the park’s meadow. This gave us a nice view while operating.

20m Portable NPOTA Station
20m Portable Station

We used our 20m portable setup which is based upon the 100w Icom IC-7300 again for our second activation and it worked very well. We had a laptop computer running N1MM+ for logging.

Nashua Area Radio Club Operating Portable In NPOTA NS60
Nashua Area Radio Club Operating Portable In NPOTA NS60

The 20m portable station tent was our main “hang out” during our NPOTA activation on Sunday.

Mobile HF On 40m In NPOTA NS60
Mobile HF On 40m In NPOTA NS60

We also had our Mobile HF station at Saint-Gaudens and we operated it on 40m. We were QRO at 500w from the Mobile.

40m Bandpass Filter - 500W
40m Bandpass Filter – 500W

We used the new bandpass filters from DXEngineering on both the 40m Mobile HF and 20m Portable stations. These filters have very low passband loss and very good filtering characteristics. We had no problems with interference between our 20m and 40m stations during our activations.

Saint-Gaudens Park Staff Supporting NPOTA
Saint-Gaudens Park Staff

The park staff rolled out the red carpet for us during both of our NPOTA activations. They displayed our signage and shared the information that we provided about the NPOTA program and our club. They really made us feel at home in the park.

Great Weather And Music Draws A Crowd
Great Weather And Music Draws A Crowd

There was a large crowd of visitors at the park during our activation. The combination of great weather and live music was a huge draw for folks. This gave our club and our NPOTA activation some nice public exposure.

Abe Lincoln Sculpture
Abe Lincoln Sculpture

Saint-Gaudens was a renowned culture in his time and there are many impressive pieces of sculpture on the park grounds. The park recently commissioned this impressive sculpture of Abraham Lincoln which has become one of their centerpiece works in the park.

Flower Gardens At Saint-Gaudens NPOTA
Flower Gardens At Saint-Gaudens

The park has many beautiful gardens and they offer a wonderful set of surroundings for the sculptures in the park.

Our Favorite Walkway In The Park
Our Favorite Walkway In The Park

This is my personal favorite spot in the park – a Birch tree-lined walkway!

Team Operating Our Portable NPOTA Station
Team Operating Our Portable Station

Our NPOTA operations kept us pretty busy all afternoon on Sunday. We operated as two person teams – an operator and a logger. This gave more of us a chance to operate and the teamwork made it easier to handle the steady stream of callers.

More NPOTA Team Operating
More Team Operating

I got a chance to operate both the mobile and portable stations. It was great fun handling our contacts with NS60!

Eyeball NPOTA QSO With A Local HAM
Eyeball QSO With A Local HAM

It seems that every Amateur Radio operation that I have the pleasure to be part of manages to hand our a nice surprise or two. This one was not an exception. I worked a local HAM, Jeff Katchen WB2NWR, in Cornish, NH which is very near the park. He came by afterward to visit and share his QSL card and a nice eyeball QSO!

Our operation was a lot of fun –  a success by all measures. We made a total of 570+ QSOs between our activations on Friday and Saturday.

If we include our test activation of Saint-Gaudens, our NEQP activations of both parks and our July activation of Saint-Gaudens, we have made a total of 1,240+ NPOTA QSOs as N1FD!

There was some discussion at the end of the day on Sunday about doing one more NPOTA activation this year. Our final one would be a high-power operation with both stations running QRO 500w! We will discuss this at an upcoming club meeting and we’ll certainly do a third activation if there are enough interest and support.

We took a lot of nice pictures between this last and our previous activations. You can look at them in the gallery which follows.


Fred, AB1OC

Mobile HF HP26 #1Mobile HF HP26 2Aron Operating in HP26Aron and Anita Operating in HP26Saint-Gaudens Grounds 1Antenna Building 1Antenna Building 2Antenna Building 3Antenna Build 4Antenna Building 5Antenna Building 6Antenna Building 7Saint-Gaudens Park StaffSaint-Gaudens Park Staff 2Saint-Gaudens Grounds 1Saint-Gaudens Grounds 2Saint-Gaudens Grounds 3Saint-Gaudens Grounds 4Saint-Gaudens Grounds 5Saint-Gaudens Grounds 6Saint-Gaudens Grounds 7Saint-Gaudens Grounds 8Saint-Gaudens Grounds 9Saint-Gaudens Grounds 10Saint-Gaudens Grounds 11Saint-Gaudens Grounds 12Saint-Gaudens Grounds 13Saint-Gaudens Grounds 14Saint-Gaudens Grounds 15Saint-Gaudens Grounds 16Saint-Gaudens Grounds 17Saint-Gaudens Grounds 18Saint-Gaudens Grounds 19Saint-Gaudens Grounds 20Saint-Gaudens Grounds 21National Parks On The Air Activation by Our ClubPortable Ops 3Portable Ops 4Portable Ops 5Portable Ops 6Portable Ops 7Portable Ops 8Portable Ops 9Portable Ops 10Portable Ops 11Portable Ops 12Portable Ops 13Portable Ops 14Portable Ops 15Portable Ops 16Portable Ops 17Portable Station 1Portable Station 2Portable Station 3Portable Station 4Portable Station TestMobile HF at Saint-Gaudens 1Mobile HF at Saint-Gaudens 2Mobile HF at Saint-Gaudens 6Mobile HF at Saint-Gaudens 3Mobile HF at Saint-Gaudens 4Mobile HF at Saint-Gaudens 5Visit from a Local HAM

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