The Nashua Area Radio Club has a lot going on this summer!
First, our CW Training Classes have begun. We held our first class last Saturday at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Nashua, NH.
These classes are being held on Saturday mornings and are open to all Club Members and it’s not too late to join. You can find more about the classes in our CW and QRP Forum and on our calendar here on our website.
Don’t forget the ARRL Rookie Roundup RTTY which is coming up on August 21st. Fred, AB1OC and I will again be hosting a multi-op entry in this contest. It’s open to all of our members who have earned their first Amateur Radio License in the last three years. We will be scheduling a training and practice session before the contest. We will announce the details in the Member’s Forum here on our website. You can read about our ARRL Rookie Roundup SSB entry here on our blog.
Finally, don’t forget our upcoming club picnic on Saturday, August 27th (the rain date is Sunday, August 28). This will a pot-luck picnic and social gathering for our club. Bring your whole family and meet the families and friends of our club members. Our picnic will be held at Greeley Park in Nashua, NH. You find directions and information about the park on our club calendar.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on any of our summer activities. We hope to see you at these events throughout the summer!
On July 10, N1FD members gathered in Cornish, NH to activate the Saint-Gaudens National Historical Site as part of the ARRL’s year-long National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) event which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. We almost cancelled it due to a prediction of thunderstorms, but the weather changed to merely intermittent showers, which we didn’t let get in our way.
While the rain was still very light, the advance crew was able to set up the canopy that was last used as the food tent during our recent Field Day operation. It was more than adequate to keep the 100W station and a handful of club members dry throughout the day. The site was on the edge of the meadow (a/k/a the reserve parking area) near the entrance to the Ravine Trail which was furthest from the buildings.
With the next carload of club members and a pneumatic launcher, we were able to put a line over the branch of a tree along the edge of the meadow and use it to hoist up a 20m dipole in an inverted “V” configuration. It only had to be lowered and raised a couple of times to tune it, and we got it right on the mark using an antenna analyzer.
A small, quiet generator was also set up on the edge of the field to provide power. This 20m antenna and generator were used on the 100W station, an IC-7300.
A second station, Fred AB1OC’s 500W mobile station, was parked midway across the field towards the road and operated on 40m. I don’t know how many NPOTA activations have had multiple stations running at once, but a number of hams worked us on both bands.
Unlike our visits earlier in the year, park operations were in full swing for the season. All of the buildings were open to visitors. The park’s Resident Artist for this summer was working on a clay original to later be cast in bronze, and he paused to talk to us about his work. Club members were able to explore other modern sculpture, and also the sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, that is on exhibit throughout the grounds. A number of members walked the Ravine Trail, which descended into a deep ravine (what did you expect?) to a stream and a swimming hole used by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his family and others who worked at the studios. People were also able to enjoy a bit of the Sunday afternoon concert.
Not too far from where our 20 meter station was, Mike K1WVO spotted a tiny salamander, a Red Eft, crawling across the forest floor. I’m not sure, but I suspect that a few Pokémon were also spotted in the park!
We also had some special visitors: a ham from California whose daughter worked at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park across the river in Vermont, and a local ham who worked us and then drove over for an eyeball QSO.
The rain continued off and on throughout the day, but it was never heavy — certainly not heavy enough to dampen the spirits of the Nashua ARC members who were too busy making or helping to log QSOs to notice it. The group logged a total of 528 QSOs in a little over 4 hours! At the end of the day, the equipment was quickly broken down and packed up, just in time for the rain to completely stop and the skies to clear for a pleasant drive home.
We’re hoping that you and your family can join us for the next activation of this park on August 7!
The first half of 2016 is behind us and I believe that we are well on our way to a record year as far as contacts made by our club. Among other things, I have had the fun of being the QSL manager for our club as well as for the New Hampshire stations (K2K) for the 13 Colonies Special Event. Members of our club have made a total of 13,787 contacts so far this year using a combination of the N1FD call sign and K2K New Hampshire. All of these contacts represent a great effort on the part of our members. For me, the real story here is about the fun we’ve had together on the air and the great progress that many of our newest members have made in developing their operating skills along the way.
Our first major on the air operation was the ARRL Rookie Roundup SSB Contest in April. This contest is for Amateurs who have been licensed for 3 years or less and its a great opportunity to try contesting and to learn HF operating skills.
We got a chance to try contesting from a mobile as part of the 2016 New England QSO Party (NEQP). Several of us got together for a weekend of activating counties and having fun as part of this contest. We operated as N1FD/M and the contest gave us a chance to develop and hone our SSB contesting skills further.
In addition to many county line activations in MA, NH and VT, we also activated two National Parks. In spite of difficult band conditions, we made 631 QSOs and had a great time. You can read more about this operation here.
June and July represented a Tsunami of Amateur Radio operating for several of us. This period began with the best Field Day operation that I have ever been part of. We built quite a station and had a great time using it to operate during Field Day 2016.
We had a great turn out for Field Day this year with a mix of newer folks who were experiencing their first Field Day and the seasoned veterans in our club who have done Field Day many times before. The camaraderie and the learning were fantastic!
Many of our members operated during our 2016 Field Day operation and our diligence paid off . We increased both our score and the number of contacts (2,464) made by a significant amount over last year and had a great time doing it!
Next came the 13 Colonies Special Event. I am the manager for the New Hampshire Colony which operates under the K2K call sign each year. The K2K operating team was made up entirely of Nashua Area Radio Club members this year. This event produces huge pileups and it really challenges one’s operating skills.
We operated using a combination of SSB Phone, Digital, and CW and the club members made a total of 9,719 contacts!
This was more than enough to make the Nashua Area Radio Club the Top Club in the event! We used the 2016 event to further develop our operating skills as well as provide opportunities for new Amateurs to have fun on the air and make contacts.
Our most recent operation was the Activation of Saint-Gaudens NHS as part of the ARRL’s NPOTA program. Aron Insinga, W1AKI and his XYL Merle, W1MSI have been working on this project for some time and it was great to see it come together to result in a very successful activation. You can learn more about Saint-Gaudens and out plans to activate it here on our Blog.
We activated Saint-Gaudens on Sunday, July 10th with two stations – a 20m portable station using an Inverted-V antenna and 100W and a mobile station on 40m running 500w.
We again had a good mix of experienced operators and newer folks from our club. It was especially great to see how well some of the newer folks have come along in terms of their operating skills. The group made a total of 528 QSOs in a little over 4 hours and had a great time doing it! We are all looking forward to our second planned NPOTA activation later this summer on August 7th.
Highlights From Nashua Area Radio Club’s 2016 Activities
I must say that I don’t think I have ever seen a group of Amateur Radio Club members do so much operating on the air within such a short period of time. Check out the video above for In particular, I believe that some of our newer members are well on their way to becoming world-class operators if they keep going the way they are. Anita, AB1QB and I find it particularly rewarding to have the chance to be part of helping our club to grow and to build our skills. It has been truly a privilege to be part of the Nashua Area Radio Club team.
Thought some of the club might be interested in this activity. Please note the dates for the air museum using a 1×1 call sign. Certificates and QSL cards available. Info re cards and certs also on QRZ using the calls for each location. You can find out more about the event here.