Ahern State Park K-2641 POTA and KFF Activation

Ahern State Park mud

Ahern State Park – Mud was the theme of today’s POTA and KFF activation. Lots of mud.

POTA parks on the air logo

Ahern State Park K-2641 POTA and KFF Activation – Wind and Mud!

Today was another rare late-winter stunning warm day here in central New Hampshire. After doing yesterday’s activation of Ellacoya State Park I knew I’d go out today. After all, Ahern is just across and down Lake Winnisquam from my house!

Ahern State Park NH

There are only two 911 centers in NH. One of them is just behind the sign up on the hill. It turns out that years ago AT&T decided that Laconia, NH was to be a giant hub of hundreds of thousands of telephone lines. Need I say more? Yes, the sky is that blue here in NH. It almost hurts your eyes to look at it.

I pass the entrance to Ahern State Park on my way to church each Sunday. You need to drive about one-half mile to get to the beach. This time of year with mud season upon us you better have a 4×4 as I do.

Easy or Scenic? Choose Wisely

When I arrived at 12:30 PM or 1730Z, I thought I just might set up just south of the main entrance. A giant naked deciduous tree was stretching its limbs over the road making it so easy to get my antenna up in the air.

Ahern State Park and Tree

That giant tree to the left would have been perfect. I could have been on the air in just five minutes and barely gotten any mud on myself. But no…

But I then thought, “Gosh, it’s such a beautiful day. Let’s see if the gate to the beach is open.” Off I went down the bumpy dirt road to the gate. Sure enough, it was open.

There’s still lots of frost in the ground and over the past three days, about four inches of the ground has thawed. If the ground was fully thawed there’s no way I would have chanced going down the road. It would have been impassable but for a National Guard 6×6 or bulldozer.

My Ford F250 Super Duty 4X4 with marginal tire tread could handle the 4 inches of mud, but not much more. I switched the truck into 4×4 High and off I went to the beach.

Ahern State Park NH Beach

This was to be my office location for the next 90 minutes. It was so windy! You’re looking at ice-covered Lake Winnisquam and my house is directly behind the large tree trunk but up the lake about two miles.

Gale-Force Wind

I got out of my truck and found myself in the middle of a fierce gale. Yes, you can have a gale with no rain and no clouds.

“No problem. I can get my water bottle up in the tree with no issues.” I’ve gotten pretty good at throwing my water bottle up 40 or 50 feet as my friend Jim Cluett will attest to. Here’s how I do it on a normal breezy day:

But today, Mother Nature decided to bat at it like a cat toying with a frightened mouse. Each time I’d throw it up, the wind would catch it and blow it sideways about 8 feet.

I lost count of how many throws it took. Four times the fierce wind carried the lanyard string onto the top of a chain-link fence. Its talons at the top grabbed the string and I had to use my walking pole to help get it off the fence each time.

I struggled for 25 minutes to get the antenna up. Each time the string from my Trident finger reel, water bottle, and antenna got more covered with mud. It was frustrating and had Jim been with me I would have no doubt asked if he had any suggestions!

Ahern State Park NH beach

You can see the wind putting a belly in my antenna. Cold air from Canada is on its way. Today is the last warm day for ten days or more.

Finally On the Air

I was in the truck setting up my Elecraft KX2 with the Elecraft paddles at 1805Z. My 3 Ah BioennoPower battery was called upon today to send my Cool Waves into the ether. The 29-foot wire antenna and the 9:1 unun once again delivered a perfect SWR of 1:1.0. Life doesn’t get much better. Well, I could have had two dark chocolate pecandes and a companion to log for me but I didn’t.

It didn’t take long for the hunters to find me. I started out on 20 meters on 14.058 MHz. That’s close to the 14.060 MHz low-powered watering hole. I always do low-powered, or QRP, radio for these activations.

Jim, W1PID, was my second contact and I put eleven other operators in my logbook while on 20 meters. Twenty meters was pretty good and I was having little trouble hearing operators today. What’s interesting about making contact with Jim is he was at home just about five miles as the bird flies directly across the lake. Normally my signal would have traveled over him so the only way, I think, we heard each other was by a ground wave.

One of my 20-meter contacts was Bill, K4NYM. He was out activating a park himself. He was at K-6297. The park-to-park contacts are getting more frequent as the POTA program continues to attract operators who love doing outdoor radio as I do.

Switching Bands

Different radio frequencies tend to have different characteristics. Twenty meters is preferred by many for long-distance communications. A signal on twenty meters can easily travel many thousands of miles.

If you want to contact operators who may be within 1,000 miles of you it’s best to try a higher frequency like 40 meters. There were quite a few hunters at home who were waiting for me to make the move.

I switched to 7.030 MHz on 40 meters and ended up contacting eight other operators. One was Peter Kobak, K0BAK. I was thrilled to hear him! I’ve never met Peter in person but feel like he’s an old friend. Peter and I were pretty active in the National Parks on the Air event in 2016. He was, and still is, a true road warrior going out to activate countless parks. He’s even outfitted a used TV-news van for the purpose.

I was lucky enough to make contact with N8EU on 40 meters. He was also activating a park! He was at K-2940.

W3ATB Ahern SP Logbook

Here’s my Rite in the Rain logbook page for the activation. These are the best logbooks in the world. There are numerous sizes and formats and the paper is waterproof. You can actually write in thee in the pouring rain. Lots of fun!

After 45 minutes I had exhausted the hunters and no one else wanted to work me. I decided to pack up and go get the mud off everything, including my truck. It really needed a bath.

I can tell you that I’m happy to be doing POTA and KFF activations again. It’s great to get familiar call signs in the logbook. As Jim taught me years ago, “It’s simply magic.” Yes, it is.

Ellacoya State Park K 2651 Parks on the Air

Ellacoya State Park

I did a Parks on the Air (POTA) and a World Wide Flora & Fauna (WFF) radio activation from this park today. I expected a pileup and wasn’t disappointed.

Today was a remarkable weather day here in central New Hampshire. It got up to 61 F but to us locals, it felt like a sweltering 90 F summer day. When you’ve been tolerating below-freezing weather for months, anytime you get sunshine and temperatures in the 60s with snow still on the ground, it’s hot for New Hampshire.

Meredith Weather March 11 2021

I was drooling to get outdoors to do low-powered radio. My last outdoor radio adventure was just six weeks ago for Winter Field Day and it was a balmy 10 F that day.

I’ve known for days that spring is just around the corner because the chipmunks have been skittering around my house and yesterday I stood outside and soaked myself in the sounds of a morning dove cooing. It was almost surreal to be standing in the sun without a heavy jacket on. Spring traditionally comes late to New England.

Back From the Dead

I decided to treat myself to an outdoor radio adventure doing an activation of one of New Hampshire’s state parks. I selected Ellacoya State Park because it’s only a 30-minute drive from my house and there was a possibility I could be operating from the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee soaking up the sun.

Ellacoya State Park is on the south shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, better known as the Big Lake. It’s got 72 square miles of surface area. The only issue is that the entrance to Ellacoya is just off a major roadway, Route 11. The torrid WX yesterday brought out the motorcycle enthusiasts just and it drew me outdoors. I had a very hard time hearing the radio signals over the roaring throaty Harleys that would zoom past every 90 seconds or so.

Lake Winnipesaukee New Hampshire

Lake Winnipesaukee – It’s still covered with ice, but it’s getting thinner. I predict ice out on April 13, 2021. This is the view I would have had while doing radio had I wanted to trudge through the snow. I opted not to do this. Easy access to the beach parking lot was blocked. It was a stunning bluebird day as you can see.

Ellacoya State Park NH

I wasn’t about to walk all the way to the beach from here. See where the snow ends? You need to walk through the woods another 100 yards or more post-holing all the way so when you get there your pants and boots are soaked. My mentor Jim Cluett might do it, but not me. Not today.

Back five years ago I experienced my first park activation with two of my mentors, Jim Cluett and Dave Benson. We activated St. Gaudens National Historic Site in New Hampshire as part of the enormously successful National Parks on the Air all-year event in 2016.

After that day, I was hooked. I went on to activate 30+ more parks all across the USA in 2016. Many of those stories are here on the blog. Just type NPOTA into my search engine to locate them.

The following year, 2017, I extended the run getting involved in the fledgling POTA and WFF programs. I quickly discovered these two groups didn’t yet have the critical mass to keep my interest so I stopped activating parks near my home.

Until today, that is. I had seen months ago on social media that both groups had grown significantly, especially POTA, and I was certain today would bring back the excitement I used to feel as my radio speaker would explode with incoming signals from other operators who wanted credit for contacting me.

Ellacoya State Park NH

This is where I decided to set up because the gate to the beach was locked. The tall tree next to the flagpole is what supported my antenna.

Ninety Minutes and 28 Contacts

I decided to be on the air at 1 PM local time and just play radio for 90 minutes. I figured that would satisfy my appetite. My normal setup is either my Elecraft KX2 or Elecraft KX3, using a 4.5 Ah BioennoPower lithium-iron-phosphate battery. Today I opted to use my Elecraft KX2.

Elecraft KX2

I was sitting in my truck doing the activation. The front was pointed south and the sun was pouring in. At first, the radio was in the sun and it overheated causing the electronic keyer to send Morse code fast then slow then fast. Once I figured out it was a heat issue, I moved it into the shade on my lap. Everything calmed down within minutes. I started out using the paddles on the radio and when the keyer started having a hissy fit, I switched to my micro Pico Paddles that are on the BioennoPower battery.

My antenna is a simple 29-foot wire that dangles from a tree branch. I attach a 9:1 unun to the end of the wire to help tame the resistance and keep the radio happy.

Ellacoya State Park NH

That tall tree was going to support my antenna.

Ellacoya State Park NH

My lanyard string is all laid out and I’m ready to hurl my water bottle up and over the top of the tree. My first throw was perfect. See my Trident Finger Real at the top of the photo in the snow? My antenna wire is still on it tied to the string. It will all make sense in a moment when you watch the video below to see how I do it.

Once I was on the air, the magic happened. I had posted on the POTA website that I was going to be at Ellacoya State Park, so lots of operators were at home waiting for me to get on the air. The operators at home are called hunters and they lust for new parks they’ve never put in their logbooks. The New Hampshire parks haven’t been activated that many times so you can expect lots of activity.

Jess W6LEN From California

Back in 2017 after NPOTA was over and I was doing lots of POTA parks, I became virtual friends with Jess Guaderrama, W6LEN. Jess has been doing radio for 65 years and he was instrumental in me activating many parks in Oregon and California that summer. You can find all of those stories here just typing POTA into the search engine here on this website.

As soon as I got on the air at 1:00 PM, other operators were clawing at each other to make contact with me. We call it a pileup quite similar to what happens on a football field with players trying to get at a fumbled ball.

I wish I would have had a video camera on me when I heard, W6LEN come through the KX2’s speaker. “There’s Jess! WOO HOO!” It was such a thrill to work him and I said a quick “Hello” as I knew the other operators waiting for me wouldn’t much like Jess and me to chew the fat.

The Europeans

Both POTA and WFF have really caught the attention of radio operators all over the world. I was stunned to make contact today with operators in Germany, France, and Finland. I hope it’s as thrilling for them as it is for me.

W3ATB logbook Ellacoya State Park

This is my logbook from the activation. I’ll transcribe it to make it look neater and submit all this data so all operators get credit for making contact with me.

Time Disappeared

The ninety minutes vaporized. It felt like I was on the air for only ten minutes. That’s what happens when you do these activations and you have lots of operators trying to contact you. I find it hard to verbalize how much fun it is. It used to be stressful, but now I just answer each operator as I can.

I’ve decided to get back into the POTA and WFF activation game and as Jess said to me, “He’s back from the dead.” You’ll see more stories about my activation adventures as the year progresses.

Author’s Note: A week after the activation I got a wonderful QSL card from Andy Lach, KD9KHA. It turns out Andy is quite the artist. Look for yourself.

His card made my day as I wondered, “How many people in the USA received something in the mail today that was hand-drawn just for them? Ten, a hundred, even two hundred?”

I can assure you, it wasn’t many.



The Former, Probably Original, W3ATB

W3ATB QSL card

This is one of Bill Houck’s original QSL cards. He shared it with his father. Read the story below to get a full report.

The Former, Maybe Original, W3ATB – Bill Houck

The amateur radio community is very unique. You may never meet many of the people you contact over the airwaves, but often you might feel as if that person is a brother or sister.

You think nothing of contacting a fellow operator to say hello or send a prize. Just two weeks ago I was stunned to receive a surprise parcel from Japan filled with Japanese chocolate bars from Hiroshi Mizuhara, JO4ABC.

Just before that, Bill Houck reached out to me the first week of February 2021. He looked me up on QRZ.com and found my email address. Here’s what he sent to me via email. 

Just wanted to let you know that I am a previous owner of W3ATB. My father got me interested in amateur radio when I was in 8th grade and in turn, became interested himself. 

We took our exams together and he was issued the call sign W3ATA and I was issued W3ATB which we held for years until I moved to North Carolina. My father also opened up the use of our basement as a ham workshop for my school friends so many of my friends became hams and we developed great friendships around ham radio.

In my adult life, my father and I talked on 40 meters every Sunday afternoon for years until his health made that impossible. I still have some of our combination (W3ATA/W3ATB) QSL cards if you are interested. Please email your USPS mailing address.

P.S. Here is another interesting story about a contact that I had back on Jan. 19, 1957. I had made contact with a K0ATB and he looked up my mailing address and saw that W3ATA was at the same address which prompted him to ask how we were related.  He was curious because it turned out that K0ATA was his father.   WOW!  What are the odds that two father-son hams could get the consecutive ATA and ATB call signs?

P.P.S This is a continuation of the mention of my school friends that got their ham radio licenses when I got mine. We studied Morse code and radio theory together in my dad’s basement and got our general class licenses about the same time.  We were active on the air and sometimes even talked to each other. 

newspaper clipping ham radio

Since we were all in the same grade and in the same high school sometimes our on-the-air discussions were about homework and we were even known to play chess over the air.

Since we were novice chess players, we didn’t know the chessboard notation and were surprised when some other helpful hams informed us about how the squares all had names – that was very helpful.  Since we were known for our ham activities and we did a lot of stuff together we were known by some of our teachers as the four musketeers.

We also participated in local public events where we would set up our equipment and demonstrate operating the equipment. At that time ham radio was gaining in public interest.

I have attached a photo of a picture from our local newspaper taken when we took our equipment to the local Bloomsburg fair.  My friends names are Donn Clark – W3EPL, Dick Westbrook – W3GZC, and Herb Tinner – W3EPJ.  None of us is an active ham today but thanks to our ham radio friendships from our high school days and the internet we stay in touch now via emails.

What a treasure and prize to get Bill’s ham history and one of Bill’s original QSL cards!

Is Bill the Original W3ATB?

It’s quite possible Bill is the original W3ATB. The FCC issues call signs in a very normal sequential order. The W3 is automatic since Bill and his Dad lived in Pennsylvania at the time. Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware are the three states in the 3 section.

arrl was section map usa

The FCC had already assigned  W3ASZ to someone, so the next up was W3ATA. That went to Bill’s Dad and the next call sign to go out would be W3ATB. 

Bill was assigned the W3ATB call sign on December 20, 1954. He had a novice license at the time that was only good for a year. If he didn’t upgrade, he lost his privileges. After the great WW II, hams were allowed back on the air and the hobby experienced explosive growth.

When you do the math knowing that the FCC started with W3AAA as the first ordinary call sign to give out, you can see that there were hundreds of call signs issued before they got to W3ATB. I’m convinced Bill was the original W3ATB.

The other clue is his Dad’s call sign. The FCC issues call signs in sequential order and fortunately, Bill’s test results and his Dad’s were stacked on top of one another with Bill’s dad being on top of Bill’s. The FCC employee was just running through the pile of test results on her/his desk.

The exact same thing happened in my club about nine years ago when a group of students took the test the same day and our VEs sent in the results. When the new hams got their call signs they were all only off by one letter as Bill’s and his dad’s.

He subsequently changed his callsign to W4ZNG and here is the last QSL card Bill used. He is no longer active in amateur radio.

My current W3ATB QSL card is below his. Lady the dog, who is featured on my card, no longer escorts me on outings. She’s chasing cats, squirrels, and deer up in Heaven never getting close BTW.

Some things never change. Isn’t that right, Lady the dog?

W4ZNG QSL card


Winter Field Day 2021

winter field day 2021 nh sunset

Winter Field Day 2021 | I’ve broken down my radio inside my truck and all I have to do is take down my 29-foot vertical wire antenna. You can see the coax cable reaching up to the 9:1 unun that’s up 15 feet off the ground. It was 10 F and windy. My hands were blocks of ice by the time the string and antenna were on my amazing Trident finger reel!

Winter Field Day 2021 – Cooooold Outside in NH

Two weeks ago I decided to participate in Winter Field Day. In years past, I’d always made excuses why not to do it. This year I was bound and determined to get outdoors. The contest organizers make it worth your while to do this. Check out all the bonus points available for you should you decide to get outdoors into the fresh air and embrace Mother Nature and the Old Man:

  • 1,500 points for being outside
  • 1,500 extra points for being away from my home
  • 1,500 bonus points for using a battery instead of commercial power

I also got two points per Morse code (CW) contact as well as a 4X multiplier for using just 5 watts to make each contact. Believe me, you can make lots of contacts with just 5 watts and a great antenna.

elecraft kx3

Here’s my Elecraft KX3 set at 5 watts of output power. Think about that. A traditional tiny nightlight bulb is usually about 4 watts. My radio signal at 5 watts can travel thousands of miles!

I operated from inside my uninsulated parked truck on top of the crusty snow cover at the historic New Hampton Town House. The building was constructed in 1799. My truck was turned off the entire time I was there.

The Forecast

When I made the decision to participate, the future forecast showed milder weather with temperatures in the low 30s and snow. That’s relatively mild weather for New Hampshire in the winter. But the Old Man changed his mind as he frequently does.

smart phone screenshot weather

This is what my phone said when I got back home around 5:26 PM. My hands were as cold as the Athabasca glacier when I was finished rolling up my antenna and lanyard string on the reel about 40 minutes before I grabbed this screenshot! Note the RealFeel temperature of 0F!

It was 5F when I woke up and the forecast was for the temperature to claw its way to 15F. Fortunately, abundant sunshine was also forecasted. My plan was to point the front of my Ford F250 4×4 truck cab south and the glorious infrared radiation would convert my truck cab into a greenhouse. I’m good with that!

Years ago Jim and I were convinced we could operate in cold NH on a sunny day if we were out of the wind and could capture the infrared energy just as we captured radio waves. We decided to make our own greenhouse using a teepee frame and clear plastic. It was a fun activity, but it was a lot of hiking to get to the teepee.

No Time for Tangles

Many moons ago I went on my first winter outdoor radio outing with my mentor Jim Cluett, W1PID. We went to a small quintessential ski hill, Veteran’s Memorial Ski Area, in Franklin, NH. It’s only open on the weekends and staffed by volunteers.

It was a gray cold day and I didn’t realize the exercise was to see how fast one could deploy the antenna because as Jim later said, “You only have seconds/minutes to get set up and make a QSO before your hands are numb.”

While I was playing patty-cake on an HT helping SOTA friends Herm and Myrle on a nearby summit get one of the four QSOs they needed, Jim was busy getting his lanyard line in a tangle. It’s a day we’ll both never forget. It brings tears to our eyes each time it comes up in conversation.

Jim will tell you that I’ve mastered the skill of throwing a water bottle up into a tree 50 feet or more. He was a great teacher of the method.

But we tend to do it in t-shirts and maybe a light jacket. As I was getting ready to deploy my string on the frozen snow crust, I kept thinking, “No tangles. You get one chance to get this up in the tree. It’s COLDER now and windier than it was that day with Jim.”

Within seconds of starting to take the string off the reel, it was tangled so bad I thought I’d have to go home! The wind was howling and you can’t untangle a thin string with gloves on for goodness sake. Off came the gloves and I was desperately running out of time to get the string in a nice layered coil on the snow so I could loft the water bottle up into the branches.

tangled string

I had to get a photo of this nightmare for Jim. I can hear him laughing ten miles away as he reads all about this misfortune of mine!

Once I had the string untangled and the cold was taking control of my hands and emotions, it took me three tries to get the water bottle over the perfect branch. I had vastly underestimated how my heavy jacket would encumber my throwing motion!

antenna illustration wfd 2021

This is how my antenna was setup. The wire is very thin, 22 gauge I believe. I have a photo of all this, but the wire and string are so thin, you can’t see them in the photo.

29 QSOs in 2.5 Hours

I’m a so-so CW operator. I can just about hear Morse code at 17 words-per-minute (WPM) in a normal casual conversation. During contests, I’m able to make out call signs with operators pushing 25 WPM. This past summer I made a point to participate in the Wednesday afternoon CWops one-hour sprint to try to improve my listening speed.

A few years ago Jim encouraged me to start doing contests to help increase my CW speed. Once I gained some experience, I started having some fun. My first low-stress contest success was the Zombie Shuffle back in 2015.

Short Window – Decent Results

On this day, January 30, 2021, I decided I’d only operate from the start at 1900Z until the sun went down. I have trouble driving at night and wanted to be back home at least 30 minutes before dark. This time of year in New Hampshire, that means I’d only operate for 2.5 hours.

I was happy to make 29 QSOs during that time. Part of the time I was on the phone with a friend who lives in Washington, DC. After the call, Jim and another friend texted me to check on my progress. These interruptions cut into my operating time but I’m always happy to hear from friends. Friends are far more important than log entries as far as I’m concerned.

If I had devoted my full attention to the magic cool waves that seeped into my thin 29-gauge antenna wire and slithered their way into my KX3, I’m sure I would have had 40, or more, QSOs. I had a blast and will do it again next year unless the Good Lord has a need for me to do plumbing or carpentry work up in Heaven!

Here are some other photos that hopefully convey the spirit of the event. My thanks to the team who put on Winter Field Day.

kx3 radio power analyzer bioennopower battery

This was my setup. You can’t see my micro Pico iambic paddles. It’s an Elecraft KX3, a PowerWerx power analyzer, and a Bioennopower LiFPh 6 Ah battery. I used the power analyzer because in the cold weather I wanted to see how long my battery would last. The KX3 has a reputation of sipping power and it did just that during the adventure.

kx3 radio

This is just a close-up shot of my KX3. It’s such a wonderful radio. Thanks, Wayne! I started out on 20 meters in case the band went to sleep.

smartwool socks

I worked outdoors for years and know how to dress for cold conditions. My SmartWool socks and Salomon boots would keep my feet warm in the uninsulated and unheated truck – or so I thought.

power werx power analyzer

Here’s a closeup of the Powerwerx power analyzer after about two hours of continuous operation. The KX3 has only nibbled 0.30 Ah from the 6 Ah BioennoPower battery. I could have operated for many more hours.

kx3 and logbook

Here’s a photo of my logbook. This was about 17 minutes or so into the event. I filled that page and part of the next one before the sun was kissing the horizon.

tim carter w3atb winter field day

I just have to get my antenna out of the tree and can then head home. I was pleased with my 29 QSOs. I don’t know why my hat rotates on my head without me touching it. I think it’s the Coriolis effect and has nothing to do with my thick hair.



Morse Code The Office Segment

morse code meme invade cuba

Morse Code The Office – Morse is not Outmoded, Jim

Morse code was featured in an episode of the hit show The Office. Husband and wife team Jim and Pam work together to drive Dwight crazy.

Jim Halpert says to Dwight after being accused of sending Morse clicking a ball-point pen, “…and we took a class on a very outmoded and unnecessary form of communication.”

There are millions out there that would disagree with Jim’s statement, even though we know he’s just trying to make a point with the paranoid Dwight.

Watch the video and be prepared to chuckle.

Mystery of Mountain Pond

mountain pond new hampton nh

Mountain Pond | It was mid-afternoon and the unseasonably warm weather with the temperature at 70 F created slightly hazy conditions. The last vestiges of autumn color are visible on the underbrush protecting the water’s edge.

Yesterday, November 7, 2020, my good friend Jim Cluett and I finally hiked to Mountain Pond deep in the woods of New Hampton, New Hampshire. We had been denied this achievement no less than two times in the past two years. Twice before we attempted to get to Mountain Pond from another direction other than the ancient trail that comes up the draw from Spectacle Pond in Sanbornton, NH.

mountain pond hiking track gps

The blue line outlines the path we took to get to Mountain Pond traveling south from the New Hampton, NH Water Works site.

Mountain Pond is the primary water source for the town of New Hampton, New Hampshire. Water draining from the north face of Hersey Mountain quenches the thirst of this tarn scoured out by the last massive continental glacier that covered all of New England just 14,000 years ago.

mountain pond nh access road

This is the new magnificent road you can use to get to Mountain Pond. The boulder to the right is one the machines moved to create the road.

“How much do you think that boulder weighs?”  You can always count on Jim to ask questions about things like the height of trees, how far down a creek is below you, and other things about what we see on our hikes.

We had stopped for a moment for me to ease the pain in my hips. I strained my body the previous few days working outdoors and the night before I had horrible fitful sleep because of the dismal state of affairs here in the USA regarding the recent Presidential election. I was not in the best of shape to do this strenuous uphill hike where we gained 465 feet in elevation in just under 2 miles.

“Well, most rock weighs 150 pounds per cubic foot,” I replied.

We agreed that the giant boulder that was moved to create the new access road in the summer of 2019 measured 4 feet tall, 5 feet long, and 6 feet deep.

“Let’s see, that’s 120 cubic feet, 18,000 pounds, or nine tons.” I’ve always been fairly good with numbers.

Up Up Up

We continued to put one foot in front of the other going uphill almost the entire way. Every now and then it would level out, but sometimes it would be exceedingly steep with some short parts of the magnificent road having a 24% grade. Trust me, that’s steep.

mountain pond hike stats

My BackCountry Navigator app on my smartphone creates this set of data when you record a track. About halfway up the trail we ran into two men who owned some of the land we hiked on. I estimate we chatted with them for about ten minutes.

mountain pond pipeline marker

The new road was created so they could install and service a new 10-inch pipeline from Mountain Pond down to the New Hampton Water Works. These markers warn folks to call 811 before they dig.

mountain pond nh dam

We’re within 150 yards of Mountain Pond. That’s a man-made dam highlighted by the late-day sun.

Jim Cluett at Mountain Pond

We made it! I shot this photo moments after the grueling 2.0-mile climb. My hips were happy the torture had subsided.

mountain pond nh rowboat

This rowboat must be the property of the New Hampton Water Department. My guess is they go out onto the pond from time to time to test the water quality.


mountain pond rowboat

The China Girl – Wouldn’t you love to know the story behind the name of this humble watercraft?

mountain pond nh

Once we got to the end of the road at the dam, we turned left to walk down a wonderful trail that hugged the shore. Jim knew of a magic campsite where we’d set up to do radio. It was about one-tenth of a mile away. The campsite is along the shore at the top center of the photo where the brown underbrush disappears around the corner.

mountain pond nh campsite

We finally made it to the campsite and it only took minutes for us to set up our radios. Jim is looking at his handheld transceiver. You can see my Elecraft KX2, my 9:1 unun, and my 29-foot yellow antenna wire. That’s a BioennoPower 3 Ah battery powering the radio.

Water Bottles and Antennas

Once we arrived at the south-facing campsite we decided to get on the air. Jim wanted to test out a new 2-meter roll-up j-pole antenna. I was going to do high-frequency work trying to start on 20 meters.

Jim had a much shorter throw to make than me and I was fortunate to snare the exact branch on my first throw so my 29-foot vertical wire would hang vertically directly over where I was sitting on wonderful dry and soft pine needles.

Jim was very interested to discover if he could trip the local voice repeaters and at least one APRS repeater in the area. He tried using a standard small rubber-duck antenna at first and was unsuccessful. But once he connected to the j-pole antenna that was about 15 feet in the air, he hit pay dirt.

“What’s your phone number?” Jim is such an inquisitive guy.

I was busy trying to find a station and gave it to him. Moments later I got a text message. Jim successfully sent me a text using the APRS system. What a great way to get help IF you are out in the wilderness, and are able to connect to an APRS repeater!

mountain pond tim carter w3atb

Here I am trying to avoid getting skunked. I decided to wear my not-get-shot shirt since hunting season is upon us.

mountain pond tim carter w3atb

I was able to make one contact – VA2EO in Canada. I heard our good friend Bert, F6HKA, in France connecting with others, but he didn’t hear me calling him.

tim carter jim cluett mountain pond

This is the first selfie photo Jim and I have taken in a while. You can tell he had a better radio day than I did! Plus, his hips weren’t hurting.

All in all, we had a magnificent hike and radio outing. It only took us about 45 minutes to get back down to our vehicles. We were both tired because we didn’t talk on our mobile radios as we drove back home.

Mother Nature has a few more great days in store, so I hope to get out at least once more with Jim before it gets cold, rainy, and inclement.

NEFR South Arm 80-Meter NVIS Test

On Saturday, October 10, 2020 I (Tim Carter – W3ATB) met with four other dedicated radio operators in Bethel, Maine. Our goal was to solve a pesky communications issue that has plagued the New England Forest Rally (NEFR) for many years. CLICK or TAP HERE to read about the conundrum.

A year before at the 2019 NEFR I tested Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) propagation with two other NEFR operators. It worked well, but I wanted to conduct a thorough test.

I’ve known about NVIS for several years and the ARRL did a fantastic podcast about the topic. Listen to it:

How Does NVIS Work?

NVIS works by sending radio waves straight up and they bounce straight back down off the ionosphere. Imagine pointing a garden hose straight up into the air. Watch this video for the science:

I’m the Chief of Communications for the NEFR and had the pleasure of working with four dedicated radio operators who’ve volunteered for the rally in past years. They understood the importance of coming up with a solution for this world-class racing event. Here are the following Extra-class radio operators who volunteered their precious time and their skills for this test:

  • Tim Foy – W1FOY
  • Justin Hughes – KJ1H
  • JT Isherwood – N1JTI
  • Wayne Reetz – KA1CPR

Wayne also brought along his wife Sharyn. It’s always wonderful to have an XYL (former young lady) to help brighten the atmosphere.

We met just before 9 AM at the Sunday River Brewing Company restaurant to get fueled up as we would be in the middle of nowhere once we were up at South Arm.

South Arm 80M NVIS

Here’s the gang! Going counter-clockwise around the table: Sharyn Reetz, Wayne Reetz, Tim Foy, Tim Carter, Justin Hughes, and JT Isherwood

Once we left the restaurant, we had to drive nearly forty miles to get to South Arm, Maine. It was a stunning autumn day and we were treated with plenty of ocular delights as we traveled up Route 5 and then South Arm Road.

South Arm 80M NVIS

We lucked out on the weather. The temperature by Noon was close to 70 F.

South Arm 80M NVIS

South Arm, Maine is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It’s a great place for peace and quiet.

We had decided to test two HF bands: 80 and 10 meters. Our plan was to use either a flat or low inverted-V NVIS antenna for 80 meters and vertical 10-meter dipole antennas for the test.


South Arm 80M NVIS

Here’s my 80-meter NVIS antenna setup. I have an extendable fiberglass painter’s pole supporting the center of the 80-meter dipole. The arrows point to yellow lines that indicate where the antenna wires stretched. I was able to set this up in just fifteen minutes.

South Arm 80M NVIS

This is one end of the 80-meter NVIS antenna. That’s a fiberglass electric-fence support that’s ideal to hold up the end of the wire. JT had suggested using these. This small post is about 60 feet from the painter’s pole.

I had asked Tim Foy if he’d be kind enough to be net control for the test. He was positioned at the Start position of South Arm stage of the NEFR. I decided to set up at the Finish position about nine and one-half miles down the course. Wayne, JT, and Justin were at critical locations where normal radio operators set up during this NEFR event.

South Arm 80M NVIS

Here’s the actual map of the South Arm racecourse (stage). Tim Foy was at position A, Wayne Reetz was at position D the first turn off up the Icicle Brook Loop Road, Justin was at the red arrow to the right of Wayne at the traditional relay position on Icicle Brook, JT was at position H the other end of the Icicle Brook Loop Road, and I was at position J, the Finish of the South Arm stage.

We all had 2-meter mobile radios as well so we could communicate via a relay system to ensure all were ready to begin the test.

Our plan was to start with 100 watts of power and work down to low power until one, or more, operators could not be heard clearly.

I was using my trusty ICOM-7000 mobile HF radio. The other four operators also were well equipped for the test. I had created some simple logsheets for each operator to use to record the signal strength of each other operator as Tim Foy called for them in the round-robin net.

South Arm 80M NVIS

Here’s my ICOM 7000 with my LDG Z-11Pro II tuner ready to transmit.

I was always the last to check-in and I was bouncing up and down during the first round of the net. Every operator’s signal was strong and clear. Justin had a minor over-modulation issue, but even with that I could clearly make out what he was saying.

As we continued to reduce power levels from 100, to 50, to 25, to 10, and finishing with 5 watts, I was able to hear everyone and everyone heard all others. This had never before been done on this stage of the South Arm course. Our test was a success! We had finally solved the South Arm comms conundrum.

Listen to the entire test:

Justin had suggested weeks before that we try 10 meters. It’s a little-used HF band and it very close to the older citizen’s band of 11 meters that was popular in the 1970s. I was able to hear all the other operators on the course with extreme clarity, but I couldn’t hear Tim Foy at the Start. Ten meters turned out to be a dismal failure.

I had hoped it would work because those with Technician privileges are allowed to use a small part of the voice segment of the 10-meter band. This would open up the candidate pool to all who volunteer so long as they own a radio that can transmit on 10 meters.

We are going to continue to test other HF bands and try to get the 10-meter dipole antennas higher in the air to see if that will make a difference. But for now, we know 80 meters NVIS works and we can provide the quality of communications this spectacular race event deserves.


Hersey Mountain Hike SOTA

Hersey Mountain

Hersey Mountain Vista | This is the payoff for hiking up 1000 feet in elevation in just 1.4 miles. You’re looking to the southeast from the summit of Hersey Mountain.

On Friday, October 9, 2020 I joined my very good friend Jim Cluett, W1PID, on our first outing of the year. Our goal was to get to the top of Hersey Mountain which straddles both Sanbornton and New Hampton, New Hampshire.

It was a stunning autumn day with the temperature in the mid-50s. The sun was warm and the air was cool and crisp. Our goal was to get out in the fresh air and hopefully achieve a SOTA activation. Hersey Mountain is in the SOTA database: W1/HA-029.

The Hersey Mountain trailhead is very easy to find. Travel to Carter Mountain Road in New Hampton and follow it just over one mile until you come to a small parking area on the right for three cars. This is where the Class VI Mountain Road begins.

Hersey Mountain

I’m standing on Carter Mountain Road looking at the start of the Class VI road. The parking area is to my right.

If you have a vehicle with enough ground clearance, you can drive the 6/10ths of a mile east on Mountain Road to the actual trailhead. There’s a wide parking area that can handle at least four or five cars.

Hersey Mountain

This is the actual trailhead. I’m standing on the Class VI Mountain Road. The red arrow points to the northeast corner blue boundary marker of the George Duncan State Forest. There were also blue-painted blazes in the tree just to the right of the blue metal stake. Had we known about this large parking area, I would have parked my truck next to the car.

A giant berm has been bulldozed here to prevent cars and trucks from traversing up the logging road that makes up the first 30 percent of the hike.

Hersey Mountain Trail

Hike Hersey Mountain during peak color and this is some of the ocular delights you’ll enjoy.

Jim and I both brought our cell phones and each of us was running an active GPS app to help us make sure we were headed the right way. Jim had talked with a friend of ours, Hanz Busch, a few days before. Hanz had hiked the trail and said it was marked with surveyors tape in many places, but the trail itself is not as clear as one might like it to be.

Hersey Mountain

I parked my F-250 4×4 at a large clearing on the north side of Mountain Road. I knew we were close to the trailhead and had no idea we could park at it. You’re looking east on Mountain Road and you just have to go a short distance to get to the trailhead.

We started the hike at 1:30 PM and I had estimated it would take us about 1 hour and 15 minutes to summit. By driving to within 500 feet of the trailhead, we saved a mile overall on the hike.

Hersey Mountain

Here’s Jim nearly at the top of the logging road. It was a fairly steep climb up the road.

The first half-mile of the hike is up a very wide logging road. There were quite a few large water bars put in by the landowner to prevent the road from washing out. Water bars act like gutters on the bottom of a roof. They capture the water and re-direct it to the side of the road.

“Look, there’s a cairn. This is no doubt the way to go.” Jim had spotted it. You could clearly see the trail take off into the forest.

Hersey Mountain

This is the cairn marking the end of the logging road and the beginning of the trail into the forest.

Every now and then we’d stop to catch our breath. It’s not like we’re both 28 years old and can run up the hill! Once when we stopped, Jim noticed how some of the tree branches had strange shapes.

Hersey Mountain

This is the one branch Jim spied. It is most unusual. How do you think it happened?

“I think the story title might be, “The Mystery of the Twisted Twigs.” It was pretty lame, but I was starting to get a little winded. We still had a ways to go. Everytime we stopped, Jim would check his GPS to get an idea of our progress.

Hersey Mountain

We still have quite a ways to go! The summit elevation is close to 1990 feet. If the GPS reading is correct, and I’m sure it’s darn close, we still have to go up about 630 feet in elevation.

For me when hiking a new trail, it always seems like it’s three times longer than it really is. I like hiking, but I don’t love it. We talked about how radio operators who live to do SOTA activations must love hiking 10 times more than doing radio. You can invest hours of hiking just to sit on a summit for 30 minutes or so doing radio.

Hersey Mountain

We’re clawing our way to the top. Slow and steady!

It was a beautiful hike through the forest and not overly steep. Every now and then you’d come to a short part where you’d take your time, but there were also some quite flat spots as you’d go back and forth on the trail. If you go, be sure to take a roll of orange surveyor’s tape to help create a few markers to help others. The wind really does a number on the tape and it doesn’t last as long as you might think.

The minutes were clicking by, but we were having a good time. The closer we got to the top, we noticed there were fewer pieces of tape around the trees. We could see the trail only because there were no green ferns or saplings growing in the trail. You’d be in a world of hurt in the winter with snow on the ground. You’d just have to keep climbing UP. You’ll never go wrong doing that!

Hersey Mountain

We made it! This is what you see as you’re just ten feet below the summit. A delightful hikers shelter constructed around 1990.

“We’re close!” Jim had just checked his GPS and the blue arrow was basically on the summit. I could see some blue sky in front of us and knew that was our goal.

Hersey Mountain

This is the map of the trail. The start of the trail is where the tracing touches the gray bar to the left of the compass. You can see the dashed lines indicating the Class VI Mountain Road. I don’t know why the tracing shows going up Mountain Road and going the other direction. I think that was from a past hike a year ago. I captured this from my phone app immediately upon walking out to the vista point in front of the hiking shelter. Note the time – 2:49 PM.

It’s such a rewarding feeling getting to the top on a hike like this. I looked at my watch and by gosh, it had only taken us the hour and nineteen minutes I budgeted. I know that I can normally do 1,000 feet of elevation gain in an hour, but since I hadn’t hiked a hill like this in a while, I wanted to add 25% to my estimate. “Well, I was way off. I thought we could do it in 40 minutes,” Jim exclaimed.

It was time to do radio. While I was setting up my Elecraft KX2 and the 29-foot wire attached to a 9:1 unun, Jim decided to break out his Baofungus tiny transceiver with a stubby antenna. He called out and lo and behold a man from 40 miles away in Concord, NH answered back. Altitude sure helps when you’re doing radio.

Here are some photos of the radio part of our adventure:

Hersey Mountain

This is my Elecraft KX2 and the logbook of our contacts.

Hersey Mountain

Jim can’t keep his hands off an HF radio! He wanted to get some contacts too.

Hersey Mountain

I had on an autumn-themed shirt! I’m busy chatting with a Canadian radio operator.

Hersey Mountain

We had a successful SOTA activation. You need four contacts and we got five.

My antenna sloped to the east which was perfect. Soon we had three European stations in the logbook. There’s nothing like long-distance (DX) contacts in the log on a SOTA adventure. Here are the five contacts:

NS1O 146.520 5/9 S  5/9 R  1912
LZ3XT 20 M 599 599 1917
HA5JI 20 M 599 599 1920
IU0LJD 20 M 599 599 1924
VE1EX 40 M 579 569 1927
Hersey Mountain QSO Map

Here are my five contacts. Map courtesy of: qsomap.org

We decided to head back down the mountain after getting the five radio contacts. But first, I wanted to see the inside of the shelter and to sign in the logbook. You could easily spend the night here! Look at everything that you can use for free.

Hersey Mountain

Anyone can use the shelter and all that’s in it. You just keep it clean and pay it forward.

Hersey Mountain

Look at the dandy cast-iron woodstove! That will take the chill off if you come up on a blustery cold day. Look at all the supplies!

Hersey Mountain

Here’s the logbook you can sign. What fun reading what others write!

The trip back down only took forty minutes, but that’s to be expected. We did stop twice to rest as it’s hard on my knees, and Jim’s too, coming down.

I’d hike this mountain again anytime in great weather. I have to say we lucked out on such a beautiful day with the forest ablaze with fall color. It’s my favorite time of year and a true prize to be able to enjoy it.

Hersey Mountain

Here’s another odd-shaped tree we saw on the way back down.

Hersey Mountain

This is the top of the logging road. The rock cairn is behind me and over my right shoulder as I shot this photo. You need to head towards the orange and red trees to get back down to the trailhead. If you hike this mountain soon, I suspect you’ll be able to see the gray wood slash pile unless some kids set it ablaze one night! You can see the sun was getting lower in the sky as it smooched the trees with some golden-hour light.


QRP Afield 2020 Sleepy Tale

QRP Afield 2020 Food

It’s often said that outdoor radio resembles a food club that dabbles in radio. I first heard that from Lee Hillsgrove, Sr. KB1GNI at a sled dog public service event.

Yesterday I participated in the QRP Club of New England‘s annual QRP Afield contest. This low-intensity end-of-summer low-powered radio contest is always scheduled for the third Saturday in September. It turns out it coincided with several other contests. Here are a few that came through my Elecraft KX2 speaker:

  • Scandinavian Activity Contest
  • Iowa QSO Party
  • NH QSO Party
  • NJ QSO Party
  • WA Salmon Run

My 90 Acres In the Sun

I decided to operate in the field on a stunning 90-acre tract of land I own in central NH. There’s a small clearing that faces south and west with no nearby hills or mountains that might block radio signals. The WX served up brilliant sunny skies with the temperature kissing up against 60 F. It felt much warmer in the sun and every now and then a puff of light wind would rustle the tree leaves that are just starting to change color.

QRP Afield 2020

You should be able to see my vertical 29-foot wire antenna about to go up. It’s the yellow wire to the left. The lime-green string dropping to my truck is the halyard I use to get the antenna wire up into the tree. I was able to catch the exact branch in the tree with my first water-bottle throw. Watch the video below to see how I do it.

My Outdoor Radio Setup

Everything I need to operate outdoors fits into a wonderful OGIO daypack. My Elecraft KX2 with its set of Elecraft paddles has become my trusty friend. Just about all I need fits into my dandy Pelican 1200 box. This adds extra weight when walking, but I’m willing to put up with that to protect all my fragile gear in case I slip and fall.

I use a 29-foot wire for my antenna connected to a 9:1 unun. I’ve also started using a 17-foot counterpoise wire that attaches to the ground post on the unun. The counterpoise produces a 1:1 SWR match on all bands from 40 meters and up.

I’ve mastered the art of setting up. In great weather, I can be on the air in a relaxed five minutes or less. Just after powering up my radio just after 11:45 AM using the BioEnnoPower 4.5 Ahr battery, I heard my first contact – W0ITT. I didn’t even have my logbook open so I wrote his callsign on a scrap of paper.

Eating and Logging

I wake up each day around 5:30 AM. That means I’m ready for lunch at noon. I had packed a variety of food and decided to have a W3ATB buffet on the tailgate of my Ford F-250 Super Duty 4X4. The salsa was delicious!

Rite in the Rain

I’m starting to fill my logbook. Luckily there are no salsa stains on it. I could have wiped them off easily as my Rite-in-the-Rain logbook has waterproof paper.

The 20-meter band was alive and well. I immediately started roaming around 14.060 – the accepted QRP watering hole. My third contact, K1RID was another member of the club and almost next door in Kittery, Maine. It was hard to believe 20 meters was so short, and yet I felt it was impossible my puny 5 watts of power was generating a ground wave that would reach the ocean. I felt this was a good omen for how the day would turn out.

Napping Surrounded By Signals

It’s important to realize I made my first contact about 13 minutes before noon. My next twelve contacts tumbled into my logbook over the next hour and twenty minutes. Just after I logged K0AJW, a tsunami of fatigue washed over me. I think it was a combination of the delicious lunch, the glorious warm sunshine, and the fact I had some poor sleep a few days ago.

I decided to crawl into the bed of my truck and catch a quick nap. What could it hurt, right? Within minutes I was fast asleep. At least three times my catnap was interrupted by my 9:1 unun. A light breeze would move the antenna wire and allow the unun to clunk against the right-rear taillight of my truck. That innocent breeze was tousling my antenna wire much like someone might do to your hair in a spriteful way. I remember it only took seconds to drift back into slumber awash in the toasty southern sunlight.

Once I woke back up, I operated for another thirty minutes or so. My neighbor Bob and his wife Teri had walked up the hill with their two dogs. We spent the next hour catching up. It was a great way to end the adventure.

Here’s my list of contacts for the fun afternoon of QRP radio:

Skeeter Hunt 2020

I participated in the Skeeter Hunt low-powered amateur radio contest today set up on a 90-acre tract of land I own in central New Hampshire. Well over two hundred radio operators spread across North America, and possibly other countries, had signed up to see how many contacts they could make in just four hours.

I love doing low-stress contests like this. I’ll never forget doing my first Zombie Shuffle and when you read that story, you’ll understand why. Part of the challenge is all the other operators in the contest, including me, must use low power when transmitting. In the hobby, we call it QRP. That’s a Q code for lower your power or should I lower my power? We all use 5 watts or less. This tiny amount of power is all that’s used to produce that soft glow in the incandescent bulb that’s inside the night light in your bathroom or hallway.

The WX

The day started out cloudy and cool and it remained so all the time I was out. The temperature made it to 70 F with a dew point of 58 F. It was delightful weather as the previous two weeks had been quite hot and humid for New Hampshire.

Every now and then a grumpy dark-gray cloud would float over and one decided to spit on me about twenty minutes into the adventure. I had decided to just operate standing up by the opened tailgate of my Ford F-250 Super Duty 4X4.

skeeter hunt 2020 w3atb

Here’s everything I need to get on the air to make contacts. CLICK or TAP HERE to see how I transformed that Pelican 1200 case into a perfect kit box to safely store my Elecraft KX2 and all the other gear.

My Setup

I used my standard outdoor radio equipment for the contest. I’ve perfected the storage of the equipment using a Pelican 1200 case and the deployment of my antenna. Here’s what I used to make my 15 QSOs using traditional Morse code:

On the Air

Several years ago my mentor, Jim Cluett, W1PID, taught me how to get a wire antenna up in a tree in less than two minutes. Here’s the method I use to do it:

I was on the air just after the 1 PM start time and registered my first contact within a few minutes. The sun did a fantastic job today tickling the atmosphere because the moment I turned on my radio and tuned it, I was hearing lots of other operators around the common low-powered watering hole of 14.060 on twenty meters.

I had a great feeling about how the day was going to turn out. I was to discover later that the propagation was so good some operators made 30, or more, contacts. That’s a remarkable number using low power in such a short time.

skeeter hunt 2020 w3atb

I’m on the air and I’ve got one in the logbook. I then got serious and started to fill up three pages with more contacts.

A Visitor

About thirty minutes into the contest my phone rang. It was Jim! I hadn’t seen him for six months because of the wretched virus.

“Listen, how are you doing? I’ve only made about three or four contacts using a 44-foot dipole in my driveway. Who have you worked so far?”

“Well, I’ve got about six contacts at this point. The bands are pretty good.”

I read off my QSOs and Jim said, “I don’t have any of those! What the heck!”

“Why don’t you just come up here and operate instead of your house?”

Jim lives about six miles away and he decided to come up to the property. It took him about 30 minutes to break down his station and drive to my land. It was really great to see him.

Saved the Best For Last

Jim set up about 200 feet from me and tried to fil his logbook. He didn’t do too well today, but I think he just came up for a change of scenery. I’ve got lots of maple trees on my land and the sap from these trees is the first crop of the season for local farmers and other business people. Some use the nectar to flavor ice cream. But I digress.

Jim wandered down to my location about five minutes before 3 PM. Just then his phone rang and it was a dear friend of his, Carter Craige, N3AO. I had the good fortune to meet Carter back in 2014 at the ARRL Centennial in Hartford, CT. At the time, his bride, Kay Craige, was the president of the ARRL.

Carter had been participating for the first two hours like us and had made a remarkable 33 contacts using a giant loop antenna up 40 feet in a bunch of trees on his property in Blacksburg, Virginia. Some refer to that antenna as an NVIS cloud warmer. Well, it was warming up Carter’s logbook today that’s for sure!

Both Jim and I did a fast exchange with Carter and that was it for the day. It was so very exciting to have Carter in my logbook once more!

My Contacts

Here’s a summary of the stations I made contact with today:

  • W8EWH – Michigan
  • N0SS – Missouri
  • N4ARY – Georgia
  • NK9G – Wisconsin
  • N2FYE – New Jersey
  • W3BBO – Pennsylvania
  • K5KHK – New York
  • N8BB – Michigan
  • NI9M – Illinois
  • KM3D – Pennsylvania
  • VA2SG – Quebec / Canada
  • N2MO – New Jersey
  • W2JEK – New Jersey
  • NN9K – Illinois
  • N3AO – Virginia