For a combination QRP Afield / New Hampshire QSO Party / SOTA excursion, I went to Pine Mountain ( W1/NL-022 ) in Alton, Belknap County, New Hampshire, a 45-minute drive. The summit is within the Evelyn H. & Albert D. Morse, Sr. Preserve , a property of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Google delivered me to the non-preferred parking place, which is a narrow, gravel roadside sloping to a ditch. I was the only one there. I walked the Mary Jane Morse Greenwood Trail, 1.2 kilometers and "strenuous" per SPNHF, with tall weeds and waist-high saplings in its center. Going up, I counted 7 monarchs, 1 woman, and 1 dog. The "Do Not Block Gate" sign is just to the right of this one. Monarch migration is under way. I counted 7 on the hike up and viewed others from the summit. My one roadblock was easy to overcome. Up top, I was surprised to find more people — a hawk watcher and two others. Since there hadn't been any other cars alo
In my continuing quest to spend time hiking and operating rather than driving on my Summits on the Air excursions I chose Province Mountain, less than an hour's travel from home and an easy, quick climb to a partial view. I also like clarity about permission and certainty about my route up. I found W1/AM-409 met both criteria. On the way down, I apparently forked right instead of left and came back out to the road at a spot marked, for now, by a downed birch. It's a little steeper this way than the segment I went up. But on the way up, I didn't see that opening and instead continued to this clear and courteous sign. The trail starts in East Wakefield, New Hampshire, but on the way up it crosses into West Newfield, Maine. There's a granite post beside the trail to mark the spot. Was it really put here in 1898? If so, it was probably in a big field back then. Just after the marker, there's a nice stretch of hemlocks. Blackburnian warblers were singing here.
Amateur radio achieved 20 years of continuous operations on the International Space Station in December and celebrated with a slow-scan television (SSTV) event at the end of the month. The ISS crew set up automated SSTV transmissions of 12 different images and multitudes of Earth stations received them. I managed to copy 7 of the 12, plus the very bottom of an eighth, using my makeshift setup: an iPhone with the Black Cat SSTV app held at the speaker of my Kenwood TH-F6A handheld. I used a rooftop 7/8-wavelength 2-meter vertical for my first attempts, which gives good results except for some noise banding. My best images came with the Arrow antenna I use for all satellites. Like many other listeners, I uploaded my image files to the ARISS SSTV Gallery , then requested a certificate of accomplishment. It arrived promptly today. The first successful ARISS contact with a school happened December 21, 2000. Since then, astronauts have made more than 1300 school contacts all over the world.