Saturday, August 31, 2013

SOTA Activation of Kaufman North and Kaufman HP (W0/SP-085 and W0/SP-081) 30 Aug 2013

Friday was a family day at work and I have been looking at these summits for a long time. Two 6 pointers just sitting there and I have seen them many times even though they are a 100 miles from us.

I asked Steve to come along but he was unable to at first so I contemplated doing another, closer summit. A few days later Steve got the green light and we were off.

We got an early start and got to the TH before 0900 and was standing on the summit before 1100. It is a neat summit with outstanding views.

Steve checking the TOPO on his iPhone
Steve has the uncanny ability to walk up a mountain through dense forest and bring us back near the same way just by navigating via terrain. I checked him on the GPS and he was dead on. Not only do I NOT have that ability I second guess myself all the time. It is only recently that I started "trusting" my GPS.

View on the way up and our second target (W0/SP-081)

Looking West

K0JQZ enjoying the views (wG0AT Photo)
wG0AT running a pileup on 40 meters

KX3: Radio of choice
Not only were we going to pickup 12 activator points, have great views and were enjoying the outdoors, I also wanted to try my new linked dipole which is for 40, 30, 20 and 15 meters. The intent is to mate this to the the "Steve Webber Designed"ATS4b. It did work but it is resonate a little high on 20 and way to high on 15. That can be fixed but over all I am pleased with the design and the performance.

Center of the Linked Dipole (wG0AT Photo)
The dipole is made with the super slippery teflon coated wire and uses 4mm connectors and is fed with 25 feet of RG-174. They are fun and easy to make and I will make a few more. the one I made for 20 and 30 (for the MTR) came out perfect on the CW portion of the bands.

Not Linked (wG0AT Photo)

Linked (wG0AT Photo)

We stayed on the summit for about an hour having a grand time running the pileup. I think Steve and I have a perfect system for the multi-operator activation but there are no real rules. We just use one rig (always have a back-up station) and take turns and try different bands. 

Here is a short video (excuse the poor quality in the beginning as the sun was directly behind me) of our hike up to W0/SP-085.

Here is my log from W0/SP-085

30 Meter CW:

20 Meter CW

After we descended to the SOTA Jeep we headed to Kaufman HP (W0?SP-081)

Kaufman HP was a forest hike all the way to the summit. We spotted Deer and Elk on this hike and found a few campsites that may work well for a multi-day SOTA excursion to this area.

We also heard some thunder while hiking up but it was in the distance. Once we summited we knew our time was limited and that we may need to make a quick exit or seek shelter. The rain was not only coming in from the West it was also coming in from the East. 

 I set up the dipole, with Steve's help, and he got the KX3 ready for business.

wG0AT power for the KX3
After I ran the pileup until no one else was calling I turned it over to Steve and he worked the pileup until it started to rain.

Steve having a Zen moment working the pileup
The master working old school homebrew paddles and high tech logging on the iPhone
 After the rain started I put on some minimalist rain gear (ultra light jacket) because I had my small pack. I have not used this pack in a long time and debated using it on this day but with it being only 12 pounds with water I decided, why not. It had a complete CW station, first aid, emergency shelter, fire starter, light, liter of water and some test gear for the new antenna. Plus, my MOBAG Tag from a different life and decade.

MOBAG Tag, notice Roosters face on the button
We decided to secure operations and pack up, we quickly descended and were back in the forest in no time. We ran into an Aspen grove that I thought was pretty cool.

The Old Goat and the forest.
K0JQZ in the grove (wG0AT Photo)
This was another neat summit and activation and the end to a 12 point day.

Here is my log for W0/SP-081:

20 Meter CW

We did not get too wet and did not hit the heavy stuff until we were in the Jeep. It was a fun day.


NOTE: I included some of Steve's photos but if you want to see better photos than mine please go to the wG0AT FLICKR Link: wG0AT Kaufman "turn captions on."

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