Sunday, September 8, 2013

SOTA Trifecta or North America SOTA weekend 2013

It started just like any other SOTA activation. Meet early, pile into the Goat Wagon (Steve's Tacoma) and head to the TH.

A couple of things were different this time. 1) it was the first day of the North America SOTA weekend, 2) rookie Dave, NK0E, was along for the fun and 3) I was within reach of my 70th summit.

First of all, Dave is not really a rookie and has a lot of portable and QRP operating under his belt. He has recently been involved in SOTA and I am sure will be a boon to the W0 SOTA association as he racks of the activator points and experience.

We headed West and hit W0/SP-084 or Aspen Ridge first. A short hike and we were on the summit and setting up for some pileups.

wG0AT loads TOPO Maps and K0JQZ is ready to go
Aspen grove all the way to the summit
wG0AT takes a chow break while K0JQZ operates

K0JQZ running the CW pileup

Nice radio shack

My log from Aspen Ridge

20 Meters
K0MOS  S2S
K6TUY
NS7P
N6JZT  S2S
K6EL
WA2USA
W7CNL
N1MB
VA6FUN
KU6J  S2S

After we finished on Aspen Ridge it was a long drive in the back woods in the goat wagon to the TH of the next summit which was W0/SP-099 or 10123. There is a lot of private property on the way to the TH but we got there and enjoyed a hike through a lot of deadfall to get there. There were also several mine shafts and structures to take a gander at on the way.

Dave, NK0E,  checking out an old cabin

Don't fall down!!!

NK0E running the pileup on 20 meters
Steve got the trusty KX3 ready for action.

KX3 Station
I decided to use my ATS4b and linked dipole for 20, 30 and 40 meters.

ATS4b (Steve Weber Designed Trail Radio)
It was a fun activation and my log includes the following stations:

30 Meters CW
W5ODS
N6KZ
N0EVH
W0MNA
N7AMA
W0ERI
K5RWP
KU6J S2S
N5XL S2S
K7JFD

20 Meters CW
WI2W
WD4MSM
AE4FZ
N1MB
KQ2RP
N5CW
K6DGW
AA4GA   S2S
KH2TJ   S2S

Next it was off to W0/SP-115 or Bald Mountain. Steve was convinced that he could drive up to the summit. After looking at the GPS I was not so sure however, the Goat Wagon did great and Steve was able to navigate the rough road making it look easy. We stopped short of the summit and had a short hike to get to the top.

Steve setup the KX3 while Dave setup his ATS-2 on 20 meters. Steve used a 58 foot longwire for all the activations and after seeing how well it worked I decided to make one for myself. The 58 foot wire is wound on a clothesline dispenser you see at camping stores. I picked up one for a few dollars at the Fort Carson BX and used some fly fishing line and 58 foot of teflon wire to put it together in about an hour.

Soon after we got setup a short rain storm came through blowing everything that was not secured. We quickly put on our rain gear and by the time we got settled it stopped and we had to remove our gear. The cover Steve had on his KX3 really protected it from the rain. Something else I need to do to my KX3.

KX3 cover
Steve worked 20 meters as so did Dave and I waited my turn and decided to work 30 meters. I was getting tiered and hungry so I did not have a lot of energy to chase any DX so I was happy to call it a day.

My log
30 Meter CW

VE7CV
N4MJ
W7RV
W0MNA
K6EL
W0ERI
N0EVH
NS7P
W4ZV
KU6J  S2S
N7AMA

Steve working through the rain
After the rain it was down to business
After the third activation Dave treated us to dinner at a local diner and it tasted great. I was beat and we did not talk a lot on the way home. I was glad Steve was driving because I do not think I would be up for it. It was not a strenuous day but it was long!

3 activators after 3 summits
We had a grand time. We would probably still operate on mountain tops without SOTA but being chased by all the stations is what makes it so much fun. Bald Mountain was my 70 SOTA summit since I started doing this on July 6th of 2012..... Thank you chasers and fellow activators for making the 2013 North America SOTA weekend a lot of fun.

Cheesy video linked below.


73
Frank
K0JQZ

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