Saturday, November 9, 2013

Antenna Test Part 2 (Mount Herman)

 Today it was another outing but this time to Mount Herman. I know the South summit has some good tall trees and no traffic so I headed out. SOTA cat was sleepy for some reason and wanted me to pickup some catnip, "medical catnip" that is, since it is legal here in Colorado.
On the way home from SOTA can you get some Catnip?

I had a better idea but she did not go for it.

You want me to carry what??? More catnip now!

Guess she was not going to let me strap a radio and batteries to her back. Anyway, I took off for Mount Herman. I knew my activation time would be close and I would have been closer to my time if I had not run into traffic that is the norm in Northern Colorado Springs all the way to Monument these days.

No matter, it was 48 in the valley and 56 by the time I reached the trailhead. The trailhead parking was full so I packed around the bend were absolutely no one was parked.

SOTA Jeep all alone.
I should have taken the trail behind this parking area but I was not sure where it went or if I could make it over to the South Summit easily from here so I just walked down the road to the regular TH with all the other people.

There were kids and dogs everywhere. SOTA cat would not like it. Of course it is a weekend and the amateurs were out. Like me….

I made it too the saddle and moved quietly over to the South Summit in order to not let people see me head that way. Most people stay on the path but I was afraid that someone might think to follow me.

I made it to the place I wanted to be and deployed the EF. This time I had 100 feet of cord and put it up a good forty feet at the end. I ran the business end towards a nearby tree near my operating bench and I was in business.

POW Nice Mints and I am on the air!
This is why I wanted this spot, rock chair and table out of the wind!

MTR with iPhone 4 for size comparison
This time I started out on 30 Meters. I had a good run but I would not call it a pileup. I started thinking that when I activate on 30 meters I never get more than a dozen or so QSOs anyway. The Reverse Beacon Network showed me at 26db on 30 meters. All the signals sounded good and I did not have to strain to hear anyone.

Here is my log from 30 meters CW:


I took a break and a few pictures. I also decided to eat something before hitting 20 meters.

Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak with a little zoom
Link removed for 20 meters

20 meters was fun again today. First QSO was a S2S with Bob W6TUY. Here is my Log for 20 meters CW:

K6TUY   S2S, Thanks Bob
WW2SUB    COOL!!!!

Reverse Beacon Network at me at 28db on 20 meters… Life is good.

Lynn, KC0YQF, had a class today so I wanted to make it home before she did but she got out early and called me right when I reached the main trail. It was a good day today.

I am pleased with this antenna and it looks like I have a new goto antenna for the MTR.

The 20 and 30 meter sections butterflied and ready to deploy

Linked together for 30 meters

Unlinked for 20 meters

The matching circuit box and RG-174 (not sure but about 8 feet)

The matching network
Thanks for all the chasers.

I do not do say this enough but thanks to the Management Team in the UK and for the managers in the USA for this program. It not only gets us out in the wild but it also bonds us together. I have met some of the finest hams on the planet. 

My one wish, if anyone in SOTA management reads this. I would like to see the naming of the un-named summits by first activators propagate and grow. I have thought about this a lot and would like to name a summit "SgtMaj Skinner's Summit" in honor of my Dad, KB4OGI, SgtMaj, USMC Retired, who is a SK. I know he would have gotten a thrill to chase me during activations. I still listen for his call sign in the static like I did when we had a schedule when I was stationed overseas or across the country. I miss him deeply.

72  dit dit


  1. Frank,

    What are the lengths of the respective legs of the antenna?


    Mike AD5A

  2. Hi Mike, the lengths are as follows:
    20 Meters: 28' 8"
    30 Meters: In addition to 20 meters 12' 1"

    I was also able to get a match for 40 metes later on.
    40 Meters: Ina addition to 20 and 30 meters 19" 2"

    It is very lossy and even more so on 40 meters but I doubt I will use it on 40 since I made it for the 20/30 Meter MTR. Of course If I am able to build another one I may build it for 40 meters.

    Hope that helps.