Saturday, November 30, 2013

S.O.T.A. Activation with the ROCKMITE 20 on Signal Butte, Divide, Colorado on 30 Nov 2013

Tomorrow starts the winter bonus season for SOTA but Lynn and I wanted to get out today. It seems between the fires and floods we still have a lot of summits closed off to us. Signal Butte, as my regular readers know, is one of my favorites and we can get to the TH in about an hour and a half. 

I also was itching to use the Rockmite I built for 20 meters a month or so ago. It gets a whopping 200 milliwatts output with a 9 volt battery. I was not sure how this would go so I also packed the KX3 as a backup and so Lynn can work SSB if she wanted.

We packed up and headed out. We stopped in Divide Colorado at our favorite burrito place for a couple of breakfast burritos and landed at the TH about an hour after that. It was a cool 34 degrees at the TH with a slight breeze.

Lynn at the TH
It was a steady climb to the top with took about 40 minutes.

The trail does get steep in some places.

And finally we summited.

It was time to get down to business. I setup the EFHW for 20 meters and got out the Rockmite. It took a while for the RBN to pick me up and when it did it got me at 3db on the West coast. After that the pileup started and it was steady for a little over 10 minutes.

Rockmite, Speaker, Recorder and 9V battery

I worked the following stations with an EFHW and Rockmite at 200 milliwatts output:
AA5CK  Summit to Summit (Thanks for finding me because the rock mite is of course rock bound)
N4EX  (7327 Miles Per Watt!!!!!!!)

Lynn took over on SSB and worked:
KK7DS Summit to Summit
KC5CW Summit to Summit 

Lynn, KC0YQF making QSOs
The KX3 right at home on the summit
I also worked the following stations on the KX3 at 5 watts:
KC5CW Summit to Summit SSB
W0CCA Summit to Summit

When I had my QSO with W0CCA the cold was getting the better of me. After AE4FZ I called it quits as no other stations were calling and I needed to move around a bit to stay warm. I was hoping to get a few more summit to summit QSOs but I talked myself out of that. 

Lynn with Pikes Peak in background
The author ready to head down
The first outing with the Rockmite went well. It was a fun project to build. I would not pick it as my main SOTA radio but it is what it is. A lot of fun and just a neat QRPp rig that you can build in an evening without breaking the bank. I am pleased as punch to work Rich, N4EX, 1465 miles away which translates to 7327 miles per watt if I did the math right.

Here is a video covering my entire time working stations (audio only). I wanted to just do an audio file but I screwed that up so the only way to post it in the blog was through youtube. I added some pictures to pass the time. I had thought about transcribing the CW but I would be here all night doing that. You guys get the idea.


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