Sunday, June 8, 2014

Observatory Rock / Badger Mountain

This was a special activation in that my friend Nick got to join me. Nick and I are both Jeep enthusiast and getting to this TH requires some rough roads along with some mud to play in.

I had a hard time getting up this one. I do not know why but it was really kicking me like I had no energy. Anyway, we did finally summit, setup and had a good run on 20 meters SSB and CW. This was Nick's first exposure to ham radio and Summits On The Air so I hope I made a good impression. Nick is one of those super smart guys and he asked a lot of very good questions. Maybe we will have another Ham and SOTA guy in Colorado soon.

Speaking of introducing Ham Radio and SOTA to people. I had an idea, like may ideas this one is not entirely mine. I had some business cards made up that kind of gives a 2 second overview of the hobby and sport along with some links. Of course space is limited but I included my email and blog site if anyone wanted to pursue it more.

Here it is:
FRONT

BACK

While you can tell people on a mountain about ham radio and SOTA they will most likely forget as soon as they leave. SOTA brings us into contact with a great many different people with one thing in common. We are all on a mountain. I was also thinking that an inactive ham or maybe one that is unaware of SOTA would gain a little. This way, when they go home and empty their pockets they are most likely to type in a few URLs vice trying to remember what the weird guy was doing on the mountain top.

If it helps recruit one person into Ham Radio and or SOTA it is worth it.

After Observatory Rock, Nick and I said our goodbye and I headed West to Badger Mountain. I picked this one because I was beat from Observatory and this is a drive up. I was worried about the weather but was able to squeeze the activation in-between two storms. The second storm came up on me fast and I did not hear any other callers so I split. I usually try to operate more than just 20 and I seem to have gotten in a rut lately but the weather is the main cause.

I used my Buddipole Vertical on these activations.


Pictured is everything. The Shockcord 8 foot mast,  mini shock cord whip (9 Section), 25 feet of coax, mini coil which is pre-tapped for 10, 12, 15, 17, 20 meters, versa tee and the counterpoise with beads tied in for 10, 12, 15, 17 and 20 meters. The beads are color coded to the taps so less chance to screw up. I did forget to install some type of flat connector on the end of the counterpoise wire so I had to strip it and attach it that way. It was a little cumbersome trying to get it to stay attached.

It worked well and no tuner was required. There is not a lot of space on the summit of Observatory Rock but there is plenty on Badger. I put up an EF and vertical on Badger and listened between the two with a coax switch and the vertical heard more noise but signals were a little better. Not so much that it really matters. After all we are not putting contest grade stations on summits........ or are we....

I was going to get one more summit in today but decided to rest and get caught on a few things instead. The mountains are not going anywhere.

On the video I actually forgot to change the position of the camera as I wanted to get at least three different views. I just plain forgot I was recording until packing up. I also do not like the way the picture in picture cuts off a portion of a big file and the fact that I have not found a way to make the still picture stay,,,,, still. It wants to do that zoom in stuff with it that I really do not like for the PiP views. I will keep learning.

Video

Thanks for all the chasers.


72
Frank
K0JQZ

7 comments:

  1. Excellent video Frank. You've got all this down to a fine art.
    73
    Rob G0PEB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rob. I am a long way from art but thank you for the comment. It actually took me almost 8 hours to put that together but a lot of time was learning how to manipulate the audio (twice no less) and rebooting my computer when I would over stress it. More memory is in my iMac's future.

      Frank
      K0JQZ

      Delete
  2. Very nice, Frank! I especially like the idea of the SOTA business cards; I always try to bring along 8.5x11" flyers for passers-by, but they're bulky (the flyers) and always seem to get mangled. This minimal approach is much nicer.
    72, Hoss N2GDS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hoss, thank you for the comment. I like the cards but it was a pain figuring out the information that should go on them. I wanted to give out as much information as possible while providing the person a means to get more information if interested. I do not know if it will work but we will see. Another problem was the vistaprint (you can google them) fonts did not allow for a strike through zero so I ultimately went with the drop case number. My reasoning is if you had never seen a call sign before you would not know the "0" is a zero vice the letter "O."

      Thanks again for leaving a reply.
      73
      Frank
      K0JQZ

      Delete
    2. Oh, good point. Actually, now that I look more closely… I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you get another batch printed up, there are a couple of typos you'll probably want to fix. The first is your blogspot URL (should be a period instead of the @ sign), and on the other side, the URL for SOTA ends with "org.uk", not "uk.org". But what really matters is the description of SOTA and Amateur Radio, which is great.

      Delete
  3. Oh, I forgot to ask (and I apologize if you already mention this in the videos somewhere): what sort of video camera do you use?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hoss, thanks for pointing that out. I had planned on ordering a new batch and glad you found those mistakes. The camera is a go pro hero3 plus black edition. Learning the camera and editing of the movies is half the fun.

    73
    Frank
    K0JQZ

    ReplyDelete