Wednesday, October 14, 2015

South Peak W0C/SR-111

I was unable to walk, much less hike on Friday and Saturday. Apparently I did something to my foot and it felt like I had a mild sprang so Friday and Saturday I was off my feet. I felt better on Saturday evening and I thought we could do a SOTA summit on Sunday before Lynn had to go back to work on Monday (I have the Federal Holiday off). Lynn was really wanting to get out!

We headed to South Peak or W0/SR-111 which is less than 13,000 feet (I think it is around 12,800 or so). I really wanted to get one more 14er in before winter but do not think that is going to happen and think the wind was a little much for a 14er on this day.

As Lynn and I headed up in altitude the wind was getting worse. I am not sure what the gust measurement was but it sure was a lot more difficult with that wind against us. I was worried that we would not be able to setup on the summit due to the winds. I was right! However, we got lucky and found a cliff on the side that took us completely out of the wind. In fact, behind the cliff it was very pleasant.
Views from the hike

More views

I decided that in order to maximize our 5 watts, with current band conditions, I would setup my newly built linked dipole antenna. I have made a few of these in the past but I took my time with this one and got in matched very well from 40 meters up. There was not enough room to deploy it fully as a 40 meter dipole but utilizing the cliff area I was able to get it setup for use on every band save 40.

Once I hooked up the mic I did a quick check I found out the mic was not working. Something happened when I plugged it in and it just stopped working. I was not sure if it was a radio setting to the microphone itself.

I really did not want Lynn to leave the summit without her QSOs and seemed to remember that there was an internal mic or something on the KX3? For the life of me I could not figure that out. At almost 13,000 feet I just was not functioning very well.

After fiddling with the radio I noticed that the VOX and the transmit function worked so I decided I would just hit the transmit button on the KX3 and Lynn could talk into the mic. This worked well enough for Lynn to run her pileup and she started pushing the transmit button on her own as she got more comfortable with the setup.

Trying to fix the mic
Lynn smiling after running the SSB pileup

The highlight of this activation was Lynn talking to Kylee at the helm of ND0C. It is always a pleasure to hear Kylee's voice break through the pileup.


Lynn chasers on 20 meter SSB:

NG6R

AE4FZ

WA2USA

N4MJ

KJ6NHF  Summit to Summit

ND0C

W6JMP

N4EX

K7HLN

WA6KYR

KG5EIU

W5/G4JBI

VE6AO


I then got on 20 meter CW and had a few problems with my paddle, operator error, but soon got that sorted and I worked the following stations:


KG3W

WA6KYR

ND0C

WA9PWP

N4MJ

NS7P

NG6R

I intended to go to 30 meters and other bands but the wind had shifted direction and the fishing pole holding the dipole fell to the ground just as I was standing up to change bands. I took that as a sign and we packed up and headed out. Getting back into that wind was brutal but we descended quickly and completed another activation with a few challenges.

Listening to the signal reports Lynn was getting it seemed the new dipole antenna was working well. I have started carrying the EF as a backup as it always works but, with the band conditions lately I wanted to have a little extra. I have one more antenna I want to try which is a modified OCF Dipole.
The Linked Dipole
The SOTA part is always fun but building and using your own equipment just adds to the enjoyment.

My foot felt ok but I started to feel a little bit of pain as we hiked up and down. I am feeling it a little more as I write this but can walk without a cane so it is healing up nicely.

Thanks Chasers!

72
Frank
K0JQZ

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