Sunday, August 30, 2015

Amateur Radio Newsline PODCAST from 7 Aug 2015

The article about our SOTA activities that ran in the local paper ran was picked by the Amateur Radio Newsline. (thanks Kyle for the heads up). The only thing I do not like about the article and Newsline Report is the emphasize the reporter and the Newsline put on the "points and standings."

We all know that Summits On The Air is more than just a points system and we all have our reasons for activating and chasing. If we were all points driven it would be pretty boring. I remember telling the reporter something to that effect and I purposley negated to tell him our standings in relation to everyone else but after asking me several times over a few days I finally told him and that is what he keyed in on. It is not his fault but it certainly isn't our motivation although a great number of SOTA people are motivated by their standings. There is nothing wrong with it, it just isn't our thing.

That is just human nature I guess, we humans value our standings and placement as compared to others of our species.

The number one question I get when Lynn and I explain what we are doing on a summit is... "what do you get when you get to 1000 points?" My response is usually "satisfaction of accomplishment" and of course I do add that there is a trophy, if you want to pay for it. (I will gladly pay for it because it does support SOTA)

SOTA activators and chasers are very much like the people that summit all the 14ers in Colorado. There is no reward save the satisfaction of the accomplishment.

I cannot talk for Lynn but I think she just likes hanging out with me and if we are doing SOTA, camping, riding motorcycles or anything else it really doesn't matter.  Bottom line is I get to hike, enjoy the outdoors and ham radio with my wife. How many others can say that, and yes, I know how lucky I am!!!!

K0JQZ and KC0YQF after a SOTA activation
Everyone has personal goals that move them. In order to quit smoking I used a reward system. After three days I rewarded myself with a new 1911 .45 ACP, after a week a new GPS etc.... It worked! I guess the points could be looked at in the same way.

It is interesting to note that my SOTA goal was to do one summit in 2012. On my first attempt, Mount Herman, I did not make it. My second attempt on Midland Hill was successful but it only left me wanting for more. What kept me going was a new formed friendship with Steve wG0AT as it is a lot of fun to hang out with a likeminded individual. We often chat about everything from QRP to coffee to relationships while hiking up a mountain. If it wasn't for Steve and encouragement from Lynn this would had jus been a passing fad for me.

Me on my first successful SOTA activation (Midland Hill)

wG0AT aka "The Goat Man" working a pileup

Incidentally, Lynn did not want to activate when we first started this journey. I had to talk her into upgrading from Technician to General and to get on HF SSB. Now she is the one that is prodding me to get out on the weekends.  The times are a changing! LOL

So, while I like that the Amateur Radio Newsline picked up the story, and I am disappointed that the points are mentioned as some type of accomplishment I am glad that SOTA is becoming a Ham Radio household name here in the Colonies and especially in Colorado.

Here is the newsline Podcast Audio:
7 Aug Amateur Radio Newsline Podcast


Friday, August 28, 2015

Aspen Ridge, Summits On The Air

Between work and SOTA activations on the weekends I have not had a lot of time to make bog entries much less do any videos.

Lynn and I did Aspen Ridge last weekend. Normally we would do two summits because it is a long drive but we did not want to get home too late. We were here a few weeks ago but I started to feel bad about half way up and rather than chance it we pulled the plug and headed home.

The smoke from the CA fires really clouded the views. The Rockies looked more like the Smokies.

Aspen Ridge is a very nice summit with little effort. The TH we normally park at had a sign that it was "Administrative Use Only." I am not sure if that sign had been there before but I decided to park across the road.

I am not sure what "Administrative Use Only" really means.

The summit registry has a few SOTA people listed.
Lynn and I with friend Nick


My SOTA/Ham Radio card (I put three in there and only one is left)

Lynn listening to the CW pileup
Our shack for the day
Lynn making her way back to the Jeep
It was a good activation. My battery died in the recorder so I did not get the audio of my last few QSOs. They are in the log. Lynn really did great with three Summit to Summits.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The rest of the story.....

Here is a link to the article they local paper (Colorado Springs Gazette) did about Lynn and I and our activities with Ham Radio and Summits On The Air. LINK

You never know what will happen from a chance encounter. People have found jobs, spouses and lasting friendships through random or chance encounters.

When Lynn and I last activated Mount Rosa it was an overcast day during the week and there was a chance of rain and thunderstorms. We decided to go anyway and would turn back if needed.

Not soon after we arrived on the summit a young lady appeared. We did not have the radio setup yet and we were just enjoying the view. We asked her to take a few pictures of us which she did.

Lynn explained a little bit about Ham Radio and Summits On The Air while I dug out a SOTA/Ham Radio business card for her.


The business card has my email, our callsigns, URLs to this blog, my youtube channel, the ARRL and the SOTA website along with some short descriptions about ham radio and what we were doing.


I figured if this brought one person into the hobby then it is worth it.

After she left we activated the summit and headed home. About a week or two later I got a call from the young ladies husband, Lance Benzel, explaining how he is a reporter for a column called "Out There Colorado" for the Gazette and how he would like to interview Lynn and I.

From what I understand Lance and his wife were chatting after her hike and she handed him the card I gave her and Lance researched my blog a bit, saw the video and gave me a call because, as he put it - "my wife and I thought this was a very interesting hobby."

The interview was about an hour and a half and I thought the way he asked questions was real interesting and while he may had concentrated a little much on the points system and our placement among SOTA Activators he did manage yo capture the essence of our Ham Radio and Summits On The Air activity.

It was a pleasure talking to Lance, meeting his wife and doing the interview as it is always fun to talk about your passions to someone who is interested.

... and that my friends is the rest of the story.....


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Just a couple of pictures

I really have not had time to do anytime of meaningful blog entry so figured I would just post a few pictures. I am having camera issues but here are a few pictures from the last few SOTA activations we did.

Mount Pisgah

Lynn at the top

Frank on the summit of Pisgah
Lynn checking out the old cars

old cars controlling erosion

You used to be able to drive up to the summit of Pisgah

Chief and Squaw Mountain

Hiking up Chief Mountain

View of Chief from Squaw

Lynn hiking up Squaw road

Mount Evans
Echo Lake

Neat rock stack

Lynn's KX3

Lynn's log book


The View


Genesee Mountain