|Horrible Selfie! I had to get a photo with the SOTA flag so|
here it is hanging on my Arrow Beam Antenna.
Trip Data for the Hike to the Summit
|My trip data on the way up. You can find my GPS tracks at Peak Bagger http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ascent.aspx?aid=664624 or Everytrail http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=3432600 All of these tracks are recorded by my FitBit Surge. I have found it to be very accurate and gives me a very detailed map when I return home.|
After getting the equipment set up I turned the GoPro on and started to call CQ. I used my Kenwood TH-D72 to send an APRS to SOTA to spot me. I did have full 3G signal from my Verizon cell phone at the top of the peak and could have used SOTA Goat to spot but I always like to stay fresh on different ways to spot myself. The APRS packets were going out well and I was getting confirmations back that my spots had been posted to SOTA watch. I had a total of 17 contacts, 15 of them were on 20m SSB and CW, and 2 of them were VHF contacts. I did try 7mhz but did not have any luck after calling CQ for about 20 minutes. My CW skills were a little rusty and I learned that I need to get back into doing a little more practicing when I am not on the summits. The CW helped though as the conditions were not good enough to pull in N4EX on SSB but was able to make the contact on CW. See the video below to hear the difference.
Summit to Summit Contacts
|Photo of Rob, AE7AP, near the summit of W7M/HB-039|
Rob is a very active SOTA activator in and around Helena,
MT. You can read his blogs at http://www.pnwsota.org/users/ae7ap
Radio path for Summit to Summit with AE7AP
We had amazing line of sight for this S2S!
|104.3 miles on a rubber duck. Awesome.|
I use "HEYWHATSTHAT profiler" for
I left the summit at 11:50 a.m and made it back to the truck in one hour and fifty minutes which made a faster trip than on the way up. Even on the way back to the trailhead I still had an elevation gain of nearly 500 ft to get up and over a small ridge. For you mountain bike enthusiasts this hike is a also a very popular biking route starting at the Rattlesnake recreation area and on the woods gulch trailhead. There was sign of some bikers making the trip but there was still a little bit of snow and 30-40 blowdowns that would make it a little difficult. One of these days I plan to make the trip in from Rattlesnake and have someone pick me up on the Gold Creek side.
Trip Data for Hike Down
You can find my GPS tracks at Peak Bagger http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ascent.aspx?aid=664624 or Everytrail http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=3432600
Arrow 146/437-10 WBP
I did setup the Arrow antenna and tried to make a few contacts but did not have any luck on 146.52. I put this information here because I think that it is a great antenna and was part of a 61 mile QSO that I had with Doug (KY7S) from an unnamed peak in Capital Forest to Mount Zion. The Antenna weighs 19 oz. complete but I have been leaving the 440 elements at home and just using it as a 146mhz 3 element beam. It is a great antenna. You could also use it to do satellite contacts which I have been told count for SOTA now. It is a lot of fun. (You can see my Arrow antenna with the SOTA flag hanging off of it on the top picture).
Cell Signal (Verizon)
APRS - (Automatic Packet Reporting System)
For those who have not used APRS to send a packet to "SOTA" it is a great function to have when there is a possibility that you will not have cell signal at a summit. APRS has worked on about every summit that I have been on. It is a great primary tool and only use a cell as the backup for familiarity. In the video sometimes you can hear a lot of beeping...this is my Kenwood receiving packets from the APRS digipeaters. The other good thing about using APRS is that family members can use it to track you when they are at home and could be used as a location element in case of an emergency.