Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pt. 1272 (W6/NC-387) SOTA Activation

The two peaks just to the left of the white shed are mount Diablo (W6/NC-045) and North Peak (W6/NC-051).

On the 1st of February Peyton and I were going to try and do 2 summits a short 1 hr drive from the house. Our goal was to be back at the house by 1200 hrs local so that we could all go to a park that the kids have been wanting to go to. I woke up at 0500 and came down stairs to wake up Peyton. He looked straight at me and rolled back over saying "I am too tired." I know that he must have been real tired as he was really excited about doing two summits in one morning. I left the house about 0515 and got to the first trail head at 0615 hrs. My suspicions were confirmed that the road to the summit of W6/NC-190 had a "no trespassing" sign on the gate. There is a way through Morgan Territory Regional Preserve but it is likely that you will have to cross a fence to the summit. It may be possible though and may be for another time. I then moved on to Pt. 1272 which I was fairly confident that I could reach this previously unactivated summit. 

Route: You should be able to get good directions from my every trail post and follow to the "Go" point. 

Cell Signal: 
Full 3G signal (Verizon). I did not have signal on the way up but at the summit I had no issues.

Radio working conditions: 
No issues. Nice and quiet on the bands

Trail Condition: 
Well Maintained Easy to follow service road. Very Steep!

Weather: 
About 40 degrees at the care and 48 degrees at the summit. The breeze and sweat and sitting down were keeping me quite chilled. This is the first time that I actually had trouble working the key as my hands were getting a bit cold.
Fees: 
$6 collected at the entrance to the park.

EveryTrail Route: 

http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=2653768

This was a pretty steep climb! If you look my climb does not really start until 0.4 miles and it is about 1.4 to the summit. I went from 300 ft to 1300 ft in about a mile. Pretty good workout!
Setup: 
PFR3 with internal AA batteries - http://www.qrpkits.com/pfr3.html

Lambda Antenna - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXo0XucRpt0&list=FLuy-J6QwwXmIdgM0-I2ue7w&index=1

I had made a new version of this antenna with 22 AWG wire. It did not seem to work as well as the thicker wire that I have. I am going to have to do some more testing with this antenna. 

I have been using this antenna for my last few activations and seem to like it so far.
AME Porta Paddle II - http://www.americanmorse.com/portapaddle.htm

Contacts:

I actually managed to get spotted on RBN today. This was a first and makes me happy if I am out without cell signal.
21 Contacts on 20  & 30 Meters. One S2S at the beginning before spotting. I hope that the WD0EBZ call is correct. The code seemed weird to me but I think that he was sending code at about 40wpm and trying to spread it out for me. It was a rough copy!
Thanks to all my loyal Chasers. I hope that you are starting to notice an improvement in my CW skills! Today may have been a little rough as I was a bit colder then my normal CA activations!
This road leaves the parking lot and heads up to the dam. 
On the viewing platform of the dam. Don't let the sun deceive you. It got me. I left the car in a T-shirt and was regretting it at the summit. I thought that it would get warmer when the sun came up, I was wrong!
You can never get away from the windmills. 



Benches welcoming my arrival at the summit and some good trees to throw the wire over! 


Looking down on the parking lot. This climb is quite steep!
I was thankful that I was not going up this road on the other side of the draw!

A view of the dam.
You can see my operating position just to the right on the tree. My feedline did not quite make it to either bench! Great day to be on a summit. Thanks to all the chasers!

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