You might think after this many activation’s things would be very routine. Well, that is simply not the case. Each site creates a unique set up for the rig and antenna. With two of us on the same peak in close proximity we can also interfere with each other. Even my 5 watts on a non-resonant band can get into Martin’s radio making him deaf when I transmit. SPOT issues are an ever present challenge as our SSB radios may talk the world but SMS SPOT, APRS SPOT, and Smart Phone SpotLite often do not work where we are at. To the chaser it may seem we are a bit crazy out there, well, they are right! Today one of the things that was not an issue for use was wind or weather. It was just delightful for the hiking and operating. The mountain and city views were obscured by ground fog and haze so there are no really good photos of those today.
I use an end fed non-resonant 36 foot wire with a 9:1 Unun and the KX3 antenna tuner. Many people absolutely insist that a tuned End Fed Half Wave Dipole (EFHWD) is the best thing ever. If my antenna is somewhat less efficient I have no way to know as I make tons of contacts on multiple bands and I am very happy with it’s performance. I also noticed that the EFHWD guys always have an antenna tuner. Just like me the conditions they set up in vary so they use a tuner. Today I tried something I had seen in an NA6MG photo, I elevated the feed point on my Trekking Pole. I don’t know if it added any performance. I also add radials / counterpoise. Again, I don’t know if that helps anything. If someone has more information please contact me.
Martin, WN6E, did some antenna testing today of a $2 dipole he made the night before. His simple antenna netted him several European contacts! His account of our adventure is at: http://wavetraveler.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/sota-activation-of-cerro-negro-benchmark-w6ct-226-march-7-2014/
As usual we also did some Geocaching and found a wonderful cache in the area which we used as a way point to the summit. We parked at approximately 34.18327, -118.20998 (near the intersection of Camino San Rafel and Flintridge as pictured in Martin’s Blog) and had a delightful walk up the access road.
|16:38z||N6JZT||144MHz||FM||146.52 59/59 S2S W6/CT036 HP Verdugo Mtns|
|17:01z||N6MKW||144MHz||FM||146.52 59/59 S2S W6/CT-170 Kagel Mtn|
|17:27z||WA6RIC||7MHz||SSB||7.284 59 Rick to phone WA6ARA|
|17:30z||K6TUY||7MHz||SSB||7.284 Bob 59+30/59 we could see his home.|
|17:34z||WA6ARA||7MHz||SSB||7.284 59/55 Yippe, Ridgecrest !|
|17:36z||NA6MG||7MHz||SSB||7.284 57/55 Dan|
|17:51z||N4EX||24MHz||SSB||24.960 22 several times from 1745z on|