This was an interesting SOTA (Summits On The Air) activation with some propagation challenges from an interesting site. I was looking for an easy one with a short and mild hike. This met the requirements perfectly. There are a few minor challenges to Mt Rubidoux which is only a small hill at 426m/1398ft.
Getting there is a easy drive on the 91 freeway exiting at 14th street going north toward the summit. In just a few minutes you see it ahead of you. That tiny white vertical object at the top is a cross on the summit.
I arrived before 8am local so street parking was not available yet (no parking 9pm to 8am). I continued to the Sports Park (33.97663, -117.39348) where San Andreas Ave ends at Tequesquite Ave. This extended my walk by 0.2 miles.
I found out that this summit is much like an ant hill. It has a continuous flow of people going to the top. You are not going to be alone on this one so be prepared to be a ham radio advocate talking it up with the public. Cell service on T-Mobile was excellent. APRS2SOTA should work as I was sending out APRS position reports.
Band conditions today were poor. I initially thought it was just local only to find out other locations were experiencing similar conditions. I had time so I tried each band for at least 15 minutes or more. One of the nice things were the QRP chasers that worked carefully with me to get their reports. With full cell service I coordinated several tries to work KM6CEM to no avail. I even put my 2 meter dipole on my mast to specifically work him. At the end of the day WA6RIC coordinated a Summit to Summit for me and WA6ARA. Conditions just did not support that on the bands we tried. Such is the life of ham radio, dumb luck and propagation is only sometimes in our favor.
Thanks to all the Chasers that could get me!
Date: 17/Nov/2014 Summit: W6/CT-243 Mt. Rubidoux Call Used: KB6CIO
|17:14z||WA6RIC||7MHz||SSB||s55 Rick Ridgecrest|
|17:36z||AA7DK||14MHz||SSB||14.285 57/51 much better on 20m|
|17:37z||WG0AT||14MHz||SSB||55/57 Steve famous SOTA Goat Colorado|
|17:39z||NS7P||14MHz||SSB||44/56 Phil OR helped me with CNL|
|17:41z||W7CNL||14MHz||SSB||22/33 Bosie. Tnx to NS7P getting me the CNL part|
|17:44z||KH2TJ||14MHz||SSB||44/57 from Portola Ca (not Guam)|
|18:28z||NE4TN||18MHz||SSB||18.167 22/44 worked with me until I finally got the correct call|
|18:33z||KA5PVB||18MHz||SSB||s22 always a Great QRP operator from TX|
|18:42z||W0ERI||18MHz||SSB||21.385 22/58 Martha Kansas|
|18:42z||W0MNA||18MHz||SSB||22/58 Gary Kansas|
|18:58z||KD0MQO||28MHz||SSB||28.385 59/55 Frank MO – put out a spot in MO with report|