Wednesday, January 23, 2019

W4C/CM-088 Sugarloaf Mtn Activation

My second solo activation for the new year - drove to north of Hendersonville NC.  Having trimmed my end fed dipole for resonance for 20 and 40m withot an ATU, the KX3 ATU also matched the impedance to 1:1 on 30m.

Initial part of the 3/4 mile hike to the summit

Encountered this antenna site - not at the summit

The summit is a treeless grass covered expanse

With an antenna farm used for military and civilian aviation.   This is a VORTAC antenna.   The antenna was fastened to the posts on the fence.

Great views of the surrounding Blue Ridge mountains

Activator Points now stand at 201

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

W4C/CM-022 North Eaglenest Mountain

Another visit to North Eaglenest as a bailout activation to preserve the points goal for the day.   Originally, we were going to hike Siler Bald - a mere three miles away from Wine Spring but we got off the Wine Spring summit way too late in the day and North Eaglenest is on the way home.

Noth Eaglenest is shrouded in trees and the only views are on the way down the road from the summit. 

A sprinkling of snow from the weekend storm.

Log from the activation

W4C/WM-018 Wine Spring Bald

Another visit to Wine Spring Bald for 2019.   The weather was crisp but not too cold - just above freezing with no wind at the summit.   It was a bit warmer at the base of the climb.   The view below looking at Whiteside Mtn.

My station at the summit - brought the KX3 connected to my home made link dipole.  The REI chair was very comfortable - no more of the legs going to sleep.

There was a ranger station about halfway up the Forest Road from 1916

Nice blue sky back drop with the SOTA flag waving in the slight breeze.

Hiking down - we can still see the summit in the upper part of the picture - one can see the antenna farm

GPS track of our hike

Three summit to summit QSO's - one with Paula K9IR activating Lookout Mountain W9/WI-003 in Wisconsin, with George  KX0R activating Green Mountain W0C/FR-085 in Colorado and with Bob AC1Z activating Mount Israel W1/HA-049  in New Hampshire.    I made QSOs on 4 bands, 60, 40, 30, 20m.   I even got a surprise call from Slovenia S57V.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

W4C/WM-047 Toxaway Mtn

I activated Toxaway Mtn today (9Jan2019).  I had originally intended to activate two summits today but that did not pan out because of the weather.  I had brought the K1 once again.  The temperature was about 27F at the summit and the wind was blowing at a steady 30 mph+.  I only worked 2 bands because of the adverse weather conditions.  The video below shows how hard the wind had been blowing.


I hunkered down in a low spot to get a wind break.   You can see the antenna farm at the summit.   I used one of the trees to support my mast.

Here I am leaving the summit with the antenna farm in the background

Ran into W1PTS and KS4FX at the summit - they activated in SSB

Nice view of Lake Toxaway fromnear the summit

W4G/NG-002 Rabun Bald

The activation party from Whiteside Mtn (KE4EA, NY4G, and KW4JM) continued on to Rabun Bald.

At the summit is a wooden observation tower which has unobstructed, 360 degree panoramic view of the surrounding area.  The video is courtesy of KW4JM.

The USGS marker signifying the summit above.

KW4JM set-up his vertical by using the tower for support.  He operated below the tower.  KE4EA and I tagged team on the deck using the LNR MTR on a SOTABEAMS mast.  I first started on 20m and Dave KE4EA finished on 40m.   KW4JM stayed on 30m.

Here is the highlight of the activation for me - ZL1BYZ called me on 20m.  How is that for cool?

Since it was getting late.  We hustled down the mountain and made it out before dusk.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

First Activation 2019 - W4C/WM-042 Whiteside Mountain

This started out as a trip to the wrong Whiteside Mtn trailhead.   Scott KW4JM is usually early.   I texted him that I was at the trailhead.   Sure enough, I was at the wrong road (not too far away from Scott).

My hiking companions on the way to the summit.

A view of Rabun Bald in North Georgia where we are headed to later in the day.

The view of the surrounding mountains across the sheer cliff of Whiteside

Here I am operating my K1 - a convenient rock

Fulfilled a request for a contact with AB4PP on 60m

A view of the 1000 foot drop to the bottom