SOTA Activation Report: W4G/HC-003 - Stone Mountain

Trip of 2012.11.10

  • Succeeded: Yes
  • First-activation: Yes

See my trip planning guide at: SOTA Guide - W4G/HC-003 - Stone Mountain


An easy activation, convenient to Atlanta. The hardest part was finding a parking place at the trailhead on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

There are plenty of places to support an antenna in the activation zone. There’s a fence on the south side, near the trail, protecting rare flora. It could be used to support a vertical. I found a dwarf tree, a little north of the summit, and bungee corded a 31’ fiberglass mast to it, for an EFHW for 20 meters.

It was a good opportunity to spread a little public awareness. Lots of interest from tourists about what I was doing. On the way up, a group of teens (or 20-somethings) asked if I was going camping. When I explained that I was going to set up a portable radio station and talk with people in Europe, there was lots murmuring of “cool.” There’s an opportunity to interest the young in ham radio here. Setting up a radio on top of a mountain sound more like an adventure and less like a bunch of old men sitting around and yakking. The young see themselves as adventurers and risk-takers, and we could do well to sell SOTA to high school and college kids.

16 contacts on 20 meters in just about 10 minutes. I made it to Kansas and to England on 5 watts with my KX3. My thanks to the chasers, who put up with me when I totally lost my train of thought as a parade of hikers marched past!