Trip of 2013.11.03

  • Succeeded: Yes
  • First-activation: No

See my trip planning guide at: SOTA Guide: W4G/HC-005, Springer Mountain

Commentary: An excellent day for SOTA: Beautiful fall weather, beautiful fall colors, really good propagation, and a new antenna.

After activating W4G/HC-008, Rocky Mountain, I headed over to Springer Mountain. There were about 20 cars at the trailhead, and there was a real party going on at the high point. (Lots of people, lots of noise.)

I set up off to the side, near some backpackers who were about to make camp.  I explained what I was doing, and that I’d be gone in a couple of hours when one of them asked, “Is your name Kevin?”  It was someone from work.  (We all telecommute, so we don’t recognize faces but we do recognize voices.)  This is the second time in the past 6 months that I’ve run into someone from work on a summit.   What are the odds?

I created some confusion at Springer, when I used copy/paste to create the text for my self-spot.  I apologize for any bother that caused chasers.  W4G/HC-008 was about 14:30 UCT and W4G/HC-005 was about 19:00 UCT.

My new antenna is a 36’ carbon fiber mast with a 20m EFHW cut for minimum SWR.  (For 40 meters I remove the matchbox, and add a single 21’ radial.)  I was concerned that the conductivity of the carbon fiber would mess things up.  I know that others use CF masts, but most activators appear to use a configuration where little of the antenna wire is in direct contact with the mast.  I ran my wire straight up the mast, attached with masking tape.  It worked as well as my slightly shorter fiberglass mast on its best days, was much lighter, and was quicker to set up.  (Hey! I had my first QSO with Scotland, and my second Finnish contact with OH9XX!  I also had a partial contact with a GB call sign, but QSB hit before we could complete the contact.)

Thank you chasers!