Trip of 2013.09.22

  • Succeeded: Yes
  • First-activation: No
  • Propagation forecast on departure: 40 Fair, 20 Good, 17 Fair, SN=0-1, K=1, A=7, MUF=13.19
  • Propagation forecast on return: 40 Fair, 20 Good, 17 Fair, SN=0-1, K=1, A=5, MUF=26.33

See my trip planning guide at: SOTA Guide: W4G/NG-014, Levelland Mountain


Levelland Mountain (W4G/NG-014) is an unremarkable hill, but the trailhead is interesting. Levelland is on the Appalachian Trail and the trailhead is the one spot on the entire trail where the trail passes through a building.

There was something large crashing around in the bushes. Dunno if it was a deer or a bear. I never saw it, but it loomed large in my mind while activation. (Long ago, I was harassed by 3 bears while on a solo backpack trip, so I have a “thing” about bears.) And it appears that I set up operations near a hive of yellow jackets, so there was plenty of QRN from Mother Nature.

Lady Propagation was very kind today. Signals were strong across the country and I heard from one ham in the UK. (It is always exciting to hear from someone on the other side of an ocean when I’m operating with 12 watts and a make-do antenna.) I made 17 SSB QSOs and one FM. (I know some of you make way more on a typical activation, but that’s a lot for me.)

I used an EFHW, vertical, hung from a tree for 20m. I used a dipole with a 1-1 balun for 40 meters, with one leg vertical (it was my 20m EFHW) and the other leg about 4-5’ AGL.

I’ve been activating for 11-1/2 months now, and I had my first forgot-something-important today. My battery holder holds 11 AA batteries. I’m in the middle of a quarrel with my XYL and that distracted me enough that I filled it with 10 batteries. Oops! Fortunately, I was able to scavenge an AA from my GPS.