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Activation of Whiteface Mountain, W2/GA-003


Our family roundtrip of the northeastern USA took us to the Adirondacks. I expect to activate Whiteface Mountain on Wednesday, weather permiting. The forecast looks good. I have to schedule this around other family activities and will follow up with details…

This will be CW only with 5W on 40-30-20m. The only radio I have is the PFR3. Antenna is a wire dipole.

73, Heinz, W2/OE5EEP


To all propagation experts:
What is the best time of the day to work W2-Europe on 20m? On my two previous W2 activations my success rate was not impressive. I struggled to get the necessary number of contacts for a valid activation.

I hope to do better this time…

73 Heinz


In reply to OE5EEP:
A OE/W2 QRP call should stir a good response. There are A LOT of QRP CW operators here. Sadly, for now, a call of CQ SOTA may be scaring off your response. If the station doesn’t know (yet) what SOTA means, and they are not a “member,” they probably will not answer your call. If you report QTH SOTA GA003, that may provoke further inquiry.
Happy Trails,


In reply to OE5EEP:
Today at least 20m to the UK should open around 1630UTC and close around 22 UTC with the best propagation being 19:30 UTC. But prop will not be great.

Best prop for 10mhz will be 2100UTC.

Thats for today using Hamcap/Ionoprobe (see www.dxatlas.com), I can only do one day at a time…I will run it again tonight.

Good luck, I will try to work you on CW (the rig will be home from CA).



In reply to N2YTF:

In my experience, I seem to hear the East Coast on 20m with loudest signals mid afternoon here (1400 - 1600 utc). It`s worth looking on 17m & 10m also at this time of year. 10m was open from here to Stateside and Japan last Saturday. It can only get better !


There is a likelihood for thunderstorms tomorrow and I will start as early as possible. Should be on the air around 1500 UTC. This coincides with Steve’s forecasts for optimum 20m propagation to EU.

I will update when I leave the hotel…

73 Heinz, W2/OE5EEP


In reply to N2YTF:
The forecast for Wednesday is about the same as Tuesday’s forecast, but perhaps a bit earlier and with more of a spike of good prop at 19:30, with the rest of the opening being so so…well at least thats what the software forecast.

73 & will be looking for you/spotting you on the bands,
Tom, N2YTF



They won’t let me up because of the bad weather. Will try again in about 2 hours. If weather does not improve I will postbone.

73 Heinz


In reply to OE5EEP:
It looks like you may get lucky a bit later:

There is also a geomagnetic storm going on right now. The cluster is showing very little ham activity, however there are 2 VE to DL contacts and 6m is opening a bit.

Good luck, I will be watching/waiting with you…



I am on my way up. Rain has stopped, visibility marginal.

73, Heinz


In reply to OE5EEP:
calling you now on 10.118 cant hear a thing…but my 20m dipole works better on 20m…



In reply to OE5EEP:
Latest forecast is for best dx to UK at 19:30utc for 20m and 20:30 for 10mhz, with 10mhz yielding ever so slightly louder signals then 14mhz…



Has anyone worked Heinz yet? I’m listening 10118 and 14060- nothing heard.


In reply to KI6MWN:
I may have heard something on 14.060, but I haven’t heard him. I have been calling him on every freq he listed, and now call on occasion on 14.060…but nothing. Have you heard me calling him on 14.060?

If you are not hearing me on my 20m dipole fixed in yor direction with 100w calling him, then I think we need a prop enhancement for you to work him…

Every now and then I hear a station on 20m cw from the west coast.

The road down closes at 4PM EST so he has a little less then 2 hours left…



3el. wire beam vs. 5W and 0 prop. I’m gonna lose.


In reply to KI6MWN:
Hey you never know…you may have the right angle for him…I am just running a wire dipole and I am pretty close…


In reply to KI6MWN:
Well I was never able to hear him, but in the meantime I did work Nigeria and a QRP station from the midwest on 20m cw…



In reply to N2YTF:
39C in the shack. I lost 2 lb. looking for Heinz.
Hope he worked a pileup.
TNX Stuart


No success today, not a single QSO!

I gave up at around 17.15 UTC when clouds came in and visibility was down to zero. I also had problems on 20m, where my dipole would not tune to perfect SWR. This is propably because the antenna was strung between rock boulders and was on average not more than 3m above ground. 30m and 40m tuned fine but where mostly dead as a dummy load. I heared some ragchewers on 7.029 but their QSO would not come to an end while I was up there.

While I was operating it was at least not raining, but mostly in clouds. It was a very quiet day on Whiteface Mtn with never more than 3 or 4 people on the summit plateau at a time. This is quite different from what I have seen on picture postcards.

If I would come back I would bring a telescoping mast for my dipole. The 4m fishing rod simply was not long enough. A vertical might also be a good alternative. Generally the plateau is bare granite. I did not dare to use the little vegetation there is for fixing strings or mast to it. There are several signs advising to stay on the hard granite and not to cause any harm to the sensible alpine vegetation.

While not a success for SOTA I still had a nice mountain tour. I took the road to the final parking lot and then the nature trail to the summit. I later saw that there is an alternative trail starting in Wilmington almost at the base of Whiteface mountain. The hiking time for this trail is given as 2 hours. Still rather short for a 10-pointer!

I am already in Vermont now and will be in the Green Mountains tomorrow. We will continue later to Mount Washington in NH, all of them not cataloged for SOTA. Therefore there wil be no further SOTA activations on this trip.

Thanks to all stations listening and attempting to work me!

73, Heinz, W1/OE5EEP


In reply to OE5EEP:

Could you please post pictures of the summit? I would like to go up there one day and wonder exactly what types of antennas I should bring…

Is there a steel railing that could act as a good ground plane?

Are there any good rocks to stick a 33 ft fiberglass mast between and run a end fed wire on 20m?

How about bringing a YP-3 3 element yagi on a big aluminum mast? Are there good granite rocks to stick a big mast like that between far enough away from most of the tourists that I would not bother them?

Thanks again for the great attempt,