I’m not sure this is the appropriate place to post this but I wanted to share my experiences as a newcomer. W2/WE-051 is my second summit and it was a last minute activation tonight after dinner. I had everything all packed up in my car from my activation on W2/WE-043 and there was just enough time left in the day to get out and activate another summit.
I’ve come to notice a few chasers that contacted me on both summits and I wanted to thank you for the QSOs!!!
The drive to the summit was amazing. Because this was a last minute SOTA I chose not to hike the road but I parked near the summit and I walked all my gear in to the AZ.
The big tree stump in the access road was my hint that I was nearing the summit
I finally arrived at the AZ with my KX3, massive lead acid battery (this is on the list of things I need) and some random wire. The summit was in dense woods and there really wasn’t a clearing where I could set up so I found the most spacious canopy and threw up a leader line for my random wire. I use a 16oz. lead shot with 40lb fishing line. I’ve tried lighter test line and the tangles too easy and when it snags on the bark you really can’t coax it down, it just snaps.
For the random wire I use copper trolling line. It’s about 20ga and kinks a little easier than I would like it to. I would really prefer a rubber or silicone jacket on the wire. If anyone has any recommendations please let me know. The wire I have works VERY well directly into the KX3 on the BNC to binding post adapter. Today I had about a 40’ vertical and I only had a 10’-15’ section of ground counterpoise. The KX3 tuned the antenna set up to 2-1 which I wasn’t happy with at all. I had no ambitions of making any contacts and the Deer flys were not helping. I had about 10 deer flys circling my head trying to get the antenna set up.
This was my savior tree, I was able to get up on the second branch on the right hand side.
I took a seat on the ground and started a little S&P to see if I could actually get out with a 2-1 SWR and 5w. The battery pack I had was only showing 10.6v but after a little fiddling I got it to run 12.1v and drive the KX3 with a full 10w. I have the internal battery pack loaded up but the batteries weren’t charged.
My first contact was a DX station in Italy and the next QSO was the 150 Anniversary of the ITU special event station. I couldn’t believe I was breaking through DX pileups with a 2-1 SWR and 5w. My last contact before I when to work calling CQwas another Special event station, W9IMS. Talk about breaking pileups QRP style! I needed one more QSO for the activator points and went to work finding a clear frequency from my alert. .240 was in use, .288 was in use so I went with my 3rd frequency of .332. I called CQ and within 5 minutes worked 5 stations and had a mini pileup myself!
I’ve gotta say as a newcomer, I’m thoroughly hooked and will be activating more summits in and around NY/PA. Thanks so much to the chasers. You guys have totally made the sitting-in-the-mud, and battling the horse flys worth it! Eventually I’ll improve my gear and bring CW into the equation.
If you’re wondering what I’m currently using here’s my gear sheet:
- Elecraft KX3 with ATU
- Elecraft KXPA100 (When I need that extra oomph…Is this cheating? )
- Schumacher XP2260W (This thing is heavy - this is next on the list to be upgraded
- Howies Tackle Wire (Random lengths connected direct to KX3)
- Generic 16oz lead shot
- Generic 40lb test fishing line
- As much bugspray that I can put on, plus an extra can
- Cheap notebook from a trade show
- Miscellaneous cables for the KX3 & KXPA100
73’s and hope to catch you on the air!