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First (and further) High Knob, W4V/GC-001 Activations

Hello to all. First entry, but wanted to add some photos of my first couple of activations. Hope to have many more to write about. Please forgive any errors, this is the first attempt.

Since others have provided directions to the summit, I’ll pass on that part. Grew up nearby and used to drive up fairly frequently. Since those days the view is better with some tree clearing and the observation tower has been rebuilt. Instead of a simple rocky path to the base, there’s now a nice paved curving walkway all the way to the top of the tower. The old tower had a set of pretty steep steps to the top. Also new (at least under construction) is a curving pathway from the parking lot to the tower that will allow wheelchair access all the way from the parking lot to the top of the tower. The construction and some equipment is visible on the right side of a parking lot picture.

On both activations I set up my station (FT-817, LiPOFe battery and LNR Trail Friendly 10-20-40 antenna) on the wall around the parking lot. There were visitors back and forth from the parking lot to the tower, so didn’t want to give a bad radio impression by interfering with people’s enjoyment of the view and experience. In the picture with the wall visible on the left side, the first activation used the left side corner at the base of the walkway. The second activation used the other corner on the same side. Where I used just depended on where most of the cars were parked. The second activation was better antenna-wise due to having better-arranged trees to hang the antenna. With all of the trees cleared away from the summit, there’s really nothing to hang an antenna on except the tower itself. This may not have set well with other visitors.

Once all set up, one of the first contacts was Pat, KI4SVM. One of the folks who first introduced me to SOTA. After that followed a few other folks. Didn’t have time to stay long, as my daughter was with me and wanted to get moving. We were on the way to KY for a family visit, and had already traveled from SC, so she wanted to get to the end of the trip. But she did enjoy visiting High Knob and seeing the place I’d talked about as we passed it every trip home.

Second activation I was solo so in no big rush. Was able to work a few stations on both 40 and 20. Even got to work a few stations on both trips. I would like to thank all of the stations who were nice enough to post updates while I was trying to make sure I worked everyone I could hear. I did try to stay on a freq until I’d worked all I could hear. I did hear a couple of folks calling, but they couldn’t hear me replying. If anyone tried and didn’t hear me, please know that I tried to complete a QSO if I could hear you. The FT817 is stock, I don’t want to burn anything up by raising the power on that neat little rig.

For both activations at this summit I used the Delorme InReach to post spots, and Pat, KI4SVM and others also helped post. Cell coverage was nil with the old cell carrier (T-Mobile), but the new carrier (Verizon) is much better. And on both activations I forgot to take station photos. If I can get the pictures of the W4K/EC-020 activation to post later, it’s the same setup. Bad part is I’ve had the cellphone (with camera) at all activations, and used the phone with the InReach for spotting. Just forgot to take pictures. As I build the activation equipment checklist, I’ll have to add, “TAKE PICTURES!”

Well, can’t get a picture to load to the story, so will do a bit more research and try again later. May be some computer restrictions at work tonight. Will try again later for the other summits.

73, and it’s great to get out in the woods and play radio,

Mike, N4VBV