I went up a 14er last Thursday and had a blast! Gray’s Peak in CO - W0C/FR-002 Remarkable views…meeting a real live mountain goat (the animal, not the salty SOTAteer) lol. Hike wise, it was fantastic.
I had a few issues when it came to the radio/activation part. Possibly due to a lack of oxygen, I was unable to tune my antenna past 2.5-2.8. I think that was based on a few factors at the top of the mtn, but nonetheless I squeezed out 1 Q on FT8. (I’ve been going tunerless lately and I use a sliding coil Super Antenna MP-1C to great effect usually getting 1.2-1.3 SWR manually tuning. This wasn’t the norm for this activation.)
Anyway, what I’m really writing about is getting spotted and letting people know you’re there…on the air!
I’ve been doing some homework and it seems you dit-dah’s have an auto-spotter that will post in SOTAwatch (RBN Hole). I use the app SOTA Goat on my iphone and usually have great success…when I have cell service. I have Sprint as a provider, on a family plan, so I don’t think I can change carriers on a whim if that seems to be the case.
Also of note is that I’m still in the process of learning to receive code with my Mark V Mod 0 brain housing group. I can TX pretty good (~15 wpm), but RX seems to kick my butt. I just get overwhelmed easy and can’t catch up in my noggin. SO…there’s that. It’s been suggested to me that CW would prevail! I believe it. I’m in the process of learning so take it easy on my codelessness.
I also believe posting Alerts would help too but I’m not yet an expert hike time guesser. I tried it on FR-002 but was off about 2 hours! I don’t expect anyone to hang on a freq that long for me lol. I could not get a spot out on SOTA Goat to correct for Alert error…or get a spot out obviously.
I am aware of a SOTA spot texting feature I signed up for but not sure if that even works. Any help there if you know what I’m referring to? So I got stuck calling CQ (which wG0AT and K7PX did hear, S2S wise, but could switch to SSB in time before I QRT’ed).
I guess I just need some spotting pointers. I believe if I would have gotten the spot out there, I would have had a successful activation because I was heard, even with 2.5 SWR on SSB and FT8.
Any help and/or advice will be appreciated and applied next activation with no cell service.
Caleb // W4XEN
P.S. I know there’s nothing wrong with just CQing til heard…but any OTHER pointers appreciated lol