July NA monthly report

From Skip, K6DGW, NA reporter dude:

ARRL Field Day has come and gone. I know there were a few activations over the “non-contest event.” I’ve always figured that keeping score and publishing the scores makes it a game, and a radio contest is a game, but I hope the activations went well.


Phil, NS7P “The 24/7 Chaser,” reports that he has reached one hundred thousand (100,000) chaser points and is getting back on the summits now! I wonder if any of the SOTA Founding Dads ever considered anyone would reach that total?

Bob, AC1Z in Alton NH, broke through the 30,000 chaser points on a QSO with N3NNU on W4G/NG-040 [Sassafras Mt GA] on 16 June.

Fred, KT5X, reported: “The NM Double Century Award (for Chasers) is issued to Elliott, K6EL. Nice going! A hand-painted earthenware medallion will be on its way soon. Details on earning the NM Century Award, Double Century, Half Millennium, and Millennium Awards for Chasers, and the NM Iconic Peaks award for activators can be found on the QRZ.com page for WS0TA, along with recognition for award winners.”

Fred also pointed out that Mountain Goat W0CCA is [or was] in a “Natural Power Race” from Washington State to Alaska. I believe the vessels might be outrigger kayaks [see photo on his QRZ page], and I tracked him in “Swan Song” on tracker.r2ak.com for awhile. Nearly all the boats are gone from the site now. No word yet on how Cap did in the race.


From Ron, AE7P, reports for Montana, W7M: Montana saw 9 summits activated in June – a sure sign that summer is coming. Malen, VE6VID, crossed the border to activate W7M/FS-149 – Blacktail Mountain. The Missoula Crew – Vick-K7VK & Lance-W7GJ donned their umbrellas & activated a few summits, with Lance doing his thing with FT8! Vick then snuck across the Idaho border to activate a couple of summits in the remote upper Selway country. Rob, AE7AP, and Barb, AE7AQ, got out for a few activations, including W7M/CL-065 – Alice Mountains HP which burned during the 2017 Alice Creek fire, giving it good potential for Morrell mushrooms. After 11-miles, lots of great views, and a fine activation, Barb actually found a couple right by the car!

Pete, WA7JTM with Shadow, K9WOOF showed up in the email: “Pretty quiet out here in AZ this June, but I did have some fun on Six Meters that the SOTA ops may enjoy hearing about.”

“June 6th I drove up to the Grand Canyon National Park to set up my high power station for the ARRL June VHF Contest. I set up my camp in the National Park and then drove over to activate W7A/CN-013 (Grandview Benchmark). This summit is just out of the National Park it turns out. HF conditions were pretty good, but nothing was heard or worked on Six Meters. Well maybe my luck would be better tomorrow.”

“The next morning, Thursday June 7th, I loaded up the truck with my faithful pooch Shadow, and my SOTA gear, and went on the road again… this time to activate two hike up summits. On the first summit, W7A/CS-053, I managed to work two stations on Six Meter ES skip, one in Texas (EM13), and one in Idaho (DN13), both on CW with nice signals. Unfortunately the bugs were very hungry so I had to bail out early and head for the second summit, hopefully with less bugs.”

“The second peak was Red Butte, CN-019, about a 1.5 mile hike to the top. Once on top I found a nice shady tree for my dog and I, and no bugs, so I set up my Link Dipole and FT817 there. I went to 20 meters CW and worked a number of stations, but I noticed some very short skip on 20 meters, a sign that Six might be open, or the MUF was pretty high.”

“I QSY’ed to Six Meters and the band was wide open into Southern California. In the next 70 minutes I worked 21 stations in five Grid Squares all 5x9 on SSB in Southern Cal, four of them were “Mobile In Motion” stations. I worked them all with my dipole at 12 feet and my barefoot FT817, about 4 watts. Everyone said I was 5x9, and obviously they were even stronger to me. I had quite a pileup going as I was in DM35, a rarely worked grid in Southern California apparently.”

“I also managed to work one station in Louisiana (EM31), and another in Mississippi (EM52) for the longest 6M contacts of the day. The band was still open when my battery decided to call it quits about 2 PM. I have to admit that this opening was more fun than the VHF contest was on Saturday and Sunday! Anyhow, we had great fun hiking and working 6M DX that day…you never know about Six Meters…anything is possible, even when running QRP Portable.”

Thanks to Etienne, K7ATN, you can find all the news of the Pacific Northwest at:

Fred, KT5X, mentioned that New Mexico activity has been curtailed by several wildfires. In fact, the entire West is in extreme fire danger with major fires in Colorado, New Mexico, California, and some in Arizona, Utah, and even Oregon. Activating under difficult conditions is part of SOTA but please be very careful with your plans and expeditions.


Jeff, AA6XA, and Rex, KE6MT, reminded me of a San Francisco Bay Ares SOTA Meet-Up:

Saturday, 28 July 2018
9:30am to 12:00pm
(GMT-07:00) America/Los Angeles

Mr Pickles, 1014 Court St San Rafael, CA 94901

Our second SF Bay Area meetup. This time we will gather at Mr. Pickles in San Rafael for brunch, Saturday July 28 at 9:30am. Afterwards we can all head out to activate some of the beautiful Marin peaks nearby. There are lots of peaks in the area, ranging in difficulty from drive-up to very hard. If you’re an activator or chaser in the Bay Area, come join us for a great time.

Rex, KE6MT and Jeff, AA6XA are the organizers of this fun event.

And, from Bob, K0NR:

Colorado 14er Event
August 4 & 5, 2018

Amateur Radio operators from around Colorado will be climbing many of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains and Summits On The Air (SOTA) peaks to set up amateur radio stations in an effort to communicate with other radio amateurs across the state and around the world. Join in on the fun during the 27th annual event and see how many of the mountaintop stations you can contact. The covers the entire weekend but many mountaintop activators will hit the trail early with the goal of being off the summits by noon due to lightning safety concerns.

Now including Summits On the Air (SOTA), which adds over 1700 potential summits! If you aren’t up to climbing a 14er, there are many other summits to choose from (with a wide range of difficulty). See the Colorado SOTA web page at w0c-sota.org

Radio operators who plan to activate a summit should post their intent on the ham14er Yahoo Group. To subscribe to the “ham14er” email list, visit the Yahoo groups site at Yahoo | Mail, Weather, Search, Politics, News, Finance, Sports & Videos . Also, be sure to check out the event information at http://www.ham14er.org It is also a great idea to post an ALERT on the SOTAwatch.org website.


From Scott, WB8ICQ: On Sunday, June 24, Bob,WK2Y, and I activated Siler Bald, W4C/WM-024. Nothing unique about that, it’s not particularly high (1591m) nor difficult to access (about 1.7 miles along the Appalachian Trail from the Wayah Gap parking lot to a side trail, then about 0.2 mi up a steep side trail to the summit), and this was the 14th activation. What made it notable was 1) this was Bob’s first-ever exposure to SOTA, and 2) it was the second day of Field Day. We had spent Saturday trying to operate FD from a cabin in a North Georgia mountain valley using our SOTA rigs (Bob’s KX3 and my KX1), and we found the combination of QRP, expedient antennas, and low QTH made it impossible. We were lucky to get one QSO every 30 minutes."

“I was a bit uncertain about trying SOTA the next day, wondering if we would be swamped by Field Day QRM, but we gave it a go anyway. We found that the panoramic summit made up for the QRP, and when I found a clear frequency and posted to SOTAwatch, the game was afoot! I worked all regions of the US and into the Canadian maritimes on 14 and 7 mHz CW. Meanwhile Bob finally got into the Field Day game on SSB. And it was a perfect day for late June, with cloud cover providing a break from the sun and usual Southern summer’s scorching temperatures. The moral of the story: don’t be afraid to try SOTA even during the busiest contests – if you build it, they (the chasers) will come!”

That’s it From the New World for this month. No word from the XE Associations or OX this time.


Skip K6DGW
Sparks NV DM09dn
NA SOTA Reporter Dude

Many thanks for the excellent report!