Today I finally had some time off work that aligned with good WX! I took my KH1 on to Bald Hill (W7W/SN-183) for another field test. This is the 2nd summit I have activated with the KH1, but the first one was brief because of heavy rain, high wind, and lightning. @KT5X (aka WS0TA) was also planning to activate with his KH1 from a summit in Southern California, so another motivation was to get the first ever KH1-to-KH1 S2S contact.
Bald Hill is a 1 point summit, and the closest summit to my house. It is quite a nice hike on a sunny day.
Lots of nice fall colors on display.
The hike up to the summit took a bit more than an hour. Most of it is on a trail, but the last bit is a bushwhack. As soon as I arrived on the summit I saw that Martin @AJ6CL was on 20m on a summit. It took me about 60 seconds to remove the KH1 from my backpack, screw in the whip and extend it, and toss the counterpoise wire out. I was able to get an S2S with Martin on the whip! Next I saw a spot for Steve @WB5CTS on a summit in Arizona, and was able to get him on the whip as well. Not seeing any other S2S opportunities, I decided to put up my 41’ EFRW (with 9:1 unun, 17’ counterpoise). The ATU in the KH1 easily tuned this antenna on all 5 bands, with better than 1.5:1 on every band except 40 (1.9:1 on 40). I put out a spot on 20, engaged my ‘CQ SOTA’ memory, and awaited the pileup! Here is my operating position:
The first to answer was @WB6POT who nearly broke my eardrums with his very loud signal. Next I worked S57S and then @F4WBN. I worked 10 more stations in 10 mins, all over the USA. When no one answered my CQ, I checked for spots and saw that @N4LAG was on a summit in W4C on 15. The ATU easily tuned the antenna on 15 and I got the S2S with Andy. Next up a run on 17 - ATU easily tuned the antenna again. Got F4WBN again! Got S2S with @WB2FUV who was in W1 land. Got S2S with @K5DEZ in W5N. Wow this little radio WORKS!
My friend @KJ7LLS was on a summit north of me here in W7W, and we got an S2S on 40. Again, the ATU was able to tune the 41’ EFRW for a 1.9:1 SWR (40 had the highest SWR of all 5 bands). Also got @K6EL S2S on 40 on his famous W6/NC ‘two dollars and ninety-eight cent’ summit. Worked a few locals on 40 and then I got the spot I had been waiting for: WS0TA on 20m!
Fred was also on a 1 point summit about 1000 miles south of me. Not bad for 5 watts and a wire.
For the next hour I worked more S2S: WM6Y in W6/CT, VE7EA in VE7, W6/DL2COM in W6/CC (on 20 and 17). I did runs on 40/30/20/17/15 and made contacts on every band. At some point I took down the 41’ EFRW and put up my 20/30/40 trapped EFHW and ran some of the bands again. The ATU was able to tune all 5 bands on this antenna as well!
I did pull out my KX2 to get some 40m SSB S2S and take a run on 10 meters (got LW2DO and others). Stats for the activation: KH1 got 12 S2S (2 of them with the whip!) and total of 56 contacts. I made 5 SSB S2S with the KX2, and 7 QSOs on 10 meters.
It was time to pack up and head back. I was about 1/2 way back to my car when I saw a spot for @N1CLC on 15 meters. I stopped on the trail, pulled out the KH1 and installed the whip, tossed out the counterpoise wire and tuned to his frequency. He had a good signal and I easily got him (he gave me a 559). I had a big grin on my face for the rest of the walk back to the car!
If you are wondering why I wasn’t using the KH1 paddle - mine had a manufacturing defect and has failed. Elecraft is sending a new one. I also don’t yet have the logging tray, but will post a review of it once it has arrived. Also, the internal speaker is not great - good enough for a backup, but I used headphones for the entire activation except for the S2S that I wanted to record. The audio sounds very good through headphones!
73 de WU7H