KN6YKN First Activation and First QSO after receiving License

Just wanted to say how much fun I had on my first ever activation at W6/SC-369 (Temple Hill) and making my first QSO since passing my technician test last weekend. Built a 2m/70cm flower pot antenna to avoid using the rubber ducky and it worked great! I was able to contact @N6MTB all the way down in San Marcos at W6/SC-331 with my little Baofeng and this antenna :slight_smile: Going to work on building a portable version so I don’t have to carry a ~4ft PVC pipe around lol

Big thank you to @KN6RDC for being my first contact and being so kind and patient with me as I was scrambling trying to write down your callsign when I called my first CQ. Can’t wait to activate some more summits!


Brilliant stuff Michael! Congratulations on your first activation, and here’s to many more! :clinking_glasses:
73, Matthew M0JSB

Congratulations on getting your license and your first activation, this is the best hobby in the world!
Russ de W0LMS -Whiskey Zero Last Man Standing (in Minnesota) :grin:

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Congrats on your first QSO! Keep it up and make a lot more.
Hope to hear you on HF one day.
John, K6YK
Hamming for 66 years and still loving it!

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Great to hear! Now go for the General and Extra so you can have even more fun using HF! Radio and hiking is a wonderful combination.


Studying for the general right now! Having access to HF bands and a decent radio/antenna almost sounds like a guaranteed activation on each summit!

Looking at the Xiegu G90 as inexpensive mobile HF rig.


The Xiegus are decent little radios from what I have heard. The truSDXs are also a good bang for your buck SOTA radio since they are tiny. Consider signing up for one of the CW Academy classes probably starting in May - that is where the real fun begins: most of the SOTA action is in Morse code! Good luck!

Edit: and a pro tip, don’t let your significant other get into radio or she will know how much you are really spending on radio gear :joy:

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Congrats on getting getting that first activation in the books. I came up a QSO short on my first activation. Stoked to be in your first batch SOTA QSOs!


Hi Michael,

Congratulations on making your first contacts on a SOTA activation. You also recognised the need for a full size antenna and the one you chose is a good one.

To remove the need for a pvc tube, you can make it as a “naked” flowerpot, where the only bit of pvc tube is the section used for the choke. The rest can be rolled up and carried in your backpack. On summit, I attach mine to a short telescopic pole (purchased on Ali express, about $15 and about 4m high). The antenna wire can be attached to the pole using several short lengths of plastic “electrical” tape which I wind around the bottom section while in transit. Where possible I attach the pole to something on the summit, like a fence post, a trig leg or a tree. If none of those are found, it can be guyed so I made up a guying kit, using a hack saw, a hole saw and a piece of kitchen chopping board to make a ring that would fit onto the pole but stop at the top of the lowest section. 3 cord guys are then anchored with tent pegs at 120 degree spacing.

On some summits there are broadcasting and other transmitters and most models of the Baofeng have been found to be very sensitive to overload by such transmitters. The conventional brands of HT like Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood and Alinco seem to deal with the interference better, albeit at a higher purchase price.

Welcome to SOTA and to ham radio. Hope you get as much fun from it as i have.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA down under


One of us! One of us!

Hope to hear you on the air soon!

Well done Michael @KN6YKN and thanks for sharing the snaps of the Temple Hills area including Catalina Island in the distance. It’s my “go to” peak as I live in Laguna Beach. However, I’ve been away and it’s wonderful to see how green it all looks!!

As I am sure you are aware we are heading toward a sun cycle peak which probably occurs in 2-3 years. The US Tech license has 10m privileges on voice and while you will need a HF radio you might find the small antennas viable and HF should easily get you contacts across the US.


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Incredible! First ever QSO is from a summit. You’re off to a great start. Well done. :slightly_smiling_face::ok_hand: