Only 993 points to go for MG!
Today was my first activation. It was my third attempt, first time successful. Two other summits proved inaccessible. Today, the stars aligned (I chose a nearby summit and the wx was nice). I had a 1.2 mile/2 km hike to the Rocky Spur summit in North Carolina, USA. Elevation 3090 feet/942m, not exactly nose bleed country, but it’s on the list! Sunny wx and moderate temps made for a pleasant hike to summit. Set-up took about fifteen minutes, thanks to my inexperience erecting a dipole on a mast in a thorny area. Once set up, I tuned around 40m and found some band noise, but a few good signals. I found an empty freq, posted a spot, and sent out a CQ having no idea if any success would be had.
Instant pile up!
It was the first time I have been the center of ham attention and it took a while to work through, but after three or four contacts I settled into a routine. My first SOTA activator contact was Robert, AC1Z. Thanks Robert! Also, thanks to all the chasers who put up with my fumbling CW. Through the patience of all of you, I was able to complete my first activation.
Today’s equipment: Sotabeams Band Hopper III (20/30/40m) dipole, Shakespeare 20’ fishing pole mast, ATS-3B qrp xcvr, American Morse Equipment Ultra Porta Paddle. I didn’t have any equipment problems, but I did have a few operator issues. The first was the challenge, as mentioned above, of deploying the dipole antenna in thorny brush. The Band Hopper goes up easily on the grass of my yard, but the tangles of this area slowed me down a bit. The second issue I had was with the paddle - I had it set for the lightest resistance, so any time the paddle slid off my clipboard/desk and bumped into something it sent a string of dits (accompanied by a string of oaths) until I grabbed it. Again, the issues were mine, not the equipment’s. I will correct these for the next go.
All in all, a good day. I’ll count it as a win.
Thanks again chasers!
72/73 de Tim AA4BI