NA - SOTA Day stories/videos

Just figured a topic for posting your activation report + any links to your videos.

My activation was a success.

I was concerned about being out of shape and attempting a very demanding hike.

to my surprise my body responded with sheer determination, I completed the 2.3 mile hike, with 2060 feet of elevation gain in 1 hour 40 min. I’ve never hiked that fast.

Arriving at the peak I was welcomed with a very cold wet fog. There were no views to be had for me.

I sat in the firetower for a few min and made my CQ call on 2m, Guy NS0TA responded. He was on a nearby peak, Balsam mountain. First contact is a S2S… how cool is that!

I decided to setup HF next and get this over with… I wasn’t having much fun with the cold.

HF wasnt bad, picked up a few here and there, Luckily my brother was listening and picked me up on 40m, He threw up the spot for me on sotawatch and the calls came in. I was able to work quite a few Canada stations and some 4 area stations. nice to get a good mix =)

Hope everyone else had Safe successful activations.

heres my crappily pieced together video of the day

Andrew - K2FR

In reply to K2FR:

Great job Andrew. Glad I could be one of your Q’s. It was a very exciting NA SOTA Day. Thanks for your activation. We all appreciate the effort. Speaking of effort, as an FT-857D owner, having carted that up summits with a 7Ah battery, all I can say about your 10Ah power source is WHEW, that’s a real chunk to carry.

Marc, W4MPS

In reply to W4MPS:
Well done Andrew. I really enjoyed your film. It’s nice to see different types equipment other activators are using.

Hwyl a fflag
Alun 2W0CYM

Nice Video Andrew. I listened for you (and Guy) from W3/SV-026, but didn’t hear you. We were able to activate the peak. Congrats on your activation.


In reply to KB3UYT:

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the S2S contact yesterday, you were a good signal on G/SE-008 St Boniface Down, Isle of Wight.


In reply to K2FR:
Good job Andrew! I was casually monitoring 2m so it was a surprise to hear you loud! Actually we were only a few miles apart although my summit on Balsom Mtn (W2/GC-107) was completely fogged in with light mist!

My activation yesterday started out very badly on 20m CW when my pen
stopped writing, then the mad scramble for another (while the EU
pileup was raging!) to not find a replacement then the frantic search
for by backup pencil only to find the lead tip broken (meanwhile the
Eu pileup was raging…)! Ok where’s my knife to sharpen the
pencil…well you get the point (so to speak)! Temp was cold about
38f (3c), foggy (I was in the cloud on the mountain top!), misting
lightly so all the radio gear was covered, in short, plain miserable!
But all in all, I hung in there for 2 hrs and about 40 qso’s between
20m and 15m CW. About 50% of my contacts were with Eu! And a number
of NA S2S qsos…good fun!

BTW, I use the Hunter firetower as an antenna support for a sloper dipole! Works really well since you get the feedpoint up 30 or so feet! Tnx for the S2S qso! 73, Guy/N7UN/NS0TA

In reply to N7UN:

It was a mixed day for me. My XYL and I got on the road about 0700 PT and headed into the mountains. The weather was good and we were excited. The first problem was that we hit a deer on the way into the mountains, damaging the car’s front end. The $500 deductable will make it an expensive day for us. We were OK to drive so we pushed on.

Then we got to the planned peak, Hoodoo Butte. Although the Forest Service had told me on Thursday that the road to the top would be open, we found controlled burns going on and a locked gate. We headed to the back-up peak, Sand Mtn, which looked good on the maps. Unfortunately, there was logging activity going on and we could not go that way. So, I remembered that Lava Butte had been activated recently with a road open to near the top. We drove the hour to there, where we found the gate locked. Fortunately, the hike in was only about 2 miles with 500’ of elevation gain. We hiked in. It was a beautiful day in central Oregon, and operation from the rim of this volcanic crater was great.

The down side was that we were close to 3 hours later getting on the air than we had planned. Even so, I made 25 QSOs while my wife read and fed the ground squirrels. They would actually climb onto her boot and tug on her pants to beg.

I didn’t get on in the midst of the activity earlier, but I still had fun. One note: the peak is W7/CE-188. It was correct in the spots, but I realized today that I had mistakenly programmed the K2 keyer for W7/CE-088. CE-188 is the right peak. Sorry for the confusion.

Phil, NS7P

In reply to K2FR:

Thanks for the great effort Andrew. I’m sorry I didn’t make your log from Mount Rogers in VA W4/WV-001, but very glad to hear you worked one of my partners over on Whitetop Mt. W4/WV-002 5 miles from my location.

My day started out cold too. 35 deg with an inch of snow on the summit at 1743m/5729ft.

73, Chuck K4QS

In reply to N7UN:

Hey Guy, When i made the contact with you my radio was all kinds of spotty, I couldn’t tell if it was my radio or you. maybe moisture got into it but thats why i had to ask for the call again because it kept cutting out. It was strange because I used it later to touch base with people on repeaters and it seemed to be fine.

I had a good time. I would have liked a view, but whats one to do =)

My body didn’t hurt the day after like usual so I think running a much lighter pack and dropping gear made the difference for me.

In reply to K4QS:

BRRR! While I have enjoyed snow shoeing, I am not a fan of the cold… and having snow on the peaks is a hard reminder that its coming fast.

I was surprised I made any contacts on 40m, My wire was maybe 3 feet off the ground strung between my two hiking poles lol… but For some reason it got out, and got out pretty good from what I could tell.

Theres always next time =)


In reply to K2FR:
What a blast I had today. I tried 40m as you seemed to be having lots of luck on Saturday, but I could not get my Buddipole tuned up on 40 today (not sure why). So I tried 20m, but it was too early and got nowhere fast.
On a whim I tried 10 … wow was it open or what ! I had trouble first finding a clear frequency to work on and even then there was lots of QRM. 10 is so much fun when it’s open. My legs are stiff as I’ve not done much walking this year. But I really had fun today.

Andrew - K1YMI

In reply to K2FR:

What a great NA SOTA day! I was thrilled to see so many summits activated on both sides of the pond.

Everyone I worked on SOTA day worked at least 10 summits…except me, I had no S2S at all…ugh.

I did have fun though, not really because I had a pileup but because I heard Japan 59+ (JE2EHP) on 10m for about 50 seconds, then he was completely gone. I think it might have been the first time I have heard sporadic E on 10m, and I guess it was double or triple hop…very interesting. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to work the JA…

I put up a single pic at W2/NJ-009 NA SOTA Day 2011 | NA SOTA day 2011. I did not wor… | Flickr

I had bigger plans, but I was feeling a bit under the weather all weekend, so I kept everything simple and easy.

73 to all,
Tom, N2YTF

Helen (M0YHB) and I visited Cleeve Hill on Saturday (G/CE-001) hoping for a summit to summit contact with either the US or Canada; I was experimenting with a simple 2 element wire beam antenna pointing towards North America which needed both of us to set up. During our time on the hill we also had a nice surprise visit by Frank (G3RMD) to see what we were up.

Even though I had plenty of contacts with my usual set of chasers (thank you :o)) plus a few new ones, two G summits (G0PEB and G0CQK) and Z35BY, I wasn’t able to work through all the QRM and QRN I experienced to make contact with any of the summit activations the other side of the pond.

The two that definitely got away were VE2EDA (who I heard at two different times) and K0MOS.

The strongest I heard VE2EDA was at 16:39 (UTC) on 14.282 calling cq I tried to return to the call but a VU started calling CQ at 5/9 on the same frequency so that one was lost :o( I did try working the VU but all he seemed to be interested in was working 1KW stations who were 5/9+ with him.

K0MOS was heard at 17:57 on 14.340 but this time two Russians started chatting to each other 1kHz up making a possible contact impossible.

My antenna seemed to work ok but probably won’t be taking it out onto a summit again (it is a bit of a pain to set up); signal levels were possibly up on my usual antenna systems but the frustration was that I could hear plenty of DX stations that couldn’t hear me with my 30 Watts.

All in all I had a good afternoon in the sunshine playing radio ending up with 54 stations in my log, hopefully I will get a s2s with one of you in the future.


What a great NA SOTA day! The weather was fantastic on this side of the country.

A few weeks back while looking over the Nevada list (W7) I found three 10 point summits very close together (less than 3 miles between all three), all of similar elevation (±10,800ft) with high saddles between them, a road leading to the neck between two of them and not all that far from home (four hours drive). I have had my eye on them for some time and NA SOTA day proved to be the day.

All went according to plan except that I was a little optimistic about the time in getting from one summit to another. It took more like an hour and a half, taking into account setting down, hiking and setting up again, not the hour I had allowed. I allowed an hour of activating and chose to stick to one band, 20 meters, to save time.

My wife N6GIG and our greyhound Frankie came along for the hike although at a far more leisurely pace.

It was great to hear so many familiar calls. It was also encouraging to work so many new stations I had not heard before. Unfortunately I did not manage to work anyone outside NA and Canada. I have not yet managed that from this side of the country for SOTA.

Scott W5ESE really saved my bacon on the last summit. I had been calling for thirty minutes with only one contact (someone who wanted a signal report and was not interested in SOTA). After Scott’s spot the pileup started, whew! Thanks Scott.

It was a really fun day with three 10 point summits activated and 6 S2S contacts. Thanks to all for a superb weekend.

Adrian N6ZA (ex N6vdR)

In reply to G6WRW: Good to know that I was heard so far away - too bad it did not work out this time… hopefully another time.

Matt / K0MOS

In reply to K0MOS: Impressions from my NA SOTA day activation:

Matt / KØMOS