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VA2SG yesterday's activation and NA SOTA toughts

Hi group,

Well, for me, yesterday’s activation was success on radio side, but had plenty of planning and setting up badlucks!

First, the gate of the access road was locked by a safe and I needed a key. 10 days ago, I asked the info of how to open it and had a number code to enter in a digital safe! But it was’nt.

Plan was to take the car to a certain height and make final ascension by foot with plenty of gear, laptop, interface for PSK31 etc… Cannot make a cell phone call as this area is remote and no cell coverage… So, after one hour drive, had two options: cancel or hike by foot this mountain.

I left some gear to the car, hiked very close to summit, within the validation limits but was tired…

Then, an hour late on the schedule due to the gate story, I setup the station. The buddipole fell on the ground … under my horrified eyes … and one of the whips broke! Fortunately, I brought my HB radial wires and could continue in vertical config, just like I usually do in my portable ops.

Then, the real fun begins. First QSO with buddi WG0AT and then non-stop QSO’s for almost 90 minutes, CQing and managing sort of piles, to my big surprise, often three to four callers at same time. 20 was the place to be at 1600 UTC.

No need to mention I was running CW.

So I made 27 QSOs, the last with friend VE2PID on 40, then the battery voltage dropped, and I had to continue with 2.5 W instead of 5.

Was it the power or condx changing? By this time, had a hard time making contacts. Winds getting higher, clouds coming in and WX forecast beeing more on the rain side for late afternoon, I decided to get back home, bit sad because I really wanted to try a QSO with Martin SIE , the gang at VE2CQ or Jean JCW. I looked for them a lil bit on 40 but no copy.

Now I hope the NA SOTA day was a success for others. Not having lot of activators, at least for now, I believe that these multi area events are great way to increase fun, attract chasers, make good publicity and spread the word. If only one other SOTA area is setting up in NA after this, then we could say: mission accomplished!

I’d like to thank my colleagues area managers Tom N2YTF, Andy K1YMI, Suart KI6J, as well as all the others who hiked or chases us from home. Thanks Martin VA3SIE for summit activation, sorry about WX, thanks to the VE2CQ gang who accepted to activate a summit in the Quebec city area, thanks to Jean VE2JCW who did get out and operate after I asked him to do so.

All in all, I had incredible fun, and lucky not having the H1N1 flu, I can say I have the SOTA flu hi.

Video on youtube by end of the day.

CU from somewhere probably in december!

Hi Jean-Pierre,

I glad you had a good activation yesterday. Sorry you didn’t work any of the SOTA summits on your activation.

I hope you’ll do some more activations in the future because VE2 is a very rare SOTA association and I hope the other NA activators who were activating yesterday will do more activations in their association in NA because of them all being very rare.

Jimmy M3EYP

In reply to VA2SG:
That was good going having 27 QSO’s after all you went through, i dont think your situation was unique as i am sure there are plenty of tales of woe within SOTA myself having been the victim only last week! Good that your going to have another go and i shall keep an eye out for you in future activations. Sean M0GIA

In reply to VA2SG:

Great job and what persistence!

The 3 of us, Dave, W2VV and Patrick, KC2RBE and I decided to change hills to a hill in North West New Jersey to avoid the storm. Unfortunately on our way there a truck caught fire on an isolated highway we were taking and we were delayed about 3 hours.

On the way to the summit we also stopped in to pick up extra cans of bear spray for Dave and Partick as we heard more and more reports of bear sightings in the park…although all sightings were of peacful, recalcitrant Black Bears we wanted to be prepared.

Our first attempt to drive to the base was thwarted by a park barrier that was not in our GPS…but we did eventually make it to the hike starting point, a lake that was the result of a meteor impact in 1857.

We did finally get to the summit, and although Dave’s 857 began to malfunction in the extreme mist/humidity, we each made more then four contacts. Our final contact was with Steve WG0AT, a real treat. The K3 held up to the moisture just fine and was enclosed in a large heavy duty plastic bag.

Dave worked several JAs with his end fed wire on 20m, and 17m was hopping to my portable vertical. We heard the “Weather Chick” on 5.450 USB loud and clear, and heard a UK station on 5.4035 but we could not break the pileup to him.

When all was said and done, total driving time was about 8 hours for me.


In reply to N2YTF:

8 hours of drive: that is also dedication.

Here’s my vidéo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8YI7YlyXa0

I’ll see you december 5th from another VE2 summit!

In reply to VA2SG:

I just uploaded photos from yesterday in our association’s gallery:


73 CU december 5th!


In reply to VA2SG:
I see you have posted an alert for the 5th of December, lets hope the WX is better this side of the pond then i might be able to stay on summit for longer. Sean M0GIA

In reply to VA2SG:
Great pictures keep it up. We are always listening and trying for a contact with you All the best Geoff.G6MZX

In reply to M0GIA:

alert for the 5th of December

That’s the date of the next PBMME (Polar Bear Moonlight Madness Event).

MM0FMF - PB #189

In reply to MM0FMF:

You got it! That’s two events at the same time :wink:
I hope I’ll find whats wrong with my NuePSK kit by then :-0

In reply to VA2SG:
Thank you for the contact yesterday Jean Pierre. Pity I had to abandon my activation because of the poor weather here. Glad your activation went well though with plenty of contacts.

Hope to S2S soon,

Roger MW0IDX