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!