What a day yesterday was. My son, his girlfriend, and I, hiked up Azure Mountain and I had the goal of activating this summit while we were up there. The hike was pretty short at 1.1 miles but it was a pretty steep climb. There was quite a bit of mud, as you can imagine after all that snow, which slowed us down a little.
Once we got to the top, I dropped off my rock (wait for the video), took in the marvelous views, and then started setting up my rig. I was able to find a dead standing tree, which I strapped my Packtenna pole to, connected the wire of the Packtenna Mini (9:1) and raised it up and then connected to my antenna tuner and radio. This took me 7 minutes. I noticed that there was some wind, so I spent an extra 3 minutes to tie off a couple guy lines to make the sure the antenna didn’t blow over.
I was on the air in 10 min flat after I sat down and made myself comfortable. The first thing I did was use my HT to sent an alert to SOTAWatch via APRS. I started out on 40m but could not make any contacts, so after about 15 min. I moved to 20 m (14.285), sent another SOTAWatch alert, started calling CQ, then voila my very first SOTA contact K4MF. I was actually a little tongue tied but I got through it. I made contact with W0MNA then KI4SVM and then silence. For about 3 minutes nobody answered back my CQ’s. I thought just one more, please. Then the call sign came NG6R from Los Angeles came back. I received him at 59 but he could only receive me at 33 (not bad for 5 watts and a wire), but regardless the contact was made and I met the 4 minimum contacts for my first summit activation!!
I am totally hooked on this now. I can’t wait to do it again!!