Operate Outside SOTA

Mt. Nebo, W5A/MA-004

When you have a doctor’s appointment that will take all day, you might as well pack the radio in order to take advantage of a summit that’s on the way home.

A view to the south. Regions W5A/PT and W5A/OA lie on the horizon.

As it turns out, this particular summit was the first SOTA activation that I have ever done.

It shows.

Let’s just say that activating a summit is more challenging if you haven’t spotted yourself, your phone has no internet, and it’s already four in the afternoon.

Since the daylight was failing and the temperatures were dropping, I thought about not activating the summit altogether. However, I drove all the way up there and I knew that I would regret it if I didn’t, so I set up the dipole next to a bench and saw what I could do.

After getting set up, I called CQ on 40m for about ten minutes with no luck, so I decided to search and pounce. It was a good time of year for it too since all of the SKCC ops were out in full force working each other for the 15th Anniversary K3Y event. It took me an hour of searching for people and waiting my turn, but I got in my four contacts.

The sun peaked out for a few minutes, the first time all day.
Spring Mountain (W5A/MA-003) is the closest summit in the distance.

By the time I was done, it was near dark. It was below freezing already and the wind was picking up. Quickly, I rolled up the coax, stowed the log, the battery, key and radio. Then I realized I had no flashlight. Of course, I chose black and dark green back when I made my linked dipole. Luckily, the twine I used to string out the legs of the antenna was fluorescent pink so I was able to get the thing stowed properly.

In the dome light of the truck, I checked the contents of my backpack and confirmed that no gear had been left behind. With relief came elation as well. I had finally accomplished one of the things I set out to do when I first got my license: activate a summit using only Morse code.

Stations Worked:

  • W3QT
  • NK1N
  • N4VT
  • K3Y/8 (N8XI)

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