Thursday, January 6, 2033


Welcome to my amateur radio BLOG. Here at (aka, I hope to cover my exploration of ham radio, summits on the air (SOTA) and general RF geek stuff.  My other BLOGS focus on technology (, photography (, and life ( QSL via QRZ, LOTW, cards.

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I monitor 146.520
track me on the trail HERE or APRS.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

2019-02-10 Lagunas to Spain

I got out of the house early, about 0640,  and headed out to the trailhead.  Today’s SOTA mission was to a mountain in the Lagunas to do Sheephead but the Forest Service had other ideas.  The gate was closed going into the trailhead that I use for Sheephead, I’m not sure why.  The road did have snow on it but my Highlander AWD worked awesome on the snow and ice when I tested it so I wouldn’t have had a problem....  It’s possible there was a washout somewhere on the road. After a quick replan, I continued up the Sunrise Highway a bit and hiked Hill 5764, W6/SD-026 - 5764.  l did this one last year as a recommendation from K6ARK.  It’s an easy hike and the trailhead was about 6 miles from where I was.  Next year I’ll try to do Sheephead and this one on the same day. 

Monday, February 4, 2019

2019-02-03 SOTA and DMR Test

I’ve been down with a cold since my last expedition a week ago and it rained all day yesterday.  I really wanted to get out of the house, get some fresh air and a little exercise before the Super Bowl game.  My objective was an easy, close hike just up the road in Rancho Bernardo called hill 1109 (W6/SC-365 - 1109).  I’ve activated that hill once before so I’m familiar with it.

On the way up I thought about trying to rally the troops on the DMR talk group 310014, AKA “San Diego Hangout”.  There’s two talk groups in the city that I know about and the hangout  is alway buzzing.  It’s a great group of guys always that are always willing to help each other out.  If I could get 4 contacts using my HT simplex (direct and not using a repeater) and using Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), it would be my first DMR only activation of a SOTA peak.  One of the other things that I’ve been doing lates on my SOTA trips is contacting KC2GNV, the DMR whisperer, to do some testing.  Brian is a huge promoter of DMR and uses the same radio that I have, the Anytone AT-868UV.  He also runs a repeater on Otay Mountain so he knows a lot more about DMR than I do.  He knows the Anytone backwards and  forwards.  If I’m having a problem, I, along with everyone else in the county, reach out to Brian.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

2019-01-26 Corte Medera & Los Pinos

For today’s outing I headed out to Corte Madera (W6/CC-026 - Corte Madera Mountain) and Los Pinos (W6/SC-048 - Los Pinos Mountain).  I was wheels up just after 7AM and the forecast was for warm weather due to a slight santa ana but it was very nice day but dry as hell.  My hands look like dry corks.  I did these two peaks last year and enjoyed them both (one day at a time).  Corte Madera is a nice hike, not too difficult and if you want, you can drive almost all the way to the top of Los Pinos.  I drove up to los Pinos last year.  When I parked it was still snowing.  This year I decided to hike up the north side on the way back from Corte Madera.  I kept looking at the trail up under the power lines and geez, it’s not too far.  Hmmmm, it’s always farther than it looks.  I did chart it so actually knew it was 1.4 miles (see the blue line on this chart).  The road up was very steep which I expected.  When it connected with the road it was less steep. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

2019-01-19 Eagle Peak & Stonwall Peak

Today I decided to hike Eagle Peak (W6/SC-156 - Eagle Peak) and Stonewall Peak (W6/SC-029 - Stonewall Peak).  Both of these hikes are pretty easy and not too far apart.  I thought about doing Middle Peak and then Stonewall because they are very close together but I really didn’t feel like hitting Middle Peak today given that I’m still suffering PTSD from the last time I went up there and bushwhacked from the west side (Adam says there’s a trail from the east side so I will eventually check that out).  I did these two summits at the same time last year so I was fairly familiar with the IAF and routes.  Last year it had just quick snowing on the way to Eagle Peak parking lot and when I started down for the car from Stonewall, it started snowing again.  I remember really being cold last year up on Stonewall, making some hot tea as soon as I got to the car.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

2019-01-13 Cuyamaca In a Little Snow

After not being able to hike last weekend due to a cold which lingered into the week and therefore keeping me from riding my bike to work,  I was really itching to get out for a hike.  It rained yesterday and it’s forecast to rain most of the week.... Today was they day to hit the hills.  I wanted something up in the mountains and a decent hike so Cuyamaca Peak (W6/CC-014 - Cuyamaca Peak) was the mission.  I was concerned about the amount of snow they might have on the hill given the recent storm.  I didn’t want to be in deep snow but a light amount would be OK.  I have these things called Yaktrax that give you extra traction if needed.  I also had a couple of alternate peaks picked out at lower elevations.  I checked the cameras in the area and it looked like it didn’t even snow although I know they got some. 
(Click on pictures for larger, see video below)

Saturday, January 5, 2019

2019-01-04, The 2019 Inaugural Summit

2018 was a busy summits on the air year for me.  I completed 53 summits, hiking 270 miles (26 in Grand Canyon), earning 303 SOTA points and getting some great views.  The map at the top (click for larger) shows the peaks that I’ve summited.  It’s a cool new feature of sotamaps.