Welcome to my amateur radio BLOG. Here at N1CLC.com (aka HamNinja.com), 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 (cloudrant.com), photography (cameraninja.com/blog), and life (thethroboflife.com). QSL via QRZ, LOTW, cards.
summits in 9 days, yeee haaaa!I’m just finishing a 10 day vacation (+2 on
the road) at my summer home in northern Arizona.During this time, 8 dayswere spent hiking and playing with a radio on
a summit.I wanted to see if I could
average 2 activations per day and work in one day off to do some maintenance on
the house.Well, I exceeded that goal
and managed 20 activations over 9 days of hiking.Many of the
summits, especially the triple summit days, the peaks are clustered together
and if I’m going to drive to one, I might as well do all three.This is the perfect time of year to hike this
area if you want to maximize your hiking experience too.The monsoons don’t arrive for another month
so you can hike all day and the weather is perfect.Once the monsoons arrive, hiking with an
antenna in the air is normally not recommended when the thunderstorms move in,
which is around noon.So if you want to
double-summit,you need to be up at the
crack of dawn, run and gun. (click on pictures for larger)
Updated: I've been using Hamlog on my iPhone since I
started doing SOTA. At the time I was
looking, options were limited. I've had
to force hamlog to work for my needs, one of them being that I like importing
my logs intoN3FJP's Amateur Contact Log(ACL) on my PC at home. ACL is the mothership for my logging. It provides one button upload to LOTW for
confirmation, and it's one-button download quickly shows me all of the
confirmations the other direction. I
also do a quick export and then upload it to QRZ because a lot of people were
asking me to confirm contacts there.
Although Hamlog supported ADIF exports, I had to use a text editor to
add some fields, and fix the Notes field so it imported correctly (I was
putting the Summit reference in the hamlog notes field). ACL on the PC has user customizable fields,
so I used one of them for my summit reference and another for the other
operator's summit for summit-to-summit contacts. Fixing the notes field and adding a summit
reference was a bulk one-time edit.
Getting summit-to-summit (S2S) references in ACL was a manual process
and it was a huge pain. I like having
that info when talking to someone on the
phone or radio, allowing me to quickly look up the last QSO with them and yak
Well it's my first day up at my cabin in Alpine AZ and I decided to tackle one of the more difficult peaks, Escudilla Mountain. It has a little more than 1,500 feet of gain but really not that hard except it starts at over 9,000 feet and goes up to almost 11,000. What makes this one difficult is all of the fallen trees on the trail. It gets worse at the top and I decided to go to the designated high point just to the north which was a massive pain in the ass. From the time I got out of the car it was almost 7 hours of play. I decided that 7+ miles of difficult hiking wasn't good enough so I drove up to South mountain for some more. I'll stop here, and let you enjoy the video I put together.... with some screw-ups that I made during post-production.
Today’s adventure was a short 2.2 mile hike up
and back to Sycuan Peak (W6/SC-203).
It’s mother’s day so I didn’t get on the trail till about 12. The marine layer burned off and it was
clear. It wasn’t too hot, maybe 80
I’ve done this peak before and had forgotten
how eroded it was. I had told someone
that it would be good for mountain biking but no way would you want to do this
one. After being surprised by last
week’s rattlesnake, I was on the lookout.
I’m not sure that would do me any good as the species we have in this
area are the Red Diamond rattlers and they really blend in.
I thought that while I learn morse code, I’d
document along the way what I’m doing, issues that I’ve had, observations, and
any tips to others feeling the pain of the CW learning dance. By the way, morse code and “CW” are used interchangeably
by hams.CW stands for “continuous
wave”.I won’t get into what exactly
that means here, just be aware. Also, I'll be updating this article with any new tips that I learn and add to the links to resources at the bottom as I come across them.
Note: The wine cork paddles pictured to the right were my first.I used them to make my first ever CW contact
from a mountain top to N0OI.The paddles
were a gift from K6ARK, my SOTA sensei, aka SOTA Yoda. (click pictures for larger)
are here for the tips, just scroll down to the "Tips" section and skip my poetic blather.