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.

* Reference Links Page    * SOTA Specific Links  
* My Equipment Loadout    * DMR Tips    * My Youtube Channel

I monitor 146.520 and DMR SOTA (973)
track me on the trail HERE or APRS.

Monday, August 3, 2020

2020-08-01 SoCal SOTAFest

Today’s SOTA activation is part of “SoCal SOTAFest 2020”.  A group of hams, including myself, had been planning this for a while.  The idea is to get as many of us on a summit as possible to enable a whole bunch of summit-to-summit contacts and have fun.  As word got out, a lot of other SOTA operators took advantage of this as well.  A group up in Oregon and Washington were on the air and a Colorado group called the 14’ers had scheduled to have an event of their own on the same day.

If you want more info on the event, checkout  That will bring you to a mailing list site that we use to communicate.  The group also hosts a zoom meeting ever two weeks.  It's a great bunch of hams, some new at SOTA and some that have been doing it for a long time.  

2020-07-25 My First POTA

I did my first “Parks On The Air” (POTA) activation today, Liman Lake, Park K-1062.  POTA is similar to “Summits On The Air” (SOTA) in that it’s a sort-of gamified outdoor activity where you take your ham radio and make contacts from station to station (no repeaters).  SOTA has summits, POTA has parks.  The listing of parks contains state and national parks.  I’m not positive but I don’t think you get anything other than a “point” for each park.  I still have some work to do to fully understand their scheme regarding award levels etc.  Maybe they should have something like “park bear”, “park lion”, etc.  LOL.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

2020-07-18 Porter Mtn.

Today was a quick activation up to Porter Mountain located in Pinetop-Lakeside.  I need to run to Home Depot not far from there so it was a good excuse to hit another quick summit.

The drive in from the north was a bit nicer than I expected.  There is a road that goes up to a parking area within a half mile of the highest point.  There are a lot of towers up there with microwave and what looks like a FM station and some VHF/UHF repeaters. 

My setup was almost good.... The antenna went from the top of the antenna to the bottom of a pine tree but just outside the shadow so I was sitting in the sun.  Most of my contacts were on 20m CW.  I did get a few on 40m cw and one on 20m SSB.  I netted 25 contacts in all.  I was going to try to work a few more SSB but I was getting hot and I wanted to finish my errands before it got too late. 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

2020-07-17 A Tres Cabezas Activation

I’m in a SOTA Slack group with Charlie, NJ7V who lives in Mesa Az and the creator of Red Summit RF YouTube channel.   Charlie has come up to the area near my cabin several times to work Summits On The Air (SOTA).  We’ve talked about doing some joint activations and he was able to make that happen while I’m here at my cabin, or as I like to call it, “my summer villa”. 

I met another ham, Dale, AA7OY, exchanging email about SOTA summits near my cabin.
(Pictured from left, N1CLC, AA7OY, and NJ7V.  Click on Image for larger)

Sunday, July 12, 2020

2020-07-12 Another New Mexico FA

Today’s mission was for me to be the first activator of another New Mexico Summit, W5N/AP-007.  I’m happy to report, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.  This is the 4th “First Activation” (FA) that I’ve completed in New Mexico.  I was thinking of doing this summit along with W5N/AP-015 last week but I didn’t have my plans solid enough on it.  I charted it but hadn’t really done the research well enough to be comfortable with it and I didn’t know what I would run into on AP-015.  BTW, getting FA for a summit is only good for the ego because you are listed first on the summit page.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

2020-07-07 Epic Mt. Baldy Hike

I had been looking forward to hiking up Mount Baldy, W7A/AE-004, for a month now.  It’s not too far from my cabin and the reviews say it’s awesome.  I didn’t realize what a cool hike this was or I would have done it a LOT sooner.  It was an epic day on the mountain for sure.

I got up at about 5AM to be on the road by 5:30.  I wanted to be at the trailhead by shortly after 6AM so that I could beat any possible thunderstorms that would develop.  The monsoons haven’t started yet but when they do, we get some massive thunderstorms and they form in that area by 1100 or noon.  I didn’t want to be caught on top of the mountain and be the tallest thing there.  Today, the forecast was for dry conditions but you never know in this area.
(click on images for larger)