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

Monday, January 11, 2021

Saturday, January 2, 2021

2020 SOTA Year in Review

Wow!  2020 has been one hell of a year for me and Summit On the Air (SOTA).  As you can see in the table below, 2019 was busy, but 2020 achievements were insane, given that I racked up 104 summits for 543 points (and I’m not retired).  That's a 68% increase in summits and 48% more points.  Also, there was 66% more climbing year over year, for a total of 83,390 feet climbed while doing SOTA.  Also, as you can see in the table below, I focused more on summit-to-summit (S2S) contacts points.  This year I had a 258% more S2S than 2019.  For 2020, I ranked #3 in California for both S2S points and total points for the year.  I was within 4 points of placing second but just didn’t feel like hitting the road for hours to reach enough points.  Yup, caught a case of the lazys.  
<<Click on pictures for larger>>

Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020-12-23 Toro Peak

Today’s expedition takes me to Toro Peak, where I’ll meet Ted, aka W6TED.  We’ve both been wanting to do this one and it’s taken a little planning.  Ted contacted the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians tribe that owns the land where the summit is located to see how we could get permission to access.   Ted eventually figured out the process to get a permit and after stopping by the tribal office, we had a ticket to play.  The cost however was a tad pricey, $40/person.

<Click on pictures for LARGER>

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2020-12-22 Poser Mountain

Today is my annual trek to Poser Mountain.  I started doing this on 12/22 every year to commemorate the first bushwhack and very difficult descent when I decided to descend the mountain via a ravine (big mistake).  The chaparral has grown a bit since last year and the mountain posed the usual challenges. 

On the way up I wrote a small note about the mountain, bushwhacking and SOTA, called “SOTA Darma: Bushwhacking”.

SOTA Darma: Bushwhacking

Bushwhacking success comes after multiple battles on the mountain within which planning, along with hundreds or thousands of small decisions and thoughtful steps are contained. But don’t be misled by my words, the mountain is not my enemy, but my teacher, for after every hike, I give gratitude to the mountain.

2020-12-19 Hill 2703

I’ve had my eye on this summit for a while but never went after it.  After a couple of other hams summited and activated, I decided to get after it.  It’s a simple and short hike, and it’s near my house between Iron Mountain and Mount Woodson.  Today’s summit has no name so they call it “2703”, most likely the elevation of the summit.  There is iron ore on one side of the trail and the other is granite.  It’s interesting country here, mostly granite boulders though.  The summit is just a tad funky, in that the high points are on top of massive granite rocks. 

2020-12-13 Elsinore HP

This is always a fun little hike but not so much on the drive just because it’s kinda long and boring.  I had the option of Sitton or this one and I felt lazy so I went for the shorter hike today.  At times there will be a little water in the area but not today. 

After making a nice late from the machine, I headed out for the 1+ hour drive up by lake Elsinore.