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, February 17, 2020

2020-02-15 Middle Peak

I headed up to Middle Peak to have some amateur radio fun.  I’ve been up there twice before.  The first time, I headed up from the south side, a huge mistake.  My first mistake was not calling K6ARK who had been up there before, and the second was following a false trail.  It turned into a massive sufferfest as I bushwhacked up to the summit.  I got into the activation zone but stopped short of the summit since I still had some skin left.  I setup, got my contacts and then got back down to the road.  That trip was by far the most difficult bushwhack I’ve ever done.

My second trip was using the trail mentioned by K6ARK from the north side.  That was a lot easier.  It was mostly trail and definitely doable. 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

2020-02-14 Viejas Mtn.

I thought I’d take a quick break and climb a mountain, in this case, Viejas.  I always forget how long this hike is.  It’s only about 1.5 miles to the summit but with the rocky terrain and the 1,400 foot climb, it takes a while. 

The last time I was up here I got a contact in Spain on SSB.  Today, I netted ZL1BYZ, John in New Zealand via CW (morse code), a station in Canada and a bunch in the US.  I had 29 contacts today, all but two of them via CW. 

The weather was clear and a million and probably about 70F.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Hill 1190 & New Zealand

It’s going to rain tomorrow so I had to squeeze in a quick SOTA summit today with everything else.  It was a beautiful day, perfect for a hike.  I was at an ARES meeting and I had to run some errands, so I didn’t have much time.  There is a summit about 10 miles from my house with a short hike so I zipped over there.  The hill is located in Rancho Bernardo, CA just north of me and I’ve been up there a few times.

Monday, February 3, 2020

02-02-2020 Sheephead Mtn.

Today’s expedition took my sister and I to Sheephead Mountain, SOTA summit W6/SD-020.  IMy sister joined me on the hike today which was awesome.  The weather in the area was a bit toasty yesterday due to a small heat wave through the area but today was back to a very mild day and clear skies.  It was cool but not cold as we set out.

Just before we were supposed to turn on Kitchen Creek road, we saw some deer.  Mary Sue spotted them.  She’s always been able to spot wildlife before anyone else. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Anytone AT-578UV Review / Thoughts & Nits

Below is my review of the new Anytone AT-D578UV DMR/Analog radio. I won’t drag you through the specs of this radio, I’ll post them below.  I’ve been using the radio in my cat and my QTH for over a month now.  If I think of anything else, I’ll update this article so think of it as a living doc.

I, like many others, had been waiting for this radio to come out for over a year.  I have Anytone’s AT-D878 hand-held (HT (handy-talkie) radio which is awesome.  I’ve written about it here.  The reason I’ve been looking forward to this radio is because using an HT as a mobile radio (in my car) only provides a max of 6 watts.  Also, I kept my Yaesu FT-100DR analog radio in my car for analog use since it is a 50w radio.  I mainly do SOTA, so having a little extra power in the back country is important to me.  That meant that I had a funky setup with the DRM HT with a battery eliminator on the back plugged into the car’s acc port (think cigarette lighter).  What I really wanted was a full power radio that did everything and that had all the features of the Anytone 878 HT.  It also allows me to get down to one antenna on the car as well. 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

2020-01-19 Guatay

Joe Toth decided to join me on today’s 138th SOTA hike and we were wheels up by 7AM. The original plan was to activate Cuyamaca Peak and Stonewall but after arriving, we found out that the top of Cuyamaca is closed to the public while SDG&E digs it up to lay in more power.  We could have easily gone over to Stonewall across the street but there were a LOT of people that were doing that one because of the closure.  The trail would have looked like the 405 freeway.  Instead, we headed over to Guatay Mountain for a little peace and quiet. 
(Route is HERE)  <click on image for larger>