I really needed some exercise and I thought I would hit the local hill for a 5 mile hike and fire up the radio. I’ve been up to Iron Mountain (W6/SC-214 - Iron Mountain) a few times and it’s a long haul over solid trail and rock. It’s not the most scenic walk, but it has a nice view of San Diego. I launched early so I could get into work. The sunrise was really pretty this morning and I wished I had fired up earlier to watch it from the top of the hill. It took me 1:20 to summit so that would mean launching at 5. OK, seeing the sunrise from the car was fine.
I was looking forward to testing out hands free with a cheap headset I picked up. Going hands free will reduce the goofing around with the mic as I try to log people’s call signs down in my log. When it’s windy, it will help even more. I didn’t expect much after setting up,.but I got a surprise with the package today. I was able to work a guy in New Zealand.
Once I did a “self-spot” I had a pretty good line of people trying to get points for “chasing” me. I was writing down call-signs as fast as I could. I was hampered by the shit conditions today though. We are at the bottom of the solar cycle and I really had a hard time making out call signs, asking people to repeat multiple times. (The following web site gives you a better idea of the current conditions. http://www.hamqsl.com/solar.html for 20m conditions). When I was packing up, I looked at the log book and the ZL1ByZ call sign in particular. For some reason it looked like a New Zealand call sign. I looked it up on my phone, and sure enough. Just to confirm I didn’t write it down wrong, I emailed John Shaw in New Zealand just to make sure. Given the conditions and the fact that he was west of me, not east, I was a little surprised. He returned my email with a confirm. He mentioned that I sounded a bit confused when I got his call sign. It was a bit hectic and I was getting ready to pack up and head down the hill. This made the trip up the rock worth it. Thanks John.
The view this morning was nice. The clouds were below me and at times, they moved in to envelop the mountain. As you can see in the picture at the top, my operating position was comfy as someone(s) hauled a hefty picnic table up to the top, two of them actually.
● Yaesu FT-891D HF Radio at 100 watts
● DDT Ops Anti-Venom field pack with food
● 3 L of water
● SOTA Dog
● iPhone with and MotionX GPS and sota goat
● Hiking pole...
● For more info on SOTA, rules, etc, go to the homepage HERE.
-- Chris Claborne, N!CLC