Today’s summit is in Arizona, Baker Butte, near Payson AZ. We are in the village of Strawberry attending a wedding and I had a quick opportunity to do a quick SOTA summit and possibly get a summit to summit with my friend Adam who will be summiting a couple of peaks near where we were last weekend. We are staying at a cool little venue for the wedding as the party has taken over all the cabins here so it gives the family a chance to visit. I got up early this morning in what I think was 35 degree weather and went for a quick hike, mainly drive. The activation point was about a 15 drive + 15 minute walk up to the summit. At the top there is a fire lookout with a small residence.
It was nice to be back up in the country that I’m more use to, thick with pine and soft dirt and pine needles. Setup was quick and I was up and running in about 10 minutes. There was a Michigan QSO contest going on so 20 was the band pretty busy. I made 22 contacts, most on 20m and a few on 40m including a couple of summit-to-summit contacts. I tried getting some VHF contacts on 520 but no joy. Kind of amazing given the field of view I had.
I was hoping to catch KJ6HOT on one of his California summits but I submitted too early for his first summit. I setup near the cabin I was staying at and tried to contact him when I saw his spot on sotawatch.org for the second summit, but I picked up nada on the frequencies he posted. Next time Adam.
I got a good set of contact today on 20 and 40 meter bands. I also netted a couple of Summit-to-Summit calls as well. I look forward to a vacation at my summer home in Alpine AZ for more SOTA work over there.
A quick note on the video below. I wanted to capture some audio on how well this radio can clean up the audio with the digital noise cancelling Turned On. The next quick shot of another ham with it turned off gives you the feel for what it’s like without DNC.
IAF 34.45543, -111.39658
1 Mile hike
● Yaesu FT-891D HF Radio at 100 watts
● 30’ of coax feed line
● DDT Ops Anti-Venom field pack with food
● 3 L of water (8 lb)
● iPhone with All Trails, MotionX GPS and sota goat
● MFJ-939Y auto antenna tuner for 891
● Treking poles
● Sleeping bag and extra food for the extended trip.
● For more info on SOTA, rules, etc, go to the homepage HERE.
-- Chris Claborne, N!CLC