Saturday, December 28, 2019

2019-12-28 Poser Mtn.

I went up to Poser Mtn. today.  Unlike last time, I expect to get my one whole point (actually it's 2).  You see, I packed up and left the summit with only three contacts the last time.  Although I “activated” the summit, I didn’t get the points because I only had 3 contacts.  For some reason I thought I only needed 3 (instead of 4) and I was in a time crunch.  The last time I was up there, the wind was really blowing and I’m hoping to avoid that today.  One other interesting factoid is that I was on this peak exactly two years to the day!  Creepy!
(click on pictures for larger)

I took my time getting out of the house and left about 9AM.  It’s about a 45 minute drive and I planned a two hour hike.  From the road to the summit is only about 1 mile (see my route here)... but it’s a bushwhack.  It takes time because I want to avoid stepping on living growth wherever possible so it’s slow going.  Also, at times, it can get thick.  So a lot of stop and go, plan, and go around.  On the plus side, the temprature was about 55 F, so it made for pleasant hiking weather.

Monday, December 23, 2019

2019-12-22 San Gabriel & Occidental

This weekend may be the last chance that I can activate up in the San Gabriels in 2019.  A storm is moving in and will most likely dump quite a bit of snow, making the trails on San Gabriel (W6/CT-019) and Occidental (W6/CT-098) too treacherous to pass until it melts next year due to the narrow path on a very steep hillside.  A couple of hams that I’m acquainted with went up there on Friday, so I figured it was still open, meaning no deep snow and ice.  Adam, K6ARK mentioned he was willing to go on Saturday so we decided to link up at my house and depart at about 0530 PST.  Adam was right on time and we quickly launched after loading our packs into my car.
(click on image for larger)  (Updated and replaced pixi radio with Rockmite )

Monday, December 16, 2019

2019-10-15 Combs Peak

With travel and rain, I haven’t been able to get out for a few weeks, but the forecast for this weekend was sunny skies.  Itching to get out, I headed over to Combs Peak, located in the Anza Borego area.  The drive is a bit long, about an hour from my house on the other side of Temecula. 

I had thought about hitting this peak and another one about 3 miles away.  I did that last year and the down side is that I really had to hustle to get it finished by sun down, the second one is a vicious bushwhack and not as much fun..  After watching several episodes of "Sailing Uma", a fantastic yachting VLOG I took Capt. Dan's mantra and made it my own, "I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere".  I decided to scrub the second peak and took Sulu with me since it would be shorter.  When the dog sees me with my hiking boots on, she get excited.  WOW, what a joy it was to not be rushing around.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Winlink Station in a Backpack

The Amateur Radio Emergency Response (ARES) team met this week and wanted members like myself to give a quick demo of their Winlink radio stations.  I built one a while back for supporting the ARES mission that fits in a backpack. Not everyone has built a station for doing this and I’m guessing they are hoping more people on the team build one.  This isn't the best setup but it works and you could use the diagram to the right as a sort of reference design.  The solar kit is a bonus and the backpack is, well, my style.

The ARES team in San Diego uses Winlink email to support hospitals and other organizations in times of an emergency.  Should a disaster strike, like an earthquake, normal communications like phone and internet may not work.  When that infrastructure failes, radio is the only game in town.  Organizations can use the ARES team as one of the methods to communicate  inter-hospital or with other agencies, like blood banks or FEMA offices.