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>

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

2020-01-12 Corte Madera and Los Pinos

Today, I’m shooting for a double summit.  I conducted my annual hike to Corte Madeira and Los Pinos Mountain.  This was one of the longer ones with a total of 11.3 miles and an elevation gain of about 2,362 feet.  To do this one, I park about a mile and a half from a valley between the two mountains, go up one, and then come down and up the other.

I was wheels up at about 0730 this morning with a banana nut muffin and a double shot late.  It was a beautiful clear day with no wind.  The temperature at the trailhead was about 40F, perfect for a hike.  The first 1.5 miles has an elevation gain of about 500 feet.  By that time it had warmed up enough for me to remove my fleece and launch the final two miles to the Corte Madera summit.  

Sunday, January 5, 2020

2020-01-05 Eagle Peak

I met up with Jacob, W6RWS, and headed out to Eagle Peak this morning. I’ve done this one a few times and given the beautiful day I was looking forward to it.  It was in the low 70s and we had a lot of fun.  Neither one of us were in a hurry so it was nice to kick back on the summit and play radio. 

Jacob was on the peak and I was offset a bit to keep the interference down.  Jacob started on VHF and I think he was activated before he switched over to HF.  I picked up a familiar call sign, K6MXA, John was not far from us activating W6/SC-260, a no-name peak just south of El Capitan Reservoir.  We were probably 20km apart.  That was fun to finally get a summit-to-summit with John.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

2020-01-01 Iron Mtn. First Summit of 2020

Happy New Year!

I’m kicking off the new year with the first summit with the radio.  I made a quick trip up to Iron Mtn., not far from my house.  It was a beautiful day with temps over 70f.

I’ve been to this peak several times and I guess the only memorable thing this trip was my effort to keep my telescoping mast upright. 

I made several phone and CW contacts and had a nice conversation with a gentleman from Lakeside.  If you were wondering why I butchered your call-sign, it was a bit hard to hear your signal over his voice :)

SOTA '19 Accomplishments & 2020 Goals

At the beginning of 2019, I layed out some goals for my Summits On The Air (SOTA) activities.  Let’s see how I did on those and discuss what’s to come in 2020.  
(note: click on image for larger)

2019 Goals:

     I set out to break my 2018 SOTA stats
     Number of peaks summited in 2018 - 56
     Eevation gained in 2018 - 57,539
     SOTA points in 2018 - 303

     Learn morse code so that I could hike with a lighter rig up to mountain tops and communicate with other SOTA dudes on other peaks that ran morse only.

     Setup a portable winlink station in a backpack so that I could send email via radio during a disaster at a remote site in support of our ARES primary mission.

     Setup FT8Call, also known as JS8 Call to experiment with this mode.

OK, let’s see how I did.