Sunday, July 19, 2020

2020-07-18 Porter Mtn.

Today was a quick activation up to Porter Mountain located in Pinetop-Lakeside.  I need to run to Home Depot not far from there so it was a good excuse to hit another quick summit.

The drive in from the north was a bit nicer than I expected.  There is a road that goes up to a parking area within a half mile of the highest point.  There are a lot of towers up there with microwave and what looks like a FM station and some VHF/UHF repeaters. 

My setup was almost good.... The antenna went from the top of the antenna to the bottom of a pine tree but just outside the shadow so I was sitting in the sun.  Most of my contacts were on 20m CW.  I did get a few on 40m cw and one on 20m SSB.  I netted 25 contacts in all.  I was going to try to work a few more SSB but I was getting hot and I wanted to finish my errands before it got too late. 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

2020-07-17 A Tres Cabezas Activation

I’m in a SOTA Slack group with Charlie, NJ7V who lives in Mesa Az and the creator of Red Summit RF YouTube channel.   Charlie has come up to the area near my cabin several times to work Summits On The Air (SOTA).  We’ve talked about doing some joint activations and he was able to make that happen while I’m here at my cabin, or as I like to call it, “my summer villa”. 

I met another ham, Dale, AA7OY, exchanging email about SOTA summits near my cabin.
(Pictured from left, N1CLC, AA7OY, and NJ7V.  Click on Image for larger)

Sunday, July 12, 2020

2020-07-12 Another New Mexico FA

Today’s mission was for me to be the first activator of another New Mexico Summit, W5N/AP-007.  I’m happy to report, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.  This is the 4th “First Activation” (FA) that I’ve completed in New Mexico.  I was thinking of doing this summit along with W5N/AP-015 last week but I didn’t have my plans solid enough on it.  I charted it but hadn’t really done the research well enough to be comfortable with it and I didn’t know what I would run into on AP-015.  BTW, getting FA for a summit is only good for the ego because you are listed first on the summit page.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

2020-07-07 Epic Mt. Baldy Hike

I had been looking forward to hiking up Mount Baldy, W7A/AE-004, for a month now.  It’s not too far from my cabin and the reviews say it’s awesome.  I didn’t realize what a cool hike this was or I would have done it a LOT sooner.  It was an epic day on the mountain for sure.

I got up at about 5AM to be on the road by 5:30.  I wanted to be at the trailhead by shortly after 6AM so that I could beat any possible thunderstorms that would develop.  The monsoons haven’t started yet but when they do, we get some massive thunderstorms and they form in that area by 1100 or noon.  I didn’t want to be caught on top of the mountain and be the tallest thing there.  Today, the forecast was for dry conditions but you never know in this area.
(click on images for larger)

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

2020-07-06 Praririe Point Peak

I was chatting Andrew, KD5ZZK, who is familiar with a lot of the SOTA summits around Catron County New Mexico.  New Mexico state line is about 3 miles from my cabin, and as I looked at those summits Monday afternoon, it struck me that I could pop over there and activate one.

Prairie Point Peak (W5N/AP-031) is a “drive up” that isn’t that far from another no named peak that is actually on the other side of a canyon, W5N/AP-024.  You could actually do both of them easily in one day.  The drive over to the turnoff is about 30 minutes from my cabin, just past Luna, New Mexico.  I might have been able to drive all the way to the top but I got to a sketchy point on a very old unimproved road that I didn’t feel like getting stuck or tearing out my muffler.  I really didn’t mind parking and walking the rest of the way anyway. 

Saturday, July 4, 2020

2020-07-03 A New Mexico Double Summit

I’ve had my eye on a summit in New Mexico that had not been “activated” yet for a while.  “Not activated” means that no other SOTA operator has gone up there yet with a radio and submitted their contacts, so I get to be “First Activator” (FA).  It’s kinda cool in that your name is listed first and is always shown at the “first”.  This will be the fifth FA for me.  The peak doesn’t have a name so the person that setup the peaks for this area just gave it a number, 8961 (which is normally the elevation of the peak).  It SOTA designation is W5N/AP-015.  Check it out, you’ll see my call sign listed as the first activator (it’s all about pumping up my fragile ego :). 
(Click on images for larger)