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First Butte - My First Activation

AF9W's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
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APRS Coverage: 
Good digi echos

Finally got the round-tuit for my first activation.  First Butte had not yet been actiivated and looked pretty easy so off we went.  It isn't much of a hike.  There is a high clearance forest road that takes you to the summit.  Some internet sites report that the Bromas Creek approach is closed due to a washout on NFR 37.   The Forest Service has built a detour, NFR 3700-805 that is not on the FS map but connects to 3700-825.  

I parked the Jeep short of the activation zone to allow for the 25m hike.   Once at the summit the views were awesome.  The lookout was built in 1938 and was used as a WWII aircraft lookout.  There is also a small cabin for the lookout to use.  The lookout was not in use and there is a locked hatch that prevents you from getting up to the balcony of the lookout. 

For this activation I used my KX3 and Alexloop.   I had planned on running 10 watts if necessary but I forgot the pigtail that connects the LiFePo battery to the KX3.  I only had the internal batteries and after 6 QSO's on 20M I was getting low battery warnings on transmit so I cut the transmit power to 3 watts. 

I used Hamlog on my iPhone for logging but next time I am going to use paper logs so I don't have to backspace and reset fields.  

This is an awesome activiation site for someone not ready for long hikes and it pays back in views.   The drive is also interesting for those who like driving primitiive FS roads.  

First Butte SOTA Activation
First Butte Lookout
First Butte View