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My last activiation for 2012

KX7L's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Don't know
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

With a couple days of non-rain, I just had to get out of the house and activate a summit.  "Mt. Electric" is the first summit I've activated that wasn't a "first activation".  That said, it was about right for me at this time of year.  The drive is an easy one.  I won't go into details - but all except the last mile is on paved roads.  I've trooped around a bit in the Marckworth State Forest before, but not in this part.  Parking is at a 4-way road junction (but 2 of the roads are gated.)  I headed 1.5 miles up the gated road to the north, a wide gravel road in better condition than the one I drove in on.  It's a moderate climb for the first 1/2 mile or so, on the west side of the slope, then heads to the east side of the ridge and levels off a bit, until you reach the high point in the road.  I could probably have stopped there and set up my station, as the elevation was ~1040 ft per my topo map (& GPS), but I wanted to see if I could get to the summit, at 1090 feet, if only to be in cell-phone range again. I headed into the woods, mostly ~50 foot evergreens, with pretty easy going, except for a patch of salmonberries at the start.  I made it to within ~250 ft (horizontally) of the summit before finding a nice open spot under some trees, and deciding it was close enough.  The summit is very broad and ill defined, and all completely forested.

I started out on 40m this time, and was happy to have K7TQ in Idaho come back to a CQ.  After a few more CQ's I got NS7P in Oregon.  I gave it a few more before moving on to 20m, which was much more fruitful.  K6ILM was first on the scene, and the usual suspects followed, with a surprise or two.  The principal one being JA4FKX/QRP, who had a FB 579 signal.  (and gave me a 559).  Contrast this with the 229/339 reports I was getting from southern CA and the mid-west. I'm beginning to think the vertical EFHW is a better DX antenna than one for domestic QSO's.  I have 2-band inverted Vee in the works, I'll probably use it next time.  The last Q in the log was the loudest (as usual): Ku6J, who always pins my ears back with his signal.  What does he have for an antenna?  With no more answers to my CQ's and starting to feel the cold, I packed up the station and ate my lunch.  I decided to try to find the real summit with my GPS, and after a bit of tramping made my way to it.  I'm not really sure it was much higher than any other spot within 200 feet, but FWIW, I took a picture.  I did have cell coverage there though, 2 or 3 bars worth.  But it was pretty thick with sword ferns and downed branches.

All-in-all a successful trip with 21 QSO's in the log.  A  good one for the mid-winter "gotta do a summit" blues, especially if you're not ready for dealing with snow.