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My First Activation

N7AAM's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Good digi echos

After attending Dan and Taylor's (KK7DS & K7TAY) seminar at SEAPAC, I was inspired to give SOTA a try.

So today I headed toward Scapoose and then up into the hills. After a few miles on gravel I made it to Bunker Hill (W7/NC-038). I parked the car down the hill and carried a way too heavy pack a short distance to near the summit (about 2100’). I set up the IC-706 MKIIg with a Buddipole dipole, 12 volt LI-PO battery pack and a tuner and checked it with the analyzer. Seemed to be working well.  Before I left the car I logged on to the SOTA website and logged an alert that I would be operating in about an hour. However, when I got to the top, I could no longer get a connection. This would be nice because that way you can tell the chasers what frequency to use. I called CQ and got a quick reply from Hawaii. But only got one other contact calling “CQ SOTA” etc. Finally I moved up the band and a “SOTA chaser” heard me and posted my frequency on the website. Then for a few minutes I was “rare DX”. Made several SOTA contact then packed it up and headed down the hill. It was fun. Learned a lot:  The buddipole is heavy. Dan and Taylor are amazing. Don’t assume you will have a 3G connection. Have someone stand by on a local repeater to help you with the internet. A chair of some kind would be nice. Carry less and most important... get in better shape.   This was a one point summit. They go all the way up to a ten.  I will do this again.   73 N7AAM