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Activating Restricted Access Haystack Butte WA

WB7VTY's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

Haystack Butte sits on a large section of land that is owned by a wind power generation organization and is also home to various communications sites.  It is restricted access behind fences and locked gates (and it is not the LC-081 peak).  It is marked by numerous signs indicating authorized personel only / no trespassing under threat of prosecution, etc.  I work for a company which has a communications site in the activation zone of Haystack Butte and was able to gain permission to operate there during a trip to service the communications site. Due to the site being very restricted to authorized personel only, I dont believe that there is any avenue by which the general public could gain access even just to park at a gate and walk a road.  None of the signage makes allowance for that as far as I can determine.

My work day did not go as planned so I didn't arrive on time or have as much time to operate as I had hoped, but was able to put 18 contacts in the log on HF CW. I visit this site a couple times a year so will attempt to activate the summit on future trips as well if work plans permit.  I used my Icom 705, Bioenno Battery to get 10 watts out of the 705, and a Chameleon MPAS Lite set up as a vertical.  Some pictures below including my leaning antenna.  The wind had picked up and pushed it a little. There was a concrete block conveniently located to make a good bench.  Thanks to the chasers who made this late in the day activation a success. 

9-22-22 Failed Activation Attempt; WIND!  The peaks down the gorge are known to be very windy at times but this day was the worst I have ever experienced.  I wouldnt hazard a quess at the wind speed but I could barely keep from getting blown over a couple times.  It would have instantly destroyed any antenna before I finished putting it up.  Plus, the wind was so strong it was just a roar all the time.  I could have never heard a thing even with headphones.  I have to return on the 27th so will try again.

9-27-22  Success!  Got an early start today and finished my work at the communication site by 9am.  Already hot but no wind to speak of.  Conditions seemed kind of stinky but managed to put 13 contacts in the log book before I had to leave.  Thanks to the chasers that made this years trip a success.   


Here are some pictures from the first activation;


Haystack Butte Approach

The approach to Haystack Butte


Haystack Operating Position

The Operating Postion.  IC705, Elecraft T1, MPAS Lite setup as vertical, a little pushed over by the wind. Running 10 watts out with Bioenno 4.5 AH battery.


John Day Dam from Haystack

Looking east from Haystack at John Day Dam