Today was the “QRP to the Field” (QRPTTF) activity, in which stations would set up near historic trails or roads (e.g. US 66) or mountain summits. I chose “Point 4202”, a 4202 foot summit off the Angeles Crest Highway. About 500 foot elevation and a half mile easy hike. Slowly working my way from West to East to become more familiar with the geography of these lower mountains. Starting from the little ranger station at Clear Creek.
Then a nice hike up through scrub desert terrain. The weather was hot and sunny today.
After about 15 minutes, the summit comes into view.
At the top, I strung the wire dipole up on my new 16 foot fiber glass mast. Connected up the radio to the antenna, battery and morse key, and started up…the 14 MHz band was full of very strong Japanese stations to my surprise! I managed to hear and work Dan (now NA6MG, ex-WO6M) up on 7500 foot Kratka Ridge…he was rather weak because of the intervening mountains. Couldn’t get much attention from the JAs, they seemed to be in an activity just working other JA stations. Went down to 10 MHz and had SOTA QSOs with:
K7ATN (Etienne on summit W7O/WV096 in Oregon), K0YO, W7CNL (Idaho)
Went back to 14 MHz, got the attention of one JA who gave me a “SRI” (sorry) since he was only working other JA stations. Then I managed to start working QRPTTF stations:
N7KE, KF7WNS, WA2USA, W6UB (Larry in Tennessee), NS7P (Phil on W7O/CC001 in Oregon), AA4AI, K1JD, KJ6ZK, N7KE, NK6A (Don on W6/CT035, about 20 miles away)
This is when the top two feet of the fiber glass mast broke and the antenna fell to the ground! Here is a picture of me looking a little bit annoyed.
I was going to stop there, but I said to myself “Hey I’m a ham radio operator and we are supposed to fix this stiuff!” so I bound the broken bit of the mast to the rest of the mast with a velcro strip and got back on the air
Some more contacts
14 MHz AA5CK (on W5O/QA021 in Oklahoma), WT5RZ (on W5N/ SC011 in NM)
21 MHz W4ZV (on W4C/EM047 in NC), KJ4AOM Ray in KY
And that was enough, I was baking in the sun.
Nice view of Hoyt Mountain
And pretty flowers on the way down
At the ranger station, I had a nice conversation with the ranger (Edith). I asked her when the burn area would reopen – it contains Strawberry Peak, Mt Josephine, and Mt Lawlor plus a couple of others. She didn’t know, unfortunately.
Then I drove home, here is a view of some of the mountains from the Angeles Crest Highway: from, left to right Mt Disappointment (flat), San Gabriel Peak (cone), Mt Markham (flat top), Mt Lowe. Not sure what the closest point is, doesn’t seem to have a name.