Another great activation with lots of 2 meter and summit-to summit QSOs. For this activation, I had built a light weight half wave dipole for 20 meters, with extensions for 30 meters. For the center, I used a chassis-mount BNC mounted in a small piece of PVC tube. For the end pieces I used small pieces of PVC tube with banana sockets installed, so I can plug in the 30 m extensions. All 24 gauge wire. I also made a 2 meter J-pole out of 300 ohm line.
I wanted to start from Islip Saddle (about 6500 ft), since this gives a longer hike than driving up the road and heading straight for Windy Gap. Set off at about 0600. About 5 minutes later a few hundred feet below a pickup passed by, with a dog in the back. Quickly called Mike N6MKW on the HT, since I suspected it was him; he was planning to activate Throop Peak (W6 CT-005). It was indeed Mike and his dog Roxy, he turned around and I waved down to him, then he headed up to his trail head at Dawson Saddle.
After 2.1 miles and just over an hour, passed by Little Jimmy Trail Camp. No one was camping at this nice forest camp site. It has access to water; Little Jimmy Springs. Then a quarter of a mile further on reached Windy Gap. The weather was cool and sunny, with a little bit of wind. Then on up to the summit just under a mile further.
At the summit, I set up the mast and slim jim, and made contact on 2m FM with Mike over on Throop, as well as Charles KM6CEM (a new chaser), Jack NL7SX at Walker Pass between Lake Isabella and Ridgecrest, Troy KQ6PK, and Chris K6CMG. Jack said he was happy to hear some 2m simplex activity. The new antenna seemed to work pretty well.
Started on 20m, pausing now and then to work on 2m FM – but with the HT whip since my one coax was feeding the dipole. The new dipole worked well too; the RSTs of the 20m contacts seemed pretty much the same as with the old dipole. Worked Ken KN6CCW over on Keller Peak with Bob KB6CIO and Martin WN6E. Switched over to 30 meters, then back to 20m and worked Frank K0JQZ sumit to summit (W0C FR 030). Finally, put the slim jim back up and worked Bob and Martin on Keller Peak.
2m FM: KM5CEM, N6MKW(s2s) NL7SX KQ6PK K6CMG KK6EHQ KK6IZC KN6CCW(s2s) NA6MG KB6CIO(s2s) WN6E(s2s)
20m CW: NS7P VE2JCW WA2USA N4EX N5URL W7CNL KG3W W0MNA N7WM W0ERI WB5BKL N7AMA KB4BKR NA6MG K0JQZ(s2s)
30m CW: W7RV N9KW K6TUY N7CW NM5S
The new HF dipole worked as well as my old one that has heavier gauge wire.
Looking into the San Gabriel Wilderness. Telephoto shot shows Monrovia Peak (W6 CT-028) on the skyline. In front of it is Pt 4654 (W6 CT-127) which I will call the most difficult 4 point activation in the San Gabriels; it looks very rugged with no trails up it. It has not been activated for SOTA and is likely to remain so, I think. Monrovia has not been activated but has trails and a dirt road almost to the summit; it’s “just” a very long hike or bike ride.
Reached the trail head, then drove west up Angeles Crest Highway half a mile to a small picnic area on the left. There is a nature trail here too. Called Mike on the HT, he came right back and said he was heading down in the truck and only a mile above Islip Saddle. He arrived a few minutes later and we had a nice chat. All us Southern California activators need to get together some time. Maybe at Newcomb’s Ranch before or after some activations!