To say I needed to activate something would be an understatement. I had recently sold a rig so I could get a Biennopower battery and a new antenna, among other things.
The antenna you might ask would be an LNR Precision Trail Friendly End Fed. And the Battery is a hell of a lot lighter than the gel cell I was lugging up peaks. It really made for a better hike. My knee wasn’t bothering me, so that’s a plus.
When you head up to Mt. Pinos you come to the Nordic Ski Area. In the winter this place is pack with people sledding, cross country skiing and just playing with the snow.
The trail has some ups and downs but nothing too bad, and only one switchback. There is even a couple of places where it opens to a meadow which is a nice change of scenery.
It was about 1pm Pacific time when I reach the summit. I found the markers and proceeded to setup. The First issue I had was there really weren’t any tall trees on the summit. I made due with a pine and got my line up about 30 feet. Then I hopped on some rocks and draped the end over a rock. At this point the antenna was pretty much horizontal.
Once I was setup I checked the SWR on the antenna. 40 was too high, 20 and 10 were well within operating ranges. With that I setup on 20 meters and started calling. Let it be know that cell coverage here on Verizon is weak. Sometimes you have data sometimes you don’t. APRS didn’t seem much good either.
This was one of the hardest activations I have done. Sure I didn’t have my amp to aid me. But I would think that 5w and a wire on a mountain should suffice. Anyway I tried 20, 40, and then 20 again. This led to some chasing me in the real sense. I did manage to get a S2S with Roland KG7FOP. He popped out of nowhere and I was grateful for that one. Actually I am always grateful for each one of my contacts, especially when you have a day where it’s like pulling teeth.
All-in-all I’m not sure what the hell went on. I think it had to do with the antenna being horizontal. Maybe Propagation…
Thanks for reading and 73