Pine Log Mtn W4G/HC-025 Failed Activation

October 6, 2014 — Leave a comment

Some things just aren’t meant to be… like my second non-activation of Pine Log Mountain in a month.

Saturday I was on Pine Log Mountain, again, participating in the Simulated Emergency Test (SET).  Since you need permission and a key to be on the mountain, I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and get them both done while I was on summit.

Well, that was the plan anyway.

I thought I would activate early (7:30am-ish) but that didn’t happen as I over-slept and didn’t get on the road until late.  I updated my alert on SOTA Watch to indicate that it would be later in the morning.  I made good time getting up the mountain and before the local nets kicked off, I was rushing to hang my HF wire when the check-ins started.

Net control starts taking check-ins and I’m still fiddling with my antenna so I speed it up a notch… and I promptly snap my NorCal doublet wire. In all the excitement I was busily shoving my push-up pole skyward and not paying much attention to the tension I’m putting on the wire and one of the horizontal elements of the doublet snaps close to where the feedline begins.

That antenna (and design in general) had served me well since my very first SOTA expedition and after inspecting the condition of the wire afterwards, I’m surprised it lasted this long.  Even had I been equipped with a backup (which I don’t have), I wouldn’t have had time to recover before/during/after the SET and still manage to activate the mountain.  50′ of speaker wire is cheap and it’s a super-easy antenna to build.  I suppose I’m out of excuses for not having a backup.

My apologies to any chasers that might have been waiting on me, again, to add a new summit to their unique tables. 🙁

Look on the bright side… it was in the low 50s and no risk of accidentally stepping on a rattle snake this trip.


Aaron Melton


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