Pine Mountain W4G/HC-036 Activation Report

January 18, 2014 — Leave a comment

Not knowing when I might actually get on the trail to complete another activation, I took advantage of another nearby mountain to complete back-to-back activations.  So with the help of K4KPK’s Pine Mountain SOTA Guide, I made Pine Mountain outside Cartersville, GA my second activation of the day.

Summit Activated

Pine Mountain W4G/HC-036 [SOTAwatch] [SOTAmap]

Getting There – Driving

Interstate 75 North out of Atlanta.
Exit East Main Street and turn Right (East).
Turn Right on Komatsu Drive.
Pine Mountain parking lot is on the Left.

This mountain is super-easy to get to but parking may be a problem if it’s a really nice day.

Getting There – Hiking

The city of Cartersville has published maps of the trails you can download here, but it’s easy to find your way to the top without a map if you keep right at each intersection.  The trail is clearly marked at all intersections and color-coded to match the map.  It’s a relatively short hike to the top with many switchbacks on the way up, but I’d still rate this as an easy hike if you’re even mildly fit.  The trail was pretty slick (mud) in several places, although we hadn’t had any rain in a while, so you might do well to bring some hiking poles if you have them.

Radio

Elecraft KX3, operating at 5 watts, powered by 8 Eneloop XX AA batteries.

Antennas

NorCal Doublet made from 22ga speaker wire, hung as high and straight as I could manually toss it in the trees.

Operation

I had sketchy 3G service (Verizon) here so I self-spotted via the SOTA Goat app.  I started on 40m and worked my way down to 20m, 17m, 15m & 12m.  I skipped 10m since the band was all noise during my previous activation.  I picked up a lot of contacts on 20m and since there was an ARRL contest happening at the same time, I suspect I was spotted on DX Watch or a similar website.

Contacts

It was great to hear from many of the regulars that I’d had QSOs with on previous SOTA activations.  I know I can always count on these guys (and gals!) to make the trip worth-while, even if I drive most of the way up. 🙂  Thanks for always making it worth the effort, even in less-than-idea weather!

Time Call Band Mode Notes
21:01z W4JKC 7MHz SSB
21:01z N4EX 7MHz SSB
21:08z K0LAF 7MHz SSB
21:08z AJ5C 7MHz SSB
21:11z KI4SVM 7MHz SSB
21:20z KB1RJD 14MHz SSB
21:21z KB1RJC 14MHz SSB
21:23z W7RV 14MHz SSB
21:24z KB1JFQ 14MHz SSB
21:25z NS7P 14MHz SSB
21:27z W5ADS 14MHz SSB
21:28z W0MNA 14MHz SSB
21:28z K1YMI 14MHz SSB
21:29z WT5ZZ 14MHz SSB
21:30z W0ERI 14MHz SSB
21:31z W3ZGD 14MHz SSB
21:31z N1EU 14MHz SSB
21:32z VE2JCW 14MHz SSB
21:40z VA2S 18MHz SSB

Photos

KK4LOV freezing his tail off at the overlook:
W4G/HC-036 overlook viewing SouthThe mountain over my left shoulder is Vineyard Mountain W4G/HC-043
and that’s Sweat Mountain W4G/CE-002 just beyond it.

Summary

Easy hike on a new mountain I drive by ALL the time but haven’t ever hiked. Not a lot of easy options for hanging an antenna near the top (unless you’re possibly using a vertical antenna), but I made it work.  I was shocked at the number of under-dressed (for the weather) hikers I saw linger at the top.  Some were wearing nothing but shorts/T-shirts and with the wind chill it couldn’t have been warmer than 40deg F while I was there. *shrug* One of the hikers I spoke with was actually a fellow ham, although currently not active and without a rig, we chatted for a few minutes before he continued down the mountain.  All-in-all it was a fantastic afternoon on the mountain(s) and I seriously need to come up with a better method to raise my antenna…

de KK4LOV

Aaron Melton

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