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Genoa Peak SOTA activation 2021-12-18

Genoa Peak SOTA activation 2021-12-18

Hello friends, this is the winter SOTA activation report for Genoa Peak aka W7N/TR-007 on the Nevada side of lake Tahoe.

This is my first winter activation qualifying for bonus points and the first outside the W6 SOTA region (California). Last winter I tried to activate Mt. Tallac on the other side of Tahoe lake and didn’t make it to the summit. This time I chose a less ambitious goal of Genoa peak towering to the west from Genoa, NV on the eastern shore of lake Tahoe.

Maguire peak SOTA activation 2021-11-21

Maguire peak SOTA activation 2021-11-21

Hello and welcome back! As I wrote in my previous post, I need one more activator point to reach my goal of 100 points by the end of 2021.

I wanted this one to be fairly simple and fast so the mountain today is Maguire peak aka W6/NC-516 located in the Sunol wilderness - the backyard of Silicon Valley.

Besides the SOTA activation I wanted to visit one the first European permanent settlements in the Bay Area - Mission San Jose in Fremont, CA, about a fifteen minute drive from the trail head.

SOTA activations near Donner lake 2021-11-13/14

SOTA activations near Donner lake 2021-11-13/14

Hi there! As I had already mentioned one of the cool aspects of SOTA is that it gamifies hiking. I do think being outdoors is cool enough on its own but knowing myself I would just stay in my cozy comfort zone with a mug of hot chocolate in my hands and repeat the same hikes over and over again. Luckily each SOTA activation only yields points once per a calendar year so there is always an incentive to activate new summits. My goal this year is reaching the first milestone on the path toward the coveted ‘Mountain Goat’ status - getting 100 points activating on CW.

It is November already and I must hurry - higher mountains already have their first snow this season and I expect and hope for more soon-ish. This means activating higher value summits now until snow makes it more difficult or activating frequently which is not really an option because on top of a need to hold a paying job I am lazy as hell.

Mt. Konocti SOTA activation 2021-10-17

Mt. Konocti SOTA activation 2021-10-17

Welcome back! In my previous post I promised to test my new TR-25 in the field. Lo and behold Mount Konocti aka W6/CC-035 activation report!

I wanted to provide chasers with something juicier than one point summits around the Bay Area but at the same time didn’t want to go all in with a new transceiver. On top of that a friend was joining me for the hike which meant I needed to haul some additional food and water. Add a backup rig and you have yourself quite a hefty backpack.

TR-25 CW radio kit from WA3RNC

TR-25 CW radio kit from WA3RNC

There is no escape from the fact that Ham Radio might be an expensive hobby. This is why I am really grateful to folks like G0UPL and WA3RNC who come up with affordably priced kits so new hams may try SOTA without having to break their piggy banks.

While I am a huge fan of QCX-mini with only 3 watts out I find it a bit underpowered and lacking band agility - QCX is a single band transceiver. I was in a situation a couple of times when an antenna farm on the summit of a mountain I was trying to activate was making a lot of noise on either 40 or 20 meter band forcing me to use the other one. On top of that 20 and 40 meters band signals propagate differently. Switching bands allows you to shift zones where your signals are heard so you may reach folks who were in a shade on another band.

This is why as soon as I heard about TR-25 - 5 watt CW-only 20/40 meter transceiver kit I was sold on immediately. Just in case - I’m not sponsored by WA3RNC in any way and paid a full price for the kit.