On Saturday, June 18th as I was heading home from a workshop I presented in Portland, ME I heard a CQ from KB1RJD on the VHF National Calling Frequency (146.520) for Summits on the Air from Mount Washington in New Hampshire – over 100 miles away. I answered their call but they could not get the last letter of my call sign, so I could not log the QSO. After getting home I looked up more information on Summits on the Air. Abby and I both love to hike and be outdoors and of course combining that with ham radio sounded like a lot of fun and didn’t seem to take any more equipment than what I already have – plus I had just purchased a new VHF/UHF 5 element, Elk Yagi.
Sunday morning, Abby (KC1FFX) and I headed up to Pack Monadnock (W1/HA-041). It wasn’t too far away and we thought it would be a great first try for an activation. If nothing else we would enjoy some beautiful weather on Father’s Day together! We jumped in the car with the ELK Yagi and a 5 watt HT on battery power. We also brought my IC-7100 and a buddipole. Let me tell you, we had a blast! We had so much fun on 2 meters with the handheld that we never got to setting up the buddipole.
It was a gorgeous weather and we made 12 contacts as far away as Plymouth, MA and Madison, NH! We really enjoyed the directional antenna and trying to “home” in on signals – we seemed to get better as the day went on.
We’re already looking forward to our next SOTA activation. When we got home we started looking at all the other mountains and hills in the area. There is a list of summits here.
We would love to hear from others that have tried SOTA before or if anyone would like to team up and activate a summit!