Summits on the Air
I was introduced to this program by the Tennessee SOTA Director N4SR (Todd) on 40m PSK QSO. I was very interested in this program when I heard about it, I have never heard of the program before this.
This program was started over in the UK the program is allot like the IOTA Island on the air program , but instead of island it is summits that we activate and chase.
Activators climb pre-determined summits worth different points according to there height above sea level. Every state or country might have different rules on how much mountains are worth.
You do not have to climb mountains to get involved in the program you can be what is called a Chaser, which you receive points from the summits you work you get the same amount of points the activators get for the summit, you only can claim a summit once per day and it has to be a different activator as well.
I have got some other people excited about the program as well , one of my partners in crime on activating summits is KJ4ZFK he has went with me to many summits so far, He provides the HF equipment when we need it , which usually is a 40m QRP rig 5 watts with a 65 ft dipole that is usually really low to the ground.
More information about the SOTA program go here. Click Here
For most summits I have been doing VHF 5W portable work, I homebrewed a 3 Element Yagi beam made with arrow shafts , it seems to work fairly well and I like the idea of being able to put the elements down into the PVC pipe when they are not in use it protects the elements really well in my back pack.
Here is KJ4ZFK operating on 40m QRP
This is my newest edition to my SOTA operations, this is a Chinese rig that does 4.5 watts of power on all HF bands, but the radio does not have filters on the WARC bands.
This rig seems to be a fairly decent rig, the receive seems to be a little weaker on receive compared to bigger rigs out there, but it does a decent job,
the AGC is a audio AGC and sometimes it is a little wacky
Very light weight,very small form factor, the display is fairly bright, it is a bit hard to read in noon time sun though.
It seems the audio is slightly weak, but probably is a fix for that.
As of March 2014 this is my activation log as of right now I am leading in the state of TN on activations amount. This is not a contest, but it keeps me interested in the program when I have a challenge. I am getting closer and closer to 1000 points!