Successful New England SOTA Day

Thanks to the efforts of Nick (K1MAZ), the SOTA Jerks (NE1SJ) and all those who participated, we were able to pull off the inaugural New England SOTA Day. We had about 10 activators from around New England and Canada activate SOTA peaks all around the same time on August 10th 2012.

Activators Include

Callsign Name Summit Designation Location
NE1SJ Frandy (N1FJ) Pocumtuck Rock W1/MB-015 Deerfield MA
KK1W Jim Webb Hill W1/CR-011 Hardwick MA
K1MAZ Nick Quabbin Hill W1/CR-013 Ware MA
NT1K Jeff Mt. Tom W1/MB-006 Holyoke MA
WN1E Dave Mt. Norwottuck W1/CR-004 Amherst MA
KB1RMA Chris Fort Mountain W1/MV-002 Epson NH
N1EU Barry Misery Mountain W1/MB-021 Williamstown MA
N1AW Al Bald Mountain W1/MB-014 Bernardston MA
W1PNS Peter Putney Mtn. W1/GM-114 Putney VT
VA2SG Jean Mt Brassard VE2/LR-052 Quebec CA

* – Bold Callsigns are members of HCRA

Soap Box

NT1K's NE SOTA Setup

Jeff (NT1K) Mt. Tom
Climb was easier than I recall. It only took little over 1/2 hour to make the hike. Forgot some equipment which limited my G5RV Jr. height to about 12ft. I thought it was going to cause some issues but I managed to make a decent amount of contacts including a hand full of summit to summit contacts.




KK1W SOTA Aug 10 - Webb Jim (KK1W), Webb Hill
This was my second time on Webb Hill. If you read the trip log from our first activation you know the story of the huge ant hills on the trail. They are still there. I drove up Hill road until I didn’t want to scratch my truck any more, parked and walked to the trail head. Once there I followed the trail until the ant hills came into view, then I used the ‘go to’ function in Back Country Navigator to bushwhack from there to the summit. Too many ants for me! The hike is about .3 miles with maybe 200′ elevation gain.

During setup there was no breeze and the mosquitoes were unbelievable. I literally bathed myself in Deet, it helped but it was still miserable. I mentally decided I was ‘outa-there’ ASAP once I made a few contacts. Thankfully a breeze came up and it was fine from that point on. There’s no suitable rocks up there for setup but I kluged an operating desk out of my backpack and hung it off a tree. All in all I was QRV for about two hours and made lots of contacts on 40 and 20 meters, both CW and phone, and a few on 2 meter FM. By the time I broke down the station around 2:00 PM there were 41 QSO’s in the log including 10 S2S contacts. Very cool!

I used an EFHW wire antenna with one end suspended 25′ up in a nearby tree. the antenna tuned well on 40, 20, 17 and 15 but I didn’t see any skimmer spots on 15 so I’m not sure how well it was working on that band.

All in all a fun time on a beautiful day.


AL (N1AW), Bald Mtn

My activation of Bald Mountain W1/MB-014 was frustrated by the SOTA database which said “object reference not set to an instance of an object” when I clicked Submit. I’m supposed to be a computer professional (retired) but that wasn’t helpful.
Other than that, and not getting on the air on 146.52 until 1705Z and on HF until 1759Z (poor planning and misplaced antenna parts). I had a good time, my first solo activation and a previously unactivated summit. Results: 11 QSOs (3 on 2m, 3 on 40m, 4 on 20m, and 1 on 15m), 3 S2Ss, VT and CA, (but the two in VT were two different ops on different bands on the same summit). Sorry I didn’t work any of you guys, I heard someone talking to NE1SJ once on 2m but did not hear Frandy and I was on 20 cw at the time anyway.
I sent a message to the SOTA database manager, I presume eventually my log will be accepted.

Chris (KB1RMA), Fort Mountain1082352_10200632696682945_79513529_o 963820_10200632696722946_1906873779_o


Dave (WN1E), Mt. Norwottuck


Nick (K1MAZ), Quabbin Hill 


Pete (W1PNS) w/ Charles (N1CAI), Putney Mountain:

Please read pete’s write up on his blog!

Any additional information please contact us!

DX Bulletin 48

From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  November 21, 2012
To all radio amateurs

ARLD048 DX news

This week’s bulletin was made possible with information provided by CX3AL, N4QX, NC1L, VU2DSI, The Weekly DX, QRZ DX, the OPDX Bulletin,
425 DX News, The Daily DX, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites.  Thanks to all.

TUNISIA, 3V.  Ash, 3V4-002 will be QRV as 3V8BB from Bir El Bay, Tunis in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest as a Single Op/All Band/Low Power entry.  QSL via LX1NO.

ITU HQ, 4UxITU.  Serge, VA3SB, Brennan, N4QX and possibly others will be QRV as 4U1ITU during the CQ World Wide DX CW contest.  They may also be active as time permits until November 28.  QSL via the HB QSL bureau.

CYPRUS, 5B.  Jack, R2AA will be QRV as P3N during the CQ World Wide DX CW contest as a Single Op/All Band/High Power entry.  QSL via RW3RN.

WEST MALAYSIA, 9M2.  Champ, E21EIC will be QRV as 9M2/E21EIC from November 23 to 27.  This includes being a Single Op/All Band/Low Power entry in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest.  JA stations QSL via JR5XPG and all others to home call.

CHINA, BY.  Jack, BA4ALC will be QRV as BY5CD in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest as a Single Op/All Band entry.  QSL via BD4HF.

BAHAMAS, C6.  Brian, ND3F will be QRV as C6AQQ from Nassau, IOTA NA-001, in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest as a Single Op/All Band/Low Power entry.  Outside the contest, he will be active on 17 and 12 meters, and possibly 160 and 80 meters as well.  QSL via operator’s instructions.

URUGUAY, CX.  Look for operators CW5W, CX2DK, CX3AL, CX5TR, CX7CO and CX7ACH to be QRV in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest as various entry types.  QSL to home calls.

BELARUS, EU.  Valentin, EU1AA will be QRV in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest as a Single Op/All Band/QRP entry.  QSL to home call.

HONDURAS, HR.  Hiro, JA6WFM, will be QRV as HQ2N from San Pedro Sula in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest as a Single Op/Single Band/10 meter entry.  QSL via EA5GL.

THAILAND, HS.  Dej, E21YDP, will be QRV as a Single Op/All Band/Low Power entry in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest.  QSL to home call.

JAN MAYEN, JX.  Svein, LA9JKA is QRV as JX9JKA until around April 11, 2013.  Activity is on the HF bands, including 60 meters, using SSB and various digital modes.  QSL direct to home call.

FRANZ JOSEF LAND, R1/F.  Eugene, UA4RX will be QRV as RI1FJ in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest as a Single Op/Single Band/Low Power/15 meter entry.  QSL direct via UA2FM.

PALAU, T8.  Naotsugu, JA1MML is QRV as T8NS until November 26.  This includes being a Single Op/All Band entry in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest.  QSL via operator’s instructions.

INDIA, VU.  Special event station AU2JCB will be QRV from November
24 to December 10 to celebrate the scientist Aacharya Jagadish Chandra Bose.  Activity will be on 40 to 10 meters using SSB and FM on 6 meters.  QSL via VU2DSI.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO.  The CQ Worldwide DX CW Contest, QRP CW Fox Hunt and NCCC Sprint are all scheduled for this upcoming weekend.  Please see November QST, page 91 and the ARRL and WA7BNM Contest websites for details.



CQ WW RTTY Director, Ed WØYK, shares the log submission issues experienced by all contest sponsors. “It is apparent that many people do not read the robot email reply they receive. At the bottom of that email, the robot lists the format errors in the log. If you don’t understand what the robot is telling you, then simply compare that specific QSO line with the format specified on the Logs web page. The problem should be obvious.

“Major logging programs like Win-Test, N1MM Logger and WriteLog all create compliant Cabrillo files … IF you enter your data correctly. For example, if you enter your sent exchange as ‘CA 03’ in N1MM Logger (which is backwards from the required order for CQ WW RTTY), it will come out in that (incorrect) order in the Cabrillo file.

“You can easily edit your Cabrillo file with a text editor. Since is it common to add, change or move the same parameter field in every QSO line, a column editor is invaluable. I recommend the freeware Crimson Editor.”

So read that robot message! If it tells you there is something wrong with your log – do something about it and resubmit it. Double- and triple-check your operating category and all of the information for your station. Once you have a happy robot and you are a happy log submitter – save the confirming message in an easy-to-find location. My email software has a folder named “Contest Log Submissions” for all of my log submission confirmation messages. It’s easy and helps avoid the dreaded “forgot to send in my log” disease.

HCRA Meeting Friday, November 2

   JIm, KK1W, at the helm on Burley Hill

Friday’s HCRA meeting will feature a presentation on portable operating, with an emphasis on SOTA (Summits on the Air) activations. Nick, K1MAZ, will talk about all the fun that he and Jimmy (KB1PRA), and John (Kx1x) and others had on Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire on October 20th. Nick is a recent member of the SOTA Jerks, and is also venturing out on his own to operate from many nearby summits. We’ll discuss what SOTA entails, and how you can get started from home and from a peak. New portable rigs, new antennas, and new battery technology will be shown. Join us for a fun-filled and informative meeting! Other likely participants: Ed, KB1NWH; Dave, WN1E; Matt, W1MSW; Jim, KK1W.   – Frandy,

SOTA jerks are on the road again

(In a deep loud voice) SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY September 30th 2012 the jerks are heading out to a place unactivated.  That’s right,  We are heading to Burley Hill W1/MR-002.  Showtime will be 1600Z.  Modes CW, FM, SSB, and new to this activation PSK31.  Frequencies 7.034, 14.061 CW 7.190, 21.333, 14.3425 SSB depending on propagation, look for us on 10 meters also 146.52 – FM.

All Hams are invited to make contacts FREE of charge

There will be no tickets at Ticketmaster or the box office.

SOTA Jerks head to the ‘dacks!

Frandy/N1FJ and I will be heading to the high peaks of the Adirondacks to activate a few mountains for SOTA. We will activate Whiteface Mountain Monday afternoon then meet up with Dennis/WA2USA Monday evening. The three of us will attempt summits on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning before returning to our respective homes.

Dennis, one of the US’s top chasers, is also an activator and very knowledgeable of the area, We’re looking forward to him lending expertise to the ‘Jerks’ and keep us from becoming an item on the 11 PM news! It will be a pleasure to meet Dennis in person for an eyeball QSO after all the contacts we’ve made over the air.

Tomorrow, Monday the 10th Dennis will be activating Cascade Mountain, W2/GA-010 and Frandy and I will be activating Whiteface Mountian, W2/GA-003. Check SOTAwatch for the specific times/frequencies.

We’ll be taking some pictures and will get them up on the website soon. Most likely when we return. Internet connectivity is pretty spotty in the ‘dacks!

So, if you have a moment check the spots and give us a shout if you’re by a rig.

’73 for now,
Frandy & Jim

Activating Crag Mountain, Northfield, Mass.

Around midnight on Friday (Aug. 31) night Jim/KK1W emailed me that he, Nick/K1MAZ and John/Kx1x would be activating Prospect Hill the next day. I had already activated Prospect Hill this year, so I decided to do Crag Hill in Northfield and snag a sure S2S (Summit to Summit). Jim was going to use NE1SJ so I used my own call. Nick and John used primarily NE1C, the Venture Crew’s call. (You can see their posting on this Group site from a few days ago.)

I set up a segmented 20/40 meter dipole, supported in the center by my new Jackite Pole at about the 20 foot level. On 40 cw, I got on and called cq and worked Boston & Maryland. Then I spotted an alert and put 8 more in the log, including NE1SJ and K1MAZ (on cw!). Then I switched to 20 meter cw (being lazy, I discovered that the KX3 tuned the 40 meter dipole fine on 20 meters). Sent an alert on SOTA, and 10 quick QSOs. Got briefly unlazy, and removed the jumpers to make the antenna a 20 meter dipole. 2 more contacts. Switched to 15 meter cw, reverted to being lazy and the KX3 tuned 15 meters fine on the 20 meter dipole. 14 Qs on 15. Then back to 20 cw for a few more. Recap: 41 QSOs, 2 S2S.

Conditions were good, weather ideal. The view of Northfield Mountain was great. The KX3 performed well. A 2.6 Ah LiPo battery weighing 8 ounces powered the KX3 for the entire operation, with room to spare. The segmented dipole is a pain to change singlehandedly, thinking of making a trap dipole and/or experiment more with an end-fed wire.

Frandy, N1FJ