Activation Alert: WØC/FR-030 (Chief Mountain)–3569m / 11709ft

Date:            7 August 2016
Time:           Approx.    1500 UTC – 1800 UTC
Region:        CO-Front Range
Elevation:    3569 m / 11,709 ft – 6 Points
Call Sign:     KDØBIK
Frequencies:     14.342.5-ssb, 18.157.5-ssb, 28.327.5-ssb,  +/-  147.42-fm

Equipment: Elecraft KX3 / Buddipole versatee vertical & Yaesu VX-8 / Elk Log-Periodic Antenna

APRS Track: On Road / On Trail

Can you believe it?  It’s been almost four years since my last Summits on the Air activation.  I’ve really missed it.  The last SOTA activation was a multi-activation of both Chief Mountain (yes, I’m repeating) and the nearby Squaw Mountain (WØC/PR-082).

Of course the really big news is not the fact that I’m doing my first SOTA activation in almost four years, it truly is the fact that this year is the 25th Annual Colorado 14er Radio Event.  A few years ago the event was slightly modified to also include all the SOTA summits which of course are not always 14,000 foot summits. 

While band conditions in recent days have been really poor, the fact my operating position will be almost 12,000 feet in altitude is of course encouraging me to go ahead and pack all my gear.  So I do plan to setup for HF operations, but I will also spend more time (more time than usual) working hams on neighboring peaks on 2m and 70cm FM frequencies.

At the present time, 23 hams have posted their plans for operating over the two day weekend.   I’m sure over the next 24-36 hours even more will post their intentions. 

I’m really looking forward to combining my love of hiking, radio and even geocaching (there is a geocache on the summit of Chief).  Please point your antennas towards Colorado this weekend.  I hope to work you from the summit of Chief Mountain WØC/FR-030.

Until next time…

73 de KDØBIK (Jerry)

Posted in SOTA Tagged , ,

Episode 70 Practical Amateur Radio Podcast

Episode 70 of the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast has been released and is available for download either through iTunes, Android, any other RSS podcatcher software or direct via the PARP website.

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As PARP begins the 9th season, the release schedule in the last two years certainly has not been the most timely.  My work/life schedule, some health issues (which are all resolved) and a few personal issues have mostly kept me silent.  But thanks to the very best listeners who have stayed in touch and continued to encourage me to return…I’m committed to doing everything possible to keep PARP alive. 

While PARP was not the first amateur radio related podcast, I do remember a time when the number of active ham radio based podcasts could be counted on one hand.  Today it might take two hands and perhaps one foot.  This is fantastic and as I’ve always said, I have never viewed other amateur radio based podcasts as competition.  We should all be doing what we do for the sake of the hobby and service of amateur radio. 

PARP 70 covers some thoughts and ideas to get you thinking about our overall individual preparedness when it comes to emergency communications. 

I truly appreciate the listeners (many have been listening since episode one in 200Smilie: 8) and continue to ask for more episodes.  As the PARP motto states, the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast….Creating Elmers one podcast at a time.  If you learn something while listening to a PARP episode, please share that knowledge with others.  This is the spirit of amateur radio.

I plan to keep PARP on a monthly release schedule.  Episode 71 should release in late August just before the 2016 Colorado QSO Party which I’m anxiously looking forward to.  Hopefully the bands will improve some by then.

Until next time…

73 de KD0BIK (Jerry)

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No More Hara

The news just came crashing down from the ARRL that the 2016 Dayton Hamvention would be the last to be held in the Hara Arena.  The home of the Dayton Hamvention since 1964 is closing.  Hamvention 2017 will be held at a new, yet-to-be-disclosed location in the Dayton area.

I wish I could share with all my readers all the wonderful  memories I have of Hara Arena.  But unfortunately, this was something I kept putting off year after year after year.   This is really unfortunate for me, as I am one who truly appreciates most of the history behind our hobby. 

But oh well, right?  We live….we learn…we endeavor to not repeat the errors of our ways. 

Is there a silver lining in all this?  As the news regarding Hara Arena began to surface on Twitter.  I had to chuckle a the following tweet “Forget “no code” hams. We will soon complain about “no Hara” hams!”  T-Shirts are already available to help drive this fact home.  Smile 

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Well…one thing is for sure.  The 2017 Dayton Hamvention will most certainly be an event none of us will want to miss.  While I may have missed out on being able to say I went to the Hamvention at Hara.  I certainly don’t want to miss out on saying I attended the first Hamvention at the new venue. 

Well I really didn’t intend to release two blog postings today.  Again I wish I had lots of memories to share about Hara.  But I’m sure many other amateur radio bloggers will fill in the gap soon enough. 

I hope to see you in 2017 in Dayton at the Hamvention in the yet-to-be-disclosed location.

Until next time…

73 de Jerry (KDØBIK)

Posted in Amateur Radio, News Tagged

Affordable HT and Howdy

Hello fellow hams.  Yes it’s been awhile since anything spewed from my blog site.  I’ve just not had time in recent months to do much of anything related to the hobby of amateur radio.  But once again I am easing back in as I hear it calling my name (or my callsign)…..

Like most hams, I have more radios that I truly know what to do with.  This is especially true in the hand-held or HT department.  I own a few Yaesu HT’s and one ICOM D-STAR HT.  As I only have two hands…..anyway

Yea, PARP is also going to return from the ashes and in looking at some of the topics I want to cover in the next several months I decided to journey to a place I’ve never been.  Yep…that is the world of the Chinese inexpensive hand-held radio. 

As PARP is 100% commercial free and fully self-funded by the bank of KDØBIK (and Mrs. KDØBIK) I have always done my best to only make purchases for things that I believe I’ll actually use when it comes to podcast topics. 

If you look through my ham shack you’ll find lots of ham radio goodies.  I would estimate a solid 95% of all my gear has been purchased in person at my local HRO (Ham Radio Outlet).  For us hams in the greater Denver area, we are very fortunate to have a candy store here.  I’ve always realized the importance of “buying local” whenever possible.  But as I say again, PARP has no sponsors and I really didn’t think I needed yet another HT.  So I began comparing prices.

This price comparison exercise eventually led me to Amazon and eventually led me to an older Baofeng UV5RA 2m/70cm dual-band HT which comes complete with charging stand and hands-free kit for a whopping $26.06.  With free two-day shipping via my Amazon Prime membership and an almost $3.00 credit I had floating around, the total purchase price was just too low to pass up.

So if you are in the market for another HT, on a limited budget and/or don’t mind the fact this is an older model…then check out this Amazon link

As I write this early on Friday morning, my new Baofeng UV5RA will arrive sometime on Saturday.  I’ll spend some time with it and as I said will most likely discuss this and other inexpensive Chinese HT’s on a future episode of PARP. 

Bottom line, this new HT won’t replace any of my other models.  My Yaesu VX8x is my main “go to” HT.  But I’ll most likely program a few local repeaters along with the NOAA weather frequency and just leave this Baofeng at my office.  This way as I watch those summer afternoon storms build, I can also monitor the weather info and perhaps some of our fellow storm chasers.

I’ll report back my findings and experiences at a later time…

Until next time…

73 de KDØBIK

Posted in Amateur Radio Tagged

Practical Amateur Radio Podcast–I’m Back!!

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As previously mentioned, I took some time away from the hobby and as a result I also took time away from podcasting about our wonderful hobby.

About a month ago, I eased back in to the hobby and have been having a blast getting on the air.  Anyway…this last Sunday I recorded and released the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast episode 69.  PARP 69 discusses the practical use of antenna analyzers and tuners.  I also discuss the extraordinary Elmer efforts of Dan Romanchik, KB6NU and his “No Non-Sense” study guides and other projects.  I also introduce PARP listeners to the newly formed amateur radio podcast, 100 Watts & A Wire hosted by Christian Cudnik, K0STH and Katie Allen, WY7YL.   You can visit the PARP website to listen and subscribe

My plan for future episodes of PARP is taking shape, but my commitment to the hobby comes first.  After all, I need to be active in our wonderful hobby to be at my best podcasting about it. 

Thanks for all who have listened to PARP over the years and thanks for your continued support. 

Until next time…

73 de KD0BIK (Jerry)

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