May / June
2, Issue 3
|SOTA From Ossipee Hill
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
the sun shining (and the wind blowing) on the last Sunday in April, the
WS1SM team ventured to
the top of Ossipee Hill, in Waterboro, Maine, to activate W1/AM-253 for
Summits on the Air (SOTA).
What is SOTA?
on the Air is an awards scheme designed for radio amateurs and
shortwave listeners to encourage portable operating on mountains. There
are different awards for activators (those who ascend the mountains and
operate), and also for chasers (those who contact these stations). SOTA
is popular around the world. Each country has its own Association which
defines the recognized summits within that Association. More
information can be found at www.sota.org.uk
day was to start off with a hearty breakfast at the Station House
Restaurant, in Hollis. However, after Dave KB1FGF gave the waitress a
hard time (for what we don't know) we were lucky to get served at all!
We must've been very convincing when we pretended not to know him, and
we all got what we ordered eventually. Dave (guiltily) left a large
tip, and we were soon on our way. We began the grueling trek to the
summit with our trail-rated
vehicles. But, in true SOTA spirit, we stopped about a third of the way
up, and hiked the last mile or so to the top (at least it felt like
a mile). But this was just a stroll in the park for us rugged
mountaineers. Along the way we had to put up with Dave's crooning and
discovered odd markings in the granite, which Frank KA1QW explained
were put there by ancient GPS surveyers, sort of like the geoglyphs of
Nazca (or something along those lines).
feeling as though
we were part of something bigger than ourselves, we continued on
towards our objective. We thought we were getting close, too, when
exclaimed, "Are those towers the top?" It became obvious... we still
had a ways to go.
Finally we made it... batteries,
transceiver, antennas, chairs, table, and Dave in tow. Thom W1WMG,
Frank, and Rory KB1PLY quickly got to work stringing dipoles for 20 and
40 meters, and Tim began setting up the BuddiPole for VHF. Sam and Thom
were on the air in no time, making the first several contacts on 40
meters. Then it happened. What had to be an 85 mph gust of wind picked
up the entire table...radio and all, and sent it flying through the
Thankfully, due to the Icom's mil-spec character, (and the fact that it
landed in a soft pile of sand), tragedy was averted and we didn't have
to send Sam down the mountain to find a back up radio.
episode prompted Rory to suggest that the location of the table and
radio was lousy, and so we moved everything to a more sheltered
location, against a building. Transmitting resumed, but now on 20
meters. Meanwhile, Frank and myself were operating
HT's and an assortment of antennas, including the BuddiPole and a
ladder line J-Pole. We even made summit-to-summit contacts with Doug
W1DMH (on Mt. Passaconaway, W1/HA-105 and Whiteface Mountain,
W1/HA-172), and Bill NG1P (on Pleasant Mountain, W1/AM-038).
was about the time when the wind started to pick up (it actually got
worse, believe it or not), and Frank suggested we
all take turns climbing up to the top of the "historic" firetower to
check out the great view. After we got down, Frank asked "did you feel
it moving?" (are you kidding?) Even though I was convinced the thing
was going over a couple of
times, the view was probably worth it. You could see as far as York to
the south, Waterboro and its neighboring towns, of course, and the
numerous mountain ranges to the north and west. Mt. Washington looked
like you could reach out and touch it, and was still capped with snow.
And then there was the interesting domed house that Frank pointed out,
explaining to us that it was once owned by a fellow ham.
on the summit, we were visited by Keith N1FTE, who was kind enough to
show off his repeater setup, and Gerry KB1SDB, of Waterboro, and
numerous others whose names we never learned. All in all, we had a wonderful
only a few hours of operating, we made 26 contacts on HF and 2 meter
simplex, and logged our first points for SOTA.
at the 2012 Gorham Founders' Festival
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
a succesful 4-day special event at last year's 275th anniversary
edition of the Gorham Founders' Festival, the Wireless Society of
Southern Maine will return to take part in this year's festival, which
will be held Friday, May 25th - Satuday, May 26th.
be lots going on at this year's Founder's Festival, including live
entertainment, amusement rides, live auctions, a pancake breakfast, and
fireworks. Doesn't leave much time for radio, does it? But we'll be
there sharing our hobby with the public, and hopefully making some
contacts as well.
For more information on the Gorham Founders'
Festival, including times, where to park, etc., please click
Cushcraft "Big Thunder" antenna for 20-15-10 meters. Call Gilbert
Bineua K1LMJ for pricing and details, at 207-839-4783, or contact him
by email at: [email protected]
Annual Hermon Hamfest
- Date: Saturday, June 2nd. Located in
Hermon, ME. ARRL Hamfest, sponsored by the Pine State ARC.
for more details.
Flea at MIT
Sunday, June 17th, in Cambridge, MA. Sponsored by
the MIT Radio Society, Harvard Wireless Club, MIT Electronics Research
Society & MIT UHF Repeater Assn. For more information
have any items for trade, contact one of our members to have it listed
here. Send an email to: [email protected]
with a brief
description and contact information.
you offer any ham radio related services, for example, if you repair
meters or radios, build your own transmitters, make QSL cards to order,
or rebuild microphones, you may list these services here.
there are any items you may be looking for, use this space to get the
word out. Just send an email to [email protected]
, or mention it at
an upcoming meeting.
advertisements are listed for FREE. Advertising shall pertain to
products and services which are related to amateur radio. No
advertisement may use more than 40 words. Please send a description of
items for sale, wants, or services to Thom Watson at [email protected],
or bring it to an upcoming meeting of the Wireless Society of Southern
Maine. All ads will be printed one time, unless renewed.