SOTA activation of Fernando 2 Benchmark – W6/CT-158 on July 18, 2014

Fernando Benchmark 2 – W6/CT-158 was a group activation together with Bob (KB6CIO) and Neil (K6KWI) the summit is an old NIke site and very close to the Los Angeles Fire department Fire Camp 9.
The road to the fire camp opens at 6:00 am and remains open until 6:00 pm. We arrived just as they opened the gate, because we left early from Orange county to beat the traffic and the afternoon heat.
On this summit we decided to try something new 2m SSB. This is quite common in Europe and the East Coast but we decided to try it on this summit for the first time for our activaton on the West Coast.  KB6CIO and WN6E operated QRP, K6KWI used 50 W output power.
DSCN0212Entrance to Fire Camp 9
IMG_2556View from the summit trail
IMG_2553Fire Camp 9 from the summit
IMG_2572Summit views
IMG_2563Summit views
Old Nike site helipad
IMG_2581Summit benchmark
IMG_2575Close to the benchmark
Antenna setup
WN6E operating 2m SSB – QSO with KM6AB
IMG_2576Chopper getting ready for take off from Fire Camp 9
Early in the morning propagation was not good on the HF bands so we started with FM and 2m SSB, later during the morning we switched to HF. Even we made only one contact on 2m SSB I will continue to use this mode as part of my activations. It was real fun with low power and modest equipment.
It was a great day and a lot of fun activating W6/CT-158. Nice drive, great views and tons of radio fun including two S2S with N6JZT from W6/CT-011 and N6MKW on W6/CT-087.
Thanks to all the chasers and contacts for the QSOs:
Date:18/Jul/2014  Summit:W6/CT-158 (Fernando 2 Benchmark)  Call Used:WN6E
Time Call Band Mode Notes
14:40z WA9STI 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
14:41z K6TW 144MHz FM
14:42z W6JAT 144MHz FM
14:45z N6JZT 144MHz FM S2S W6/CT-011
15:22z N6MKW 144MHz FM S2S W6/CT-087
15:42z NS7P 14MHz SSB 14.282 MHz
15:43z KA5PVB 14MHz SSB
15:59z KM6AB 144MHz SSB 144.200 SSB
16:05z KN6CCW 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
16:51z WB5USB 14MHz SSB 14.285 MHz
16:53z N4MJ 14MHz SSB
16:54z W0MNA 14MHz SSB
16:54z W0ERI 14MHz SSB
16:55z W7CNL 14MHz SSB
16:55z K2JB 14MHz SSB
17:07z N6MKW 24MHz SSB 24.950 MHz S2S W6/CT-087
17:10z K6CMG 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz



Sota activation of Frazier Mountain – W6/CC-003 and Cerro Noreoeste – W6/SC-001 on July 15, 2013


Summit benchmark – Frazier Mountain, CA

The activation of Frazier Mountain and Cerro Noreoeste was a joint activation together with Bob (KB6CIO). In order to beat the traffic in the larger LA area we left around 4:00 am and made excellent progress through all the traffic bottlenecks. On the way we had a 2m chat with Scott (WA9STI) and decided to meet for a quick coffee before continuing to Frazier Mountain.

We arrived on Frazier Mountain a little bit before our scheduled time. Set up the equipment and enjoyed the great views.

Frazier Ground Track Base Camp

Route to Frazier Mountain from the parking lot at the Ranger Station


Forest road 8N04


The road is very well marked


View from the forest road


Mountain top lookout


Antenna setup


Old lookout tower


DSCN0189  Operating from Frazier Mountain

Frazier Mountain was a very nice SOTA activation with two S2S contacts into the Southern and Northern Sierras.  One FM simplex contact was into Anaheim, CA more than 100 miles away (KW6ACK).

Thanks for the contacts from Frazier Mountain:

Date:15/Jul/2014  Summit:W6/CC-003 (Frazier Mtn.)  Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
18:00z WA9STI 14MHz SSB 14.280 MHz
18:02z W7RV 14MHz SSB
18:04z W0MNA 14MHz SSB
18:05z W0ERI 14MHz SSB
18:07z W7MCP 14MHz SSB
18:09z ND0C 14MHz SSB
18:13z AA7DK 14MHz SSB
18:36z WA6RIC 7MHz SSB 7.285 MHz
18:40z KJ6NHF 7MHz SSB
18:59z KW6ACK 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz – Anaheim, CA
19:12z KD7VVG 144MHz FM S2S
19:26z ND6MDV 144MHz FM S2S
19:55z K6CMG 144MHz FM Long Beach, CA

On the way down from the summit we decided to give a second activation a try.  Cerro Noreoeste W6/SC-001 is not too far from Frazier Mountain and we spontaneously decided to activate it.

The band conditions were not in our favor and after we managed to send an alert to the Sotawatch site on the way there was no more cell phone connection and no spotting possible. Propagation was extremely poor and the fact that we both operated QRP only didn’t help either.

To make a long story short I struggled for two hours to make the required 4 contacts from Cerro Noreoeste. Nevertheless it worked out in the end and there were even two DX contacts to Brazil and Spain from the summit. Besides SOTA Cerro Noreoeste is worth the visit and a great place for a weekend outing with kids and family.

DSCN0208WN6E operating from Cerro Noreoeste

IMG_2543Camp site close to the summit

IMG_2546Antenna setup


Close to the Summit


Forest views

IMG_2552Bob (KB6CIO) operating

Date:15/Jul/2014  Summit:W6/SC-001 (Cerro Noroeste)  Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
00:04z W1AW/4 18MHz SSB 18,153.00 MHz
00:22z PY2JY 21MHz SSB 21,288.00 MHz – Brazil
00:33z EF6 14MHz SSB 14,185.00 – Spain – Special Event Station
23:35z K5XS 14MHz SSB 14,285.00 MHz