SOTA Activation of Cleghorn Mountain (W6/CT-112) and Pt. 5699 (W6/CT-099) on August 25, 2014

Cleghorn Pt 5699Cleghorn Mountain and Pt. 5699 have one thing in common. They can be reached from the Highway 138 near the Silverlake State Park. But there the similarities end.

Cleghorn Mountain is around 7 miles from the trailhead (2N47) and only recommended for 4×4 vehicles. I manged to miss a turn and added a few miles to the access as you can see above in the map. The 2N47 leads close to the summit and there is space to park before you hike up to the summit. The trail was in bad shape and required some “hardcore” 4×4. The activation was short due to the additional miles on the missed turn.


Silverlake from the 2N47


Trailhead before dawn


Cleghorn summit



Summit register in red can


2N47 the easy part


Operating site on Cleghorn summit

IMG_2698View from Cleghorn Mountain (Intersection I-15 and I-215)

Pt. 5699 can be accessed via Highway 138 at the Cleghorn Rd. exit. Follow Cleghorn Rd. until it becomes a dirt road that’s where 2N49 starts. 2N49 curves around the mountain slopes and could be attempted with a high clearance street vehicle until 1 mile from the summit access. From there it is 4×4 until you reach the summit access trail close to a radio facility further down the trail. From 2N49 it is a rather steep hike up to the summit. The summit is covered with trees and is shaded and the trees provided much needed shelter from the extreme strong wind.

IMG_2697Start on 2N49

IMG_2701View from summit access Pt. 5699 towards radio facility

IMG_2702View to Silverlake

IMG_2707Summit impressions

IMG_2708Summit impressions (operating site Pt. 5699)

IMG_2710Operating site

IMG_2704Operating site setup

Pt. 5699 is a summit I will come back for another activation. The surroundings are just beautiful with lots of trees quite unusual for Southern California. Unfortunately we had to leave early due to unforeseeable circumstances and head back down.

Thanks to all the chasers and the QSos from both summits.

Date:25/Aug/2014  Summit:W6/CT-112 (Cleghorn Mtn.)  Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
15:14z KN6CCW 144MHz FM
15:17z K6QCB 144MHz FM
15:27z N7SP 14MHz SSB 14.285 MHz
15:28z W0MNA 14MHz SSB
15:30z W7QQ 14MHz SSB
15:32z KA5PVB 14MHz SSB

Date:25/Aug/2014  Summit:W6/CT-099 (Pt. 5699)  Call Used:WN6E
Time Call Band Mode Notes
19:08z K6QCB 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
19:09z W6TOD 144MHz FM mobile near Barstow, CA
19:22z N7SP 14MHz SSB 14.285 MHz
19:24z W7RV 14MHz SSB
19:28z KN6CCW 14MHz SSB



SOTA Activation Throop Peak, CA – W6/CT-005 on August 12, 2014

IMG_2633Rising sun at Dawson Saddle

This activation was spontaneous due to a surprising schedule window. I grabbed the opportunity for a great hike and some SOTA fun.

The hike is simply beautiful from Dawson Saddle on the Los Angeles Crest Highway to the summit. Mostly shaded trail with stunning views. The weather was overcast and not too hot, actually on the summit it got rather chilly.


On the way to the summit

IMG_2644Impressions from the trail

IMG_2647Trail sculptures


Trail and full moon


Twisted tree


Summit trail from Pacific Crest Trail




View from the summit


Antenna setup


On the way down

Throop Peak 01

Hike to Throop Peak

After setting up I started on FM and Bob (KB6CIO) mobile near Oxnard, CA was kind enough to spot me on 20m. Propagation was kind of weird this morning and I made contacts into Arizona and Southern California which is surprising on this band. Nevertheless I had fun and great QSOs from the summit. Unfortunately the weather changed from nice to lightning so I had to move down as a precaution and stop the activation.

Thanks to all the contacts and chasers from Kansas to Tennessee and all over the US.

Date:12/Aug/2014  Summit:W6/CT-005 (Throop Peak) Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
15:50z KM6CEM 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
15:51z KB6CIO 144MHz FM mobile near Oxnard, CA
15:57z K6QCB 144MHz FM
16:00z W0MNA 14MHz SSB 14.282 MHz
16:02z W0ERI 14MHz SSB
16:03z W7RV 14MHz SSB
16:03z N7AMA 14MHz SSB
16:03z NS7P 14MHz SSB
16:03z W7USA 14MHz SSB
16:04z W7CNL 14MHz SSB
16:04z WB0USI 14MHz SSB
16:05z K8TE 14MHz SSB
16:06z N6JZT 14MHz SSB
16:09z N4MJ 14MHz SSB



SOTA Activation of Strawberry Peak, CA – W6/CT-086 on August 8, 2014

This joint activation together with Bob (KB6CIO) was another extreme early bird expedition in order to beat the expected high temperatures and get a breakfast before the activation.

I forgot my camera and my APRS radio (so no beacon from the summit or the access this time), so all pictures are made with a cellphone camera or are courtesy of Bob.

Propagation was kind of mediocre so I had some difficulties getting all the chaser information in a timely manner. Thanks especially to KA5PVB for his patience it was a really difficult QSO due to the band conditions it was great fun nevertheless.

 Arrowhead-20140808-00722Observation tower – Strawberry Peak

Arrowhead-20140808-00729Morning mist from the peak

Arrowhead-20140808-00730Above the clouds

Arrowhead-20140808-00732Summit marker

Arrowhead-20140808-00733View from the tower

Thanks for all the QSOs from Strawberry Peak:

Date:08/Aug/2014  Summit:W6/CT-086 (Strawberry Peak)  Call Used:WN6E
Time Call Band Mode Notes
14:24z K6QCB 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz – mobile on I-10
14:28z KM6CEM 144MHz FM
14:29z K6CMG 144MHz FM
14:40z W0MNA 14MHz SSB 14.285 MHz
14:43z KA5PVB 14MHz SSB
14:44z W0ERI 14MHz SSB
14:52z KN6CCW 14MHz SSB 14.282 MHz
14:59z N4MJ 14MHz SSB
15:22z K6QCB 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz – S2S
15:36z KJ6VGX 144MHz FM S2S
16:25z N6MKW 7MHz SSB 7.182 MHz, S2S



Learning CW – thoughts about the current status

My journey into CW has been interrupted several times and I am finally back to the daily 15 min training using the Koch method.

It is a slow process and I have to admit that I cannot say its easy or straight forward – not at all. Even I have set the training software to 20 wpm I still have the tendency to think in dots and dashes not in sound for the letters and numbers. Anyway I stick with it and we will see how long it will take to reach the first step of the journey – a basic QSO.

A few years back I purchased two Hendricks kits. One an antenna tuner for QRP and the Hendricks PFR-3a QRP rig (CW only, 3 bands). The tuner kit was supposed to be simple and I used it as a training piece before tackling the QRP rig assembly. Lucky I did because I killed the tuner in the assembly process – I am just awful with soldering and the tuner kit is the living proof.

So the Hendricks QRP kit ended up not being built. Recently I had a conversation with Chris (K6CMG) about CW and lighter SOTA rigs – well to make a long story short he offered to build the Hendricks PFR-3a. The kit was finished last week and I could test it and even managed to tune an antenna on 40m (tuning with that radio is not that simple) – thanks Chris you did a terrific job.

This radio is CW only as I mentioned before and perfect for SOTA from the weight and dimensions. So one more reason to go into CW and learn it.

DSC_7223Hendricks PFR-3A assembled by K6CMG