Sunday, May 26, 2013
This past week I had a chance to make my first "Summits on the Air" or SOTA activation, on Talcott Mountain here in Central Connecticut. I'm lucky, as Talcott is my local SOTA summit, only a 15 minute drive from the house.
Talcott Mountain is a Connecticut State Park, with some limited designated parking about 1/2 way up the mountain. My GPS recorded a 473 foot ascent from parking lot to summit. The top of Talcott is a plateu type ridge, rather than an obvious summit. I continued along the ridge to find a prominent bolder (well actually hidden among thick trees) that met the criteria of being within 75 feet from the published summit of 955 feet.
There's dense deciduous forest here. As I began raising my 20/40 meter NFedz Antenna using a Black Widow fishing pole, I caught a brief clear glimpse of a pilleated woodpecker off in the distance. What a magnificent bird! Interestingly, there's a CT State Police shooting range at a far base of the mountain. The sounds of nature were frequently interrupted by assault type weapon rapid fire. The woodpecker didn't seem to mind. 'Guess he's use to it.
I used my Yaesu 817d and a handheld microkey to operate for about 45 minutes before I had to head back to the house. This is exam season for the kids, and there's always lots to do at home. I made 5 QSOs, including Colorado and New Mexico on 20 meters CW. I used the iPhone app "SOTA Goat" to self spot, and then got a kind spot from one of the stations I worked. Thanks to all for the contacts.