Sunday, May 26, 2013

Talcott Mountain SOTA W1/MR-001

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.

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