Genesee Mountain: SOTA and VHF Contest

Bob/K0NR operating from the summit of Genesee Mountain (W0C/FR-194)

For the ARRL January VHF contest, I did a combination Summits On The Air (SOTA) and contest entry. I am recovering from a knee injury so Genesee Mountain (W0C/FR-194) turned out to be a nice easy hike for me. Of course, Joyce/K0JJW joined me and also did a SOTA activation. Caleb/W4XEN came along with us and activated the summit for SOTA using the HF bands. Finally, Brad/WA6MM showed up on the summit for a social visit.

Hiking route to Genesee Mountain from lower parking area.

To get to the Genesee Mountain, go west on I-70 from Denver, take Exit 254 to the south. Turn right onto Genesee Mountain Road and head into Genesee Mountain Park. There is an extensive trail system in the park and several different ways to reach the summit of Genesee Mountain. In fact, if the gate is open, you can drive right to the summit. The route we took starts at a parking area that is always open. With only a 0.7 mile hike (300 feet vertical), this is an easy and highly-recommended trail.

Leaving the parking area going uphill, we soon encountered the Genesee Mountain Trail which we followed to the left. Later we transitioned to the Genesee Summit Trail, which goes to the summit. Both of these are well marked but you need to make sure you catch the “summit” trail.

This sign clearly marks the route to the summit trail
A flag pole marks the summit.

We took more than the usual set of equipment for this activation so that we could cover the 6m, 2m, 1.25m and 70cm bands. For FM, we set up a Yaesu FT-90 2m/70cm transceiver with a ladder-line J-pole hanging from a rope in a tree. This omnidirectional antenna does not have any gain but I figured that for FM it would be most efficient to not mess with having to point a yagi antenna. For 2m and 70cm ssb/cw, I used a Yaesu FT-817 driving an Arrow II dualband antenna. The FT-817 also handled the 6m band, driving an end-fed half-wave wire antenna supported by a fishing pole (HF SOTA style). For the 1.25m band, I just used an Alinco handheld radio.

Caleb/W4XEN operating the HF bands for SOTA. Note the use of the SOTA flag to obtain an extra 3 dB of signal.

Genesee Mountain is a popular SOTA summit because it is so easy to access but still provides a good outdoor experience. We encountered a dozen of so hikers and mountainbikers on the summit and it can be very busy during a summer weekend. The summit is wide and flat with plenty of room to set up a portable station. For VHF, it has an excellent radio horizon to the front range cities.

Brad/WA6MM and Joyce/K0JJW on the summit.

Joyce made 14 contacts on 2m and 70cm FM. I made 52 QSOs, as shown in the table below. SSB activity was relatively light considering it was a VHF contest weekend. I was pleased to work Jay/W9RM in DM58 on 2m SSB at a distance of 167 miles. W9RM is on the other end of the state with many mountains blocking the path. I also worked Jim/WD0BQM in Mitchell, NE (DN81) on 2m CW, at a distance of 175 miles. VHF is not limited to line of sight!

    Band   Mode  QSOs     Pts  Grd  
      50  USB      5       5    2   
     144  CW       1       1    1   
     144  FM      19      19    2   
     144  USB      7       7    2   
     222  FM       3       3    1   
     432  FM      15      30    2   
     432  USB      2       4    1   
   Total          52      69   11   
        Score : 759

We had a great day on the summit, operating for just under 4 hours (with lots of breaks along the way). Thanks to Caleb/W4XEN and Brad/WA6MM for joining the fun. If you are looking for your first or an easy SOTA activation, give Genesee a try.

73 Bob K0NR

The post Genesee Mountain: SOTA and VHF Contest appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

My Last Post Ever Regarding ARRL?

In the past I’ve been a strong proponent of ARRL.  I often mentally tied the past and future success or failure of amateur radio to the organization.  I’ve come to the conclusion that this just isn’t the case, and in my evolving opinion the organization is becoming less relevant as time goes on.  The elected leadership hierarchy to me seems archaic.  I tend to doubt the slate of new blood “change” candidates which got elected will change much, as long as the majority of ARRL leadership, and to some extent the general population of amateurs in the US, continues to have the demographic makeup that it does.  My life membership has essentially become a good deal on a perpetual magazine subscription, assuming that I don’t get hit by a bus anytime soon.  I’m convinced it’s non-centralized grass roots efforts from individuals that are going to make or break amateur radio in the coming decades.

So, one of my 2019 “amateur radio resolutions” is to stop worrying and pontificating about ARRL, and be that individual that leads my own grass root effort.

Anthony, K3NG, is a regular contributor to

ICQ Podcast Episode 285 – Icom IC-9700 – First Impression

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Chris Howard M0TCH, Martin Rothwell M0SGL, Dan Romanchik KB6NU, Ed Durrant DD5LP and Frank Howell K4FMH to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is our first impression of the ICOM IC-9700.


We would like to thank Charles Benet (AI6TT)  along with our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit -   

Colin Butler, M6BOY, is the host of the ICQ Podcast, a weekly radio show about Amateur Radio. Contact him at [email protected].

Hunting For NDBs In CLE240

OO-391kHz - Oshawa, Ontario courtesy: VE3GOP

This coming weekend will see another monthly CLE challenge. This time the hunting grounds will be 385.0 - 399.9 kHz.


For those unfamiliar with this monthly activity, a 'CLE' is a 'Co-ordinated Listening Event', as NDB DXers around the world focus their listening time on one small slice of the NDB spectrum.

A wonderful challenge for listeners in North America is to hear little OO - 391kHz, located in Oshawa, Ontario. It puts out only 7 1/2 watts but has been logged on both coasts as well as in Europe! Listen for its USB CW identifier (with your receiver in the CW mode) on 391.396 and its LSB ID on 390.595 kHz.

MF propagation this past week has been good and signals in this frequency range should be propagating well if things stay undisturbed for the weekend. As usual however, a large coronal hole has returned to its monthly CLE position and its weekend effects are still unknown.

When tuning for NDBs, put your receiver in the CW mode and listen for the NDB's CW identifier, repeated every few seconds. Listen for U.S. NDB identifiers approximately 1 kHz higher or lower than the published transmitted frequency since these beacons are modulated with a 1020Hz tone approximately.

For example, 'AA' near Fargo, ND, transmits on 365 kHz and its upper sideband CW identifier is tuned at 366.025 kHz while its lower sideband CW ident can be tuned at 363.946 kHz. Its USB tone is actually 1025 Hz while its LSB tone is 1054 Hz.

Often, one sideband will be much stronger than the other so if you don't hear the first one, try listening on the other sideband.

Canadian NDBs normally have an USB tone only, usually very close to 400 Hz. They also have a long dash (keydown) following the CW identifier.

All NDBs heard in North America will be listed in the RNA database (updated daily) while those heard in Europe may be found in the REU database. Beacons heard outside of these regions will be found in the RWW database.

From CLE organizer Brian Keyte, G3SIA, come details via the The NDB List Group:

Hello all,

Our 240th Coordinated Listening Event is less than a week away.
We can now forget all about pyramids and relax with a straightforward
event.   Whether you are a keen propagation watcher or just a
take-what-comes listener, please join in.

    Days:    Friday 25 January - Monday 28 January
    Times:   Start and end at midday, your LOCAL TIME
    Range:   385.0 - 399.9 kHz

Please log all the NDBs you can identify that are listed in that range
(it includes 385 kHz but not 400 kHz) plus any UNIDs you find there.
We last used this frequency range for CLE224 in October 2017.

Please send your final log to the List (no attachments and ideally
in a plain text email) with ‘FINAL CLE240’ in its title.
Show on each line:

    #   The Date (e.g.  '2019-01-26' etc.  or just '26' )
    #   The Time in UTC (the day changes at 00:00 UTC).
    #   kHz  - the nominal published frequency, if known.
    #   The Call Ident.

Please show those main items FIRST.  Other optional details such
as Location and Distance go LATER in the same line.
As always, of course, tell us your own location and brief details
of the equipment that you were using during the Event.

We will send the usual 'Any More Logs?' email at about 18:00 UTC
on Tuesday so that you can check that your log has been found OK.

The combined results should then be completed within a day or two.

You can soon find full details about current and past CLEs from the CLE page  It includes access to CLE240 seeklists
for your part of the World, prepared from the previous loggings in Rxx.

Good listening - enjoy the CLE.
      Brian and Joachim
From:      Brian Keyte G3SIA      ndbcle'at'
Location:  Surrey,  SE England     (CLE coordinator)

  (If you would like to listen remotely  you could use any one remote
  receiver for your loggings, stating its location and owner and with their
  permission if required.  A remote listener may NOT also use another
  receiver, local or remote, to make further loggings for the same CLE)

These listening events serve several purposes. They:
  • determine, worldwide, which beacons are actually in service and on-the-air so the online database can be kept up-to-date
  • determine, worldwide, which beacons are out-of-service or have gone silent since the last CLE covering this range
  • will indicate the state of propagation conditions at the various participant locations
  • will give you an indication of how well your LF/MF receiving system is working
  • give participants a fun yet challenging activity to keep their listening skills honed
Final details can be found at the NDB List website, and worldwide results, for every participant, will be posted there a few days after the event.

The NDB List Group is a great place to learn more about the 'Art of NDB DXing' or to meet other listeners in your region. There is a lot of good information available there and new members are always very welcome. As well, you can follow the results of other CLE participants from night to night as propagation is always an active topic of discussion.

You need not be an NDB List member to participate in the CLEs and all reports, no matter how small, are of much value to the organizers. 

Remember - 'First-time' logs are always VERY welcome!

Reports may be sent to the NDB List Group or e-mailed to CLE co-ordinator, Brian Keyte (G3SIA), whose address appears above. If you are a member of the group, all final results will also be e-mailed and posted there.

Please ... give the CLE a try ... then let us know what NDB's can be heard from your location! Your report can then be added to the worldwide database to help keep it up-to-date.

Have fun and good hunting!

Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

LHS Episode #267: The Weekender XXII

Welcome to the 22nd edition of the LHS Weekender. In this episode, the hosts discuss upcoming amateur radio contests and special event stations, Open Source events in the next fortnight, Linux distributions of interest, news about science, technology and related endeavors as well is dive into food, drink and other hedonistic topics. Thank you for listening and we hope you're having a wonderful 2019 so far.

73 de The LHS Crew

Russ Woodman, K5TUX, co-hosts the Linux in the Ham Shack podcast which is available for download in both MP3 and OGG audio format. Contact him at [email protected].

LHS Episode #266: #$%&! Net Neutrality

Welcome to the first episode of Linux in the Ham Shack for 2019. In this episode, the hosts discuss topics including the 2018 RTTY Roundup using FT-8, Cubesats and wideband receivers in space, the ORI at Hamcation, Wekcan, Raspberry Pi-based VPN servers, the LHS Linux distributions, CW trainers and much more. Thank you for listening and we hope you're having a wonderful new year so far.

73 de The LHS Crew

Russ Woodman, K5TUX, co-hosts the Linux in the Ham Shack podcast which is available for download in both MP3 and OGG audio format. Contact him at [email protected].

AmateurLogic 126: Blue Thumb DV & 1/4 Wave Stubs

AmateurLogic.TV Episode 126 is now available for download.

Tommy reviews the Blue Thumb DV. George and the crew pull out the test equipment and experiment with 1/4 wave stubs. This live demonstration helps clear up some of the mystery. Mike, VE3MIC sits in for the Cheap Old Man to help keep expenses under control.



George Thomas, W5JDX, is co-host of AmateurLogic.TV, an original amateur radio video program hosted by George Thomas (W5JDX), Tommy Martin (N5ZNO), Peter Berrett (VK3PB), and Emile Diodene (KE5QKR). Contact him at [email protected].

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