Last weekend we held the Colorado 14er Event (Aug 7 and 8), the annual mountaintop event in Colorado. A group of us used this weekend as an opportunity to make 1.2 GHz (23 cm) Summits On The Air (SOTA) contacts: K0NR, K0JJW, KM4PEH, K5RHD, W0ADV, KL7IZW, W0RW, KC5RW, and K0BEJ.
Many of the 1.2 GHz operators used the Alinco DJ-G7T triband handheld transceiver. This radio covers the 2m, 70cm and 23cm bands. The RF output on 23 cm is only 1 watt but it is the lowest-cost way of getting a signal on that band.
Pikes to Uncompahgre
On Saturday, Joyce/K0JJW and I were on Pikes Peak (W0C/FR-004) and worked Randy/K5RHD on Mount Evans (W0C/FR-003) at a distance of 97 km (60 miles). Signals were strong and we had no problem making those contacts.
We also worked David/W0ADV on Uncompahgre Peak (W0C/RG-001) at a distance of 227 km (141 miles). David used the Alinco HT driving a 16-element Comet Yagi. We had a bit more power (10 watts) from our Kenwood TM-541A transceiver, also driving a Comet Yagi antenna. Signals were strong in both directions and these QSOs were a new personal best for both Joyce and me on 1.2 GHz.
Evans to Sunshine
On Sunday, we moved to Mount Evans and Randy/K5RHD activated Pikes Peak. We worked Randy on that peak, the reverse of the QSO on the previous day. Meanwhile, David/W0ADV was climbing two 14ers in the San Juan Mountains: Redcloud Peak (W0C/RG-002) and Sunshine Peak (W0C/RG-004). These two summits are close to each other, separated by a saddle, so it is common to climb them as a pair.
David’s route had him climbing Redcloud first and then continuing on to Sunshine, then returning to Redcloud on the way back down. We worked him on Sunshine and on the return trip over Redcloud, as he headed back to the trailhead.
We had trouble hearing David on Sunshine Peak but his signal was just strong enough that we could complete the contact. His signal was stronger from Redcloud, a surprise because the two summits are close in elevation. I expected them to be about the same in terms of signal path and strength. David reported that there was a ridge to the northeast of Sunshine that might be blocking the signal, but it was not in the way for Redcloud.
So these contacts with Sunshine Peak set a new personal best for both Joyce and me on 1.2 GHz (244 km, 152.6 miles). David clearly did the hard work, summiting two 14ers in a day. (We were on a drive-up mountain with a short hike.) Thanks, David/W0ADV!
I was very pleased with the results from the 14er weekend. Now I am wondering what’s next for us concerning 1.2 GHz. We can probably make radio contacts further out but it is going to depend on the topography of the path. We will have to do some investigation on additional summits to try.
73 Bob K0NR