Combining Cycling, SOTA chasing and Geocaching

By , September 2, 2011 7:34 pm

QRP Setup

QRP Setup

I took the day off work today, and the weather looked okay so I jumped on my bicycle after lunch and cycled up into Gatineau Park.  I was heading for a location suggested by Tom, he calls it the ‘Super Secret Location‘ (#6).  The ride to the operating location was 13km in length and hard work once I was in the park, lots of climbs. 

I set up just off trail #26 not far from trail #5. There was a nice cleared area with some tall trees.



I tied a rock to the end of some string and threw it over a couple of tall trees (around 40′ up in the air).  I pulled an 84′ wire through the tress with the string, ending up with an inverted-L W3EDP-esque antenna.  I connected two counterpose wires (16′ and 32′) and I was able to support these at 8′ over the ground in small trees.

Great fun!

Great fun!

As I was finishing the antenna, my cellphone bleeped with news that a couple of Summits On The Air (SOTA) summits were on the air:  Dave WN1E was on Mount Greylock W1/MB-001He was on 20m CW. Chuck  K4QS on North Marshall Mountain  W4/SH-009 and Batman JP and Robin VA2SG/P & VE2DRO were on Mont Blanche (White Mountain)  VE2/SG-011.

All three of them started on 20m and I tuned to 20m to see if I could hear them.  I thought that I could hear Chuck bur after listening for a while I realized that I was hearing other stations working Chuck, not Chuck himself.  I could not hear the other stations at all 😥   I spent an hour listening for them to QSY to 40m and hoping that propagation would shift.



Finally at 1900Z, I heard Chuck on 40m but the there was extreme interference from lightning (QRN) and his signal was light around RST 449 with QSB so I could only get little snatches of his callsign.  I called him when I thought he was asking for callers and I passed my signal report.  I heard RST 339 in response, Yay!!  :mrgreen:   My ‘chase’ was successful.  A couple of times I called Chuck back and repeated my exchange just to be sure, sorry for the QRM Chuck, but the QRN was wicked.

At 1945Z I head a station calling CQ QRP on 40m (7.034 MHz) so I decided to take a break from SOTA chasing.  It was Bob WK1N, he was on the air with 5W into a G5RV.  He had a honking FB signal, RST 589 and I could hear him under the QRN.  We had a short QSO and compared notes about our QRP equipment before Bob had to leave.  Great to work a fellow QRP op !!

On the way back, I found a geocache and left an Algonquin Park pin in it.

The return trip brought my total kilometers cycled to a round 30.

All in all, a great day.  I had originally planned to activate VE2/LR-002 Mont Tremblant today but when I got home and checked the weather radar I realized that was where all the lightning was – right over the summit.  Good call to do a SOTA chase today instead!!

2 Responses to “Combining Cycling, SOTA chasing and Geocaching”

  1. JP VA2SG says:

    Hi Martin,

    We were going to QSY 7.032 but our 12 amp hours battery died, so we could not make a single bip on the IC7000…. We were running SSB and CW 30 watts. Robin will learn CW next winter, we must bring some sort of SSB able radio that delivers..

    Well, at least, we went close to get on 40.. Next time.. I am sorry.

  2. va3sie says:

    Not a problem, JP. I’ll never be the number #1 activator or the number #1 chaser either, I’m just happy to be having fun with this stuff. Sounds like Robin and yourself had so much fun you drained every last ampere our of your battery.

    That’s what it’s all about, JP … Having fun!!

    Vy 73

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