Activation Date: September 27, 2015
ATT Data Coverage: Very good
ATT Voice coverage: Not sure but presumed to be OK
APRS Coverage: Not sure
Hike stats: Drive-up when gate open (typically 9-5pm and road OK). Elected to hike from from locked gate; 1.5 miles roundtrip and 600′ ascent up to 7,882′, walk on paved road and exposed summit.
The look out tower has been there for decades and is a welcome place after being buffeted by winds on Keller Peak. There’s a similarity in most look out stations but each is unique in its story. Keller is no different being personalized with Smokey the Bear stuffies, a story of a female staff member that occupied the station for almost 40 years through to the story of an unfortunate aircrew who crashed in the the early 1940s just below the tower.
A gate across the road is locked before 9am and I hike the last 1/2 mile or so to the peak. It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday as I reach the peak to witness a forest of antennas that are so familiar to peaks in metro areas. I wonder what impact all this unwanted RF will have on my operations.
I have brought my new LNR 40/20m trail friendly End Fed antenna along with a 21ft carbon fibre fishing rod. Setup time is really quick and probably less than 5 minutes with another 5 or so minutes to get the KX3 out and setup. Already substantially quicker than the Buddipole.
Each activation is exciting for many reasons not least of which is will your antenna work given band conditions etc. I like to start with 40m and I’m instantly happy with the antenna as I net 6 chasers on 40m which seems far more than I ever achieved with my vertical Buddipole. The band change to 20m has me completely sold on the LNR antenna as I don’t need to do a thing to the antenna unlike the Buddipole which had me fiddling for 10 minutes or so. 20m nets me 4 chasers. I wrapped up the activation 7 2m FM contacts.
This is a good start to 2 days of activating as I have netted 17 contacts.