Members of the Kingsport Amateur Radio Club met on Saturday, February 18, 2023 for breakfast and an activation of W4T/RV-002, Summit 3940. Breakfast worked out well in the end, but after a planned meeting at Perkins Restaurant, for which we had called ahead the day before, we were put on a waiting list and told to take a seat in the lobby. After sitting for over a half hour and still not getting a table, we decided to move on down the road to Bob Evans Restaurant at the Boone's Creek exit. There we had no wait and were immediately given a table for eight. The service and food were both good and the group agreed that this would be a place to visit again.
We left Bob Evans about 11:00 and headed to the Shady Valley area to the summit, arriving shortly after noon. The road up the summit was a little rougher than expected, probably due to the recent heavy rains, but there were no major obstacles and our vehicles made it to the trailhead without problems, although at a slower pace than in the past. The weather was good with sun, light winds, and the temperature in the mid 40s. Our half mile hike to the summit was very pleasant.
We got our stations set up and on the air by around 1:20 p.m. Tim, KJ4ZFJ, set up his new Xiegu X-6100 with an end fed antenna on the trail just past the summit. He got the end of his antenna up in a tree at least 50 feet off the ground by using a slingshot and fishing reel. Rick, KD4AKR, set up two meters with the on-board rubber duck near the summit at a rock ledge. He also set up his Xiegu G-90 with an end fed antenna so that he could work with his new HF privileges. Justin, KO4DCD, accompanied by his work friend Vince, set up an Icom 705 into an end fed antenna on the summit.
Matt, KQ4CCP, hung a Slim Jim antenna fed by his Icom V86 handheld near the summit for two meter work. Ron, NR3E, threw a tarp down near a log, using it for a backrest, and set up an Elecraft KX2 with an end fed antenna. After a short while, Seth, KQ4AKR, joined the group, bringing his just purchased Elecraft KX2 in a go case. He had not had time to put together an antenna, so he and Ron shared the end fed.
Even though there was a reported major solar flare the day before, band conditions turned out to be good. As a whole, the group made 82 contacts, of which 37 were CW, 45 were phone, with five DX. Chris in France was of course in the log. Rick worked his very first Summit to Summit contact with K6EL in California. He also worked GI0AZB in Ireland on 10 meters SSB, his first DX contact from a summit. A few minutes later, Ron tuned up on 15 meters and also worked the same Ireland station on CW. Then he picked up GI0AZA. Noting that both the Ireland callsigns were only one letter different, a lookup showed that it was a husband and wife team that lived on a farm in Northern Ireland. That was probably the neatest contact of the day.
By mid afternoon the temperature had warmed up to a very nice 50 degrees. At about 3:30 everyone finished up and stowed away their equipment hiking off the mountain by 4:00. Another good one was in the logs. The next club trip will be on March 4, 2023 to Grindstone Knob, W4T/SU-038, also in the Shady Valley area and which also is a POTA entity. Check the schedule for additional information.