On Saturday, July 8, 2023, members of the Kingsport Amateur Radio Club met at the Bob Evans Restaurant in Johnson City at 9:00 a.m. It was monthly SOTA day so John and Larry, KJ4ZFK and KD4FTN, in a good will gesture to see us off safely, had breakfast with us four activators, Dennis, N4DD, Justin, KO4DCD, Matt, KQ4CCP, and myself, Ron, NR3E. The meal was good and and the fellowship was better and we actually finished a little early, giving us a little more time to drive to the summit.
We left at about 10:20, enroute to Roan High Knob, W4T/SU-005, a ten point summit near Carvers Gap and south of Mountain City, Tennessee. We arrived at the trailhead in a little under an hour, without incident as the roads were paved all the way. The hike was pleasant and not difficult as we only had to walk about a half mile along the Appalachian Trail and had less than two hundred feet of elevation gain. The summit itself is about 500 feet off the AT on a short side trail that goes to an AT shelter. The area around the summit is very peaceful as the ground is covered with pine needles and there is moss growing on everything. The ground cover does a good job in absorbing sounds which makes for a quiet area.
Dennis found a place near the big boulders and threw his end fed up a tree then attached it to his Yaesu FT-857D, ready for HF CW. Matt went several yards from the shelter and put up a Slim Jim antenna for some two meter FM work. Later on he put up an end fed and made a 10 meter contact with his Xiegu HF radio. Justin found a place along the shelter trail and set up his Icom 705 with an end fed antenna. I walked 75 yards back down the shelter trail and found an area that was just big enough to hang my 58 foot end fed. I threw down a tarp to sit on and hooked up the Elecraft KX2.
Conditions were pretty good and all four of us quickly made our minimum contacts then continued making additional ones. Matt got eight contacts on two meter FM which was good news as sometimes the two meter band has been thin on chasers lately. Dennis made the best contact of the day with YC2VOC, a station in Indonesia, on 20 meter CW. According to my calculation that was a 10,328 mile contact on ten watts. Way to go, Dennis!
After being on the summit for almost two hours, we packed it up and headed to our cars. We had almost perfect hiking weather with mostly clear skies, calm winds, and a temperature in the low 70s. The next club trip will be on August 26th to Camp Creek Bald, an eight point drive-up. More information will be posted at a later date.