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[aprssig] Operation Uinta: September 19-24

Bruce Prior n7rr at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 13 21:16:16 UTC 2005

Operation Uinta is a way to test your Amateur Radio APRS station, normally 
on 2 meters, or HF CW station on 20, 30, 40 and 80 meters, with special 
accommodation for Novice and Technician Plus operators on 40 and 80 meters.  
If your CW is a bit rusty, try the slow-speed operation in the Novice/Tech+ 
slots.  If your CW is non-existent, you may still participate via APRS.

I will be backpacking in the Ashley National Forest portion of the High 
Uintas Wilderness east of Salt Lake City, from September 19 through 24.

Here is the on-the-air Operation Uinta plan:

APRS from Monday, September 19 through Saturday, September 24:
Any time I am awake I will be telemetering my position regularly on 144.390 
MHz via APRS.  How successful my connectivity will be with the APRS system 
remains to be seen.  Check:
You are welcome to participate by sending me messages via APRS.  If you 
include your Maidenhead / Name exchange (see details below) and I receive 
your message, I will reciprocate via a return APRS message with my 
Maidenhead / Name exchange.  If you also include your e-mail address with 
your APRS message, I will send you a return e-mail message with my 
Maidenhead / Name exchange via APRS.

HF CW Evening Operations Monday, September 19 through Friday, September 23:
1930-1945 MDT (0130-0145Z next date) 7040 kHz especially for Rock-Mite 40’s
1945-1955 MDT (0145-0155Z next date) 7110 kHz QRS for Novice and Tech+
1955-2035 MDT (0155-0235Z next date) 7030 kHz
2035-2045 MDT (0235-0245Z next date) QRT break
2045-2120 MDT (0245-0320Z next date) Idaho-Montana Net (IMN) 3647 kHz
2120-2130 MDT (0320-0330Z next date) 3710 kHz QRS for Novice and Tech+
2130-2200 MDT (0330-0400Z next date) 3560 kHz

Please note:  I will be sending and receiving formal written traffic on the 
Idaho-Montana Net rather than soliciting Maidenhead / Name QSO’s on the IMN 
frequency.  If I finish the IMN traffic early, then I will start the 3710 
kHz session earlier than scheduled.

HF CW Mid-day Operations Tuesday, September 20 through Saturday, September 
1300-1315 MDT (1900-1915Z) 10 106 kHz (times approximate on Sept. 23 and 24)
1315-1400 MDT (1915-2000Z) 14 060 kHz (times approximate on Sept. 23 and 24)

All Operation Uinta HF frequencies are plus/minus QRM, of course.

Operation Uinta on HF will consist of brief QSO’s with a standard exchange:
6-character Maidenhead Grid and Name, for example:
EM29pc [or similar] JUDY

I will typically call:
Please answer with just YOUR_COMPLETE_CALLSIGN.
I will then send YOUR_CALLSIGN DN40xr [or similar] BRUCE A_R K_N
You will then reply with YOUR_MAIDENHEAD_GRID YOUR_NAME K
If I copy your exchange completely, I’ll send TU or QSL, then
CQ DE N7RR UINTA K or simply QRZ? N7RR K
More than one QSO from the same station is fine on different bands and on 
different days.

Q:  How do I figure out my six-character Maidenhead grid square without a 
GPS receiver?
A:  If you know your latitude and longitude in degrees and minutes and maybe 
even seconds, go to the AMSAT GridSquare Conversion page to find your 
six-digit Maidenhead grid square:
If you cannot determine your latitude and longitude using a map, then go to 
Then enter your address.  When a map is produced, scroll down so you can see 
the Information tab on the left side of the screen.  Below that is the 
latitude and longitude of the center of the map.  The coordinates are given 
as either degrees and integer minutes or as decimal degrees. Use the degrees 
and minutes version.  Latitude is given first.  A positive number means 
North and a negative one South.  The next part is longitude, where a 
negative number means West and a positive one East.  Now take that 
information to the AMSAT GridSquare Conversion page to obtain your 
six-character Maidenhead grid square reference.  A resolution of degrees and 
whole minutes is usually good enough to obtain an accurate six-character 
Maidenhead grid.   Without knowing your seconds, you may occasionally in the 
worst case be off by one six-character square.  My Maidenhead grid squares 
will be derived from my GPS receiver, set with WGS84 datum.

Ashley National Forest / High Uintas Wilderness Itinerary:
I will camp at the West Fork Whiterocks trailhead at 10,000 feet to begin 
acclimatizing on September 19.  On the 20th I will backpack northwest to 
Cleveland Lake at 10,650 feet.  On the 21st I will continue northwest 
through Fox Queant Pass at 11,250 feet and the High Uintas Wilderness 
boundary and down to Fox Lake at 11,000 feet.  I will hike by Kidney Lakes 
at 10,850 feet to Painter Basin at 11,200 feet on the 22nd.  On the 23rd if 
I feel well enough acclimatized and the weather cooperates, I will try to 
climb with a light pack via Anderson Pass to the summit of Kings Peak, the 
highest point in Utah at 13,528 feet [4123 m], and return to Kidney Lakes 
via Painter Basin.  On the 24th I will return to the West Fork Whiterocks 

Backpack Amateur Radio Equipment:
For 2 m APRS operation I will be using a Kenwood TH-D7A(G) handitalkie and a 
Diamond SRH77CA high-gain dual-band antenna while hiking, and a 2 m J-pole 
made from 300 ohm twin-lead while in camp.  The GPS receiver is a Garmin 
GPSmap 60C.  For HF operation I will be using an Elecraft K1 with the 
brand-new K1BKLTKIT LCD backlight mod kit and an internal tuner, and an 
Elecraft KX1 with a 30 m module and an internal tuner, an American Morse 
Porta-Paddle with leg holder, a 25.4 m end-fed wire antenna with 9.1 m and 
10.13 m counterpoise wires capacitively coupled to the ground.   All power 
will be obtained by AA photo lithium cells: 4 cells in the TH-D7A(G) and 8 
cells in an external battery pack for the K1 and KX1. The KX1 also has 6 
cells internally for backup.  In daylight, I may use a small parafoil kite 
to lift the end-fed wire.  In that case, I will thrust one ski pole with its 
paint scraped off and without its basket as far as I can into the ground, 
attached to the end-fed antenna through a 1.2 megohm, 2 W bleeder resistor 
to discharge static charges from the end-fed antenna.  Where trees are 
absent and kite-lift is impractical, I will marry my two ski poles into one 
long pole in their avalanche-probe configuration, to give a little bit of 
elevation to the end-fed wire.  Where trees are available, I will find a 
fist-sized rock and fasten it to a nylon cord with a tight noose called the 
Scaffold Knot and lob it over a high branch.  The nylon cord is tied to the 
end-fed antenna with a Hunter Bend.  Since the summit of Kings Peak appears 
to be a pile of boulders, with a dim prospect of a decent ground connection, 
I am carrying a combination 20 m / 30 m half-wavelength dipole and a short 
coaxial cable for the possible summit operation.

I am looking forward to catching you on the air!
73, Bruce Prior N7RR

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