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[aprssig] Operation Uinta is now underway

Bruce Prior n7rr at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 22 18:48:04 UTC 2005


Hi Gang --
I'm in the Duschene County Library in Roosevelt, Utah, on route to the 
northern Uinta Mountains via Lonetree, Wyoming.  My next base will be at 
Hoop Lake, not far from the northern boundary of the High Uintas Wilderness 
Area.  I hope to climb 11,776-foot Thompson Peak.  I started at Chepeta Lake 
trailhead in the southern Uintas, but I never got on the trail toward Kings 
Peak because of thunderstorm forecasts, kindly relayed to me by Bill, W7GHT, 
via the Idaho Montana Net from my wife Margaret K7MWP.  Indeed, on Wednesday 
morning I was huddled inside the car in the midst of a thunderstorm, when 
one strike hit so close that I could barely distinguish a delay between the 
flash and the sound.

It seems that the word about Operation Uinta has fallen through the cracks.  
Only K7NHB in Bend, Oregon has given  me a complete Maidenhead Grid.  See 
below for the simple instructions on how to determine your 6-character grid 
square.  Please, look for me and give me a shout!

My use of end-fed wire antennas and counterpoise has been not terrific.  The 
tuner in the K1 wasn't able to find a match for my 25.4 m wire on 80 meters. 
  So, I bought some zip cord at a hardware store in Roosevelt.  I'll 
construct a zip cord dipole tuned for 3.6 MHz with 65-foot legs.  Maybe that 
will work better.  I might do the same for the 40, 30 and 20 meter bands.

I realized too late that the K1 doesn't tune up into the 80 meter 
Novice/Tech+ band, so the schedule has been revised to exclude that segment, 
adding to the time on 3560 kHz.  Since I won't be doing a long hike from 
Kings Peak, the mid-day 30 and 20 meter sessions should be on time on Friday 
and Saturday.

Here are the revised Operation Uinta details:

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+ slot.  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.  The Uinta Mountains trend east-west.  See this Google
Maps image, centered on Kings Peak:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Roosevelt,+UT&ll=40.776180,-
110.373030&spn=1.846754,3.741669&t=h&hl=en

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:
http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/find.cgi?n7rr*
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
2120-2200 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 3560 kHz session earlier than scheduled.

HF CW Mid-day Operations Tuesday, September 20 through Saturday,
September 24:
1300-1315 MDT (1900-1915Z) 10 106 kHz
1315-1400 MDT (1915-2000Z) 14 060 kHz
All Operation Uinta HF frequencies are plus/minus QRM, of course.

Exchange:
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:
CQ DE N7RR UINTA K
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:
http://www.amsat.org/amsat/toys/gridconv.html
If you cannot determine your latitude and longitude using a map,
then go to Maporama:
http://www.maporama.com/share/
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.

High Uintas Wilderness Itinerary:
I was camped at the Chepeta Lake trailhead from Monday evening, September 19 
to today, Thursday morning, September 22.  I will drive via Lonetree, 
Wyoming to the Hoop Lake trailhead today, and camp there tonight.  Tomorrow, 
September 23, I will backpack into the High Uinta Wilderness and begin the 
loop trail counter-clockwise around Thompson Peak.  From the northwest side 
of the peak, I will climb to the summit, and then descend to Thompson Pass 
and camp at some convenient place near Kabell Creek.  On September 24, I'll 
return to Hoop Lake via Kabell Meadows.

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.  Addendum:  I intend to add one or 
more zip cord half-wavelength dipoles for 80 and possibly 40, 30 and 20 
meters.

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






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