Saturday, July 2, 2011

Skunked on 6 Meters

Today was a nice Warm Pacific Northwest Day, I had a few errands to run. While out and about, I decided to take a trip to the mountains; Green Mountain and Mt Pilchuck, they are only about 30 minutes away. My goal was to get high enough to work some of the locals on 6 meters, and just maybe work someone outside of the Puget Sound area. My three favorite operating vista's on the mountains are all about the 3000 foot level.

After leaving the highway (at a low 1200 foot elevation), and now on a dirt road, I put up my long whip on the Hustler HF Mount on the top of the VAN. The long whip can take the occasional whack of the low hanging tree branches over the mountain dirt roads. I was immediately encouraged, I could hear several QSO's on 6 meters, a sign of good things to come when I get to higher ground.

The ride up to the first vista is about 15 minutes and 6 miles. My VAN's ignition noise obliterated the QSO's as I drove (I really need to fix that).

End of the Road, Blocked by Snow
At the first location on Green Mountain, I did not hear anything on 6 meters while still connected to my VAN's whip, but I set up my BuddiPole as a 6 meters dipole. Surely I will hear something? This location (North View) was not my goal, but I had to settle for it as the slightly higher road was still blocked with snow, as shown in the photo.

But, NO, nothing on 50.140mHz or any other freq on 6 meters. I was high enough that if anyone was on 6 meters in Puget Sound I would have an almost  line of sight path to their QTH.

I had some luck working the other bands and I retried 6 meters off-and-on for several hours. but still nothing on 6.

I could hear and work most of the 2 meter repeaters within the Puget Sound area, but that was NOT my goal.

Mt Pilchuck (in the background),
and the Upper Parking Lot
I packed up, proceeded to the second vista at the upper parking lot on Mt Pilchuck which has a North-Northwest view and about 5 miles away (as the crow fly's). But, NO, still nothing but bugs (for some reason there is always lots of bugs there?).

Mt Pilchuck's Upper Parking Lot,
at about 3200 feet
On this Forth of July weekend, the parking lots on the mountain were full of cars, I am sure the high land trails were very active. The snow looked spotty above the parking lots, with most upper ridges clear.

Again, I packed up proceeded to the third vista with it's line of sight, 220 deg view of Puget Sound, surely someone would be on 6 meters. But, again, Nothing, Nada!

(Sorry, no photos)

So, I got Skunked on 6 meters today.

But I had a great time out in the sun, and on the mountains with Tess, and we had fun talking with the many hikers along the roads. Tess is very much a people-dog, but she really enjoys being out with all of the playful kids.

Note: I just discovered there are "two" Green Mountain's which are near each other (25 miles) in Washington, shown on the map link each at the end of the connecting line. The one that I frequent is the lower southern mountain.


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