November 10th, 2019. This was a quick activation. I cycled up to the top, made 10 contacts, and was back at the starting point within an hour. Getting to the actual summit is impossible as there is a fence to keep folks out of the antenna area. I didn’t bother setting up the HF station, so I just worked local 146.520 Mhz, 2M FM using the Yaesu 817. RF levels felt high, as my HT was struggling to pull signals from the Mount Wilson repeater which is line of sight to this point. Furthest contact goes to WB2WIK, who was near the Ventura County line.
November 9th, 2019 – This was the second summit of the day with Lars, KJ6CBE. The hike up, and down from this point was uncomfortable for me with loose sand and rocks most of the way. The trail starts very steep, then follows the ridge line (also steep) up to a false summit where it flattens out for a bit. Continue along the trail to reach the real summit. I worked 40M, and 20M SSB. Lars worked 2M FM. The radial system on my vertical antenna broke, leaving me with higher SWR than I wanted on 20M. Still made a contact to the east coast. Not bad for 5W at solar minimum.
November 9th, 2019. I like this summit. I’ve been up to this location before, not knowing about SOTA. It’s a pretty easy hike with rewarding views. The original fire lookout tower was destroyed in the 2009 Station Fire. 10 years later, they are constructing a new lookout. Lars, KJ6CBE worked 146.520 FM and I worked 20M SSB. My furthest QSO was W4KRN in Virginia. Thanks!
Here is how I run Pat with AX25. This assumes Direwolf can key your radio for 2M/ 1200 baud connections to local nodes. I’ve yet to get this actually working, as I live in hole which RF can’t seem to escape.
Run Direwolf, with APRS stuff commented out of the config file. The -p and -c flags are needed.
$sudo direwolf -p -c direwolf_noaprs.conf
This will give a symlink, such as:
Virtual KISS TNC is available on /dev/pts/1 Created symlink /tmp/kisstnc -> /dev/pts/1
Take note of the device number, in this case, /dev/pts/1 Bind the port to AX.25
$ kissattach /dev/pts/1 wl2k AX.25 port wl2k bound to device ax0
Then, run pat. I use a bunch of arguments here, you don need to.
$pat --listen ardop,ax25,telnet http -a 0.0.0.0:8080
Open a browser, and load pat interface on :8080. Please note 0.0.0.0 allows connections from other machines, not just localhost which is useful for VPN.
You noticed that I included ardop in the config – this is a HF modem which needs separate command line arguments for configuration. Basic config is below. 8515 is the port, plughw is the USB sound card for I/O. Find the audio cards by typing aplay -l into the terminal
70cm Simplex net, operating bicycle mobile from Elysian Park, Los Angeles. Made a quick QSO with KK6WLD before the net in San Diego with 1/2 watt into a roll-up j pole antenna. Impressive. Stations heard from this point.
After the net, there was another on 2M SSB. Stations were myself KM6NAO and KK6WLD. Propagation was very good. APRS packets from my HT were making their way to a Laguna Beach iGate.