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QSL: Cards by Mail or LoTW

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Greetings and thanks for visiting my page here on QRZ.COM!  If we chatted recently you likely heard me transmitting from a mountaintop or remote campsite.  I operate from home too, but most radio time is spent portable. Summits On The Air (SOTA) is my favorite radio activity as I love outdoor adventure and the physical and technical challenges SOTA brings. Also enjoy DXing, causal contesting, and county expeditions for CalQSO and the 7QP.  While I work mostly ssb-phone and digital modes, I'm gaining interest in CW. 

Now serving as W6-SOTA Regional Manager for the Northeast (W6/NE), Northwest (W6/NW), and Northern Ranges (W6/CN).  Feel free to contact me with any questions or issues involving summits in these areas.  Links with info on the SOTA program: http://www.sota.org.uk/  SOTAWatch: http://www.sotawatch.org/


For SOTA and other portable ops I'll typically take a Yaesu FT-857D and Buddistick antenna setup powered by a LiFePO4 battery.  On trips when I need to go lighter, I'll pack an Elecraft KX3.  For APRS route tracking I use a Yaesu FT1D. 

The shack at home consists of an Icom IC-7300 for HF and IC-2730 for VHF/UHF.  My dad’s old Kenwood TR-9000 is powered up occasionally for local 2m ssb or fm-simplex chats.  I’m also running an APRS I-Gate using a Microsat WX3in1-Plus2 and Yaesu FT-2900 combo.  I live in small-lot-suburbia so HF antennas are a challenge.  For now I’ve settled on an assortment of compromise verticals in the backyard to get me on the air.

I enjoy exchanging QSL cards directly - there's just something cool with getting a card in the mail.  If you'd like to confirm our QSO by card, please just mail me yours and I'll gladly send one back - no need for a SASE. 


Now also using ARRL's LoTW for all contacts and typically upload to the SOTA database and LoTW within 24hrs of each activation.


Recent Radio Adventures        

Tuesday, January 17, 2018 - Activated Mt. Umunhum, W6/CC-052, in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Jose, CA - my kickoff activation for 2018.  Nice day between storms.  Mt. Umunhum (like M&M’s but with U’s) was closed to public access for decades as the US Air Force had a long-range radar facility here.  Public access was restored in the fall 2017.  Views from the summit…



Friday, December 29, 2017 - Final SOTA trip for 2017, activated Bald Mountain (W6/NC-400) in Marin County.  Good day for chasers as I bagged 60 ssb contacts in one hour on 20 and 40m.  Pic of Mt Tamalpais and surrounding hills looking south from near the summit…


Monday, December 11, 2017 - Short SOTA trip to Vollmer Peak (W6/NC-298) in the Berkeley Hills.  First activation in a while as I’ve been busy with a new job.  Nice December day.  Bagged 27 ssb contacts on 20 and 40m.  Pics of Mt. Diablo and a distant Golden Gate Bridge viewed from the summit…



October 7-8, 2017 - This year for CalQSO I operated from Trinity County (TRIN) in northwestern California - county expedition, single operator, SSB-only, low power.  Setup on Musser Ridge above Weaverville, the county seat.  Ended with 262 contacts, which I felt was a good effort and successful in getting the county on the map.  Pics of my TRIN radio camp and of Granite Peak and Red Mountain nearby in the Trinity Alps…



July 29-31, 2017 - Had a fun weekend camping in the Tahoe-Truckee area. Activated 7 summits during the trip while successfully dodging several thunderstorms. Summits included Verdi Peak (W6/NS-146), Leviathan Peak (W6/SN-039), Babbitt Peak (W6/NS-132), Genoa Peak (W7N/TR-007), Robbs Peak (W6/NS-266), Big Hill (W6/NS-290), and Sardine Peak (W6/NS-160). Beautiful time of year in the Sierras. My favorite summit was Genoa Peak as it has sweeping views of Lake Tahoe and surrounding mountains.  Pics from atop Genoa... 



Saturday, July 1, 2017 - Bagged 3 summits in the upper Yuba area of the Tahoe National Forest, including Signal Peak (W6/NS-179), Lowell Hill Ridge (W6/NS-306), and Grouse Ridge (W6/NS-195). Still lots of snow around on the north side of Grouse. Had to hike about a mile and a half up through slushy white stuff. Very nice weather in the Sierra to kickoff the long holiday weekend. Pics from Signal and Grouse...



June 24-25, 2017 - ARRL Field Day.  Had fun operating with the N6VSS crew from atop Dinosaur Hill Park in Pleasant Hill.  We had one station running (1A-EB) pretty much nonstop for the duration of Field Day.  Ended with 1524 QSOs, mix of SSB phone and CW.  Pic of the station site overlooking the Diablo Valley…


June 16-19, 2017 - Spent 4 days camping and exploring the Mendocino National Forest.  Fun trip with lots of off-road adventure and good hikes.  Activated 9 summits - 5 first timers and 6 uniques.  Favorites were South Yolla Bolly (W6/NW-018) and Black Butte (W6/CC-006).  Other summits included Ball Rock (W6/CC-013), Snake Ridge (W6/NC-006), Summit Springs Mtn (W6/NC-012), Brushy Mtn (W6/NC-003), Anthony Peak (W6/CC-010), Buck Rock (W6/NW-100), and Bear Wallow Ridge (W6/NC-441).  Pics of my setup atop Black Butte and view of Mt Shasta from South Yolla Bolly...



My Story

My late father, Ronald E. Adams, was the original W6PZA. He enjoyed and was active in amateur radio throughout much of his life. Sadly, his radios went silent in 1991. I have fond memories of joining him on camping trips up to Mt. Shasta and other mountain locations, helping him set up antennas and listening to his conversations with other HAMs. But for some reason amateur radio just didn't catch on with me when I was younger - perhaps too much focus on rock-n-roll.

    Ron-W6PZA-Sr going portable in 1963                       Ronnie-W6PZA-Jr sending code in 2013


When reminiscing of my father I often wondered what had become of his call sign - did someone else have it, was it retired. I still had many of his radios, but they were just sitting in my garage. In the summer of 2013 I decided to sell most of his old equipment. In the process of selling his gear I met K6KS, Steve Mosconi, who encouraged me to get licensed and acquire my dad's call via the Vanity program. I eventually earned my ticket passing the Tech, General and Extra exams over the next year. 

My interest in amateur radio has definitely grown. I'm now collecting electrical parts, antennas, and misc. radio junk. QST Magazine is the preferred reading in the bathroom library! Overall I'm excited about this hobby, which feels so familiar. I know my dad's looking down here with a big smile... :)

I recently retired after working nearly 28 years for local government in the field of land use planning - yeah, I was that friendly guy in the planning department (don't shoot). In addition to amateur radio I enjoy drumming, backpacking, fishing, target shooting, and placer gold mining.

73! - Ron


8590430 Last modified: 2018-01-19 06:25:50, 15225 bytes

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