Next Years Mission...

This year I let myself get distracted; elk distracted from SOTA and SOTA from elk. Had I not been interested in SOTA, I believe I would have had an elk. I find them easily enough, but this year, when they busted me out, rather than pursue them, I simply said to myself "ok, time to go do SOTA". This cannot happen again. Next year, I am going to Flagstaff regardless of whether or not I am drawn for elk. If I do get drawn, I am going to have to be serious about the elk hunt, although I will likely do some SOTA. If I do not get drawn for elk, I am going to Flagstaff with the intention of doing at least 20-25 summits in less than 2 weeks. In addition, I am going to try to do at least 4 summits a day. With the right planning, this is completely doable. And BTW, every contact made on this trip was with my finally perfected (for me anyway) KX1 and a 25 foot random length antenna with 3 radials. Although the contacts are a bit harder to get and I do not get all the same folks I get with my Yaesu 817ND setup, I get more than enough. My setup fits into a small pouch and weighs less than 3 pounds. The batteries I use (a 3 battery bank of 18650) last several activations and I ordered another set so I don't have to worry about power. I also made my own solar panels. I ordered the cells off ebay, soldered them together and viola, I have the same solar panels you can buy, but for less money. If anyone is interested in doing this I have some advice: do not use plexiglass as it is no good. I wanted to try it because this is a mobile panel and I did not want to risk breaking the glass. Plexiglass expands and contracts A LOT so you risk ruining your panels. Other than that, the panel kept the deep cycle battery all juiced up and I was able to have lights, charge my phone and equipment etc with no worries about generator fuel etc. I bought all the stuff to make a solar generator, which is essentially the same concept as what I have done with the solar panel in camper, except it will be enclosed in a nice box with all the connections needed to keep you up and running indefinitely.

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