W7A/CO-102 Adam's Peak

Adam's peak is a summit that I look at every morning from my house and for the last two years I have wanted to hike it. I finally got an extra day off and decided to do an activation. If you are from nearby or have ever driven past Dragoon AZ on I10, you will see "Behind the House Hill" on one side of I10 and "Adam's Peak" on the other. I have sized down the weight of my pack from about 45+ to 15+; I did this by using the KX1. The weight of my entire pack, including water is less than just the radio stuff when I haul the 817. I know I can get the weight of my 817 gear down significantly but I have a problem not taking the gear to use every mode possible with the 817 even though I know I only use CW. I have this irrational thing in my head that I will have something happen where I could use 2m and I don't have the mic/antenna; irrational I know, I am working on it. The KX1 is it's own challenge. The wattage is really low so a good antenna is key. The problem is that a "good" antenna is not always easy or possible here in AZ where many summits have nothing at the top but grass or rock. Because I am trying to make the KX1 kit as minimal as possible, carting up a 30 foot fiberglass pole, guy wires, stakes etc to put an antenna up, sort of defeats the purpose. I spent (way too much) money on an MFJ-1899T. I liked the concept of the antenna; sort of a mini buddipole. If it worked it would solve all the issues I am having with antennas. The setup is similar to a buddipole, you use a jumper to set your band then you adjust the length of the telescoping part to the frequency you want and it is very small. I used it a couple of times in the yard to test it out (I need wolphilink/WSPR, it would make it so much easier) and it was picked up on RBN. I got to the top of Adam's peak and tried the 1899 and only heard crickets. I admit I am not very patient and possibly could have made it work if I tried a bit harder, but I ended up going back to the random wire. The issue, again, is that this summit had nothing at the top but grass and a couple of small trees; fortunately those trees were close enough together to stretch the wire horizontally between them and I was able to make enough contracts. I will be testing this antenna more and finding out what it can do, but for now it seems the wire is the way to go. As for the summit itself; I had it in my head that the hike was shorter but it ended being about 5 miles round trip. The way I went it was pretty straight forward with a couple of rocky outcroppings that needed to be crossed. The top used to be an antenna farm as there were concrete bases for antennas. There was even a couple chairs and door, most likely from a small building that was probably up there years ago. All the antennas were probably moved across I10 for unknown reasons years ago. I am not sure how often I will be activating, it definitely won't be as often as in the past, but hopefully at least one a month.

Summit is in the center

The Summit

Part of the old antenna farm

Part of the old antenna farm

Part of the old antenna farm

Part of the old antenna farm

One of the tress I used for my antenna

Looking West Toward the Whetstone Mountains

Looking East Toward Dragoon & Willcox

Looking Toward the Northwest at Rincon Peak

"Behind The House Hill" With The Dragoon Mountains behind

Looking North Toward Johnson Mine

Hover Cursor Over Pictures To See Description