Older Son and I hiked up Prison Hill yesterday. We parked the 4Runner at the staging area, donned our packs, and headed up the hill. The summit is about 1.7 miles from the staging area and the elevation gain is about 1,000 feet. The hike took us a bit and we were pretty hot and winded by the time we made the summit.
It was about noon, so I put up the Elecraft AXE1 and AXT1 antenna and coil for the 40 meter band. I brought the Elecraft KX1 transceiver along with me and hooked it up. The little radio was featured on my Instagram feed some time ago, but it is a Morse Code only transceiver and makes about four watts of power.
I tuned the band and found the frequency for the noon net. I heard the net control station calling for any check-ins. So, I sent my callsign.
“Who’s the CW station? Come again.” came the direction from net control. So I sent my call again. The operator got part of it, “I heard ‘TX’… is that a thanks?”
I sent my call again, twice. “A something TX, you’re fading old man. Come again.” So, I sent my call again.
“AG something TX, is that AG7TX? Send a roger if so.” I sent two ‘R’s to indicate ‘Roger, roger.’”
“I didn’t get it. Did anyone get that?” Another station came in (one of the relay stations) “He rogered! That’s the only code I know.”
“You’re in the log Dave. Next station…”
I was so pumped up that I could get into the noon net using Morse Code and a four-watt radio. My study of Morse Code is beginning to pay off. I can send a few important bits of information with some confidence. I am learning to copy Morse by listening to it. I hope to be a proficient code operator in a few more months. It is a useful skill to know.
Older Son and I puttered around the summit for a few more minutes. We found several locations that would make good places to hide a geocache. I think the next time we go up there (maybe Saturday) we will take some materials and make a hide. The area deserves to have a geocache.
After drinking some water, we started back down. I chattered quite a lot, being excited to be heard using Morse Code.
As we walked down the hill, I remarked “There’s only one thing that would make the day better… The Girl would have loved poking around up there. ‘What’s this? What’s this?‘ She would have been all over the place and had a blast.”
Yes, I still miss The Girl. Her cremains were returned last Friday and have a memorial on my bookcase next to Wife’s memorial.
It was still a good day and I am thankful for it.