Table Mountain

Mount Baden-Powell from Table Mountain on a crisp winter morning.

11 DECEMBER 2021 W6/CT-067

After buying a new Toyota Tundra — christened Whitedog –the previous week, I was ready to try him out on a SOTA activation. While I wanted to get Whitedog in the dirt to properly exercise the 4×4 capabilities, I also wanted to score some winter bonus points before the big storm was forecast to drop a lot of snow on the higher elevations. My compromise was to set out and do two activations — One; to return to Table Mountain and activate it from a postion I have learned would not draw the attention of the NASA/JPL security guard, and, Two; one of the buttes out in the Antelope Valley that would provide an ample dirt road approach.

My last time up Table Mountain I was asked to leave by a JPL/NASA security guard before I could activate. After doing a bit of research and talking with some of the guys on the SoCalSOTA reflector, I found out that as long as you stay on the Mountain High property and go up to the left of the restaurant, you are good. I spoke with a Mountain High employee and he asked visitors to stop by if the restaurant is open to sign a liability release before going up to the summit. This seems entirely reasonable to me.

The “hike” is about a third of a mile and gains about 200′. I did it in 7 minutes.

Cell coverage from Verizon is excellent but UHF/VHF coverage into the Los Angeles Basin is very limited by the San Gabriel Mountain crest – notably Blue Ridge and Mount Baden Powell. I did lens a summit-to-summit contact over the crest with Hal N6JZT on Workman Hill and Mike KI6SLA came in loud and clear from Cerritos but others tried and said they could not hear me.

The station safely out of sight of the JPL/NASA security guard overlooking the Antelope Valley
Activator selfie
Whitedog and Mount Baden-Powell

Published by wringmaster

I'm a graphic artist in the movie business. When I was a kid I got interested in astronomy. When it would get too cloudy to observe the heavens, my buddy and I would sit at the VFO of his Hallicrafters S 38c like safe crackers trying to coax faraway signals out of that humble radio. My love of astronomy and radio survive to this day fifty+ years later.

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