Since the beginning of November, I’ve been pushing my Elecraft KH1 activations to the front of the line so that readers and subscribers who are considering this wee handheld radio might get a chance to see and hear it in action.
I’ve decided that November is KH1 month–this is the only radio I’ll use this month.
I will start blending in some of my field reports from October (there were some really fun ones in there) that feature my other field radios and a variety of antennas starting next week. I’ll still be pushing some of my KH1 field reports to the front during that time as well. Also, I’ll likely post more bonus videos over on Patreon.
Where to activate?
On Monday, November 6, 2023, I had several hours in the afternoon to take the KH1 on another mini radio adventure. I wasn’t sure where I’d perform an activation, though.
This time, I didn’t want to do a pedestrian mobile activation. I wanted to see how the KH1 might play on my kneeboard and how it might pair with my 28.5′ speaker wire antenna. I was curious if its internal ATU would find acceptable matches on all bands.
I packed the KH1, throw line bag, Tufteln Kneeboard, Helinox chair, 2L water bag, camera gear, and speaker wire antenna in my GoRuck pack (FYI: all links and full inventory are below).
This was more gear than I’d need, but all of these items were in my radio box in the trunk/boot of my car.
I had only one errand to run that afternoon: I needed to drop off some of my wife’s illustrated Christmas cards at my friend Hamilton William’s Gallery in downtown Morganton.
After catching up with Hamilton, I had to make a decision about where to go for an activation. I knew this: it was an incredibly beautiful day, so whatever I did, it needed to include a hike!
I considered a few parks but the most convenient spot for a proper hike was Bakers Mountain. It also required the least amount of driving since it was essentially on the way back to Hickory.
Bakers Mountain (W4C/WP-007)
It being an early Monday afternoon, there weren’t many other hikers at Bakers Mountain. In fact, I never ran into any other hikers on the main loop trail.
Bakers Mountain park is (sadly) not a POTA entity. It’s a county park, so does not currently qualify. There was talk once of Bakers Mountain being turned into a state park, but it falls just shy of the amount of acreage needed to qualify.
Bakers Mountain is a one point SOTA summit, but the hike (if you do the full loop trail) is actually pretty strenuous if you take it at a nice clip. I’d consider it a moderate hike overall.
I’ve already activated Bakers Mountain this year, so this activation’s point will not add to my goal of reaching Mountain Goat (1,000 points). That’s okay, though. Unless my family life changes in a way that frees up a lot more time, Mountain Goat is a good 5-6 years in the future at my pace! I’m perfectly fine with that.
I reached the summit and found a spot to set up in the shade.
- Elecraft KH1 Edgewood Package which includes:
- KH1 Hand-Held, 5-Band Transceiver
- KHATU1 Antenna Tuner and Built-In Whip
- KHPD1 Keyer Paddle
- KHLOG1 Logbook Tray w/mini-ballpoint pen
- KXBT2 rechargeable Li-Ion battery
- KHIBC1 Internal Battery Charger
- ES20 Custom zippered carrying case.
- E980262 Power Cable
- KXUSB USB Cable
- Counterpoise wire & 2 storage clips
- E740377 KH1 Owner’s Manual
- Antenna: 28.5′ Speaker wire antenna I made during this activation.
- Key: N0SA “SOTA” Paddle (note: these are no longer made, but have essentially been replaced by the N0SA/CW Morse SP4 paddle)
- GoRuck GR1 USA
- HydraPak Seeker 2L Water Storage Bag
- Helinox Chair Zero
- Tufteln Knee Board
- Camera: original OSMO Action Camera (the OSMO 3 is the current version) with Sensyne Phone Tripod
- Amplified External Speaker: Anker Soundcore Mini
On The Air
After I found a clear spot on 20 meters, I spotted myself to the SOTA network via the SOTA Goat app, then started calling CQ SOTA.
What ensued was an insane pileup. I did not expect this.
I logged 29 stations in 32 minutes on 20 meters. Next, I QSY’d to the 40 meter band.
After my spot on 40 meters hit, I started working more stations at a rapid pace–14 stations in 10 minutes.
It was incredibly fun!
Here’s what this five watt activation into a speaker wire looked like when plotted out on a QSO Map (click map to enlarge):
Here’s my real-time, real-life video of the entire activation. As with all of my videos, I don’t edit out any parts of the on-air activation time. In addition, I have monetization turned off on YouTube, although that doesn’t stop them from inserting ads before and after my videos.
Loving the KH1 ATU!
It’s so nice having a radio as tiny as the KH1 with a built-in ATU!
There’s no other HF transceiver on the market that’s this lightweight and compact and includes a capable internal auto ATU.
If you can’t tell, I love my KH1!
I hope you enjoyed the field report and my activation video as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Of course, I’d also like to send a special thanks to those of you who have been supporting the site and channel through Patreon and the Coffee Fund. While certainly not a requirement as my content will always be free, I really appreciate the support.
As I mentioned before, the Patreon platform connected to Vimeo make it possible for me to share videos that are not only 100% ad-free, but also downloadable for offline viewing. The Vimeo account also serves as a third backup for my video files.
Thanks for spending part of your day with me! Have a brilliant weekend! Play a little radio!
Cheers & 72,