LOGbook - BLOG

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BELOW,  you'll find items of interest to WØM-Missouri SOTA participants as they unfold.  Newest items are at the top.

Please send any items for publication to the WØM-Missouri Association Manager by using the CONTACT link on the RESOURCES page or the link HERE.

Hooked On SOTA by Tim McDonough N9PUZ

In early April of 2017 my wife Teri (K9TLM) and I travelled to Branson, MO to attend the annual Ozarkcon QRP gathering as we’ve done for many years. This year was different though, some might even say life changing. My friend Woody (WD9F) had been telling me for a couple of years about all of the fun he has activating SOTA peaks and high points. Woody could not attend Ozarkcon this year but he put me in touch with John Watkins (N0EVH), the Missouri SOTA Manager who is also a frequent attendee at Ozarkcon. I arranged to meet up with John and Frank (KD0MQO) on Thursday morning for what was to be one of the more enjoyable adventures of my ham radio career so far.

Over the course of two days we activated five peaks and I accumulated a total of 34 Activator points. I’m sure my point total would have been much less without the guidance of John and Frank and I also imagine they would have had better individual results had they not taken me under their wing and answered many, many questions. I cannot thank these guys enough for making my first outings as an Activator so much fun and so productive.

I’d like to share a few thoughts about my equipment and the actual operating experience. I’ve done quite a bit of non-SOTA portable operating over the years. My current system consists of a Xiegu X-108G transceiver (20W, CW/SSB), lightweight Bioenno Power LiFePO4 battery, and an end fed wire antenna. I pretty much knew what the performance of these would be like but there were some “ergonomic” things I had not considered.

The X-108G form factor is pretty conventional. The radio has controls and display on the front panel, connectors on the rear, etc. It’s great for home use, operating from the back of the car, a picnic table, etc. It does not lend itself all that well to using it while sitting on the ground or in a chair with the radio in your lap. This is especially true when you also need to write in your logbook, etc. All of those years of “picnic table portable” have spoiled me.

I had considered taking my Elecraft KX1. But, it’s a CW only rig and my nerves usually get the better of me with a lot of activity going on and my CW skills become near non-existent as soon as I hear more than one station calling. I didn’t need the extra pressure for my first time out, especially with people looking over my shoulder!

Watching me juggling the equipment did seem to provide Frank and John with a fair amount of entertainment. Thanks to them I was able to log a station or two where I just plain forgot to write down the call, etc. of the station I was working in all the excitement and Frank kindly pointed out the info in his notes. I was having a fantastic time operating plus we were in some really beautiful country and enjoying near perfect weather.

On several occasions I operated either John or Frank’s Elecraft KX3 radios. Besides generally good performance, the ergonomics of the KX3, which is very similar to my KX1, is very well suited to this type of operating. It’s very easy to have a clipboard on your lap and still have plenty of room for the KX3, a small logbook, and a microphone or key. If you’re thinking of doing SOTA activations I encourage you to really study the radios you’re considering and imagine using them while standing or with the radio sitting on your lap. Several offerings from Elecraft, LNR Precision, etc. have mechanical designs well suited to this.

SOTA offers an opportunity that many of us don’t always experience in our day to day activities – as an activator, you get to experience what it’s like to be on the business end of a pileup, at least for a few minutes. Granted, it’s not like you’ve just gone on the air at some rare DX location, however there’s a bit of an adrenalin rush when you call CQ the first time at a new summit and the band comes alive with stations that have seen your activation announcement and have been waiting for you to make a little RF! Don’t let that put you off, I have to say that people I’ve worked as an activator or a chaser are really understanding and very friendly.

It should be obvious that I really enjoyed myself and I definitely plan to do more activations. Living in the flat lands of central Illinois the nearest peak is a few hours away but I’ve already mapped out a few promising places near my son’s home in Wisconsin and a weekend getaway back to Missouri is always a possibility.



Bell Mountain Activation

December 28, 2016 looked like a good day to take a long hike.   Bell Mountain was the objective but was five hours from the home QTH.   But, what else is there to do for two retired ham radio operators.  Throw the gear in the trunk and head out at Oh-dark-thirty in the morning and have some radio fun.  The hike is 3.5 miles in over a decent and well marked trail to the summit.  KDØMQO took the phone contacts and NØEVH the Morse contacts.  We shared a KX3 and battery pack to save on weight which was a good idea.  Trip planning was precise as we arrived back at the trail head and loaded the car just as the sun was touching the horizon.

BTW this would be a great summit to overnite, good views and places to pitch a tent out of the wind.  Take a supply of water as the north trail does not have much in the way of decent water.   Below is a topo of the north trail to Bell, with markers for every 1/4 mile.  Notice the Y in trail just past 2 1/4 miles, your only chance to make a mistake!  The AZ for this peak is a 1/2 mile long so you have plenty of places to setup and operate.  Below it is marked with a yellow topo line.

If you find yourself traveling near Rolla Missouri we highly recommend Lee's Chicken just off of I-44 at highway 63 to recharge the calories.  Easy drive back to the KC area recounting the fun activation.  Picking up the winter bonus we both added 9 points to our activation account.

Thanks to all the chasers!

QRP to the Field and SOTA

Frank KD0MQO took to the field on April 23, 2016 to participate in QRPTTF.  He chose a park on the Missouri River just north of Independence, MO.  Great weather and tall Sycamore trees for antenna supports.  This outing would be a total solar powered chase with his KX3 and Hard Rock 50 amp.

Twenty meters was in great shape so there were many QRP ops out for both events that day.  A great mix of chasing TTF hams and SOTA goats.  And they all hang out on the same portions of the band, now that is convenient.  If you have never seen a solar and battery setup like Frank's it is because it is custom built and one of a kind.  The 50 watt panel houses 24 Li-ion batteries on the back side in a 8P3S configuration.  They were pulled from old laptop packs that were about to be trashed.

So whether you are home or portable don't forget you can chase anytime!  No you don't get an extra bonus for solar!  But it sure is fun.

Taum Sauk Mountain Missouri – WØM/SF-001

August 23, 2016

Taum Sauk is an easy drive-up summit to the trailhead which has a sign noting this is the highest point in the state of Missouri. There is a nice covered area at the trailhead that can be used to operate from if the weather is questionable yet is still within the activation zone. The actual highest point is just a short distance away through the woods on a nice paved level trail where you’ll find a couple of park benches to operate from. The highest point is marked by a metal sign on a chunk of rock by a park bench. Also, there is a restroom area with some trail and park info at the trailhead.
On this visit we opted to set up under the covered area at the trailhead and it was a wise decision as we ended up with rain before we finished our activation. If we had set up at the highest point we would have been pretty wet for sure. We ran a line over the roof of the shelter to tie off one end of our LnR Precision antenna and the other end was attached to a tree to the south about 65 feet away.
This location gave us a nice place to set up the radio and operate from using a couple of small camping chairs we always carry in the car and have used on other summits. We stayed dry as we logged 14 contacts under very poor band conditions. Finally after about an hour we called it quits and packed up everything and headed for the home QTH which was still a good 7 – 8 hour drive away.

Again, this is a summit where you can stay at the Shepherd Mountain Inn in Ironton and be able to catch several summits over a few days. This part of the state is where you’ll find most of the summits in Missouri so plan on spending at least one night and trying several summit activations.
Gary A – WØMNA & Martha – WØERI

Shepherd Mountain Missouri – WØM/SF-011

August 18, 2015

Martha – W0ERI and me – W0MNA selected to activate this summit on a nice clear morning while on our way home from the Huntsville Alabama hamfest. On our return trip we always stop in Ironton Missouri as a half-way point as it puts us close to not only this summit, but also Taum Sauk Mtn. which is W0M/SF-001. We can easily (Sometimes misleading word) activate both summits in the morning and still arrive home in Leavenworth Kansas at a reasonable time the same day.
Shepherd Mountain trailhead is directly west across the highway from the Shepherd Mountain Inn where we usually stay on this trip. This is a nice Inn and very well maintained along with nice people running it. There is also a good BBQ restaurant in the same parking lot as the Inn. You can drive up to the trailhead from the motel which is only a short distance.
At the trailhead you will see two signs marking the two different paths to the top. One sign says “Steep” and the other sign says “Less Steep”. Naturally not wanting to climb overly hard since W0ERI had a new knee we opted for the “Less Steep” path.
After what seemed like endless switchbacks on an otherwise nice wide trail we finally reached the top after about an hour of hiking. This included a number of rests and checks to make sure the new knee was still working as advertised.
We set up using the new EFT-MTR Endfed antenna we had purchased from LnR Precision, Inc. at the Huntsville hamfest. We raised both ends of the antenna in the air and had about 25 feet of LNR-100 coax hanging down to the radio is a somewhat “L” shaped antenna. This antenna is rated at up to 25 watts and works 40, 30 20 and even 15 meters without an antenna tuner.
We started calling CQ and over the next half hour easily put 17 contacts in the log from stations coast-to-coast. Needless to say, the antenna was performing well with very good signal reports running 10 watts in SSB mode. We wrapped up and packed the gear and headed back down the “Less Steep” trail, not wanting to stress the new knee any more than necessary at this point in time. Needless to say, the new knee performed very well as did the new antenna and this was a very enjoyable activation. The view from the top of Shepherd Mountain is quite good and the hike is well worth doing. Not sure what the “Steep” trail is like but looking at it from the bottom it appears to be an almost straight uphill path to the top. Definitely this is the trail for the young and highly fit type of people.
Be sure to check this summit out when you get in the area. There is a Casey’s convenience store just down the road from the trailhead where you can get a cool drink or coffee and gas, so it’s a nice place to visit and the town also has a bit of Civil War history.
Gary A. – W0MNA & Martha – W0ERI

WØM-Missouri gets new Association manager

NØEVH, John Watkins, has assumed the duties of Association Manager (AM) of WØM-Missouri effective April 1, 2016.  John replaces W4RK, Bill Gerth, who was the first AM of WØM-Missouri from its inception on February 1, 2013.  Bill worked with the SOTA Management Team for several months prior in creating the WØM-MIssouri Summit Database and writing the first version of the Association Reference Manual (ARM).  Health issues have forced Bill to retire from this post.  

John, NØEVH, an experienced Activator and Chaser, brings a lot of talent to the AM post.  He is now working with the North American SOTA Management Team in the updating of the WØM-Missouri ARM.  John will also take over this website and that transition is in progress.  Please give John your thoughts and concerns as he continues to promote the activation of Missouri summits.

N0SA First Activation of Buford Mountain

N0SA Does Another First Activation, Buford Mountain (22 APR, 2013) - 

Larry Naumann, N0SA, continued his string of first activations this morning by activating Buford Mountain (W0M/SF-002).  Larry told me that he wanted to do this before the trees developed full leaf cover.  As usual, Larry's 40 meter signal was very strong here in Jefferson City, MO and he quickly attracted a nice bunch of Chasers.  I did hear Larry at ESP levels on 20 meters (probably backscatter) but I didn't give him a call since he seemed to have more than enough Chasers for a solid activation.  Larry, thanks again for your excellent work in putting MO summits on the air!

And Now Here Is Larry's Buford Mountain Activation Report -



Buford Mountain is a pretty easy peak to activate. It is located in Buford Mountain Conservation Area and the land is owned by the Missouri  Department  of Conservation. Here is a link to driving directions, a map and description of the area.  


There is a nice hiking trail going around the area and up over Buford Mtn. There is also a nice parking lot. The trail to the summit is less than 1 mile and it is fairly steep. The trail is also quite rugged as it looks to be an old jeep trail and is well washed out, leaving 3 to 8 inch rocks as the walking surface.

 There are no good views from the top as it is fully wooded but the brochure says there are plenty of glades with views along the trail. I assume these are along the trail past the summit. The trail is a 10 mile loop and I did not have the time to hike the whole thing but it looks like it would be a nice day hike to add to an activation.

Larry Naumann


SOTA Apps Include MO Summits

SOTA Apps Now Include MO Summits -

Two popular smart phone applications aimed at SOTA enthusiasts now include W0M - Missouri summits.  I have personal experience on my iPhone 5 with SOTA Goat and Pocket SOTA and find them to be very useful. SOTA Goat is a full-featured application that appears to be a "front-end" for the official SOTA database.  SOTA Goat screens are well-designed and are quite readable with judicious, but intelligent, use of color.  There is a direct link of each summit to the corresponding page in the SOTA database where you can view activation notes and other useful summit-specific data.

SOTA Goat also has sophisticated, but easy-to-use, ALERTS and SPOTS functions.  Touching an individual entry takes you to an expanded screen which makes viewing the data quite easy and also allows direct linking to a screen for creating a new spot or a new alert.  I used SOTA Goat on a recent activation of two W0M Eureka Springs Escarpment summits and found it to be extremely helpful.  Having the ability to create and revise Alerts plus self-spotting is a great convenience.  Access to the cellular network is required, of course.

Pocket SOTA has some feature overlap with SOTA Goat but lacks ALERT and SPOT functions.  It also serves as a front-end to the official SOTA database with a clean look and feel.  Pocket SOTA also has excellent linking to mapping functions.  For example, one can select to have all summits within a given Region mapped.  This is helpful in visualizing the relative positions of summits for possible S2S opportunities.  Another nice mapping feature of Pocket SOTA is the ability to bring up a page that shows the user's location with direction and distance to the summit of interest.  Finally, Pocket SOTA allows e-mailing of summit coordinates in GPX file format.

Both SOTA Goat and Pocket SOTA are available for download at the Apple App Store for Apple devices.  I understand that there are SOTA apps for Android devices as well, but I'm not familiar with them.

SOTA-rama in the Ozarks

SOTA-RAMA in the Ozarks

April 4-7, 2013

If you thought there were lots of W0M-Missouri SOTA activations in the Eureka Springs Escarpment Region (ES) of Missouri plus a lot of activations in the Buffalo River Region of AR over the week-end, there's a good reason for it.  A goodly number of SOTA enthusiasts from MO, AR, NM, and KS gathered in Branson, MO to attend the 10th Anniversary of OzarkCon 2013, the excellent QRP conference sponsored by the Four State QRP Group (MO, AR, KS, OK).  SOTA had a good presence in the vendor exhibit area with two tables filled with pictures of SOTA adventures and lots of handouts for visitors.  KD5ZZK, W4RK, and W0MNA had a lot of interest shown in their exhibit and I wouldn't be surprised if we had quite a few new SOTA enthusiasts joining the fun in the near future.

Of course, having four (4) MO summits nearby plus quite a few AR summits just over the state line didn't hurt either.  I'm still waiting for tallies of numbers of QSOs from activators, but here is a summary of the separate qualifying activations that occurred from Thursday through Sunday with a nice mix of CW and SSB.  Several of us even got in some VHF Summit-to-Summit contacts.

W0M/ES-001 (Webster County HP) - NM5S, K5SSR, KD5ZZK, N0SA, W4RK

W0M/ES-002 (Romance Lookout) - KD5ZZK, K5SSR, NM5S

W0M/ES-003 (Pilot Knob) - W0MNA, W0AO, N0EVH, N0SA, W4RK

W0M/ES-004 (PT 1270) - W0MNA, W0AO, N0EVH, N0SA, KD5ZZK

W5A/BR-015 (Irons Mtn) - KD5ZZK

W5A/BR-016 (Sugarloaf Mtn) - KD5ZZK

W5A/BR-012 (Whitney Mtn) - KD5ZZK, NM5S, K5SSR

W5O/SO-026 (Hi Early Mtn) - K5SSR, NM5S

I'm sure KD5ZZK probably snuck one in there that I missed, but that is still a nice collection of Activators and Summits.  From my count, that makes 25 separate activations of 8 different summits.  Bear in mind that these activators also attended most of the excellent presentations at OzarkCon and manned the SOTA booth throughout.

Thanks to the 4 State QRP Group for wonderful hospitality and for giving us SOTA hams a good excuse to get together in Branson for some great fellowship with QRPers and doing what we love most: taking those QRP radios up to the summit and giving Chasers a lot of points.  SOTA and QRP makes a good combination.

Now check out photos below of some of the action:

Larry Naumann, N0SA, displayed his very practical setup for using his KX3 and N0SA ESP paddles attached to a compact lapboard for activations.  Note the clip on the right hand side for log sheets.  The paddles feature a quick release to make packing easier.  The KX3 gets securely attached with knurled thumbscrews mating the KX3 to a clever hinge mounted on the lapboard.  The thumbscrews use the stock mounting holes, already in the KX3, intended for the Elecraft KXPD3 paddles.  By the way, the ESP paddles are handcrafted by N0SA in his own shop.  Although Larry is not trying for volume production, he might be talked into building a set for you if you're willing to wait.  There was a lot of interest among OzarkCon attendees.  As a satisfied owner, I can attest to the quality of Larry's craftsmanship.


Here is a part of one of the SOTA display tables at OzarkCon 2013.  Our two tables generated a lot of interest and plenty of questions.  OzarkCon being a QRp event makes for a great combination with SOTA.


W0M - Missouri's Two Most Prolific Activators:

L to R:  Andrew Norman, KD5ZZK, W5A-Arkansas Association Manager,  and

              Larry Naumann, N0SA, long time experienced hiker in the Saint Francois Mountains Region of                 W0M-Missouri

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Larry, N0SA (red T-shirt) and Gary, W0MNA (cap) explain why the KX3 is a good choice for SOTA operations.  Lots of interest among OzarkCon 2013 attendees.

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Benchmark at Webster County High Point (W0M/ES-001) in the Seymour Wildlife Area.  This is the highest summit in the Eureka Springs Escarpment (ES) Region.

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Footings remaining from the USFS observation tower on the summit at Webster County High Point.  W4RK used one of these for his operating position for his KX3


Benchmark on the summit at Pilot Knob (W0M/ES-003), pretty well preserved after 52 years.  Located just a few feet from the old USFS tower footings.

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View from the Pilot Knob summit, down in all directions.  Thanks to no leaf cover yet, Table Rock Lake is visible in the distance.

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W4RK packs up for the descent from Pilot Knob after a successful activation with 30 contacts in the log on CW on 40, 20, 15 meters, plus 2 meter FM.  The KX3 was used for HF and the Yaesu VX-7R for a VHF Summit-to-Summit with Andrew, KD5ZZK who was on W0M/ES-004 (PT 1270).  There were also HF Summmit-to-Summits with K6ILM in California on 15 and 20 meters plus contacts with the UK and Germany on 15 meters.

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Photos courtesy W4RK (iPhone 5)

And now, check out SOTA-rama in the Ozarks through the lens of Gary, W0MNA, a very active SOTA enthusiast from Leavenworth Kansas, as both a Chaser and Activator.

Gary, W0MNA, snaps a picture of his hardy crew at the trailhead just before the ascent of Pilot Knob on Thursday -  L to R: Martha, W0ERI (Gary's XYL), John, N0EVH,  and Bob, W0AO.  This group activated both Pilot Knob and PT 1270, making many Chasers happy with SOTA points on both HF and VHF.


Gary, W0MNA, setting up to make some RF on Pilot Knob.

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John, N0EVH, tunes for a weak one in the comfort of his "home away from home" on Pilot Knob.


Bob, W0AO, making 17 meter SSB QSOs on Pilot Knob.  Bob's sixteen QSO's included DX stations OT4A and DJ5AV.  Good work Bob!

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View from the summit of PT 1270 (W0M/ES-004).  Since PT 1270 is approximately 3 miles North of Pilot Knob, it is noticeably closer to Table Rock Lake when compared with  W4RK's view in the same direction from Pilot Knob.


John, N0EVH, does some straight-key CW on PT 1270 with his KX3.


Prior six (6) photos courtesy of Gary Auchard, W0MNA.

W0M-Missouri in the News

Here is a reprint of an article about W0M-Missouri that just appeared in the April 2013 edition of the ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter.  We greatly appreciate the opportunity for wider exposure to Midwest Division amateur radio operators afforded by this article.  Thanks to Cliff Ahrens, K0CA, ARRL Midwest Division Director.

N0SA Activates Johnson Mountain


Johnson Mountain Activation  W0M/SF-006

  I must say that this activation was a whole lot of fun for me. It was a beautiful hike and I worked over 30 stations including a bit of DX and two S2S (summit to summit) contacts.

I can’t  thank all the chasers out there enough for their participation and patience.

 When I left home I was not sure if the road shown on the maps would go all the way to the top as shown. When  I arrived at the mountain and took the gravel  road to the top I discovered that the road was blocked off about two miles from the summit. There was a nice place to park and the two mile hike up the road was an easy hike. It was also a very pretty hike with nice views through the trees in all directions.  The forest is a nice blend of hardwoods, pine and cedar. I have a feeling there will be plenty of nice Dogwoods blooming shortly.

 There is plenty of open space at the summit along with nice tall trees to hang antennas in, the perfect location for a summit activation. With my 66 foot doublet strung up at about 25 feet to the top I was able to put out a decent signal and work plenty of stations.

  As usual, the return trip was all downhill and a pleasant walk. I will definitely be returning to Johnson Mtn.

Larry Naumann


15 MARCH, 2013 - N0SA does another first activation - Johnson Mountain (W0M/SF-006)

Larry Naumann, N0SA, continued his string of first activations of Missouri summits in the Saint Francois Mountains Region today with an activation of Johnson Mountain.  We'll get all the details from Larry soon, but from my perspective today as a Chaser from Mid-Missouri, Larry had great activity on 40 meters when I worked him just after 1400 UTC.  Larry makes the effort to get a good antenna installation and it really shows.  His signal is always outstanding in Jefferson City from the SF Region.  Today I even heard him faintly on backscatter on 15 and 20 meters.  I could hear plenty of Chasers in the pileups, including several DX stations from Europe.  Larry even got two (2) Summit-to-Summit QSOs with other activators in California and Virginia.

Good job, Larry!  Thanks for helping to put Missouri on the SOTA map with plenty of activations.

N0SA Activates Church Mountain

MARCH 12, 2013 - N0SA First Activation of Church Mountain (W0M/SF-009)

Larry Naumann, N0SA, did a first activation of Church Mountain today from a 4 hour round trip hike.  Larry's pictures show the rugged rock and scrub summit of Church Mountain plus a nice view along the way of the famous concrete Taum Sauk Reservoir (actually on Proffit Mountain).  The Reservoir photo was taken from Taum Sauk Creek.  Many thanks to Larry for being a trail blazer in activating several summits in the Saint Francois Mountains Region of W0M-Missouri in the first 6 weeks of its existence.

For Larry's excellent activation report, look just below the pictures.


N0SA photo - View from summit of Church Mountain


N0SA photo - Taum Sauk Reservoir (on Proffit Mountain) from Taum Sauk Creek

Church Mtn. W0M/SF-009

March 12, 2013

 Well, I made this one rougher than it needed to be but I found out quite a bit about the mountain. And, I had a good time in the woods as usual. I did manage to make 10 contacts from the top even with poor band conditions on 40M.

  If you look at the topo you will see that Church Mtn.  has dual peaks of almost the same height. The northern one is a bit higher but not by much.

 My starting point was Taum Sauk Cemetery just to the southwest of the mountain. From there I bushwacked a short distance in a northeast direction and found a logging road. This road was in use when I was there and I talked to one of the loggers a bit about the mountain and the area. He was very knowledgeable about the area and told me about the rock outcroppings and views on the east side. They are in the process of logging all the way to the top so in awhile there will most likely be a nice logging road all the way to the top of the northern summit.

  I made a mistake by coming back via the west side. It is the same old story for many of the mountains in this area. The severe storms that came through a few years ago blew in from the west and destroyed many trees on the west sides and tops of these mountains. I not only had the downed trees to contend with but also very rough and rocky  terrain.  But, when I made it to the bottom I had a great view of Taum Sauk Creek that runs between Church Mtn. and the reservoir.

   So, my suggestions would be to start at the cemetery and make your way a short distance northeast to the logging road. Then take the logging road up to the southern peak. A this point you may want to go about  100 to 200 yards to the eastern slope to take advantage the  rock outcroppings that run along this side of the mountain. Then, when you get close to the northern peak head back west to the summit. Or you may want to take what will probably be a logging road all the way to the north summit then on the return leg go east a bit to the rock outcroppings. Either way, I think it will be an enjoyable hike.

 If it is warm enough you can always take a short walk from the cemetery to the creek for a refreshing dip in the crystal clear water.

Larry Naumann


N0SA Activates Taum Sauk Mtn Again

N0SA Activates Taum Sauk Mountain Again

03 MAR 2013 - Larry Naumann, N0SA, activated Taum Sauk Mountain (W0M/SF-001) for the second time since the inception of the W0M-Missouri Association when Bill Gerth, W4RK, made the first activation of Missouri's Highest Point on 01 FEB 2013.  Today, Larry was on a recon mission to scope out the access for several other summits in the Saint Francois Mountains Region and decided to give Chasers another opportunity to log QSOs with Taum Sauk Mountain.  This makes N0SA the most prolific Activator of W0M-Missouri summits, with now a total of three (3) to his credit.  Andrew, KD5ZZK, has two (2) to his credit and Bill, W4RK, has one (1).

There have now been a total of six (6) W0M-Missouri activations in barely over one month of existence.  Thanks to all for the great W0M-Missouri SOTA activity.


Photo by Larry Naumann, N0SA - View from Taum Sauk Mountain

MO SOTA in the News

01 MAR 2013 - MO SOTA Article Featured in the Ozark QRP BANNER

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An article about the relationship between SOTA and QRP, written by W0M-Missouri Association Manager Bill Gerth, W4RK, is featured in the latest issue (March 2013) of the "Ozark QRP Banner" The "Banner" is the excellent online monthly newsletter of the Four States QRP Group (4SQRP).  This active group of over 500 QRP enthusiasts worldwide is also the sponsor of the very popular OzarkCon QRP conferences held annually in early April at Branson, MO.  Bill was invited to submit this article by the Banner Editor, Walter Dufrain, K5EST, of Wright City, MO.

You can view the article by going to the 4SQRP website at:  "www.4sqrp.com" and then clicking on the "OZARK QRP BANNER"  tab on the left side of the page.  Then select the March 2013 issue for download of an electronic version of the newsletter in "pdf" format.  The MO SOTA article is on page 2.  While there you might also want to look at the rest of the newsletter as it is extremely interesting and has a lot of good info.  

Actually,  SOTA enthusiasts would really feel welcome as members of 4SQRP.  Joining is free and easy.  Just sign up for the 4SQRP reflector or attend the OzarkCon 2013 conference on April 5th at Branson.  I'd recommend doing both!  There will be a SOTA presence at OzarkCon 2013 with a display booth in the vendor area.  There are also several SOTA activations in the planning stages for before and after the convention.  There are four (4) W0M-Missouri summits in the Branson area.  I hope to see you there!

N0ZH Achieves shack sloth award

N0ZH, Mike Dolson, Becomes Shack Sloth

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28 FEB 2013 - Mike Dolson, N0ZH, of New Bloomfield, MO, became a Shack Sloth on 28 FEB 2013 after several months of consistent and skillful Chasing in the Summits on the Air (SOTA) Awards program.  Mike has come up the standings very quickly and joins Charlie Young, K0LAF of Republic, MO,  and Bill Gerth, W4RK of Jefferson City, MO, as the only three (3) W0M-Missouri Chasers to have earned this award that requires 1,000 Chaser points.  Mike is an avid QRP CW operator and serves as Vice-President of the Mid-MO Amateur Radio Club.  Mike was also the first QSO in the log as a Chaser for the very first activation of any W0M-Missouri summit by W4RK on 01 FEB 2013, the first day of W0M-Missouri existence.


Timeline of W0M-Missouri

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USA W0M-Missouri

TIMELINE  - Inception through the first 2 weeks of official existence

SEPT 2012 - W4RK activates 3 Arkansas summits and catches the SOTA fever

OCT 2012 - W4RK looks for SOTA Association in Missouri - FINDS NONE

OCT 2012 - W4RK contacts SOTA Management Team in the UK about starting MO Association

OCT 2012 - W4RK contacts WG0AT, N7UN, KD9KC (W0, W7, W5 Association Managers) for input

OCT-NOV 2012 - W4RK works with G0CQK and G0HRT to define W0M-Missouri requirements for SOTA and    begins development of SOTA qualification of MO summits

NOV 2012 - W4RK completes 1st draft of W0M-Missouri Association Reference Manual (ARM)

NOV 2012 - W4RK recruits N0EAX to assist with documentation review

DEC 2012 - N0ZH joins the SOTA team in W0M-Missouri

JAN 2013 - SOTA Management Team in the UK approves W0M-Missouri ARM and projected start date of 01 FEB 2013

JAN 2013 - W4RK develops Missouri SOTA website: "www.mosota.org"

FEB 1, 2013 - W0M-Missouri is OFFICIAL!  

FEB 1, 2013 - W4RK achieves First Activation of any W0M-Missouri Summit - Taum Sauk Mountain (W0M/SF-001) and works 29 Chasers in US and Canada.  First QSO is N0ZH.  Also works N0EAX.

FEB 1-13, 2013 - FIVE (5) activations of new W0M-Missouri summits in the first 2 weeks of W0M-Missouri existence:

          FEB 01 - W4RK - Taum Sauk Mountain (W0M/SF-001)

          FEB 09 - N0SA - Ketcherside Mountain (W0M/SF-003)

          FEB 11 - KD5ZZK - Pilot Knob (W0M/ES-003)

          FEB 12 - KD5ZZK - PT 1270 (W0M/ES-004)

          FEB 13 - N0SA - Bell Mountain (W0M/SF-005)

N0SA Has Successful Bell Mtn Activation

N0SA Completes Bell Mountain Activation on 13 FEB 2013

Congratulations to Larry, N0SA, for a successful activation of Bell Mountain (W0M/SF-005) today.  Here is the Activation Report he posted on the NASOTA reflector.  Thanks for activating the 5th unique summit in W0M-Missouri, Larry!  Check out Larry's beautiful pictures.


Bell Mtn (W0M/SF-005) Activation Report from the NASOTA Reflector

Well, my second activation went better than my first as far as the hiking went. I took the north trail from a parking lot on County Road 2228 off Hwy A from Hwy 32. A two inch snow had just fallen on the mountain and it was very pretty hike to the summit. It is about a 3 to 3.5 mile hike in and the trail is a bit rough in spots but in good shape. I made it in plenty of time to take pictures and set up for the activation. 22 contacts made it into the log before a huge pile of wet snow fell out of a tree and onto my KX3. It wasn't long before my radio started acting up so I shut it down. I was hoping to stay longer but the radio just wouldn't work full of water. I dried it out at home and it is fine.
Bell Mtn. is my favorite summit in the state. There are great views to the east and the west. The top has huge rock outcroppings and the trees are all stunted and twisted from the wind. With two inches of fresh snow it was a beautiful site.
Thank you to all the chasers for the contacts and I am sorry I had to cut it short on 20M because of snow in my radio.
If you only do one summit in Missouri my suggestion would be to do Bell Mtn. if you can do the 6 to 7 mile hike.

Larry Naumann


Bell Mountain Photos courtesy of Larry Naumann, N0SA

N0SA Plans Activation of Bell Mountain on 13 FEB 2013

Larry Naumann, N0SA, goes for Bell Mtn Activation

Less than a week after his first successful activation of Ketcherside Mountain, N0SA, will be back on the trail tomorrow for an attempted activation of Bell Mountain.  Bell Mountain is one of Larry's favorite destinations from his hiking experiences and it takes a 7-mile round trip hike to make it happen.  If Larry's Ketcherside activation is any indication, we can expect strong 40 meter signals into Mid-MO and bordering states.  The rest of the US can expect Larry to be workable on 20 meters as well. If Larry is successful, this will mark the FIFTH different summit activation in W0M-Missouri in the less than 2 weeks of W0M-Missouri existence.  Check out the ALERTS section of SOTAWATCH for details about time and frequencies.

4th Mo Summit Activated - The Beat Goes On

KD5ZZK Does It Again - 2nd W0M-Missouri Summit for him in 2 days

Andrew, KD5ZZK, made it 2 in a row for activating new Missouri summits on successive days, yesterday and today.  After his first successful activation of Pilot Knob (W0M/ES-003) in the Eureka Springs Escarpment Region of W0M-Missouri, Andrew activated PT 1270 (W0M/ES-004) today before heading back to Arkansas for another summit activation coming up this afternoon before he heads for home in Louisiana.  Andrew had lots of Chasers working him on 40 and 20 meters.  His signal into Mid-MO was excellent as usual.  Although skip was too long for Andrew to be heard in Mid-MO on 20 meters, one side of a Summit-To-Summit (S2S) QSO was heard with K7ATN, Etienne, in Oregon who was operating on the Summit of W7O/WV-138.  Great work Andrew and Etienne!

Third Missouri Summit Activated

Third Missouri Summit Activated by Andrew, KD5ZZK

Thanks to Andrew, KD5ZZK, the brand new W0M-Missouri Association experienced its 3rd activation in the first 11 days of its existence on 11 FEB 2013.  Andrew plans to add another one tomorrow.  Today, Andrew activated Pilot Knob (W0M/ES-003), the first activation in the Eureka Springs Escarpment Region.  Earlier activations in W0M-Missouri were in the Saint Francois Mountains Region (SF) with Bill, W4RK, activating Missouri's Highest Point, Taum Sauk Mountain (W0M/SF-001) on 01 FEB, and Larry, N0SA, activating Ketcherside Mountain (W0M/SF-003) on 09 FEB.

Assuming KD5ZZK is successful tomorrow, that will leave 53 other Missouri summits just waiting for a first activation.  Who's next?

Ketcherside Mountain Activation Report

First Person Activation Report from Ketcherside Mountain (W0M-SF-003)



FEB 09 2013

 On Saturday I accomplished my first SOTA activation. Overall it was a great success for me and went fairly well.  There are no real trails up to Ketcherside Mtn.  There  is an overgrown and barley marked Ozark Trail that followed roughly the same route I took which was to come in from the north-west. Bill W4RK had given me information that the going was rough but I thought I would be using a different route.  The route I chose worked out to be about a 2.5 mile hike. The problem is downed trees from severe  storms a few years ago. Well, I was surprised by the scope of the damage.  The whole area was completely damaged with nearly every tree on the whole mountain side knocked down. It was a rough climb but I managed to get to the top with enough time to get on the air at my scheduled time. The peak is totally overgrown with  no nice open areas that you usually find on these peaks in Missouri. At least the storms spared the very top.

 I must say that I also carried way too much stuff with me. Being my first activation I wanted to make sure I had everything I would need. I had everything I need plus a lot of extra weight. Next time will be very different.

 When I got to the top I had just enough time to toss a rope over a branch and install a 60 foot doublet at about a 30 foot  peak. It was fed  with 300 ohm twinlead and a 4:1 balun to my KX3. It worked out to be a good performer. As soon as I called CQ I was deluged with calls. This was quite a shock for me as I have never experienced anything like this before. I tried my best to copy whoever I could and ask for repeats when needed.  I started on 40M and when that slowed up I went to 20M ending up with 30 contacts in the logbook. At this time I was beginning to get really cold and knowing I would have a rough hike back to the truck I packed it up.

 The return hike was much easier, going downhill plus I took a little clearer route back. I had a good time regardless of the rough hike up to the top. I learned a lot and I am already planning my next activation.

 I want to give a big thanks to Bill Gerth W4RK for all his hard work in getting Missouri involved in SOTA. Bill was also a very big help all along the way in getting my activation up and going. Thanks Bill W4RK

Larry Naumann, N0SA


N0SA Activates Ketcherside Mountain (W0M/SF-003) on 09 FEB 2013

Larry Naumann, N0SA, from the St. Louis area, had a successful activation of Ketcherside Mountain.  After an extremely difficult climb through heavily damaged, downed tree cover, Larry was on the air on schedule, starting on 40 meter CW.  First QSO was with W4RK in Jefferson City, MO, followed in rapid succession by QSOs with N0ZH, Mike, in New Bloomfield, MO and K0LAF, Charlie, in southwest Missouri.  Conditions on 40 meters were excellent close in and Larry had a nice pileup to enjoy before shifting to 20 meters to make other Chasers happy with QSOs ranging further away.  

This was Larry's first activation and he did a great job, putting 30 QSOs in the log until there were no more Chasers calling.  This was the second activation in the new W0M-Association's short history, coming just over a week after the first one on the opening day on 01 FEB 2013 when W4RK activated Taum Sauk Mountain (W0M/SF-001).

Congratulations to Larry, N0SA, for keeping the momentum going in the W0M-Missouri Association!

Spreading The Word

Spreading the Word about W0M-Missouri - there are a couple of opportunities to learn more about W0M-Missouri SOTA at live events that may be happening near you.  If you're in the neighborhood, check out these:

St. Louis QRP Society - monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 7:30 P.M. at the Florissant Valley Community College (conf room E143).  Larry Naumann, N0SA, will be presenting a program on SOTA.  The St. Louis QRP Society is a well-established club of QRP enthusiasts.  Larry will talk to the members about SOTA in general and the newly organized W0M-Missouri Association.  For more info about this organization, check out their website at:  St. Louis QRP Society

OzarkCon 2013 - OzarkCon is an annual convention sponsored by the Four States QRP Group (4SQRP) and held in Branson, MO every year in early April.  This is a very active group of QRPers and this convention has grown tremendously in popularity over the years.  Andrew, KD5ZZK, W5A-Arkansas SOTA Association Manager is planning to attend and set up a SOTA display in the vendor area.  Check out the OzarkCon website for details and info about accommodations.  Here is the link  http://www.ozarkcon.com/index.php.

NEW W0M-Missouri activations planned

Several new SOTA activations of Missouri summits are being planned.  Here is what I know so far:

Ketcherside Mountain (W0M/SF-003) - Larry, N0SA, has told me that he is planning an activation of Ketcherside Mountain in the very near future, maybe as soon as this coming week-end (FEB 8-10).  Larry is an experienced Missouri hiker living in the St. Louis area and has been to the summit of Ketcherside fairly recently, so he knows the way!  Check the ALERTS section of SOTAWATCH for exact times and dates.

Pilot Knob (W0M/ES-003) - Andrew, KD5ZZK - Monday, FEB 11, 2013

PT 1270 (W0M/ES-004) - Andrew, KD5ZZK - Tuesday, FEB12, 2013

Andrew, KD5ZZK, is one of the most active SOTA Activators in the USA!  He is the Association Manager for W5A-Arkansas and lives in Louisiana, but he is almost always on the go and has activations in many of the other US SOTA associations.  Andrew will be combining first activations of these 2 new Missouri summits in the Eureka Springs Escarpment (ES) Region near Branson with several activations of Arkansas summits as he travels to and from his home in Louisiana.  Again, check the ALERTS section of SOTAWATCH for exact details of Andrew's many activations.

INFO ON ACTIVATION PLANS NEEDED - If you are planning an activation of a Missouri summit, please send a brief description of your itinerary to the W0M-Missouri Association Manager by using the FEEDBACK form on the RESOURCES page of this website.  We want to spread the word to give you as many Chasers as possible for your expedition.  THANKS!

first activation of a w0m-Missouri summit

W0M/SF-001( Taum Sauk Mtn) Activation Occurs on the First Day

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W0M-Missouri Association Manager, W4RK, Bill Gerth, and his XYL, Erika, ventured out into the crisp 5 degree F temperatures on Friday morning, February 1st, 2013 for a trip to the Saint Francois Mountains in southeast Missouri for the purpose of activating the first Missouri summit in the just-approved SOTA Missouri Association.  After a 3-hour drive from Jefferson City to Ironton and checking into the Shepherd Mountain Inn, they headed for Taum Sauk Mountain (W0M/SF-001), highest point in the state of Missouri.  

After a short hike from the parking area up to the summit, they put up the antenna (wire in the trees) and Bill got on the air with his KX3 for the first QSO going into the log at 2038 UTC on 40 meter CW with N0ZH, Mike, in New Bloomfield, MO.  Mike is VP of the Mid-MO Amateur Radio Club in Jeff City, MO and an avid SOTA enthusiast who is rapidly climbing the Chaser standings with over 600 points.  

Due to the excellent SOTA spotting tools, a nice pileup built quickly and Bill had 29 QSOs in the log in just over one half hour.  Being on the highest point in MO must have been good for propagation as he got excellent reports from all over the US as well as 3 QSOs from VE7 (British Columbia).  An analysis of the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) later showed that W4RK was heard also by the automatic skimmers at PJ2T (Curacao in the Caribbean) and in Europe at EI6BT (Ireland) with 14-16 db SNRs.

Many of the QSOs were with SOTA enthusiasts who already knew of the impending startup of W0M-Missouri with lots of congrats flowing to W4RK from around the country.  Later, a number of congratulatory e-mails were also received.  

So, W0M-Missouri is officially launched with the first of our 57 summits now having been activated.  Who will activate the next one?  It could be you!  If you activate one of the higher Missouri summits (500 meters / 1,639 feet or greater), you'll get a 3-point Winter Bonus if your activation takes place before March 1st.

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W0M-Missouri launches 01 FEB 2013

SOTA Management Team in the UK Approves Launch of W0M-Missouri


After several months of planning and coordination with the SOTA Management Team, Missouri Summits on the Air (W0M - Missouri) was born on 01 FEB 2013.  Due to lots of effort, the SOTA Management team in the UK had W0M-Missouri summits in the database and various web tools functioning at 0000 UTC on the first day.  

Special THANKS to Jim Coombes, G0CQK, SOTA Summits Manager; Andy Sinclair, MM0FMF, SOTA Database Manager; and to Rob Harwood, G0HRT, SOTA Associations Manager,  for their excellent guidance during the development of W0M-Missouri.  Additional appreciation is extended to Rich Glassner, N0EAX, for his quality control of W0M-Missouri documentation plus to Mike Dolson, N0ZH, for his encouragement and enthusiasm along the way.  It seems fitting that the first W0M-Missouri QSO from Taum Sauk Mountain (W0M/SF-001) was between W4RK on the summit and N0ZH in his shack in New Bloomfield, MO on 40 meter CW.  Rich, N0EAX, also got into the log on the first day from his QRP station in Jefferson City.

Much valuable input was also provided by some of the experienced US-SOTA Association Managers who offered advice and encouragement from the beginning.  Steve Galchutt, WG0AT, W0 Association Manager; Guy Hamblen, N7UN, W7 Association Manager; and Mike Olbrisch, KD9KC, W5 Association Manager, made a huge difference.

Finally, Bill Gerth, W4RK, W0M-Missouri Association Manager, was most gratified to see the vision he had back in September of 2012, as he had his first SOTA experience on a mountain top in Arkansas, become reality with the launch of W0M-Missouri.  Thanks to all for a great team effort!