SOTA W4V/SH-004: Hazeltop

Hazeltop is another summit on the “not too hard” list within Shenandoah National Park. If you park at the Milam Gap parking lot (38.4784N, 78.4517W), it’s about a 3.3 km hike along the Mill Prong trail to the summit, with a net vertical rise of about 170m. There are some flat stretches to this trail, but also some hilly bits.

From the parking lot, walk east and then follow the turn southward towards the peak.

This was a standard activation for me, with an end-fed antenna chucked into a tree, yielding 16 contacts on 20m and another 3 on 40m.

I noticed that a few folks on Sotawatch requested that I activate on 60m, but that’s not possible with my equipment. I have an early FT817 (not 817nd), and it does not support the 60m band at all, not even if I somehow flashed the firmware. In principle, I could mod the transceiver to remove band limitations. The only downside is that I’d lose the regional settings, like automatic repeater shift, but I could still program those in as custom shifts.

That’s not much of a deterrent, particularly as I’m only in North America occasionally. The bigger issue is that I’m not keen to resolder the PC board jumpers with the equipment that I have on hand with me in Maryland. Perhaps when I get to Cyprus later this year and have a full workbench, I’ll give this a try.

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