Mini-Expedition 2014

The Coal Country Amateur Radio Club ventured out into the Mountain Tops of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia for a 24 hour mini-expedition, 4-wheeling and camping excursion. Four members of the club made it to the top of an 1890′ peak at coordinates  38.015223° -81.798769° where we setup base camp and our radios/antennas. We were able to make many contacts from our location, however, due to the DX contest taking place this weekend, we were not able to make as many contacts as we would have liked. John Holstein (WV8JBH) was able to successfully check in with his OMISS net and make a few contacts, Ken and Matt were able to tune in various repeaters and make contacts as far away as Bristol Tennessee through a repeater in that location. We experimented with two different types of antennas, a vertical “Eagle One” and a multi-band di-pole, both were tunable and workable on selected bands.

Here’s a shot of my Side-x-Side, loaded up and ready to head out from the house:

loaded and heading out I had everything but the kitchen sink in there. If I didn’t have it, Matt’s Deuce had it 🙂


Let’s take a look at Matt Cregger’s (KD8VYD) Deuce as it heads up the mountain for the final leg of the trip. Riding shotgun is the CCARC President and Matt’s dad Ken Cregger (KB8GLY):


Here’s a video of the last bit of 4-wheeling in the Deuce before arrival at the campsite. Matt’s Deuce is like a goat in the mountains, it shredded everything put in it’s path.


Now, in order to setup a proper campsite, we had to get food on the table as quickly as possible. with some help from the KP crew of Ken, Matt and Roy, John threw together a “Deer Stew” into a Dutch Oven where we cooked over charcoal while we setup the rest of the camp…..


Here’s Matt splitting some firewood:


Matt Splitting Firewood

Some shots from around the campsite:camp 2dinner is served

And here we are, setting up to make our first contacts for the evening: making contacts 2

making contacts










A few shots of the sunset, as seen from camp:

sunset 2sunset 2


Here’s some more shots of the West Virginia Mountains:


scenery 1scenery 2scenery 2









Here’s a screenshot of some of the contacts we made over the weekend. Like I said above, we didn’t make a lot of contacts because the bands were absolutely saturated from folks on the DX contest. That’s ok though, we had a great time, made a few contacts from multiple countries and various states, had a great deer stew, told stories and enjoyed the outdoors.



And finally, here we are loaded up and ready to head off the mountain. It was a great trip, one that we hope to make an annual event in the future.

packed and heading homescenery 3