Ham Radio

Activating Worthington Knob


On May 22, 2021 my wife and I decided it would be a nice day to get outdoors. I had been scoping out where I wanted to make my second SOTA activation. Since the wife was coming along I needed something that wasn’t to far off the beaten path. Worthington Knob (W4T/CA-020) seemed to be just what we needed.

The Fire Tower and Small Building

The drive up the mountain from Chattanooga is very scenic and pleasant. The final road in is all gravel and thankfully it was dry on this day as we were driving a VW GTI. There are some minor washouts on steep sections that could be interesting if there had been a recent rain. In any event, we made it just fine to the end of the road where there is a large steel gate. On the right there is a small pull off so that you don’t leave your vehicle blocking the road.

The walk up past the gate is short and sweet with a well maintained gravel road. I will upload the GPS tracks to the SOTA Map for this summit. You will turn toward the left slightly and see the tower which is the summit. The space is very open with a tree line all around. the tower has a sign saying that you can climb at your own risk. Don’t miss the geological survey marker right underneath the tower as well. Those are always a neat find. There isn’t much in the way of accommodations, just an old wooden park bench anchored under the tower.

My initial inclination was to setup my station on the park bench with my chameleon MPAS Lite 2 setup in its vertical arrangement. The problem was that there was no shade and it got extremely hot. Plus I’m not sold that this antenna config is the best for QRP Voice. So after being attacked by horse flies and heating my transceiver up in the sun, I decided to join Maggie by the pine forest just down the hill. I setup my SOTAbeams bandspringer midi antenna through the pine trees with my radio in the shade……MUCH BETTER! Immediately I started making some contacts chasing POTA activators. I was even able to get enough cellular service to retrieve my summit ID since I had forgotten to write it down šŸ™‚ oops!

My Mobile Station at Worthington Knob

I did call CQ a few times, but there was really no need as I had already gotten 9 contacts and Maggie can only take so much sitting around watching me play radio. This summit has been activated quite often and on a fairly regular basis so I hope I didn’t let any chasers down. All in all it was a fun day and I learned a good bit about things I can improve on for the next activation (like writing down the summit ID). Afterwards we drove back to Chattanooga and had lunch/dinner at Dub’s Place as this has become our traditional post summit tradition.

So anyway, if you are looking for a pretty easy activation with some scenery with the family, this may be a nice little outing. bringing along a picnic and a hammock (like Maggie did) wouldn’t hurt either.

My next adventures are going to be a couple of “virgin summits” that are close by but not easy to get to. I hope to get some other adventurous local hams to tag along. I will make sure and advertise those extensively so that the dedicated chasers out there have a good shot at picking up the points! Now that I have the equipment to do digital modes, I will be taking that gear along to reach out even further. They will probably end up being all day activations since we will have a pretty good hike. One is a SOTA and POTA so that will add even more to the list of things I can mess up! šŸ˜€

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