Texas QSO Party
Operator(s): NO5W, NM5G(DRIVER)
Class: SO CW Mobile LP
Operating Time (hrs): 17
Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs
Total: 1699 0 0 Mults = 110 Total Score = 596,670
Club: NARS - Houston
Score includes 36,000 points for activating 36 counties with five or more Qs.
K3/100, Hi-Q 4/80 antenna, MFJ-1924 controller, Garmin GPS-18PC, WinKey,
TM-D710 APRS radio, CQ/X ver 188.8.131.52, Shuttle Pro-2 multi-function remote
tuning knob for K3, Palm Paddle, 75 AHr AGM auxiliary battery, Dell D400
Weeks leading up to the TxQP were pretty hectic keeping the mobile route info
up to date on the website and keeping track of who was going where, sending out
a few announcements, etc. So by the time TxQP actually rolled around I was about
out of TxQP gas, and hadn't really spent much time on the equipment setup and
antenna checkout which was a concern. We had experienced some control problems
with the antenna in the Oklahoma QSO Party back in March when we got caught in
a first day of Spring blizzard and hadn't really done a lot of testing of the
antenna since then. Of course Texas in September is a far cry from blizzard
conditions and we were hoping that the thawed out antenna would perform. And it
did the entire party with very reliable tuning and SWR of around 1.2:1 on 40m,
20m, and 15m. Of course 15m was not of any use although we did go there several
times, tuned around, heard some RTTY to verify that the band was open, but got
no answers to our CQs. Hopefully as 15m improves folks will begin listening up
After a rather slow first start in HARR and LIBE counties the rate picked up in
hour 1500 when we hit JEFF, ORAN, NEWT, and JASP. Putting 134 Qs in the log
during that hour provided a boost to the operator that lasted all of Saturday
and well into Sunday. Except for a few rain showers the weather Saturday and
Sunday was almost perfect and Keith (NM5G) did a great job of moving us around
the track. In fact we got to our Saturday night stop about 1.5 hour before the
end of the Saturday session. And it was here that we probably made a tactical
error which cost us 2-3 additional counties and maybe 150-175 Qs. As we came
out of FALL county we could have gone west from Waco and picked up two, or
maybe three additional counties but we continued on to the final county BELL
and went on into CORY and LAMP which we were scheduled to work on Sunday. So
next year I need to remember that NM5G moves us around faster than the model in
Streets & Trips! and to develop contingency plans in case we run out of track
before we run out of time.
This was our first trip using the Shuttle Pro as a multi-function remote
control knob for the K3 and although we still need some practice with that
device it worked well. The only scare that we had equipment wise was while
working down a big pileup on 20m in one of the Sunday counties (I think BAST or
LEE). In mid QSO with N4JF I heard a click from the back and all of a sudden
N4JF and the pileup were gone. Several CQs went unanswered and a check of the
SWR showed a whopping 4:1. Fortunately we were already stopped so it was easy
to make a quick check of the antenna which revealed nothing out of the
ordinary. Checking the radio I noticed that it was on 40m. Not sure what caused
that, probably pilot error, but changing the band back to 20m put us back in
business, minus the pileup of course, as they had gone on to the next mobile
probably wondering what had happened to old NO5W. Fortunately they returned to
resume where we left off a short time and a few CQs later.
I was really pleased at the level of activity during both days. At least half
of the 18 hours had hourly QSO totals in the 100-140 range and quite a few of
the county crossings saw 10-minute rates in the 160-190 range. The overall
result was a personal best for us in the TxQP. Of course I've had a chance to
look at the 3830 score summaries coming out and realize that there are some big
numbers out there and in fact would like to congratulate Jim AD4EB on a great
job as he passed through from TN and played in his first TxQP. I haven't had a
chance to see other scores from our visitors but we had several including W0BH,
N6MU, N9JF, WW5X, and W5TM. Thanks for coming down, hope you enjoyed the party
and will be back again next year.
It would, of course, be impossible to have these great scores without the
participation from both inside and outside the state and we had great response
on both sides. Thirty or so mobiles on the road and I counted 336 unique calls
in my log. And how about the scores of those two multi-ops W5CT and NR5M.
In our log multipliers were pretty well balanced between Texas Counties (52)
and non-Texas S/P/C (58). States missed were: ME, ND, SD, VT, OK, ID. Canadian
Provinces Worked: NS, ON. Countries Worked: F, DL, G, HA, HK, LY, LZ, OE, OK,
OM, SP, YV.
Thanks to the following stations for contributing more than half our QSOs
KV8Q(35), VE3KZ(33), KB9OWD(33), DL3DXX(29), WB2ABD(29), K7ZD(28), NT2A(27),
WA6KHK(27), WA3HAE(27), N5LZ(27), KI2G(27), K0PC(26), K8QWY(25), N8II(23),
K9YC(22), N1LN(21), W8TM(21), K4MM(20), K3TW/4(20), ND3R(19), N3UM(19),
N9CK(18), W0GXQ(18), W2LHL(18), N5AW/0(17), K9DU(17), W9LHG(17), N9AUG(16),
K8MFO(16), KB9BIT(15), N0TA(15), K6WSC(15), W7GVE(15), K4YT(15), VE3KP(14),
W4UCZ(14), KE0G(14), N9FC(14), K4AMC(14), WA7JHQ(13), K8NYG(13), K5LH(13),
Many of the pileups were so intense that I had to resort to partial call? and
it was very refreshing to have the pileup standby during most of those times.
It sure helps get everyone in the log and on to the next QSO when that
Hope to work many of you in the CW SS.
And now a few observations from NM5G, the driver:
I drove the 900 miles during the NO5W CW mobile operation and learned a lot
from this experience.
First, the driver must ensure that the planned route is followed precisely and
with adequate speed to cover all counties.
Second, stops in safe locations must be made for counties with minimum travel
distance, to allow working all stations on multiple bands.
Third, the driver should monitor operating conditions to help avoid things such
as power line noise, bumpy roads and bad weather.
We completed the Saturday plan more than an hour ahead of schedule, so were
able to add an extra county with extra driving. We ended the day making the
last few Qs in the parking lot of the restaurant where we had dinner. Parking
the vehicle pointing north seemed to yield the best signal. The Sunday
experience was similar, and we drove extra miles to add another county
I am an avid phone operator. CW is rusty after many years of inactivity. I
think my speed picked up considerably while listening to Chuck operating.
Toward the end I could often copy the whole Q. Maybe Chuck will let me operate
a bit next year. <grin>
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