Arkansas QSO Party
Operator(s): NO5W, N5NA
Class: Mobile LP
Operating Time (hrs): 11
Band CW Qs Ph Qs
Total: 503 0 Mults = 41 Total Score = 50,246
The score includes 9,000 bonus points for activating 18 counties with ten or
more QSOs. We missed our bonus in the short stretch of Chicot by one QSO.
K3/100, HiQ 4/80, Garmin GPS-18PC, CQ/X version 126.96.36.199.
When N5NA sent me an invitation to do an ARQP mobile multi-op with him I had
Negative Wows -
1. Wow, that would be pushing it with the Texas QSO Party only two weeks away
2. Wow, 360 miles just to get to the starting point would be quite a drive
Positive Wows -
1. Wow, this would be a good opportunity to make a shake down cruise of the new
Win 7 laptop
2. Wow, this would be a good opportunity to do a multi-op with Alan
3. Wow, I might even stop for lunch on the way home to see friend K5CX's new
QTH up in northeast Texas.
4. Wow, knowing K5CX he might even put a steak in front of me.
Since it looked like the positive wows had it over the negative ones, off I
went on Friday, headed from Houston to Eldo-ray-do Arkansas. Arriving there I
found another party in progress -- namely a birthday party for Alan's 92 year
old dad, Curtis. I was privileged to be included in that celebration as Curtis
is a lively fellow and likes to entertain with many stories. After those
festivities we turned in and we were up early Saturday to get on the road for
the QSO party.
Things started out ok but there was some RFI getting into the touch pad of the
laptop, especially on 40m. Not a big deal since we were able to solve it with a
wireless mouse. Due to some difficulties with the hard drive protection cutting
in due to the road vibration we had decided to try to run the software from a
memory stick. This worked but it seemed to result in some sluggishness of the
logging application so we reverted to running from the hard drive with the
protection sensitivity set to trigger at a higher level of vibration.
Operating that way all was well as we made our way along the route until we
stopped for lunch. Following lunch we began restarting everything and the
logging application would not restart under Windows 7. The Win 7 in-progress
circle would just spin for a bit and die with the application refusing to
appear even briefly. It appeared as if Win 7 had somehow black-listed the
software so after several attempts and with time a-wasting we decided to toss
the Win 7 machine and use the old, but reliable, Dell D400 running XP. No
problem there as we ran the rest of the course without so much as a hiccup.
This was disappointing but hey, it was a shake down cruise and Win 7 lost.
Disappointing since the screen on that new machine sure handles the glare a lot
better than the old D400.
Radio conditions were not the best (actually they were very poor) but we did
manage to attract a good group of followers and tried to put in equal time on
40m and 20m. Both bands were very noisy in the rural parts of Arkansas where
most of our route took place. Many signals were just at the noise level and
couldn't be pulled through. Our apologies if you were one of those. Thanks to
the following who contributed more than half of our QSOs: N6MU(21), N6MA(21),
KN4Y(16), NT5O(15), AC5K(13), W1END(12), KO1U(11), K8QWY(10), N3RJ(10),
W0BH(9), K5WAF(9), VA3XOV(9), WA7JHQ(9), K5LH(8), K9EN(8), K5KDG(8), ND3R(8),
N6WIN(7), W4UCZ(7), KE8M(7), WA6KHK(7), K5GE(6), K7ZYV(6), AD1C(6), KI0I(5),
N8CIJ(5), WB2ABD(5). Our most active counties were Miller(45), Ashley(41),
Bradley(39), Drew(39), and Calhoun(39).
All in all it was a lot of fun and well worth the drive -- I'd certainly do it
again next year. Thanks to Alan for inviting me and to his wife Kay, sister
Carolyn, brother-in-law Bill, and, of course, Curtis for their hospitality.
And yes I was able to stop and visit with K5CX and his wife Anita N5AOK, and
steak was served for lunch along with a lot of other good stuff. Thanks H.O and
Soon, September 24-25, it will be time for another running of the Texas QSO
Party. Hope to put you in the log on that old Dell D400 running XP.
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