7th Call Area QSO Party
Class: Cnty Exped SO HP
Operating Time (hrs): 13.1
Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs
160: 3 0 0
80: 177 27 0
40: 438 315 0
20: 672 27 0
15: 519 204 0
10: 3 0 0
6: 0 0 0
2: 0 0 0
Total: 1812 573 0 Mults = 64 Total Score = 421,248
Thanks to the 7QP organizers I had a blast in the 7QP this year! This was a fun
Single Op effort on a three county line. (despite a big set back you can read
about below) I was at a great location and with permission from the land owner
I was pumped up for my Single Op effort in the 7QP. Getting ready had been
consuming my thought process for weeks. I'll put a link to the pictures and
video I took of my effort. I think I only have one picture of a worn out NG7M
when I was almost done with the 6 hour pack up and setup take down. (timer
picture) The video is HD and the pictures are 18 mega pixels, so it will take
awhile to download the video especially if you can't stream it.
Before I forget, I need to credit N7BAN (Dave Banner) for the great idea to use
a farm jack setup to push the lower mast sections up on the spider beam mast.
Google up N7BAN and Spider Beam to find his pictures and description of the
setup. Dave's setup really made the Single Op setup and full effort possible
for me. Big thanks to N7BAN for sharing his idea on the Spider Beam mast
setup. I made a few changes to Dave's original setup that really worked out
well and I also dreamed up the idea to use cord reels to make the guys easy to
deal with near the mast. No running around as I slowly jacked up the mast
sections. With a one man show, the system really worked well... it just took
some time. It worked great with the harsh winds too.. keep reading about the
First the low part of the 18 hour 7QP contest... I missed almost 5 hours of
operating time Saturday afternoon due to high winds on the Utah and Wyoming
boarder. My spider beam (which played really well) up 60 ft was doing fine in
the brutal wind until one of the tripod legs slipped and was shortened in the
leg tube. This was the real cause of the failure. You can see in one of the
videos the lower mast seconds tilted to the left... I just didn't relize this
when I was focused on the flexing of the top of the mast. I'm convinced the
setup would have been fine in the wind if that one tripod leg would not have
slipped in 4-6 inches... this was the weak link in the setup... note to self...
use pliers to tighten the tripod leg clamps. See the videos in the links above.
This tilt at the mast bottom caused the second to the top mast section to
buckle in the unforgiving due to the fact the two guys were not able to pull
the mast back into the wind like they normaly would and it was hard to watch
the spider beam blow like a sprung umbrella against the nasty sustained wind
from the west. I didn't realize the tripod leg had shortened due to the mast
pressure at the bottom of the tubular mast until after I lowered the mast. I
waited several hours to let the wind calm down so I could bring the mast down.
It was very disheartening to not keep up the full 18 hour effort... I couldn't
operate with the spider beam pointed at the ground up 60 feet! I had my low
band dipole still up and it wasn't worth transmitting with everything in a
After I brought mast and spider beam down, I bucked up and decided to finish
using the ladder line fed 140' dipole. I got the Mr. Spidy Beam down on the
ground and only lost one fiberglass tube. I then put the mast back up as high
as I could... about 55ft again... I started operating again and stayed on 20
with the dipole until the rate dropped and then moved back between 40 and 80
for the rest of the duration. I made 1 Q (3 if you count the 3 county line ;)
on 160 and it was clear 160 wasn't worth it.
It was a big effort as a single op to setup, but it was well worth it. I was
surprised that CW was the place to be for rate. With the verbose long
exchange, I had a much better rate on CW than phone. It was brutal on phone...
way too many repeats and SSB stations were just not ready for the long exchange.
I prefer CW anyway so I was happy to stay on CW. I remember my N1MM rate meter
touching 189 for just a few moments even with the big long exchange I was
sending. Kudo's to the CW ops out there dealing with my 3 county exchange!
Thanks to the SSB and CW Op's for working hard to copy the exchange.
So the good news is the fact I was still able to pull off ~800 Q's by the end
of the contest. 604 on CW... I'm sure the numbers will drop, but I'm happy as
a lark at this point to have posted a raw score of 421K points due to the 3 for
1 Q three county line bonus. Only being able to operating just over 13 hours
too. I figure I missed out on a few more mults and problem walked away from
200-300 more Q's. Sigh...
I'll need to wait and see how well the score holds up... I would love to see
that score stay above 400K... but I think that is wishful thinking... we'll
73 and thanks for reading everyone.
de Max NG7M
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