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[3830] KsQP N0R/M(@N5NA) Mobile MOST LP

To: 3830@contesting.com, no5w.chuck@gmail.com
Subject: [3830] KsQP N0R/M(@N5NA) Mobile MOST LP
From: webform@b4h.net
Reply-to: no5w.chuck@gmail.com
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 16:24:13 +0000
List-post: <3830@contesting.com">mailto:3830@contesting.com>
                    Kansas QSO Party

Call: N0R/M
Operator(s): N5NA NO5W
Station: N5NA

Class: Mobile MOST LP
Operating Time (hrs): 16

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Dig Qs
   80:    13             
   40:   457             
   20:   943             
   15:     7             
Total:  1420    0       0  Mults = 54  Total Score = 230,040



Equipment: K3/100, Scorpion antenna, CQ/X, CQ/X Driver 1.0, 2000 Chevy
2500 Pickup.

I'm sitting here, back in New Orleans on Tuesday morning, collecting some
thoughts following a weekend of partying and socializing as N0R/m in the Kansas
QSO Party. Just got back last night after a six-hour drive from El Dorado, AR,
the rendezvous point for Alan-N5NA and I to meet for a drive up to Joplin, MO,
our jumping off point next door to southeastern Kansas. Yesterday was a lonely
drive with many unanswered CQ's being sent on 20m/40m/15m CW, quite a contrast
to the frenetic activity of the KS QP. This was our second year to share the
driving and operating in the KS QP and to put aside our own calls and take on
the N0R/m identity so it is only natural to think about how the two were

One significant technical difference that proved beneficial was the addition of
a new component (CQ/X Driver) to the K3-Scorpion-CQ/X mobile setup. CQ/X Driver
provides a wireless interface from CQ/X to a wi-fi capable Android phone or
tablet allowing certain information of importance to the driver to be passed
from CQ/X. The implementation used in the KS QP allowed the driver to see
information such as current rate, time spent so far in the current county,
distance and estimated time to the next one, and, most importantly, navigation
information such as distance and time to the next three way points which we
typically setup as turns and highway changes, county line crossings, and lunch
stops. On this first true road test it worked very well allowing the driver to
successfully navigate the planned course with very little involvement on the
part of the operator and only a quick glance at the Android phone required by
the driver.

Probably the main difference however, is we did a lot more eyeball socializing
in 2013. In 2012 we made a leisurely drive to Joplin arriving late afternoon
and after checking into the motel we went out for dinner with more hashing and
rehashing of our plans for the KS QP. Then around 8:30pm we wandered over to
Walmart to gas up and discovered that there was a ham fest going on. Oops, it
was winding up for the night at 9:00pm so the best we could do was to put
attendance at the Joplin ham fest on our list of improvements for 2013. And 
that's what we did, arriving at the ham fest this year just after it started
with many of the non-commercial vendors still setting up. 

After looking around for a couple of hours we had one of our more memorable
encounters, but definitely not a socializing one, when Alan spotted a roll of
RG58C/U, still wrapped tightly on the spool, with a seller-claimed length of
100 feet, being offered at $30.00. Seemed like a pretty good deal and although
Alan is a good-natured sort of guy he understands that part of the ham fest
experience, especially in the flea market area, is to engage in a little back
and forth bargaining. So he asked, in a good-natured sort of way, "Would
you take $20?". That brought an almost instantaneous response from the
XYL, "Don't you understand F-I-R-M"?. So Alan countered, again in
that ham-friendly sort of way, "How about $25?". By that time the OM
had arrived and had begun unpacking his other wares and commented, in a rather
unfriendly sort of way, "If you make another low ball offer I'm going to
raise the price to $40". It seemed like a strange way to engage in
friendly negotiations but the OM was having no part of it so Alan plunked down
the $30 and we left wondering if the OM would mellow any as the fest went on.
We also wondered how much cable was on the spool.

We didn't stick around to find out the answer to either question as we had
better things to do including a nice eyeball QSO with Bill-NU0Q and his wife
who had come down from Des Moines to take in the ham fest before operating KS
QP as N0U/m. We had emailed and QSOed with Bill many times, including answering
some questions and responding to feedback generated from his use of CQ/X, but we
had never met. So it was fun to meet and to discuss KS QP routes as well as
attempt to answer a few probing technical questions regarding CQ/X internals.
After that we left for dinner and more hashing and rehashing of our plans for
the KS QP but also including several comments regarding the non-negotiating
experience and what the length of cable on that spool might be. We both agreed
that overall the ham fest was quite good with a good venue, several commercial
vendors, and some good stuff in the flea market, including the Butternut HF6V,

used but in very good condition, that Alan picked up for $50.00. If the day
before the KS QP ever finds you in the Joplin area be sure to drop by to check
out the ham fest. And be sure to stick around and operate mobile in the KS QP
where, as we found out, you'll find even more socializing opportunity.

Our KSQP route on Saturday was an ambitious one of 630 miles, made even more so
because we had dinner plans at 9:00pm in McPherson with Bob-W0BH and Jerry-K5YAA
and, due to a hasty Subway lunch, we were anxious to find food. After leap
frogging with W0BH on I-70 east of Hays and on over to I-35 south to McPherson
we knew we would arrive for dinner about the same time but what about Jerry who
was pulling his KW rig with trailered generator? Exiting I-35 at McPherson just
as the Saturday session closed there were K5YAA and W0BH with Aaron-N0QD
already exchanging high fives on the side of the road. After a quick discussion
it was off to Montana Mikes for dinner and some good QSO party conversation:
"Did you work that OM2VL, wasn't he loud"; "What about the VE's,
all seemed to be there except for VE3's and VE2's"; "Who had the
consistently loudest signal, wouldn't that include K8MFO, and N4PN. Yep, yep
and they always had much appreciated quick and snappy exchanges";
"Wonder if N6MU will make the sweep three years in a row? How does he do
it with only 100 watts and a vertical?" After dinner it was out to the
parking lot for a closer review of the mobile setups and some photo-ops with
the K5YAA trailer receiving most of the attention followed closely by the
inside of Jerry's van including the amp, bug, and K3 and redundancy in almost
every component -- about the only non-redundant items being the vehicle and
trailer! It sure was good to see Jerry back on the road, on the air, and
enthusiastic as ever about ham radio in general and mobile contesting in

Several weeks before the party when Bob discovered from our published route
that we planned to spend Saturday night in McPherson he invited us to crash at
his place which is only about twenty minutes southeast of there. So after
dinner we headed on down to the farm where he and Lorna grow beveridges,
prairie grass, and normal farm crops and have a very nice solar-powered home
where solar generates enough power to send some to the local co-op from time to
time. Since both of us were headed out for more KS QP early on Sunday morning,
it was a short, but thoroughly enjoyable, stay. Thanks Bob and Lorna for
letting us crash at your place and for the hospitality, it certainly reminded
us of one of the main reasons we enjoy this thing called Ham Radio and
contesting in particular.

Driving up from Arkansas our easiest access to the KS QP is via the south-
eastern counties: Cherokee, Labette, Crawford, etc. So those counties were on
our route again this year. For different scenery and to support the goal of
activating all 105 counties, we decided to go further west this year and to not
turn north until we reached a line of counties (Commanche, Kiowa, Edwards,
Pawnee, Stafford, Barton, Rush, and Ellis) that were unclaimed at the time we
planned our route. In the end additional stations signed up for some of those 
counties but we remained the only announced CW action in Commanche and Kiowa.
So if you were trying for a CW sweep we hope you caught us in those two. 

Here's a few stats on the thirty-six counties we covered arranged by days and
sorted in decreasing order of number of QSOs. Each day is short one hour of
operating time due to stops for gas, lunch, and/or bio breaks. The length of
Saturday's route, about 630 miles, required a gas stop of about 20 minutes but
we sprinted through lunch at a Subway and also sprinted to several bio breaks.
On the other hand Sunday's route did not require a gas stop but we got caught
in the church lunch crowd and even though we ordered the meatloaf special we
spent nearly 45 minutes on lunch. In the following tables Init Rate is the
Hourly Rate during the initial ten minutes in a county, Mins Cty is the total
minutes in the county, and the Hourly Rate is the number of QSOs divided by the
time in the county and converted to an hourly basis. One obvious take away from
this data is that the Sunday session was much more productive than Saturday's
(average hourly rate of 116 vs 78). The QSO counts include a total of 20

Saturday Session        Init    Mins    Hourly  
County          QSOs    Rate    Cty     Rate    
Rush             52     132     35      89      
Edwards          51     186     23      133     
Elk              50     102     45      67      
Pawnee           47     96      30      94      
McPherson        46     150     34      81      
Barber           46     66      35      79      
Barton           45     114     24      113     
Kingman          43     84      31      83      
Ellsworth        42     186     18      140     
Montgomery       42     66      36      70      
Saline           41     150     26      95      
Sumner           37     36      36      62      
Lincoln          36     150     19      114     
Kiowa            35     114     39      54      
Cowley           35     78      39      54      
Labette          30     78      27      67      
Russell          28     30      30      56      
Pratt            28     168     10      168     
Comanche         24     126     27      53      
Ellis            23     96      31      45      
Harper           22     102     17      78      
Stafford         21     114     12      105     
Chautauqua       21     84      15      84      
Cherokee         14     66      12      70      
Total QSOs      859                     
Operating Hours  11                     
Avg Hourly Rate  78

Sunday Session          Init    Mins    Hourly  
County          QSOs    Rate    Cty     Rate
Allen            70     186     32      131
Butler           68     180     34      120
Greenwood        59     66      25      142
Bourbon          55     198     23      143
Wilson           48     174     18      160
Reno             48     162     35      82
Rice             45     126     29      93
Crawford         45     125     21      129
Woodson          43     180     22      117
Harvey           39     90      23      102
Neosho           32     192     10      192
Sedgwick         29     120     18      97
Total QSOs      581                     
Operating Hrs    5                      
Avg Hourly Rate  116                    
It is often said, and certainly true, that mobiles make the party since the
prospect of chasing a large number of mobiles around a state generates lots of
excitement and tends to attract the fixed stations. But of course if no fixed
stations show up most of that mobile activity is for naught. So its important
to recognize the fixed stations that contributed to our QSO count. In our case
we worked 327 unique calls, most of them fixed stations. A special thanks to
the following, all of them outside of KS, who contributed more than half of our
QSOs and helped to significantly reduce our cost per QSO: K8MFO(40), N6MU(36),
N8II(36), W7GVE(33), N4PN(31), AD1C(29), K2DSW(28), W4UT(28), K7IA(25),
WA2VYA(25), VE5KS(23), N4UF(20), K6MM(20), VE7CV(20), K0CCM(20), N3KR(19),
KQ3F(18), OM2VL(17), W1END(16), W0GXQ(16), K4BAI(15), K9WA(15), N4NX(15),
KJ4IWZ(15), K4AMC(15), ND3R(14), W8POF(14), K0DEQ(13), K7BX(13), K0MPH(13),
KK7YC(13), K8NYG(11), WB0TEV(11), WX6V(11). K5KDG(11), DL5ME(11), KN4Y(11).
So it was an outstanding party with lots of mobile and fixed station activity
and, at least in our case, several opportunities for eyeball QSOs with other
participants, including a ham fest thrown in for good measure. Thanks to
Bob-W0BH for an outstanding job of leading the task of putting on a fun QSO
party, including awards with an interesting philatelic flavor. If those pesky
gas prices maintain or drop back from current levels look for us again in the
2014 KS QP.



BTW - That spool of RG58C/U turned out to contain about 275 ft, a definite
bargain at $30 whether negotiated or not!

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