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[3830] NyQP K2UA/M Multi-Op MobileCW HP

To: 3830@contesting.com, k2ua@arrl.net
Subject: [3830] NyQP K2UA/M Multi-Op MobileCW HP
From: webform@b4h.net
Reply-to: k2ua@arrl.net
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2020 20:32:08 +0000
List-post: <mailto:3830@contesting.com>
                    New York QSO Party - 2020

Call: K2UA/M
Operator(s): N2MG K2UA
Station: K2UA/M

Class: Multi-Op MobileCW HP
Operating Time (hrs): 12

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Dig Qs
   80:   215             
   40:   562             
   20:   276             
   15:     1             
Total:  1054    0       0  Mults = 75  Total Score = 158,100

Club: Rochester (NY) DX Association


Mike, N2MG, and I did this contest for the first time last year. I had never
operated HF mobile before that, and had never done a state QSO party other than
the first Armadillo Run in 1983, which was a blast--I guess that planted the
seed. So last year Mike and I picked a route that included six counties and
operated mixed-mode, to have a good time on the radio and test the waters of my
mobile station. We made 222 QSOs in about 5 hours of operation and had a great
time, but also found many issues to be sorted out before another mobile HF
contest--mainly in the bonding and noise-reduction areas. We also discovered
that operating SSB from a mobile station is no more fun than it is from a good
home station--which is to say, not fun at all. :-)

This year, we decided about a week before the contest to go out again this year.
We planned a route of eleven counties, for a full-time effort of about one hour
per county. The route we chose started about an hour from home for each of us,
and is basically a clockwise loop of 250 road miles. In most counties, we were
not driving for more than 20-30 minutes, so we picked a lot of scenic hilltops
on back roads where we could safely pull off the road somewhere and shut off the
engine to work people noise-free. I had knocked down a lot of the noise in the
Pilot--nothing more than S3 from in-car sources on any band--but it was always
better to work the weak ones with the engine shut off.

We had great weather, and great conditions. I was delighted to see how quiet and
open the bands were. 

We started off in Cayuga County and operated there for about an hour before
continuing north into Oswego, then east through Oneida County along the north
shore of Oneida lake, then turned south along the eastern shore and traveled
through Madison County, then west into Onondaga County. From there we drove
south to Cortland, then west to Tompkins, through Ithaca, and then into
Schuyler, through Watkins Glen. Then we turned north along the western shore of
Seneca Lake for a spectacular sunset, and climbed into Yates County to the
north. After an hour there, we continued north into Ontario County, now well
after dark. Then we headed east through Geneva into Seneca County and finally
back into Cayuga County, where we got in another hour on the air at the end of
the contest.

We had too many highlights to list, and very few lowlights. It's hard to name
any, really. Radio-wise, I think we were just as excited to find the regular
chasers in there in every new county, waiting and calling us, as they were to
find us. It was impressive to see how dedicated some of those operators are and
we cheered them each time we worked. From Europe, Laci, OM2VL, was our top DX
chaser with 17 QSOs through the course of the contest, including three QSOs on
80. OT6M was also a regular, with nine QSOs. Stateside, AA4TI was like clockwork
and called in 18 times. K5OT and K3WJV were just behind that at 17. Many other
ops worked us more than ten times, and it was always a thrill to hear them call
in and see our QSO counts with them climb! It was quote cool to give some new
counties to those chasing the USA-CA awards also, including Rusty, W6OAT, who
got three new ones from us of the nine NYS counties he needed going into the

It was an unexpected thrill to be called three times by JA stations. I've never
worked a JA from the car before--and they were loud around 21-22Z. Definitely a
high point of the contest!

For me, the biggest revelation was 80 meters. I was stunned by the activity and
the number of callers there! We had back-to-back 121-QSO hours in the last two
hours of the contest, mostly on 80, and even made 100 QSOs on 80 in a single
county (Seneca). W6OAT shared that he worked us in Seneca County from his
Washington State QTH on 80 before his sunset--that was pretty cool. We made our
first QSO on 80 at 2348Z, which it seems was a couple of hours too late, based
on how hot it was when we arrived. We'll definitely go to 80 earlier next year!

The TS-480HX does a fantastic job. It has a great ergonomics for mobile
operation, a good receiver with a 500-Hz CW filter, and a 200-W transmitter. The
transmitter does fold back, however, with even a small mismatch (even 1.5:1).
I'd say we averaged 150 W output. On 80 we were getting the full 200 W because
the Tarheel 200A gives a great match there in my setup. 

That said, 80 meters is the one band where I think we would have benefited from
more power--it was really difficult to control the chaos on 80 with five or six
stations calling at any given time (all on exactly the same frequency--move the
dial a little, guys!). We'd go back to someone and they couldn't hear us
answer--happened dozens of times. Mike handled this well by sending the other
station's call at the beginning and end of the exchange. It hurt our rates a
bit, but not as much as the many repeats necessary for doing it the usual way. I
am unlikely to add an amplifier to get more than 200 W out, but that was the one
situation where I wished we'd had it.

This contest is exciting and it's always great to get out of the shack to
operate. Maybe that's why I've favored the 10 GHz and Up Contest and this one so
much over in-shack operations recent years. Thanks so much to all the regulars
and chasers who give us all a great even to look forward to every year! We'll be
back next year for more fun!

I love good contest stats, so here are some that give an idea of what our mobile
experience was like:

QSO Breakdown by Hour
Hour            QSOs
14               68
15               80
16               71
17               49
18               79
19              100
20              105
21              107
22               73
23               80
00              121
01              121
Best 60 minutes: 124 QSOs

QSO Breakdown by County Activated
Location        3.5       7      14     21      All
Cayuga           60      26      27             113
Cortland                 60      40             100
Madison                  67      29              96
Oneida                   39      34      1       74
Onondaga                 34      37              71
Ontario          55      50                     105
Oswego                   72      10              82
Schuyler                 69      25              94
Seneca          100      22                     122
Tompkins                 69      55             124
Yates                    54      19              73
Total           215     562     276      1     1054

QSO Breakdown by Countries Worked
Country         QSOs
DL                5
F                 4
HA                1
I                 3
JA                3
K               966
OK                2
OM               17
ON                9
PA                3
SM                1
SP                7
VE               29
Total          1054

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