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[3830] TxQP NO5W SO CW Mobile LP

To: 3830@contesting.com
Subject: [3830] TxQP NO5W SO CW Mobile LP
From: webform@b41h.net
Reply-to: no5w@consolidated.net
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2011 17:44:36 -0700
List-post: <3830@contesting.com">mailto:3830@contesting.com>
                    Texas QSO Party

Call: NO5W
Operator(s): NO5W + NM5G(DRIVER)
Station: NO5W

Class: SO CW Mobile LP
Operating Time (hrs): 18

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Dig Qs
   40:   346             
   20:  1028             
   15:    28             
Total:  1402    0       0  Mults = 84  Total Score = 393,304

Club: Northwest Amateur Radio Society


Score includes 40,000 bonus points for activating 40 counties.

K3/100, CQ/X ver, Hi-Q 4/80 antenna, MFJ-1924 controller, Garmin
GPS-18PC, WinKey, Palm Paddle, 75 AHr AGM auxiliary battery, Dell D400 laptop,
2002 Pathfinder.

As others have commented 2011 was a very different year from 2010 with 2011
numbers down in all but one category -- we activated four more counties (40) in
2011. Of course most of the credit for that increase goes to my excellent driver
Keith NM5G who moved us around the course to reach the destination with minutes
to spare. And it was Keith's suggestion on Sunday morning to add four counties
to our route -- more about that later.   

Our Qs and Mults numbers were down this year: 1402 Qs vs 1699, and 84 mults vs
110 with most of the missing mults being Texas counties. It's interesting to
note that our 1028 Qs on 20M is about 82% of our 1255 Qs on 20M in 2010 and
that our 346 Qs on 40M is about 79% of our 439 Qs on 40M in 2010. So
percentage-wise both bands were down by about the same amount. That's what the
numbers say but it sure seemed, especially Sunday, that 40M was in a lot worse
shape than 20M. Of course some of that is dependent on who was listening where.
The only band where we did better this year was 15M. Requests to QSY to 15M were
almost always successful and when we stayed around to send some CQs we often got
several additional 15M Qs in the log but not a steady run -- if the 
listeners had been there we could have had a steady run.

We didn't have any major excitement from Murphy like serpentine belts breaking
-- and it's a good thing too since we had spares for most everything on the
radio and computer end of things but the only spare we had for the vehicle was
a tire. We did get off to a rough start, though. Right off the bat the line at
the first Starbucks fueling station was really long for 7:30am on a Saturday 

Once we got the coffee and were underway and tried to make a few QSOs the new
Sony Vaio machine got cantankerous - I think it must be more RF-susceptible
than the old Dell D400 which we promptly put in service. Well, the D400 was
cantankerous too. Why in the heck was that? The only thing we could think of
that was different from when it was used a few weeks ago in the ARQP was the
foot switch cable that we had added that morning for Keith to use to make some
SSB contacts. 

We removed that cable and things were back to normal with the D400. We probably
lost about an hour fooling around with the computers and then lost some more
time just after lunch when we had to stop to wash the Pathfinder of love bugs
that had met their demise on the front of the vehicle and were creating a
visibility problem for the driver. 

Fortunately that was the last of the love bugs and Saturday after we got moving
up I45 the rate started picking up with the best results occurring in the
counties up near Ft. Worth where initial ten minute rates on crossing the
county lines were good enough to keep things exciting: Tarrant(174). Hill(168),
Johnson(168), Hood(150), and Parker(144). Parker also treated us to a beautiful
sunset as we came over a hill and headed into Hood county, our stopping point
for the night. Prior to going to the hotel we had time to make a quick trip
down to Somervell (150) county and then returned back to Granbury and the hotel
right at the close of the Saturday session.

Granbury is a bustling place and has quite a selection of restaurants open
after 9:00pm, an important criterion for a mobile operator in the TxQP. So we
were able to have a nice dinner, meeting up, as planned, with John, David, and
Scott who were spending the weekend in nearby Glen Rose to activate Somervell
county field day style as K5PBA. They are part of a Baptist men's emergency 
communications team and were using the QSO party as a means of testing their
ability to deploy in the field. Great idea and one of three known teams who
were operating the QSO party field day style.       

When we got up early Sunday morning Keith remarked that we needed more counties
on Sunday because he estimated we were going to be back at the house with at
least an hour, maybe more to spare. So the hunt was on for a new Sunday
starting point that we could reach in time and that would yield some more
counties. Streets and Trips revealed that if we left the hotel in 30 minutes we
could reach a starting point on a ranch road just inside Stephens county, come
back through Palo Pinto, down through Eastland and Comanche and then rejoin our
original route. And it looked as if that would add the necessary hour or so to
the route. One of the cool parts about this exercise was that we then got on
the internet, tweaked our Google map of the route plan, downloaded a new KML
file containing the lat/lon of the new route and then imported that file into
CQ/X which then determined our new county line crossing points and gave us our
new navigation coordinates for keeping on track. 

After checking out and a quick stop at Starbucks away we went to find some
breakfast and to activate four additional counties. We found the counties but
we didn't find any breakfast in the out of the way counties that we had added
so we ended up snacking on some nut bread in the vehicle later in the morning
during a long stretch of Hamilton county. Adding those counties turned out to
be a good decision as it gave us 4000 bonus points and almost 200 QSOs. We
managed to make all of our original counties except the last one so our net
gain was 3000 bonus points and probably 150 Qs.

Even though our total numbers were down the pileups were intense and were a lot
of fun made possible by frequent callers: K8MFO(42), W4UCZ(40), N6MU(38),
VE3KZ(37), N0TA(36), WB9CIF(35), NC4KW(32), and many others with twenty or more
Qs. When I would change bands to 20M and give out a single CQ K8MFO was almost
always there, and then the pileup would start. Thanks to all who called. Our
goal was to sweep the table clean of any QSOs in each county, stopping if
necessary to work down the pile. However, at times the QRN was very bad,
signals were weak, and a complete QSO was just not possible. Our apologies if
we left a county before you had a chance to get in the log.     
So that's the story on NO5W/M in the 2011 Texas QSO Party. Many thanks to
Keith-NM5G for some great driving and to all who called us. Hope to see you in
CW Sweepstakes and after that as a mobile in some QSO parties in the Spring.



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