WOW - What a wild ride!
The K4OJ Multi-Mult-Mobile (MM/m) team crammed 4 complete stations, 4
antennas and 4 operators plus driver into one Chevy Suburban SUV and hit
the ground running, operating-in-motion across 47 counties!
My wife Lili could not drive me this year due to another commitment so I
was looking for something 'unusual' to do - I think we hit the mark!
Frankly I wasn't sure a MM/m effort was even possible. The two big
technical issues to overcome were inter-station interference (RFI) and
power generation and distribution. Well, with a lot of hard work our team
overcame them both and we had a grand time!
*First, the results and some stats:*
*3973 cw QSO's:*
*SCORE = 1.44M*
*Approx Band Breakdown:*
*40m - 494Q 45Mults*
*20m - 2460Q 80Mults*
*15m - 909Q 64Mults*
*10m - 110Q 27Mults*
*40 Meters QSO Party - 2014-04-26 1600Z to 2014-04-27 2159Z - 494 QSOsK4OJ
Max Rates:2014-04-27 0111Z - 4.0 per minute (1 minute(s)), 240 per hour by
N4KM 2014-04-27 0117Z - 2.7 per minute (10 minute(s)), 162 per hour by
*2014-04-27 0155Z - 1.8 per minute (60 minute(s)), 109 per hour by N4KM *
*20 MetersQSO Party - 2014-03-29 1600Z to 2014-03-30 2159Z - 2460 QSOsK4OJ
Max Rates: 2014-04-26 1854Z - 5.0 per minute (1 minute(s)), 300 per hour
by K0LUZ 2014-04-27 2047Z - 4.0 per minute (10 minute(s)), 240 per hour by
* 2014-04-27 2133Z - 2.9 per minute (60 minute(s)), 174 per hour by K0LUZ*
*15 Meters QSO Party - 2014-04-26 1600Z to 2014-04-27 2159Z - 909 QSOsK4OJ
Max Rates:2014-04-27 1344Z - 4.0 per minute (1 minute(s)), 240 per hour by
N4BP 2014-04-27 1438Z - 2.3 per minute (10 minute(s)), 138 per hour by
N4BP2014-04-27 1359Z - 1.6 per minute (60 minute(s)), 97 per hour by N4BP
10 MetersQSO Party - 2014-04-26 1600Z to 2014-04-27 2159Z - 110 QSOsK4OJ
Max Rates: 2014-04-27 1912Z - 3.0 per minute (1 minute(s)), 180 per hour
by W4LT 2014-04-27 1917Z - 0.7 per minute (10 minute(s)), 42 per hour by
W4LT2014-04-27 1703Z - 0.3 per minute (60 minute(s)), 16 per hour by W4LT *
* Our MM station:*
*2002 Chevrolet Suburban, 2-wheel drive, 320K miles (Yep - your eyes don't
deceive you; this is one tough SUV!)*
*BAND OPERATOR RADIO ANTENNA*
*40m Kevin, N4KM IC-756 40m Hustler -
*20m Red, K0LUZ K3 20m Hustler -
Roof mounted 20" from 40m ant*
*15m Bob, N4BP KX-3/KPA500 (100w) 15m Hustler - Roof mounted
30" from 20m ant*
*10m Lu, W4LT K3 10m 1/4 wave
whip - Roof mounted 48" from 40m ant*
- *Driver, Station Engineer, Janitor, Host and Team Lead - Chris, NX4N*
- *Backup op and driver for dry-run road testing - Larry, KR4X*
*Power* - A Honda EU-2000i 2KW generator driving individual switching power
supplies for each station. Generator was mounted with an external fuel
tank and *K5YAA*-inspired 'plumbers delight' rain cover with vent on a
hitch-mount cargo carrier (Thanks Jerry for the guidance!). E0
ethanol-free premium fuel was used. Fuel consumed over 24 hours of actual
run time = 6 gallons.
While our operation was far from flawless (see below), we were just amazed
by the overall reliability of the setup - we had **zero** unplanned stops
to fix or repair anything. That was a huge victory all by itself and meant
maximum butt-in-chair operating time!
Still, there were a few 'flies in the ointment', including:
1. RFI on the 15m and 10m stations - there was a whole layer of smaller
signals that we missed (even with our excellent ops' ears) due to QRM from
the other stations. We easily left 500-1500 QSO's on the table. Those of
you who called and called - sorry, we tried our best!
This is a non-starter for next year so we already are working plans to fix
2. The Cdx were down, especially Saturday - this also played a factor on
15m and 10m (see above) and a bit on 40m too. I am convinced that with
improved conditions and better managed RFI there is ample opportunity to
increase our score substantially next year!
3. PC's were our biggest problems:
- 30 *seconds* before the FQP start, Bob's PC froze - YIKES! Bob kept
his head, rebooted and a minute later he was off and running with the rest
of the stations in LAK. After a few more occurrences (arggh!) he figured
out it was RFI on the cables and a handy ferrite choke solved it.
- On Sunday morning as we set sail, Kevin's PC's decided it was going to
not work. We were already driving to our starting point and had about half
an hour before the contest started and with 10 minutes to spare he was able
to get it going again - breathing resumed shortly thereafter.
- Finally, Lu's 10m PC had various issues too - but he persisted in
repairing them one at a time. Red had a few minor PC gliches as well; you
get the picture. More opportunities for improvement...
Keep in mind that in MM/m each op is on their own to fix any problem, or
else we need to pull over. Boy Scout motto was adopted by our team - we had
a backup for just about everything.
All that said, the power/radios/antennas worked flawlessly - not bad!
Now onto the fun part - operating! We hit the ground running with simply
glorious wx all weekend, and our route planning worked really well. Rates
were poor-to-great depending on the band, day and time (as usual).
We decided Saturday night to add MON and DAD to our Sunday route; we even
managed to hit all our counties and tame the *DRAGON* (aka- Collier, the
Best of all, we enjoyed just being together on this unique once (twice?) in
a lifetime adventure. We shared fun and aggravation, swapped scores and
stories when things got slow (i.e.- CLR), helped each other with
directions, passing snacks/drinks, requesting 'QRX while I copy this weak
sig', etc. We even found "Red's Tavern" in CLM (almost stopped for a
It was such great camaraderie - Red, Lu, Bob, Kevin and Larry each made
personal sacrifices before, during and after the contest to benefit our
team and maximize our score and our fun. This team had a special chemistry
and I enjoyed watching their world-class operating skills in action. I
believe this team raised the bar a bit toward pushing the state of our
technical and operating art - I am very proud of our achievements and very
lucky to call each of these guys my friend. In short, it was a blast!!
Too much more to talk about in an email, and I am sure there are a lot of
questions regarding Multi-Multi-Mobile; perhaps the team can talk at one of
our FCG meetings in the future.
I will gladly send out some pictures separately to FCG and FQP
distributions, and to those who email me directly with a request for
photos. Believe me, some of these pics will amaze you!
Our team would like to thank FCG leaders Dan, Ron, Chris, Jeff, Eric,
George, Fred, Steve and many others who make the FQP the very best QSO
Party around. Sincere tnx and 88 to my FB fun-loving wife Lili - she cooked
dinners and breakfasts, packed our lunch/snack bags/drinks and was a full
team member in every respect! No ham could have a more supportive spouse.
Big thanks also to Bob K0RC for his amazing tracking sheets (and he is
helping FCG big time by revamping our FQP records too - pse QRX), and to
Chuck NO5W with his FB CQ/x contest software. Both first rate guys with
first rate tools that so many of us use- thanks again!
To our fellow road warriors - well done! Each of your results and writeups
is eagerly awaited and just fantastic to read...CU on on the road!
A huge tip of the hat to our many, many, many friends both in and out of
state who tracked and worked us (or tried) repeatedly, put up with our QRX,
QSY, QRQ, QRS, QRDeaf and QLF -
*THANK YOU ALL!*
Finally, sincere thanks to my vy FB teammates Kevin, Lu, Red, Bob and Larry
- guys, sure hope we can do this craziness next year! I am convinced Jim
K4OJ is smiling down on this amazing little success story of ours. :-)
Chris, NX4N team lead
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