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Re: [CQ-Contest] Tennessee QSO Party 2016 - September 4

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Tennessee QSO Party 2016 - September 4
From: Jim Brown <k9yc@audiosystemsgroup.com>
Reply-to: k9yc@arrl.net
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2016 15:11:37 -0700
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
On Mon,8/29/2016 10:05 AM, Ted Bryant wrote:
Come join us and chase the mobiles across the Tennessee hillsides throughour 95 
counties.  Action should be non-stop.

Some observations. As usual, TNQP was bolstered by several mobile operations, some more serious than others. Working a QSO Party from 2,000 miles away is a challenge for the stations on both ends of the path. W4NZ and K4ZGB had the best mobile signals. N2WN and K1GU were never very loud, but were workable on the higher bands. All had great ears. Interestly, W4NZ and K4ZGB were workable on 40 before fixed stations could be heard well enough to copy; ditto for K4ZGB on 80M! I worked Tom twice on 40M and once on 80M; I made 7 QSOs with Ted on 40M, none on 80M -- his best signal on 80M was mostly fumes. The few times I could copy well enough to get my call and exchange, I couldn't make it through the other callers.

Some conclusions.

First, I suspect that the lower radiation angle of those mobile antennas helped them with propagation when the bands were just opening.

Second, most operators, including the mobiles, abandoned 20M at least two hours before the band died (ZGB abandoned it at least an hour earlier) and at least an hour before I could hear them on 40M. 20M was good to TN to at least 02Z. 40M prop never died, but all the activity moved to 80M. I missed a dozen or so fixed stations on 40 because they went to 80 before 40 opened to W6. I ran SO2R high power assisted with a P3 looking at both active bands. My 40M antenna was a 2-el wire Yagi at 120 ft, with a Beverage on the 2nd RX. My 80M antenna is a 2-el wire Yagi at 140 ft.

SO -- if you want participation from west of the Rockies, you've got to spend time on bands with propagation to this area. I'm guessing that missed Tom in at least 4 counties, and Ted in at least 5. And even when I was able to work these guys on the lower band, the higher band would have provided extra Qs (and mults) for both sides of the QSO.

A third observation. I wasn't aware that K1GU was mobile until midway through the contest. We may have missed him in one or more counties for that reason -- I saw spots, but thought he was at home. Jules was signing N2WN/xxxx, but Ned was not, at least early on.

And I really wish that fixed stations would NOT sign /xxxx -- that practice should, IMO, be limited to mobile or portable stations that operate from more than one county.

Please take this as positive criticism, and thanks to all for a another fun weekend!

73, Jim K9YC

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