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[3830] W1NN/M OQP Mobile Score & Comments

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Subject: [3830] W1NN/M OQP Mobile Score & Comments
From: japancorporateresearch@compuserve.com (Hal Offutt)
Date: Sun, 3 Sep 2000 15:21:22 -0400


W1NN/M Ohio QSO Party Score

Numbers by county,   County  -  CW  -  SSB  - Total

WAYN        44     10          54
MEDI           58     29          87
LORA          53     20          73
HURO         76     32       108 
RICH            43       3         46
ASHL           57     38         95

Total          331    132     463

CW:    31 States + 28 Counties
SSB:    28 States +  23 Counties       Total Mult:  110

Score:  87,340

The Story

These are the keywords that describe the weekend:

Inadequate preparation
Bad strategy
Antenna problems
Mosquitoes and moths!!!

Even though I spent all day Friday preparing, it was not enough.  I just
could not get my antennas working right.  That damn Hustler three-way mast
just would not work for me.   And my new bug catcher (I lost the top of the
old one in PA last year) also gave me problems throughout the contest.

I left my place in eastern PA at 5:45 AM and finally arrived at my start
location about 380 miles and 6:15 hours later exactly at the starting time.
 I had hoped to arrive at least 30 minutes early to get set up and eat
lunch but I just couldn't get on the road any earlier.  I threw the
antennas on the car and made my first Q at 3 minutes after the start of the
contest, but such a frantic beginning is a terrible way to begin a contest.

Since I was by myself, my basic strategy was to minimize the driving and
double back through the same counties in the second half of the contest. 
This was supposed to allow me to keep busy by being fresh meat on 80 and 75
(this strategy works very well in PA.)  But to my surprise there was very
little 80 Meter activity (others complained of QRN but it did not bother me
much) and I was forced to operate on most of the time on 40 from the
counties that I'd already run, which really hurt my rates.  The only way I
could have rescued myself would have been to drive off to new counties and
finish the contest two hours or more from where I needed to end up.  I just
didn't want to have a long drive in front of me at midnight so I had to
follow my original route.  Next time I'll have a circular route with no
doubling back and hit about 10-11 counties (versus six this year).  

Another problem I had was that it was really difficult to find places to
pull off at the side of the road on the roads I was driving.  They all had
drainage ditches right beside the pavement.  I was forced to seek out the
narrow, unpaved roads that had little traffic.  That was fine but when the
occasional car did come by it would raise a tremendous cloud of dust. 
Everything inside and outside got covered with a thick coating of fine,
white dust.  But the scenery was beautiful - mostly Amish country - and
made it worth the dust.  
Then after about 6 PM the mosquitoes and moths came out.  The mosquitoes
really were large and slow and easy to kill so I didn't get bit much but
they were certainly out in huge numbers.   I must have killed two
mosquitoes per QSO for at least three hours.  And the moths just wouldn't
stop dive-bombing my lights.    

Total miles driven on Saturday were 502, but only about 120 of these were
in the actual contest.

The bottom line:  this is a REALLY fun event and I had a blast in spite of
my problems.  I like the rule making the mult the total of phone and CW
mults worked even though its tough being heard on SSB as a mobile.  This
rule makes it a little more challenging and potentially gives a single op
like me a way to compete against the guys with drivers.  It looks like I
had the highest multiplier of all the mobiles, about the only thing that I
excelled at (unless mosquitoe killing and dust accumulation adds a bonus).

I was pleasantly surprised by the good activity.  Just in its second year
since being resurrected, the OQP is already a very popular event.  There
seem to be three reasons for this:  good organization and publicity by the
MRRC folks; a good weekend when there are not many major contests close by;
and lots of mobiles constantly moving to new counties and bands, putting
out a lot of counties and keeping it interesting for the fixed stations
throughout the whole contest.   Congrats to K8CC, K8MR, KQ8E and K8XXX and
the others who burned up the Ohio highways putting out so many Q's and


Hal W1NN 

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